would think with this much sensitivity you would need to sacrifice a great deal
of power. This really isn’t the case with the Helium. While we do feel that the
traditional Helium rods have more backbone the Helium’s power is still very
respectable and the rod can be bowed with confidence. Just to prove the Helium
could handle big bass we spent a day field testing the rod fishing for Stripers.
The rod managed these robust fish with authority.
The 6’9” Helium LTA does have
a very sensitive and fast taper so you will need to lift appropriately to set
that hook. With so much sensitivity anglers may find themselves pointing the rod
tip to the side or downwards in all the excitement but if you can just remember
to keep that moving tip up and away from the head of the incoming fish you will
have no problems whatsoever.
happy to see the innovative Kistler hook hanger was integrated into the
Kistler adds a couple innovations and features to the
Helium LTA that set it apart from competitor
offerings, these include:
1) Modified Hook hanger:
sports the famous Kistler hook hanger that is so simple yet works very well. The hook
hanger is actually on top of the rod by the reel seat and bent over so that when
stowing lures on the rod you don't ever have to thread a hook through the
hanger. Instead the hanger is bent so tension of the line is enough to hold the
hook securely. In addition the hanger holds the lure firmly flat against the rod
preventing it from moving and scratching the graphite.
2) Modified reel seat: As mentioned earlier
in this review, the Helium LTA features a modified reel seat removing the
unnecessary cork grip on top the reel seat so that subtle vibrations transfer
better directly through the blank.
Hiking from one fishing hole
to the next is made easier with a rod as lightweight as the Helium. While
carrying or fishing with this rod you never feel as if your arm is burdened. To
maximize the experience you should add a magnesium reel like the Shimano
Chronarch Mg or the ultra lightweight Daiwa TD-Z for a combo that will weigh in
below the bantamweight class.
4) Ergonomics: The Helium LTA's soft foam
butt is a welcome addition that is not only lighter than traditional plastic
caps but is more comfortable against your forearm.
Pair up the LTA with a magnesium reel and you have one of the lightest combos available on the market!
One of the reasons that Kistler rods have won TackleTour's Best Value award in
the past was for their amazing value. With the Helium you are getting a
assortment of new features and the opportunity to fish with an exclusive new
material…but all this now comes with a larger price tag. Simply put is this rod
worth it? At a price tag that puts the Kistler in direct competition with St.
Croix legend Elite and GLoomis IMX rods is this rod a worthy alternative? Our
answer is…absolutely. For just a little less than the premium competition you
can get your hands on a rod that performs just as good in the durability and
casting department and even better when it came down to sensitivity and weight.
In addition to excellent attributes the Kistler Helium is like the new kid on
the block, with a fresh face, and an attitude to match. You are sure to get
plenty of attention when fishing this hard core challenger.
Helium LTA Ratings (?/10)
Whatever this new super graphite blend is we
hope that Kistler employs more of it on their other rods, it is fantastic in
terms of durability and sensitivity
Great sensitivity and weight, not as powerful
as the original Kistler Signature rods but a major advancement in terms of
finesse and sensitivity
This is a premium rod and priced accordingly.
It is competitive with competitor pricing for a rod of this caliber.
Full of features like the Kistler Hook hanger,
special materials, zirconium titanium guides, sensitive "smart touch" reel
seat...and the list goes on.
Great contoured cork that makes extended
fishing easy, and a soft foam butt cap that rests easy on your arm
This rod will excel at finesse fishing
applications but can also be used for some hardcore fishing and even light
Pluses and Minuses:
Exciting new blank material
Doesn't feel as powerful as some of Kistler's
Lightweight zirconium titanium guides
Hard to find in local stores, best place to
look is at Kistlerrods.com
Trey Kistler designs some of the best new rods on the market, and the new Helium
is truly representative of how far Kistler is willing to go to provide a unique
solution and experience to anglers. For us the Helium was definitely not more of
the same, rather the new materials and attributes of this rod was like a well
needed rejuvenating shot in the arm. While we wish other rod manufacturers would
go as far as Kistler does to deliver a uniquely new implantation the fact is
that most manufacturers will stick with the same formula and keep simply
tweaking it. While it isn’t always a good idea to build from the ground up the
Kistler Helium proves that when done right the result is
nothing short of breathtaking. If you are lucky enough to find one of these rare
custom rods definitely consider treating yourself to a unique new fishing
experience. Use of pioneering new materials, designing in more comfort, reduced
weight, and increased sensitivity make the Kistler Helium a worthy recipient of
TackleTour’s Innovation Award!
Until next time....Tight Lines!