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Rod Review

Swimbait Rod Wars Installment #5 : The Big Swimbait Special From Kistler (continued)

Power (cont'd): What I felt was no run of the mill tap at the end of my line, nor was it the typical hard hit of a black bass when striking a crankbait or jerkbait. No, this was a certified, monstrous THUMP-THUMP-SLURP of a strike! I reacted as quickly as I could with a pivot of my hips and a sweep of the KBSBS80 - it arched beautifully in full power, but did it work? The water near shore turned white with a huge swirling explosion of an answer! FISH ON!


The KBSBS80 is in Kistler Custom Rod's Graphite Plus series of rods, all of which are made overseas

I looked back to see if Zander saw it, but got no acknowledgement. He was talking away, very calmly on his cell phone. I reeled frantically trying to take up any slack in my line when all of a sudden, the fish made a run further down the bank like a runaway freight train. Line was screaming off my reel despite a fairly buttoned down drag. The KBSBS80 was fully arched but unrelenting. Zander was still on the phone listening to the other party and nonchalantly taking his line in to get it out of the way. At least he noticed!

The customary, Kistler open-ended hook hangar

Then the fish made a turn - straight for the trolling motor! In a panic, I pulled it up as the fish raced around to the starboard side of the boat. Not where I wanted it to go, so I fought back relying on the KBSBS80 to turn the fish's head. It worked! Zander, still on the phone, was making his way to the net as I did my best to direct the fish back to the port side. As he unfolded, and extended the net, the fish rose for a moment and I got a look - hmm, not quite the monster I thought she might be - then she dove!

The KBSBS80 even makes a good stick to loan to fishing buddies looking to sample the swimbait craze

More line screamed off my reel and the KBSBS80 doubled over into the water! I kept the pressure on, then, finally, I got the fish to come up again and pulled her head into the waiting net. Zander flipped the writhing tangle of net and fish into the boat and tried to wrap up his phone conversation as I lipped and unhooked a ten pound striper somewhat disappointed. I was expecting at least fifteen. Those striper are insane!

A slightly disappointing detail at the top of the KBSBS80's foregrip, the simple rubber ring


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