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Reel Review


 

Kistler Enters the Reel Market with Their Series 1 Casting Reels

 

Date: 4/5/21
Tackle Type: Reel
Manufacturer: Kistler
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.8 - GOOD

Introduction:
Though the majority of anglers won't admit it, for many, the task of matching rod to reel has grown far beyond performance considerations. Custom colors, handles, knobs all enter into the equation when trying to coordinate a one of a kind look to your set up(s). While we often joke about the ultimate taboo of matching a Daiwa rod or reel to that of a Shimano and how that combo will some day disintegrate due to the competitive karma, brand matching is an even more complex and intricate game. It used to be simple when there were only a hand full of reel manufacturers from which to choose, but now there are at least three handfuls listed on the pages of TackleWarehouse alone.

 


Introducing Kistler Custom Rods's Series 1 Casting Reel

 

Validating the dilemma anglers face trying to match the correct brand of reel to their fishing rods, a handful of the reel manufacturers actually started out as rod manufacturers. If you think about it, just about every reel manufacturer makes rods, so why not vice versa?

 


This isn't an attempt to grab any kind of significant fishing reel market share, Kistler simply wants to offer options for those dedicated fans that like the idea of matching their Kistler rods with a reel bearing the same name

 

Enter Kistler Custom rods and their foray into this very segment of the market for 2021. Trey Kistler admits, their goal isn't to take over the market or even make any significant dent in market share. Rather, they simply want to offer options for those dedicated fans that like the idea of matching their Kistler rods with a reel bearing the same name. Naturally, I had to get my hands on one of these reels to see for myself, how it stacks up. Here's our look at Kistler Custom Rods's Series 1 casting reel.

 

Kistler Series 1 Casting Reel Specifications

Line Capacity - Rated 12lb / 170yds (100 size)
Line Capacity - Spool Volume 17.6 cm3
Retrieve Ratio
6.6:1
7.3:1
8.1:1
Inches Per Turn (IPT) - calculated
8 - 28
8.5 - 31
9.5 - 34
Weight 6.2 oz
Spool Weight 21 g
Handle Length 100 mm
Bearings 10
Bearings per Knob 2
Levelwind Bearings 1
Rated Max Drag 19lbs
Origin Made in Korea
MSRP $250

 

Impressions: Kistler Custom Rods offers their Series 1 reel in both a 100 and 200 size. Unfortunately, only the 100 size is available in both right and left hand retrieve. Fortunately for me, I only had interest in the 100 size anyway. The manufacturer plans to offer three retrieve ratios but at the time of this writing, only one was available, 7.3:1.

 


Starting things off with a carbon handle and line weight reminder is a nice touch

 

The reel comes in an all black motif and has a very comfortable, if not somewhat familiar form factor. Little touches like a line size reminder on the handle nut cap, a nice long, 100mm carbon handle, and a deep spool with a line tying port demonstrate some thought went into conveniences. I see that as a kind of Kistler trade mark dating back to my first Helium stick and that open ended hook keeper.


So is a line tie port in the middle of the spool

The reel comes in an all black motif and has a very comfortable, if not somewhat familiar form factor. Little touches like a line size reminder on the handle nut cap, a nice long, 100mm carbon handle, and a deep spool with a line tying port demonstrate some thought went into conveniences. I see that as a kind of Kistler trade mark dating back to my first Helium stick and that open ended hook keeper.


Not wanting to play favorites, I matched my Kistler Series 1 with an ARK rods Reinforcer

Real World Tests: Not wanting to give this new reel any preferential treatment or let it benefit from the good karma of matching it with a Kistler fishing rod, I chose a neutral party in my ARK Rods RFC72MHXC Reinforcer for its tests. For line, I chose 10lb Sufix Advance FC and tied direct to that little port in the spool. I usually just tie an arbor knot - even on a fully ported shallow spool because I'm paranoid about bending something. However, the little port in this spool is obviously provided for the purpose of securing your line, so I thought I'd try it out.


The Series 1 features an externally adjustable brake system

Next: First time casting a Kistler Reel...

 

   

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