I bought my first Kistler Helium rod, a 7' Medium Caster, sight-unseen, three years ago and I was so overwhelmed by it. I have since bought six more.
Introduction: During the Fall of 2016, we shared with you our thoughts on a Search for one Candidate from Kistler Custom Rods Zbone series, the LEXF-3MH-70. Representing what can be achieved when you combine a minimal build with top end components and a Made in the USA pedigree, that stick won our Editor's Choice Award. Today we take a look a the singular spinning rod from this same flagship lineup. Here now is the LEXF-2MS-70.
Impressions: Kistler's ZBone LEXF-2MS-70 is a seven foot even (7'-0") spinning rod build on a North Fork Composites HM series graphite blank. This blank is sanded and left unfinished and built up with Fuji KSeries, titanium framed micro guides with SiC inserts. It has an extra-fast taper and weighs only three point two ounces (3.2) ounces.
Handle material on the LEXF-2MS-70 is mix of a rubberized synthetic cork and EVA foam. Kistler used to use a very simple, bent wire, open ended hook keeper but they now use a similar product of slightly more elegant design manufactured by Kigan.
Real World Tests: I fished this rod with a couple different reels and different types of fishing line. My preference is for a light fluorocarbon on spinning rods, but I also used nylon monofilament.
Casting: The LEXF-2MS-70 is a medium powered rod with a lure rating of between one eighth and one half ounce (1/8-1/2oz). It handles this bait range quite well and that extra-fast taper makes it easy to cast your bait with a quick flick of the wrists but it also remains stout enough for you to pitch your bait to location instead if you so choose.
I had no issues with the micro-guides, but I wasn't fishing in any water that was overrun with debris nor did I fish in super cold, icy conditions. If this describes any of the water you typically fish, micro-guides might not be for you.
Sensitivity: I commented how the LEXF-3MH-70 casting rod had that old school GLX feel to it and the LEXF-2MS-70 does as well. This is because Kistler is using North Fork Composite's HM blank and Gary Loomis is using the same manufacturing techniques he did back at his hold company rolling GLX blanks today with his new HM product. This stick has a nice, crisp, sensitive feel because of it.