Tackle Tour Reviews the KLX 7'10

Tackle Tour Reviews the KLX 7'10" XXH

See the full review from Tackle Tour here: 

http://www.tackletour.com/reviewkistlerklx7107xxh.html

From Tackle Tour:

Are You a Big Bait Addict? If So, Kistler Has the Rod for You, the KLX7107XXH

 

Date: 3/5/20
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Kistler Rods
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.75 - GOOD

Introduction: Tossing big baits with the intention of landing bigger weights in the livewell is becoming more commonplace with each passing year. However, that practice has kind of settled in with the mid-sized and mid-weighted baits of roughly five to seven inches in length and maybe two to four ounces in weight. The big, bad baits measuring nine inches or more and weighting in excess of six ounces are still the purview of serious trophy hunters, not tournament or more recreational minded anglers fishing for more than just one bite. As a result, finding sticks that can handle those bigger, badder baits is not a simple task. Kistler Custom Rods enters the foray this year with their brand new KLX7107XXH big bait stick rated to a whopping nine ounces (9oz) in lure weight! Let's see if this stick can truly handle it.

 

Kistler Rods KLX7107XXH Specifications

Material 42.7 Million Modulus T800S Carbon from Toray with Armor Plated Resin rolled by North Fork Composites
Length 7'-10"
Line Wt. 30-100lb
Lure Wt. 3-9oz
Pieces One
Guides 10+Tip SS/CoAlite Kigan Tangle Free
Rear Handle Length 14.25"
Power Rating Xtra-Xtra-Heavy
Taper Moderate Fast
Rod Weight 6.1 oz
Origin Made in USA
MSRP $350.00


Kistler's new trophy hunting stick, the KLX7107XXH

Impressions: Kistler Custom Rod's KLX7107XXH sits, of course, in their KLX lineup. It is a seven foot, ten inch (7'-10") stick made from a blank composed of 42.7 million modulus carbon fiber from Toray rolled by North Fork Composites up in the state of Washington. Yes, the same North Fork Composites owned by Gary Loomis.

This KLX stick is outfitted with stainless steel framed guides featuring CoAlite inserts by Kigan. The rod's lure rating is an astounding three to nine ounces (3-9ounces). I mean with a lure weight rating beginning at three ounces, this stick can't even be bothered with smaller lures!


Featuring a split rear grip handle assembly

 

The blank is sanded, and the rear grip is split featuring good quality cork contoured for comfort. Despite the rod's hefty proportions and ratings, Kistler was able to size a Fuji ECS reel seat with an exposed blank. They customize this seat with integrated EVA foam locking mechanism.


Matched with the sneaky good Abu Garcia REVO Beast X

Real World Tests: I paired the KLX7107XXH with one of my new favorite big bait reels in Abu Garcia's Beast X. This reel is sneaky good for big baits because it's relatively small, but has good line capacity. I spooled it with a fresh supply of Seaguar Smackdown 50lb braid. To test the rod's ability at its upper limits, I took out of retirement, my Rago Baits ten inch Tool (total weight 8.4 oz).


A big, beefy stick with an exposed blank reel seat


Taking this 10" Rago Tool out of retirement to help test this stick

Casting: It's been a little while since I've launched a bait of this heft, so I took a couple of gentle practice swings before really laying into a cast. The KLX7107XXH feels like a graphite broomstick when you first pick it up, but softens up just a tad when you have a bait like the Rago Baits Tool tied to the end of the line. But as I said, just a tad, because after a couple of practice swings, it was obvious the lure was not going to overtax this stick. The third cast, I laid into it and was relieved when the bait went flying, quivering ever so slightly in the air as it flew backwards to distances unknown until SPLASH. Man these baits make a lot of commotion when they hit!


Really smooth curve during casts

After several of these tests, I had to stop myself because that Rago Tool was hypnotizing me as it swam back to the boat convincing me that a rogue bass was going to come up and crush that thing. That bait looks so good in the water. It took all I had to shake off that big bait stupor and get back to the task at hand testing the KLX7107XXH's casting ability, so I cut the bait off, and reached for another. This time, it was an early production run bait from Mattlures that has yet to be named, or even priced. This bait weighs in at a more respectable four point one ounces (4.1oz).


The rear handle is long enough to comfortably tuck under your arm


A more sensibly sized big bait from Mattlures - yet to be named or priced

Results with this bait were predictable of course. Because this bait fits comfortably within the KLX7107XXH's lure rating, casting was no problem. Unfortunately, this bait is equally mesmerizing and I spent a good half hour casting and swimming it before moving on. Next bait up was a five and a half inch (5.5") Cal Coast Fishing Twerk Minnow paired with an Owner Flashy Swimmer. This bait comes in two sizes, the larger of which is seven and a half inches (7.5"). I chose the smaller of the two because I wanted to test this stick's lower limit. Total weight of this bait combo? One point seven ounces (1.7oz) - well below the KLX7107XXH's rating.


Well below the rod's rating, but still easy to cast and work

Given the rod's lure rating, my expectation was that I wouldn't really be able to feel that bait at the end of the line, and that it'd be like trying to cast a Ned Rig on a flipping stick. To my surprise, the KLX7107XXH handled the Twerk Minnow just fine in all different launch angles. It could have something to do with the reel and line I was using, but the lower end lure rating on this stick definitely has room for negotiation - that's a good thing.


The old school, sanded blank


The very small guide train

 

Are You a Big Bait Addict? If So, Kistler Has the Rod for You, the KLX7107XXH (continued)

Sensitivity: Kistler is building their KLX rods around a blank rolled by North Fork Composites using material from Toray. The carbon fiber modulus specified for the KLX blank is 42.7 million. This is comparable to an IM7 blank - so kind of an intermediate grade graphite for the blank. A lot more goes into a fishing rod's sensitivity than just the material used to roll the blank.

Sensitivity often depends on the resin used to bond the materials and the taper of the blank itself. Additionally Kistler builds on this blank with minimal components so sensitivity is maximized. The end result for the KLX7107XXH is a nice, crisp feeling stick with very good overall sensitivity.


Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Kistler Rods KLX7107XXH against the averages the historical averages of similarly powered rods we've tested over the past twenty years

Power: The KLX7107XXH has power to spare. If you refer to Figure 1 above, our RoD Deflection chart shows this stick's curve aligns with that of our historical average of the most powerful swimbait sticks we've tested over the years. This is a category we refer to as our Heavy Hitters. If you're fishing large, soft plastic swimbaits with a jig style hook, the KLX7107XXH is powerful enough to help you set that single hook and battle your catch to the boat or shore.


Cork grips are contoured for comfort


Eva foam over the reel seat fore-nut

Design & Ergonomics: For all its length and power, Kistler's KLX7107XXH weighs in at an extremely reasonable six point one ounces (6.1oz). For a rod of this length (7'-10") the natural assumption is it will be tip heavy but with a balance point of ten and a half inches (10.5") up from the midline of the reel seat, the KLX7107XXH balances out better than I expected. Not bad numbers for a rod that's just shy of broomstick status in power.


No detailing at the end of the cork

Lab Results for Kistler Rods KLX7107XXH

Model
Avg RoD
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ft lbs)
Kistler Rods KLX7107XXH
1.00
Mod Fast
6.1
10.5
0.33
Finesse SB Rod Avg
1.65
--
6.0
9.5
0.29
All Purpose SB Rod Avg
1.28
--
6.8
8.5
0.29
Heavy Hitters SB Rod Avg
0.95
--
7.7
10.2
0.44


Kigan guides are still somewhat unproven but functioned fine. They do still feel backwards to me though. This is side that faces you


This is the side that faces the rod tip. Looks like an area that can collect dirt, algae, etc., from your incoming line

Price & Applications: When the series was first introduced back in 2013, we reviewed the KLXBBC70M and that stick ran away with our best value award. I found it difficult to believe an American made stick of that quality (on an American made blank no less) with Alconite guides could retail for $160. Well, it appears reality has caught up with Kistler Rods because the KLX7107XXH retails for $350. In fact KLX as a series now has a starting price of $300. KLX is no longer an entry point stick, but nor do I consider it overpriced. It's now priced about where it should.


The KLX7107XXH retails for $350

Application wise, even though this stick is built for big, beefy baits, don't let that fool you. It's versatile enough to handle some smaller paddletail duty too. More over, if you're into tossing big, deep diving crankbaits, the KLX7107XXH makes for an excellent choice in launching and working these baits too.

 

Ratings:

Kistler Rods KLX7107XXH Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A simple, but clean build 8
Performance Strong caster with very good sensitivity 8
Price In line with the competition of IMX, Legend Tournament, etc. 7
Features Kigan guides are still less of a known quantity than other options but they performed perfectly fine during our tests. The rod also has a reliable reel seat and very high quality blank 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) A big beefy stick that is far from cumbersome to use 8
Application More versatile than its lure rating would lead you to believe 8

Total Score

7.75
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ Light for its length and power - Guides are a little small if you use heavy lines with connection knots
+ Very good sensitivity  
+ Can handle some of the biggest and baddest baits around  
+ Can also handle smaller baits below its lure rating  

 

Conclusion: When the KLX7107XXH landed in my dirty little paws and I pressed that tip into the carpet to feel the rod's power, I had flashbacks to that year or three period where all I wanted to do was toss big, heavy baits and experience the thrill of that monstrous hit. It took me a bit of time to recover from that mindset and this stick almost sent me back there. Fishing big baits is a thrill and contrary to popular belief, not all of those monstrous hits are huge fish. Those little four inch bass that hit your five inch jerkbait grow up into the crazies that crash into your trophy baits when they're just two to three pounds in size - it happens a lot.

 


Oh and by the way, the KLX7107XXH handles big, deep diving cranks like Megabass's Big M7.5 really well too!

 

While the mystery behind what's at the end of your line when fishing big baits is really the same as any other bait you might throw, the anticipation is greater because the size of your bait is directly proportional to expectation. That expectation is big baits equal bigger fish. If this is a world you want to or are in the midst of exploring, and you need a stick to enable your journey, Kistler's new, KLX7107XXH is more than capable.