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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

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Rod Article


Putting Kistler's New ZBone Sticks to the Test on Falcon Lake, TX (continued)

Naturally, the sticks both Zander and I gravitated towards were the Zbone LEs. In fact, I already had one as part of our Search for One themed year, but have not yet had an opportunity to fish it for very long. Conversely, this was Zander’s first chance to fish this stick and his first chance to fish a rod outfitted with micro guides.

Day one of testing ended with this beautiful Falcon Lake fish.

Back to our first day on Falcon, as we were figuring out the bite for the day, Trey and Kyle were busy fishing rods that spanned almost the complete lineup including a Magnesium TS stick, a Helium LTA, and Helium 2 LTX. But what had transpired was a bite in roughly ten feet of water amongst submerged brush where we allowed the boat to drift with the wind as we dragged our bait offerings along the bottom over rocks and through the brush. It was a technique much akin to the side drifting we had done for Steelhead and Salmon in the rivers of extreme Northern California. The key here was to be able and discern the difference between the tick of a rock or subtle pull of a tree limb and that even more subtle pressure of a fish inhaling your bait and swimming with it back to the boat!

Day 2 was on fire as Trey flips in a healthy four pounder with a new model Magnesium TS flipping stick.

Takes like this are impossible to describe but with the right rod, it becomes almost a sixth sense experience as the signal reaches your brain and relays back down to your hands to SET! While this was certainly possible with the other rods in the boat, the micro guide outfitted Zbone LEs proved to be among the most sensitive rods we had ever fished and it was astounding the feel these sticks afforded us in this situation.

Fish like this are common on Falcon Lake, TX.

On day two, the sky cleared and the temperature rose a good ten to fifteen degrees over day one. The result? The bite opened up and we were afforded the opportunity to test the rods’ fish fighting capabilities on a more consistent basis. The reaction bite turned on and we loaded up with spinnerbaits, shallow cranks, and even some swimbaits catching on average, three to four pound bass in the shallows. The closer our baits got to the trees and brush, the more bites with which we were rewarded but also the more snags. Time and time again we’d hang up and use the rods to either pull us over to the snags, or pull the snags back up to us.

Trey with another big test for the ZBone...

It was a bit difficult for us to really get into the spirit of trying to break rods as we’re used to treating rods with more respect than what Trey and Kyle were demonstrating on this field testing trip. Simply torquing and wrecking rods for the sake of it is actually harder than it may seem, yet for all the abuse they put these sticks through, not one of the rods snapped.

A massive tree limb brought up from twelve feet down!

In fact, on one occasion, Kyle was so excited about catching a fish, he swung the approximate three and half pound fish right into the boat, holding his rod straight up and down, and laughed in excitement as the fish wiggled and struggled about in mid air. Both Trey and I were on either side of Kyle and immediately ducked thinking the rod was going to explode but bounce after bounce, the rod held up! Kyle just continued laughing but finally fearful for his son’s safety, Trey reached out to end the terror by snatching the fish in mid air, unhooking it, and tossing it back into the water! As Kyle continued to beam from ear to ear, we all stood there simply astounded that the rod held up to that particular bit of abuse.

Our first double of the day.

Next Section: Quality control and a true "custom" order









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