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Complete ICAST 2016
Coverage

---------------
Shimano Stradic FK Spinning Reel Review
---------------
Kistler Rods Magnesium 2 Review
---------------
DUO Realis Onimasu Swimbait Review
---------------

First Look Inside Shimano's New Compact Curado
 


 


Rod Review

 

Kistler's New Feel N Reel Hybrid Cranking Series (continued)

Features: The Feel n Reel rods come with Kigan Macro Z tangle free guides featuring Coalite inserts with stainless steel frames. Coalite is some type of ceramic material branded by Kigan similar to how Fuji uses the terms Hardloy and Alconite to describe their ring inserts. Our guess is it's another take on aluminum oxide similar to the afore mentioned brands under Fuji.


Guides are by Kigan with "Coalite" inserts.

The rod's reel seat is from Fuji and features Kistler's Soft Touch treatment of the reel seat lock nut. The rod's open ended hook keeper is by Kigan and the grip is made of medium grade cork fashioned in a split design.


The forenut features a soft, EVA foam cover.

 

Features Ratings for Kistler Feel n Reel KLX-FNR72MH

Grip (1-5)
Guides (1-5)
Reel Seat (1-5)
Hook Keeper (1-5)
Rod Sleeve (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
3
3
3
1
13
25
5.2


A look down the length of that S2 Glass tip.

Design/Ergonomics: At first handling of the KLX-FNR72MH, I questioned Kistler's claim that the stick is as light a comparable stick made with a full graphite blank. An appointment with our scale back in the lab revealed that their claims are indeed true because this 7'2" stick weighed in at a svelte 3.8 ounces. The reason the stick doesn't feel it's weight? Because it's balance is not dialed in - it has a balance point of 12.5 inches up from mid-line of the reel seat and a balancing torque number of 0.23. In other words, this stick is a bit tip heavy.


The rear grip is contoured for a better hand hold.

 

Lab Results for Kistler Feel n Reel KLX-FNR72MH

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Kistler Feel n Reel KLX-FNR72MH
--.--
Fast
3.8
12.5
0.23
Shallow Crank Avg
3.00
--
4.8
5
0.17
Medium Crank Avg
2.30
--
5.2
8.5
0.21
Deep Crank Avg
1.90
--
4.9
8.75
0.23

The rod's split rear grip is contoured for comfort and those who enjoy this type of design will surely like the way this rod's grip is put together. I prefer the straighter grip designs. Lastly, the rod's color scheme is mostly black save for some red graphics and thread wraps at the rod's label and specifications.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Kistler Feel n Reel KLX-FNR72MH

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
4
2
4
13
20
6.5


The rod's butt end is pretty basic featuring an EVA foam cap lessening the pressure against your forearm or ribs - just in case.

Application: The KLX-FNR72MH is definitely a stick for moving baits. As previously mentioned, that S2 fiberglass tip makes this an excellent choice medium depth cranks but it also makes a good jerk/rip bait stick. A secondary application for this stick is with topwater baits where the soft tip really helps you work those poppers and walking baits then helps you not pull the bait away too soon when you swing for the set on each explosion. Spinnerbaits, lipless cranks, shallow and deep diving cranks are all within the wheelhouse of the KLX-FNR72MH. Where this stick is less suitable is during more vertical bait presentations.

Bass Rod Application Ratings for Kistler Feel n Reel KLX-FNR72MH

Rip/Jerk (1-5)
Steady (1-5)
Lift & Drop (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Twitch (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
5
2
2
4
18
25
7.2


Kistler continues their tradition of providing an open ended hook keeper, but this one is made by Kigan.

Ratings:

Kistler Feel n Reel KLX-FNR72MH Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Nicely built stick 8.68
Performance A solid performer that takes a little time to dial in because of that soft tip 7.6
Price Not outrageous, but when KLX was first introduced back in 2011/2013, they were $159.99 and easily a Best Value Award winner. The price of this series has now crept up to just above $200. The Feel N Reel series within that lineup is the priciest yet. 7
Features A fairly standard array of features 5.2
Design (Ergonomics) Light but unbalanced 6.5
Application Definitely a stick built for moving bait applications 7.2

Total Score

7.03
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 - Just a bit tip heavy
+ The soft tip really helps with moving bait applications - Price compared to original KLX series
+ Pretty durable from what we've experienced  

 

Conclusion: When all is said and done the KLX-FNR72MH is another solid performing composite blank cranking stick from Kistler Custom Rods. The blank's new age fiberglass tip performs as designed by giving the rod a softer top section so the fish can inhale your bait without the bait being pulled away from them too soon, and that T800 graphite backbone gives you the control you need to land that fish once you apply pressure. The fact this new fiberglass material is lighter and seemingly more compliant than older options adds to the overall experience making this stick all the more attractive.

 


The forgiving bend of glass with the strength of graphite, Kistler's KLX Feel N Reel rods are fun to fish.

 

Do you enjoy the feel of a glass cranking rod but do not appreciate the overall weight and lack of sensitivity? Are you more of a fan of graphite cranking sticks but wish the tip of your favorite cranking rod was just a tad bit softer? If you can identify with either of these scenarios, then you owe it to yourself to check out a composite cranking stick and the new Feel n Reel series by Kistler Custom Rods is the latest in this technology.

 

Looking for a Kistler Feel n Reel KLX-FNR72MH? Try TackleWarehouse



 

 

 

 

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