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ICAST 2011 Coverage

A Pre-ICAST "What's Up" With Ken Whiting : Airrus Rods

Date: 7/12/11
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Admission: Buyers & Press only
Manufacturer: Airrus
Reviewer: JIP



Introduction: With Ken Whiting you can always expect the unexpected. Each year at ICAST he has something to showcase and it's usually something that's out of the ordinary, either a new rod design, concept, and in recent years, truly innovative offerings that often use unique materials. So prior to this year's ICAST we wanted to do a "What's Up" With Ken Whiting and get the early scoop on things before they make their debut on the show floor tomorrow.


The new website teasing us about the new technology at the NEW AIRrus


JIP: Thanks for sitting down with us Ken, let's start with probably the number one question many have. You started at Airrus and then went off to other ventures and now you have circled back, tell us how you came about coming back to your roots, Airrus Rods?


Ken: "It all started with a phone call from one of my original Pro Staffer who informed me that a distributor from Italy had just purchased Airrus from Castaway and had heard that the new owner was trying to contact me, so I decided to take a look at the Airrus website and see what was going on. From information on the website I was able to get in touch with the individual that purchased Airrus. In speaking with him he expressed his interest in having me become an integral part of the new Airrus. From this point on it was hell bent for leather to get two new series of rods designed and prototypes built in time for ICAST. Surprisingly the return to Airrus was quite easy and things came together quite quickly, as though there was a degree of destiny attached to the return."


Introducing the new AIRrus Nano Fusion casting rod


JIP: Tell us about the NEW Airrus Rods as a company.


Ken: "Airrus is owned in total by Bass and Pike Tackle of Terni, Italy. Bass and Pike is a well know distributor in Italy with fairly extensive coverage of the European market. That will be the home of Airrus International. Distribution in North America will be handled through Trophy Technologies out of Mc Cordsville, Indiana. This location will fill and ship orders throughout North America and will handle customer service including returns and warranty issues. Between the two we will have immediate foreign and domestic distribution. Above all I want our customers to know that I will be every bit as accessible as I was when I owned Airrus outright. Customers knew they could call me anytime, even if it was just to chat. I enjoyed the contact and look forward to doing it again. At Airrus the customer will become King again knowing that they will be taken care of as they should be."


The new rods will make use of their Micro System of micro guides


JIP: Now that we have a little history and overview of the new company, please tell us about the new rods that will be introduced at ICAST.


Ken: "Airrus will be showing three new rods at ICAST this year, Micro Puls, which is built around a standard modulus blank, original Airrus tapers and 30/33 cross weave matte in the butt instead of a filament wound section. As you might have guessed from the name it is a micro guided rod as are all of our new offerings which include the Co-Matrix 2.0 and our showcase rod Nano Fusion. All of these new rods will sport our new Micro System in which the first three guides are elevated off the blank and staggered in height so that the entry angle of the line from the reel through The first guide creates only a limited amount of friction as compared with other set ups. Guide inserts on the Micro Puls are Hardloy and Zirconia on the Co-Matrix 2.0 and Nano Fusion. The Co-Matrix 2.0 is an updated version of the original 457. It wasn’t broke so we didn’t fix it, just changed the look a little."


The new material called "Buckypaper" will be used on the new Nano Fusion rods


"As for Nano Fusion, it’s a different horse all together. It may look similar to a Puls-R, but that is where the similarity ceases. I truly believe our new blank technology using “Buckypaper” and a proprietary resin system of our own, is far superior to that of 3M’s 3831 resin system which made such a splash at ICAST last year. Other features of the Nano Fusion are an all new adjustable weight port integrated into the butt cap, housing a series of threaded weights from 5 to 15 grams. and can be stacked up to 2 ounces. plus and die cast aluminum split reel seats with machined aluminum hoods and sleeves."


JIP: The new rods use what? Tell us more about "Buckypaper". What is it, how will it make a rod better, and how does it compare to any other material out there?


Ken: "I have been watching the evolution of carbon nano tubes and other nano materials very carefully since we introduced carbon nano tubes to rod blanks back in 2006. Now that surface modification and dispersion have all been taken care of nano tubes have become more viable in composites. Why nano tubes and not nano spheres? Because nano tubes help to improve elongation and modulus in a composite because they have “Aspect Ratio”, they are longer in length than they are in diameter, by about 800 times or more creating a complex overlapping matrix which cannot be achieved with spherical nano particulate. Nano spheres typically make composites harder with better impact resistance. The combination of Buckypaper and our new proprietary resin system have produced some really outstanding blanks."


An adjustable weight port is used for perfect rod balance


JIP: Excellent details on the rods and the new "Buckypaper" material. I know the Nano Fusion rods are still in prototype stages but we all want to know when we can buy these rods and how much?


Ken: "Right now it looks like the Micro Puls and the Co-Matrix 2.0 may be ready as soon as October, but due to some tooling and other issues the Nano Fusions may not be ready until mid November. Will let you know if this schedule improves. Final pricing has not been set for any of the new rods do to minor production changes across the board. What I can tell you is that the Micro Puls will be our lowest priced rod with the Co-Matrix 2.0 in the mid range and Nano Fusion on the high side."


JIP: Thanks for sitting down with us for "What's Up" With Ken Whiting prior to ICAST. In closing, is there anything you want to say to our readers before the show?


Ken: "Nothing more than a big THANK YOU to your readers for their wonderful support and kind words in the past and the hope that it will continue in the future. Ihave made a lot of new friends because of TackleTour and I hope to make many more. Also thanks to you and the rest of the crew at TackleTour for their support over the years, it is greatly appreciated."









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