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Rod Review

Taking Another Spin with Kistler's Magnesium 2 (continued)

Power: This is where things get a little convoluted with this stick. It's listed as a "Light Medium Heavy" power. So in my mind that means it's lighter than a medium heavy, right? So why not just call this stick medium? Taking a look at the stick's RoD Chart below, it's definitely more than just a light powered finesse spinning rod.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Kistler Mag 2 MG2-SP-LMH-70-MF against
our 2011 WTF baseline rods.

Out on the water, the MG2-LMH had more than enough power to land the fish I was targeting in open water over submerged rock piles and in retrospect would probably have been better suited fishing with jigs than the shakey head bait I had tied on. The rod's moderate-fast taper was actually fine in this bottom contact situation (where most anglers prefer a fast taper rod) demonstrating that as long as a rod has sufficient power, how fast or slow its taper may be is almost secondary.

Rubberized golf club grip material is slowly gaining traction as an alternative to cork and EVA foam for fishing rods.

Design & Ergonomics: Another interesting, unconventional characteristic of this stick, aside from its guides, is its grip material.

The MG2-LMH features a split rear grip where the butt end portion of the trip is EVA foam, but the top part of that grip, is a rubberized material more commonly found on golf clubs. This material is making strong headways into the fishing rod market as an alternate material for grips and so far so good.

We've fished it on the MG2 casting rod reviewed last year and have another one or two sticks in the review process with the same grip material. It's unconventional but comfortable and easy to wash clean.

One thing we really like about the Mag 2 series from Kistler is that raw, unfinished blank.

Overall, the MG2-LMH is really light for its power at 3.9 ounces, but not so great in balance. I'm much less critical of spinning rods that aren't balanced well because the pivot point from where I hold my spinning combos is always above the reel seat. If you do the same then just about any spinning reel you use will help you balance out your comb. These reels are so heavy by comparison to a casting reel it makes the task of balancing your spinning combo very simple.

Hook keeper by Kigan.

Lab Results for Kistler Mag 2 MG2-SP-LMH-70-MF

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Kistler Mag 2 MG2-SP-LMH-70-MF

The butt end is still EVA foam.

Price & Applications: Kistler Custom rods has raised the price of their MG2 series ever so slightly. The MG2-LMH retails for $199.99 - still an excellent price given its made in the USA pedigree and performance to match. No doubt helping to keep the price down is Kistler's choice in components, but really, the American Tackle Microwave guide system works, so what more could you ask?

Beyond that first stripper guide, the remaining guides are very conventional in appearance.

The banner on the very top of this article is a bit of a misnomer since the MG2-LMH is not really a finesse stick. We automatically categorize spinning gear into finesse categories because it's all we use them for here at TackleTour. If we want more of an all purpose rod, we use casting. But make no mistake about it, the MG2-LMH is very much an all purpose type stick for those who prefer spinning gear over casting. Its taper is stout enough for vertical bait presentations, yet forgiving enough for moving bait applications as well.


Kistler Mag 2 MG2-SP-LMH-70-MF Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A very clean build on an unfinished blank 9.5
Performance Wonderful sensitivity and good power together with a more all purpose taper 9
Price A really good price for made in the USA craftsmanship in the rod and blank 8
Features A basic set of unconventional components 7
Design (Ergonomics) A tad loud with all the chartreuse guide wraps. Might be more interesting if just the top two or three guides were wrapped in chartreuse as a strike indicator of sorts 7
Application An excellent choice in an all purpose application spinning rod 8

Total Score

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:


+ Made in the USA pedigree for just barely under $200 - What's a "light medium heavy"?
+ Nice, multi-purpose taper - The reel seat is a bit ho hum
+ Unconventional, but good performing components (grip and guides)  


Conclusion: Kistler Custom Rods has never been afraid to push the envelope when it comes to building rods with unconventional components in unconventional configurations. Sometimes they're successful, sometimes not, but those are the challenges you face when you take chances and try to separate yourself from a market of me-too offerings.


The two biggest chances Kistler has taken with their Magnesium 2 series is with the guides and grip material. Many will dismiss the guides as a gimmick, and we too had our reservations. But fish them with an open mind and you will see, they make a difference. It's not night and day, but there is a difference.


Looking forward to seeing these guides made with upgraded frame and insert material someday


The second chance Kistler has taken with these rods is the grip material, and even that isn't much of a chance given there are other manufacturers already using the material in their rod grips including one or two that were written up by Zander, and the medium powered casting rod from this same lineup that I wrote up last year. The material of the grip on a spinning rod is actually less impactful for me since I tend to hold these combos further up either at the reel seat or above. I find the golf grip material to be a good alternative to cork or EVA foam nonetheless.


Looking for an all purpose, spinning rod? Kistler's Mag2 MG2-SP-LMH-70-MF may be your answer.


That leaves us with the rod itself. While I remain a bit confused over the terminology Kistler uses to describe the power of this particular rod, I found I do like the combination of its power and taper. If you're one of those anglers who prefers the perceived simplicity of spinning gear over casting gear, or simply cannot get your thumb to cooperate while using a low profile reel, Kistler's Mag2 MG2-SP-LMH-70-MF is a very good, reasonably priced option as an all purpose spinning rod in your go to combo.


Looking for a Kistler Mag 2 MG2-SP-LMH-70-MF? Try TackleWarehouse










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