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Rod Review

Kistler's Refreshed Magnesium TS : The MgMDXH710T Mad Dog


Date: 2/27/15
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Kistler
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.53 - GOOD

Since the official introduction of their ZBone line of rods five years ago, Kistler Custom Rods out of Magnolia, Texas has been busy redefining themselves and their product line. After filling out their custom and stock series of Zbone sticks, the company introduced KLX, a set of quality, $200 rods built entirely in the United States on US rolled blanks. Last year, to celebrate the line's 10 year anniversary, they reintroduced Helium bringing the series back to its Made in the USA origins. This past winter, it was time for another refresh. Introducing our first look at Kistler's re-imaged Magnesium series of rods with our review of the MgMDXH710T Mad Dog.


Kistler MgMDXH710T Mad Dog Specifications

Material 30 Ton Graphite
Length 7'-10" (telescopic blank)
Line Wt. 20 - 85lbs
Lure Wt. 1/2 - 4 oz
Pieces 1 (telescopic)
Guides 9+tip (Sea Guide Tangle Free Guides)
Rear Handle Length 11.5 inches
Power Rating Extra Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 7 ounces
Origin Made in China
MSRP $179.99


Quality/Construction: Kistler's MgMDXH710T Mad Dog is a 7'10", extra-heavy powered stick built on a telescopic blank rolled out of 30ton graphite. The blank's finish is sanded but unfinished leaving just the raw graphite blank. Its grip is a mix of standard and compressed cork. The standard cork is of good grade, but with visible fill - quite common with today's cork handled rods it seems.


Introducing Kistler's MgMDXH710 Mad Dog, a 7'10" stick rated up to 4 ounces in lure weight.


Epoxy work around the translucent green thread wraps is clean with no excess globs of material that I could see. Viewing down the extended blank from reel seat towards the tip, both the blank and guides are perfectly aligned. Our test model was a very clean build.


Quality Ratings for Kistler MgMDXH710T Mad Dog

Finish (1-5)
Grip (1-5)
Epoxy (1-5)
Blank (1-2)
Guides (1-2)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

Performance: This stick saw action on the California Delta and Clear Lake, California matched with either a Quantum EXO PT baitcasting reel or an Abu Garcia Revo Winch. I fished it with both braid and braid with a 20lb fluorocarbon leader.

The Mad Dog is part of Kister's re-imaged Magnesium TS series.

Casting: There's no getting around it, the Mad Dog is one beefy stick. Because of the telescopic blank, my first thought when I picked the MgMDXH710T up was "flipping stick". I associate the design so much with that genre of bass rods, it's just an automatic thought, so the first place I took it was to the California Delta for some flipping, pitching, and punching action - and it does this well

Looking down the rod's blank checking for alignment issues.

Of course, once I finally took a look at the rod's ratings, and processed the numbers in my head, I realized this stick is built for so much more - namely swimbaits. So I switched reels for more line capacity and a lower gear ratio and had at it. It's save to say the Mad Dog can handle baits all through its rated range loading and releasing energy in a predictable manner.

The standard cork grip of our Mg Mad Dog.

Sensitivity: 30 ton graphite is about a middle grade material common with sticks in the $150 - $300 price range give or take $50. Manufacturers often blend different grades of materials within the blank to achieve different performance characteristics hence the range in price. I mention this because you should expect rods built with this grade of graphite to be very good overall performers. What enhances any blank's performance in the sensitivity department is how the blank is finished.

The blank for this stick is sanded and unfinished.

Kistler has chosen to leave the blank of their Mg series rods bare and unfinished. This means no excess weight - no matter how small - is put on the blank. This is important because a blank is at its most efficient state before the build - with nothing on it. With each component and extraneous material you add to the blank, you are reducing its effectiveness - this is the basis of argument for those who argue on the side of light versus balance in that never ending debate.

Kistler's familiar hook keeper.

In the case of our MgMDXH710T the strategy really works as this rod has very good sensitivity. I found that out while crawling a Savage Gear 3D Line Thru Trout on the bottom of Clear Lake, CA. I could feel the bait dragging across the mud and nuzzling up against the weeds.

Guides for the new Magnesium series are by a company called Sea Guide.

Next Section: Plenty of Power to Punch









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