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Rod Review

Swimbait Rod Wars Installment #5 : The Big Swimbait Special From Kistler (continued)

Real World Test: The Kistler KBSBS80 was one of the first of our representatives to arrive so we had ample time to play with this stick during the Fall run striper season on the California Delta. Striper on Swimbaits, boy, it doesn't get too much better than that!




Complete Field Test Set-Up for Kistler KBSBS80 Big SwimBait Special

Shimano Calais 201-5
125 yards of 22lb Sunline Defier
Primary Baits Fished
Black Dog Bait Company's Shellcracker
3:16 Lure Company 3.5oz Prototype Hardbait
3:16 Lure Company 8" Mission Fish

Casting: The KBSBS80 handles baits up to about four ounces really REALLY well on both overhead and sidearm casts. Above that four ounce mark, with baits like the 8" Huddleston Deluxe, the rod begins to feel a little overloaded. It can handle the 8" Hudd (approx 4.5 oz), for sure, but given all the rods before us, it is not our first choice. The 6" Hudd is obviously more easily handled, but one bait in particular, a roughly 3.5 ounce prototype hardbait from 3:16 Lure Company felt absolutely perfect casting with this rod. This weight is the KBSBS80's sweet spot. 

The KBSBS80 has a moderate taper, yet still, very good power
On the lower end of the spectrum, we tried some 3:16 Lure Company Mission Fish along with some 1 ounce lipless cranks like the Jackall Doozer and Lucky Craft LVR D-15 and the KBSBS80 can handle these baits just fine as well. In fact, with the customary open ended hook hangar on this Kistler stick, the KBSBS80 might make the ultimate Mission Fish rod if it weren't so fun throwing moving baits with this rod!

The KBSBS80 represents Kistler Custom Rod's first foray into the swimbait rod market

Sensitivity: We were surprised in the sensitivity department that the KBSBS80 is actually more than respectable. When retrieving the big hardbaits, you can feel the majority of them thumping in the water and when they bump into obstacles, it's pretty easy to tell whether you're encountering grass, mud, rock, or wood.

Setting up for a cast...

We've only caught striper on this stick, so it's difficult to say how well the KBSBS80 transmits subtle pickups and strikes because Striper are anything but subtle when hitting a swimbait! They are downright ornery!

the KBSBS80 loads up nice and smooth...


Is it powerful enough?









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