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Rod Review


Kistler's ZBone LEXF Spinning Rod, the LEXF-2MS-70 (continued)

Sensitivity: I commented how the LEXF-3MH-70 casting rod had that old school GLX feel to it and the LEXF-2MS-70 does as well. This is because Kistler is using North Fork Composite's HM blank and Gary Loomis is using the same manufacturing techniques he did back at his hold company rolling GLX blanks today with his new HM product. This stick has a nice, crisp, sensitive feel because of it.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Kistler ZBone LEXF-2MS-70 against
our 2011 WTF baseline rods.

Power: The LEXF-2MS-70 is a medium powered rod and feels every bit of that out on the water. It's a bit powerful for finesse applications, so I found myself fishing baits like grubs and craw baits on a jighead and hollow tubes. Thanks to that extra-fast taper, it loads very quickly, but also softens up a tad when the fish make that run right next to the boat. It's powerful, yet forgiving if that makes sense.

Kistler makes use of this hook keeper by Kigan.

Design & Ergonomics: Weighing in at only 3.2 ounces, the LEXF-2MS-70 is light for a 7'-0" medium powered rod of any configuration (i.e. spinning or casting). Its balance point measured ten inches (10") up from the mid-line of the reel seat which seems like a lot, but its balancing torque was only 0.15, so the weight of the rod's tip is barely noticeable. Once you put a reel on the rod, that balance straightens up right away.

A closer look at the micro guide and unfinished blank.

Lab Results for Kistler ZBone LEXF-2MS-70

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Kistler ZBone LEXF-2MS-70

An even closer look at the thread work.

Price & Applications: Flagship status from any reputable rod or reel manufacturer comes at a steep price. Kistler's Zbone LEXF series is no exception. The LEXF-2MS-70 carries with it a price tag of $499.95, but you're getting a top end blank with top end components all assembled in Kistler's home factory in Magnolia Texas.

Kistler has formed a nice partnership with North Fork Composites in supply of their blanks.

The LEXF-2MS-70 appears to be the only spinning rod within the Zbone LEXF lineup but you can also custom order a Zbone to your specifications direct from Kistler. Meantime, if your preference is for spinning tackle instead of casting gear, this stick is an excellent choice in a multi-purpose spinning rod to begin your high end arsenal.



Kistler ZBone LEXF-2MS-70 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Our LEXF-2MS-70 was a very clean build 9
Performance That high end graphite makes a difference 9
Price "Flagship" = steep price 5
Features From the components to the new open ended hook keeper to a rod sleeve that you can use in your rod locker 9
Design (Ergonomics) Really good weight and balance 8
Application If general purpose is your game in a spinning rod, this stick can do a lot of things 8.5

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:


+ Nice weight and balance - Flagship comes at a price
+ Very good sensitivity  
+ High end blank and components  
+ Made in USA  


The LEXF-2MS-70 is a fine representative of what Kistler has been able to accomplish of late.


Conclusion: Ever since Kistler Custom Rods made the move to bring manufacturing of their rods back to their factory in Magnolia, Texas, we've seen the quality of their product rise. The movement actually started with the original Zbone custom orders and now continues with Magnesium 2, Helium 3, Zbone LEXF. The LEXF-2MS-70 is a fine representative of what Kistler has been able to accomplish, so if you're looking for one flagship tier spinning rod to do it all, consider the one pictured over the last two pages. It just might surprise your inner enthusiast.


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