I’m incredibly picky when it comes to my jig rods. I’ve been using custom-made rods for pitching and skipping docks for years because I couldn’t find any mass-produced rod with the same action or taper. Heavy-action rods didn’t give me the tip I needed to skip long distances and medium-heavy rods didn’t have the shoulders to quickly get big bass out of tight spaces.
The Kistler Magnesium 2 Casting Rod, however, is one of the best mass-produced jig fishing rods I’ve had an opportunity to use. I’ve been testing the—this is a mouthful— heavy-medium-heavy extra-fast model for several months and it has everything I look for in a jig rod.
Here’s why I say that.
It has the tip and backbone
I skip tens of thousands of docks each year and I see lots of anglers make a very common mistake: They use broomstick-like rods to skip their jigs underneath docks. Not only does this significantly hinder accuracy, but it also makes it difficult to land the jig quietly.
99 percent of the shallow-water jigs I use are 1/2-ounce and the Kistler Magnesium 2 handles them beautifully. It loads just enough on the back cast to allow for seamless skips whether your target is 10 yards or 30 yards away. I have absolutely zero complaints for both underhanded and side-armed skipping applications. Once I got “in the groove” with this rod, I’ve been able to easily skip my jigs from the front of docks all the way to the seawalls.
I’m very impressed by how well the extra-fast tip transfers to a solid backbone, as well. When a big bass bites your jig and you have to wrench them over four or five cross braces to land ‘em, this particular rod has no problems putting the heat to them.
Essentially, it has the shoulders of a heavy-action rod and the accuracy of a medium-heavy rod. Although I’m relatively inexperienced with Kistler’s lineup, this is a huge deal for me. I have found my new dock skipping rod.
Another significant feature I look for in jig rods is a beefy grip. Maybe it’s a mental thing for me, but I feel like these larger grips give me a little extra leverage when setting the hook—especially when I need to muscle a fish out of thick cover. This has been a big selling point for me since my college years.
This rod features Winn Grip handles and I really like them so far. Admittedly, I’m not big on bright color schemes and these happen to be bright green, but the overall performance of the rod far outweighs any of my cosmetic concerns.
These grips felt a little “waxy” to me when I first used them and I felt like my gripping power may have been slightly compromised, but those hesitations quickly disappeared after I used the rod for a few trips. The waxy feeling went away and now the grips are quite tacky, even when my hands are wet or covered with fish slime.
You’ll also notice an oversized EVA butt end on these rods, which in my experience has been a pretty nice feature. On those day when you’re setting the hook a lot, they seem to help reduce the beating your ribs may take.
The Fuji reel seat is comfortable and has proven to be tough. Regardless of torque or abuse, the reel has remained securely fastened to the rod without any issues whatsoever.
I have broken many jig rods and the most common cause is when my line gets tangled around the guides. This is an especially significant concern when using braided line.
Thankfully, this rod is designed with tangle-free frames and a Kigan Tip Top that deters all types of line from wrapping around the tip.
It also features a Microwave Guide System, which may be a big selling point for some anglers. In all honesty, I can’t tell a significant difference over a traditional guide system, but it certainly doesn’t hurt the rod’s performance whatsoever.
This is a killer jig rod, especially if you like to fish docks. I highly recommend it and later in the year, I think I’m going to try it out for some frog fishing as well. If you’re in the market for a new jig rod, don’t sleep on this one.