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I was in my local bass pro and the new lightning rods caught my eye so picked one up.  The rod is a big step up from previous gens.

 

Here is what I noticed is new on the rod:  Aluminum oxide ceramic guides with painted steel guide seats.  New reel seat design and locking hood.  Carbon fiber X wrap on the blank from the stipper guide to the reel seat.  The rod is light weight and well balanced.

 

Here's the interesting part, the tapers on this rod vary.  The MH in store felt like a fast to mod fast but the 6'6'' M I have is an XF in taper and does not have a listed action.  If feels like a ML XF stick.  The tip is very soft and very fast on the 66m.  The rod has a similar taper to a 1/8 to 3/8 ML BFS stick but is rated 1/4 to 5/8 oz but it is certainly able to cast below 1/4 oz. I was able to pitch and cast a 1/20 shroomz head and TRD with the rod and it handled it well.  

 

This is a feature packed stick with BFS potential.

 

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Pairs well with the Casitas MGL.  Both are workhorses with BFS potential.

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Reel seat.  It is a narrow seat.  Some may find it uncomfortable.

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A look at the x wrap carbon fiber on the blank.  No mention of this feature on the advertising for the rod. It's not a paint treatment. You can feel it on the rod.

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Another look at the x wrap.

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A look at the taper.

 

Edit:  the guide seats do not appear to be stainless steel.  They are painted so it ia hard to know.

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4 minutes ago, CroakHunter said:

May I ask how much you picked it up for?

I don't recall.  I think it was around $40.  Close to LR Shock money but I definitely prefer it over the 66m Shock I had.  The shock was a moderate tapered, stiff rod that fished close to a mh and the 66m LR current gen is the total oposite.  An xf that fishes similar to a ML BFS rod. 

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4 minutes ago, BaitFinesse said:

I don't recall.  I think it was around $40.  Close to LR Shock money but I definitely prefer it over the 66m Shock I had.  The shock was a moderate tapered, stiff rod that fished close to a mh and the 66m LR current gen is the total oposite.  An xf that fishes similar to a ML BFS rod. 

Good to know. Thanks

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Also as a bit of caution, do try to buy the rod in person.  The rod has a bit of a build quality problem.  Case in point, two of the rods at my local bps had defects in the grip.  It was as if some molten material from the grip making process fell off and adheared to the grip on 2 of the rods in store.  The one I picked up has a guide that was slimed in epoxy and needed to be burned off the guide.  Do try to buy in store and eye over the rod.

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Great Post, thanks for the info. I did not know their was a new Lighting rod, now I need to get a few. I love the lighting rods, pound for pound kind of hard to beat with the Cabela's rods the only I can think of that come close especially with the lifetime warranty, although Lighting sticks seem to last forever.

 

I like your point about buying them in person. I guess they sell them for less money because they decide to not inspect them as much as other companies or brands, but I still have old Lighting Rods in the IM6 which they still make that are going strong today. The shock is like the freshwater version of the Ugly stick. Reliable & Great Value. 

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Nice mini-review. Good details. One of my sons broke

my LR in the spokes of his bike coming home from 

dock fishing (salt) a year or two ago. Never replaced.

 

Will have a look at these (spinning) next time I'm at

BPS.

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Nice review, thanks. I have been looking at cheaper rods for my kid who just learned to use a baitcaster and likes crankbaits, spinnerbaits and chatterbaits. I'll keep an eye out for a Lightning that has a stiffer action that is not too stuff and can maybe fish all three passably.

 

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Good to hear. Used Lightning rods when they first came out decades ago. They were VERY nice rods. Had one that I used for over 15 years and loved it. Then it seems to me, they cheapened somewhat. Cheaper guides, lower quality handles, and inconsistent workmanship. I quit even giving them a good look-see in the stores. 

 

After your our post I will take a closer look.

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This has a very close resemblance to the new gen Fenwick HMG.  At least the reel seat looks to be the same.  I wonder if it's the same blank.  Both Berkley and Fenwick are owned by Pure Fishing.  Might have to give one of these a try.

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What is the rear grip made of, it looks like compressed cork?  

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39 minutes ago, fishwizzard said:

What is the rear grip made of, it looks like compressed cork?  

According to the Berkley website: 

"ROD HANDLE MATERIAL      Rubber Cork" 
 
39.99 

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Walmart is showing on their website for even cheaper, but I've only see the previous model in the stores.  What purpose/benefit does the wrap provide?

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2 hours ago, Vinjints said:

Walmart is showing on their website for even cheaper, but I've only see the previous model in the stores.  What purpose/benefit does the wrap provide?

 

It helps to make the back of rod more rigid.  The old model has chrome plated metal guide inserts instead of the aluminum oxide the current model.  The last gen also was known to break the locking hood/fore grip.  The new rod is a big improvement over the previous rod.  I'd pass on the out going model.

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I've always found the Berkely Lightnings and Lightning Shocks to be an excellent value.  Nice to see that they have been upgraded a bit.

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glad to hear that they've modified the reel seat. 

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After this thread started I checked them out at BPS and I thought the rods felt pretty good. The rubber cork grip definitely is grippier than the previous gen.

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On 10/12/2017 at 1:00 PM, Vinjints said:

Walmart is showing on their website for even cheaper, but I've only see the previous model in the stores.  What purpose/benefit does the wrap provide?

It's a decorative wrap with no functional purpose but carbon fiber always looks cool. 

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Good review,Been a long time Lighting Rod user.Gonna check the new ones out.

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