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Chance_Taker4

Real Honest KastKing review please

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I have been looking at getting a KastKing Spartacus Plus for a little while. I have an Assassin and Speed Demon that I enjoy already. However every review on YouTube I find is a sponsored video that is not genuine at all. I enjoy my current KastKing but they are not as good as a Curado I, Tatula CT, or Revo SX like the reviews on YT suggest. My only gripe is they are bigger in my hands than I used to. I'm used to the Tatula CT and Gen 3 and 4 Revos. Does anyone have a Spartacus plus and if so what are your thoughts of it in regards to performance and size.

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I have not been able to try it out, but it looks like it has the same braking system as my Assassin, which worked well and been reliable for me.  Can't speak to the rest of the reel, though.

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My honest opinion is I would get another Assassin before I got a Spartacus Plus.

 

I have nothing against the Spartacus Plus. I feel that the Assassin is an all around better reel.

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I have the Spartacus, Spartacus Plus, Stealth and a Royale Legend. The two Spartacus are great. They cast well. The first thing I have done to them is to wipe a film of Alchemy oil around the brake inductor and a drop in the spool bearings. The things cast great. The drags are great. Their capacities aren't large, but I have mine spooled with 8 and 12 Hybrid. They have better braking than the other two. It's quite nice. They're light and strong. Enjoy!

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I believe that the Spartacus and the Assassin are the same platform, they have the same brakes and basic components. The additional features on the Assassin are the carbon handle, lighter spool and aluminum main gear. So if you like your Assassin, you'll like the Spartacus if you can handle the extra 1 oz weight.

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1 hour ago, Chance_Taker4 said:

However every review on YouTube I find is a sponsored video that is not genuine at all.

Thank you for the feedback. What would you consider to be a genuine review?

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1 minute ago, KastKingUSA said:

Thank you for the feedback. What would you consider to be a genuine review?

While I look at reviews I like to see how they perform while casting and handling fish not just having someone hold it and read the box. I also believe that the comparisons do a disservice to the entire KastKing brand because a lot of people get turned away by them. The couple KastKing reels I have a great and should be talked about positively. But I think there are a lot of people on YT that are not as knowledgeable about the actual features, benefits and products they are holding and that questions their credibility. There are great reviews on your channel as well as other channels that relate to the stealth, assassin, speed demon and Sharky III. Actually I just bought a Sharky III because of a review I watched last night.

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I've no dog in this hunt.  IF the youtube reviews the OP has watched are all sponsored by KastKing, then I would not expect to see any comments not complimentary to the product.  Nothing to do with KastKing per se.  I feel this is how a person from any sponsorship...whether it is KastKing, Shimano, Daiwa or any other company would handle a review....if they expect to continue being sponsored.

 

I see the OP posted while I was typing, and have to agree with at a few of his points.  Watching someone open the box on their new reel tells me exactly nothing.  I skip these reviews as soon as I see that is the type of review is is going to be.  A reviewer doesn't have to be old to be knowledgeable, but it shouldn't be his first...or 2nd...reel.

 

I am on this site every day.  It seems to me the majority of people are happy with their KastKing products.  Which is why I am thinking about getting one of your higher priced rods to try out.  I like a low cost quality product as well as the next person.  :teeth:

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20 minutes ago, new2BC4bass said:

IF the youtube reviews the OP has watched are all sponsored by KastKing, then I would not expect to see any comments not complimentary to the product.  Nothing to do with KastKing per se.  I feel this is how a person from any sponsorship...whether it is KastKing, Shimano, Daiwa or any other company would handle a review....if they expect to continue being sponsored.

This definitely NOT TRUE.  When we enter a sponsorship agreement, they are to accept our input on products: good, bad, and ugly.  If a new product does not hit the mark, or plain out fails, we go directly back to the company to work out and resolve the issue.  This is not uncommon, and happens behind the scenes.  It's happened here as recently as last week.  You can be assured, the products from the companies that sponsor us, and ones we recommend have been thoroughly vetted, and our reviews are about as honest as they come.  The fact that you don't see negative reviews is a function of the feedback process. 

 

Now, my opinion on "reviews."  These are not reviews: unboxing, first impressions, feature rundowns, anything that does not have some minor quibble about the gear (nothing is perfect), any opinion that isn't formed around significant time on the water.

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11 minutes ago, J Francho said:

Now, my opinion on "reviews."  These are not reviews: unboxing, first impressions, feature rundowns, anything that does not have some minor quibble about the gear (nothing is perfect), any opinion that isn't formed around significant time on the water.

I agree with this. I don't mind if they incorporate first impressions, features or unboxings as part of the whole review but I would like to see their impressions after using a product. I enjoyed Milliken Fishing review of the Assassin reel. That review plus the stuff I heard on here prompted me to buy the Assassin I own. And it was BitetheBait Fishing's review of the Sharky 3 that led me to place an order for one last night.

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From the things I've seen, the KastKing reels(at least the Stealth, Assassin, Speed Demon) are serviceable reels. The main upsides are the weight and the smoothness in casting/retrieve because of the obscene amount of bearings. I've also seen a lot of data to indicate that casting distance is great on them because of, again, the light weight. 

 

Among the potential drawbacks is reliability. I've seen a large enough amount of people talking about their drag slipping or gears grinding after a week or two, that I'm convinced there's an abnormal amount of lemons that slip by QA. It's to be expected at this price point, but assuming you get a good sample, it seems like they're fairly durable. I hope the reliability/durability thing here comes across from my post.

Obviously because they're light and made out of some kind of composite, they aren't going to feel as nice in hand as something like a Tatula or Curado, and you probably can't expect them to last as long. 

 

I agree about the YouTube presence. Every time I see a KastKing review, it's either someone who also has videos on KastKing's official channel(Debo, Milliken) which puts a level of doubt into my mind, or it's someone who has a KastKing Amazon promo code in their description. There are channels that review all sorts if reels, but I've never heard of KastKing mentioned once, even in $50 reel tests.

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10 minutes ago, Chance_Taker4 said:

 And it was BitetheBait Fishing's review of the Sharky 3 that led me to place an order for one last night.

The best review of the Sharky 3 I have seen is 2BearsOutdoors review where he threw it in an alligator pond and let them bite it and roll over it. He fished with it afterwards and it still worked. He calls it his "Battlescar Sharky"

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43 minutes ago, NYWayfarer said:

The best review of the Sharky 3 I have seen is 2BearsOutdoors review where he threw it in an alligator pond and let them bite it and roll over it. He fished with it afterwards and it still worked. He calls it his "Battlescar Sharky"

I started watching that video but didn't have a chance to get all the way through it.

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Well Mr. Franco, it is my fault for not being specific enough.  I wasn't including websites like bassresource or TT when I wrote my reply.  I was thinking of the individual fishermen from the high dollar pros down to the guy getting his first sponsorship.  I have faith in websites such as bassresource and TT and have made many purchases based on their reviews....without one regret or disappointment.  It is the individual fishermen being sponsored that raves about Brand A being the best, then next year when sponsored by Brand B, he sells all his Brand A gear and Brand B becomes the cat's meow that I have a problem believing.

 

I could be wrong and maybe these guys have the same agreement as bassresource.  But I would be surprised if that were true.  Maybe someone like yourself could shed a little light on that.

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1 hour ago, Chance_Taker4 said:

I agree with this. I don't mind if they incorporate first impressions, features or unboxings as part of the whole review but I would like to see their impressions after using a product. I enjoyed Milliken Fishing review of the Assassin reel. That review plus the stuff I heard on here prompted me to buy the Assassin I own. And it was BitetheBait Fishing's review of the Sharky 3 that led me to place an order for one last night.

Since you already have the Assassin, you should already have a good idea of what the Spartacus reel will feel like.

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This thread has touched on one of my pet peeves.  Go to any newsstand,  pick up a photography magazine,  you will find honest camera reviews with positive and negative opinions.  You will also find advertisements from the same camera companies that are being reviewed.  Clearly,  there is separation between the expert staff providing the reviews and the sales team that sells the adds.  This does not exist in the fishing press.  There are fishing magazines that have been publishing reviews for decades that have never EVER found anything negative to say about any product.  That's just the way things work in this industry and it's why I rarely buy fishing magazines and why I seek out other angler's opinions on this forum.

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1 minute ago, new2BC4bass said:

I could be wrong and maybe these guys have the same agreement as bassresource.  But I would be surprised if that were true.  Maybe someone like yourself could shed a little light on that.

I think most of these guys are "pro staffers" with a discount code, but I honestly do not know.  I know when I worked for Columbia, AT paddles, Wilderness Systems, and a few other companies (these were actual sponsorship contracts), we were specifically told *NOT* to gush about the products, and rely on our personal experiences.  We were told to try out as many other brands as possible.  A fishing story makes a better endorsement than bashing another brand, or bragging about why your brand is better than the others, or touting as "The Best."  There is no best.  Some gear is better suited to some anglers.  Whether that be price point, features, looks, or refinement, is really where the personal choice lies.

5 minutes ago, Tennessee Boy said:

This thread has touched on one of my pet peeves.  Go to any newsstand,  pick up a photography magazine,  you will find honest camera reviews with positive and negative opinions.  You will also find advertisements from the same camera companies that are being reviewed.  Clearly,  there is separation between the expert staff providing the reviews and the sales team that sells the adds.  This does not exist in the fishing press.  There are fishing magazines that have been publishing reviews for decades that have never EVER found anything negative to say about any product.  That's just the way things work in this industry and it's why I rarely buy fishing magazines and why I seek out other angler's opinions on this forum.

This is also one of my sticking points.  It's why I strive to give you guys the most info I can about products I'm testing.  "But you get that stuff for free," you say?  Would you guys rather I lie about it?  Most of the time I don't get to fish my gear, because I'm testing something else.  It's actually opened my eyes.  I'm a bit less of a gear snob these days, and more open minded towards brands.  Most places aren't out rip you off, and genuinely want you to happy with the gear.  I mean, they want you to buy more!

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31 minutes ago, georgeyew said:

Since you already have the Assassin, you should already have a good idea of what the Spartacus reel will feel like.

Thank you. I was unaware both reels were based off the same platform.

23 minutes ago, J Francho said:

I think most of these guys are "pro staffers" with a discount code, but I honestly do not know.  I know when I worked for Columbia, AT paddles, Wilderness Systems, and a few other companies (these were actual sponsorship contracts), we were specifically told *NOT* to gush about the products, and rely on our personal experiences.  We were told to try out as many other brands as possible.  A fishing story makes a better endorsement than bashing another brand, or bragging about why your brand is better than the others, or touting as "The Best."  There is no best.  Some gear is better suited to some anglers.  Whether that be price point, features, looks, or refinement, is really where the personal choice lies.

I to try to give the good and the bad about a product I am reviewing or testing for a sponsor. If you merely look over the bad points you are doing a disservice to the company you are representing. A person may go out and pick up the equipment you are recommending and one of those negatives you failed to mention could be a major issue for the person who bought that product. Also the company itself may not realize that there's a flaw with a product because all their testers are coming back without reporting issues.

 

 

 

My intentions where not to flame pro staffers or how certain companies market there products. I do believe that KastKing is onto something with their affordable equipment. However I also feel the amount of "high praise" they get from eager staffers are also tarnishing what KastKing could become. I thank everyone who has posted on the thread it has helped me make a decision. I will be purchasing the Spartacus Plus once I get home tonight to try it first hand since I do like my Assassin.

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The Spartacus reels are good for the $30 to $40 they go for.  There are too many linear mag brakes reels at that price point so it is nice to see a dual brake reel with a 6 pin centrifugal brake.  I'm not too keen on the fake centrifugal of the others and the $70 price of the Speed Demon but the Spartacus/Assassin reels are good value for your money IMO.  

 

Don't put any weight into any shilling about them costing $100+ if they were sold on stores, carbon fiber frames, casting a mile, amazing business models of selling things on Aliexpress and Amazon.  Purchase something based on its merits rather than hype.  

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8 hours ago, Chance_Taker4 said:

I have been looking at getting a KastKing Spartacus Plus for a little while. I have an Assassin and Speed Demon that I enjoy already. However every review on YouTube I find is a sponsored video that is not genuine at all. I enjoy my current KastKing but they are not as good as a Curado I, Tatula CT, or Revo SX like the reviews on YT suggest. My only gripe is they are bigger in my hands than I used to. I'm used to the Tatula CT and Gen 3 and 4 Revos. Does anyone have a Spartacus plus and if so what are your thoughts of it in regards to performance and size.

I have the lefty Spartacus Plus. I use the reel for pitching and flipping only. It is bigger than my Curado I. I would say that my Curado is smoother and the aluminum frame does make a difference. But, the Plus can hold it's own. I have not used it for any other techniques. What I mostly like about the Plus, dual brakes. Once dialed in, no backlashes and the reel can cast how I want it to. I would recommend it.

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I've bought and fished a few kastking reels. Dont any more. To be perfectly honest they aren't horrible reels. They dont have the build to last through a tournament season but lets face it, most people aren't fishing them super hard 4 or 5 times a week. Mine held up except for the super cheap mela spinning reels. 

 

My beef with them are exactly this... you dont need to spend much more to get a great hobby-grade reel. I've picked up a sahara spinning reel for $55 and fuego casting reels for $56 bucks. I'm all for saving a few bucks, but the 10 extra bucks to get into a much better reel in this case is well spent. 

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On 7/2/2018 at 6:05 PM, Beetlebz said:

I've bought and fished a few kastking reels. Dont any more. To be perfectly honest they aren't horrible reels. They dont have the build to last through a tournament season but lets face it, most people aren't fishing them super hard 4 or 5 times a week. Mine held up except for the super cheap mela spinning reels. 

 

My beef with them are exactly this... you dont need to spend much more to get a great hobby-grade reel. I've picked up a sahara spinning reel for $55 and fuego casting reels for $56 bucks. I'm all for saving a few bucks, but the 10 extra bucks to get into a much better reel in this case is well spent. 

Agreed, I was looking to pick up a cheap reel to have another setup and the Assassin was one of the few I was choosing from. You can get one for ~$44 on eBay during their 4th of July sale, which is honestly a good deal. 

 

But, you can also get a Fuego CT for less than $10 more(during this sale and depending on the seller), and at that point I feel like it's a no-brainer. I bought one just a couple hours ago. 

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I've got an Assassin that I've but through more than most tournament bass reels will ever go through, and it's still going strong. A few years, including our harsh single digit winters on power plant lakes flinging traps a hybrids that will out pull any bass out there, and catching dozens of them a trip at times. I've caught big largemouth, lots of smallies, tons of white bass, catfish, drum, used it for a variety of baits, still one of the furthest casting reels I own and still fishing like when I took it out of the box about 3 years ago. I don't know anyone personally that fishes more than I do, so it isn't like it's just sitting in the rod locker all the time. I've had some of the big name companies lower end reels, which are still more expensive than an Assassin for the most part, and none of them impressed me enough to keep them. Anyone who says they perform like a Tatula or Curado is a fool, but they're 1/3 of the price and still very serviceable reels. Some folks like myself just don't see the need to spend $150 on a reel to chunk and wind a trap or bait that takes no real specialized gear, KK reels are great for stuff like that. 

 

I have a Spartacus Plus as well. I removed the original spool and put a spool I bought on Aliexpress (a Sea Knight Elf spool I believe?), that is a shallow BFS style spool. I've spooled the reel with 8lb copolymer and can cast my little homemade 1/8oz snootie jigs with ease on it. Paired it with a 7' ML/F Fenwick and it's a really fun little BFS style combo that I spent well under $100 on. 

 

I own several KK reels, both spinning and casting. Only the first 2 (Assassin and Kodiak), were given to me to try, the rest (Sharky II, Sharky III, Speed Demon, and Spartacus Plus), were paid for out of pocket because they impressed me enough to buy more. 

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Great post!

 

:fishing-026:

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As an everyday user and owner of KastKing reels I can tell you as a non sponsored user these are some of the best bang for the buck reels you can use. How they last will depend on how much abuse you give them. I have seen $200.00+ reels not last a season due to misuse and non care. I use everything from their cheapest reel (Summer 2000,3000 and Centron 2000) along with a Sharky 3 and none of them have ever failed me or not functioned above their price range.  I will be adding a couple baitcasters this year to replace older ones I have been using and they will be Kastking as well. They are my daily drivers. 

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