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I bought my grandson Aiden, a new casting setup for Christmas. Berkley standard model Lightning rod, and Academy H20 Mettle casting reel. His rod is a 6'6 med ivy. The rod is relatively light, fast action. The guides are decent quality, and are aligned straight all the way. The handle is comfortable, and has a "tac" grip, similar to a Fenwick HMG I have. The reel- smooth retrieve, thumbar and everything works well. It balances good on this rod too. I don't buy very many new rods, and usually don't replace any untill they break. I usually learn about newer rods from reading about them on this site. What I must say is it's pretty amazing what quality you can get now days for the money. This outfit feels good in the hand, and cast very well. All in all, a winner! It's not as pretty as more expensive rods, and is considered entry level, but I have no doubt it will hold its own. It makes a perfect setup for a novice, or would make a good spare for a more experienced fisherman. Good value for the dollars, and if we have any problems Academy has a good exchange policy.

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Sounds like he should be very happy with it. Can’t wait till my grand son is old/big enough for big boy gear. 

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Sounds like a good combo.  I've read lots of good things about the Mettle.  I know from personal experience how good the standard Lightning rod is.  I am sure he will enjoy it for years to come.

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