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I was in need of a couple of gear rods for walking skein, so I decided to check out the Batson line of blanks.

I ended up deciding on the Batson Rainshadow RX8 XST 1143F blank. It's a 9'6" blank rated for 8-12 pound test.

For guides I followed the guidelines that Batson had on their site.

Those guidelines are here: http://www.rainshadowfishing.com/showthread.php?t=743

For handles I went with burnt burl and rubberized cork, more durable and more grip than natural cork.

I also had one ounce of tungsten putty insterted into the butt of the rod for counter-balance.

After fishing these rods the past weekend, I can say without a doubt, these are the nicest blanks I have ever used, I like them better than any GLX or any other high end rod I have ever used, period. The Alps guides that were suggested by Batson are way better than the Fuji Ti SIC guides I have always used religiously in the past. By far the nicest guides I have ever used.

By having the tungsten counter-balance, I can use 9'6" blanks and have zero tip weight, which means even though they are a foot longer than most guys prefer, I would be willing to bet these would feel lighter in the hand than their 8'6" rods.

I had Steve Clark of Midwest Custom Fly Rods build them, cannot say enough about the quality of work he did, just truly exceptional work for a decent price. The fact he is a Michigan business makes it even better.

Here is a link to some photos of the rods: http://talkflyfishing.com/index.php?showtopic=21750

When it's all said and done, you can pick one of these rods up for about $350.00 including shipping, when you compare that to some of the high end factory rods which these rods in my opinion are much better than, not a bad price.

Long story short, I am just blown away by how nice these Batson blanks are...
 

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I snapped one of my RX7 1384 pier/surf blanks at the Lower sec in the ferrule while beaching a steelie last nov. & after the warranty fee to send it to WA etc. They offered me an upgrade for $20-$25 bucks to the RX8 XST-1382 and I'm with you 100% The XST is the best blank and smallest Dia. & I think it blows away my Loomis GL3 Mohagany & all the St. Croix etc. Their customer [email protected] Batsons was great also. I'm almost afraid to take the rod on the wall an beat it up on concrete pier etc. Dave from Patriot Rods also recommended the XST 11'-6" model and said the Pinners are going nuts over the blank too. I think the blanks run around $100 bucks too.

SM
 
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