Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

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harrison_g711
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Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by harrison_g711 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:53 pm

Looking to upgrade my Jig/T-rig rod and these 2 rods are my final choices.

Looking at the 7’1 MH X-Fast Kistler Helium 3 and the ALX Zolo Deputy (MH Fast).

Fishing open water and relatively light cover, 3/16 oz t-rigs and 3/8 oz and 1/2 jigs. Spinnerbaits in a pinch too which is why I’m leaving towards the deputy sincs it is more versatile I believe. I know people like a heavier rod for 1/2 jigs, but I’m looking to be able to throw 3/8 oz and 1/2 oz in the same rod.

The He3 is on sale for $221 right now while I would probably get a custom Deputy (change colors and WINN grips) for around 240-250.

Everybody says Kistler has very good blanks and great sensitivity, but that their customer service isn’t great and there warranty isn’t fantastic either. WhileI’ve already had a great experience with ALX Rods customer service.

Thanks, Harrison

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Re: Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by Heddonfrog » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:05 am

I can only add my thoughts on the H3. I have the 6-9 MHXF and love it for jigs to 1/2oz. Actually 3/8 & 1/2oz jigs & TR’s are all i use it for. It truly is an XF tip and would be near the bottom of my choices for spinnerbaits or other reaction baits. I would look at the H3 L-MH fast if you’re looking for a more all-around rod. The one I used had a more versatile tip but handled a 1/2oz jig just fine.

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Re: Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by harrison_g711 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:38 am

Heddonfrog wrote:I can only add my thoughts on the H3. I have the 6-9 MHXF and love it for jigs to 1/2oz. Actually 3/8 & 1/2oz jigs & TR’s are all i use it for. It truly is an XF tip and would be near the bottom of my choices for spinnerbaits or other reaction baits. I would look at the H3 L-MH fast if you’re looking for a more all-around rod. The one I used had a more versatile tip but handled a 1/2oz jig just fine.
Thank you for responding! This is my first post here lol. I would go down to the L-MH if I was just fishing open water, but there are a decent amount of weeds around me and I don’t want to risk it even though I won’t be intentionally flipping into them or anything. I’ll wait to see if anybody can speak on both the rods, but thanks for your opinion!

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bronzebacks
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Re: Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by bronzebacks » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:03 am

I have the 6'9" mh h3 and use it for spinnerbaits and love it you just have to let the fish eat the spinnerbait and not take it away from it to fast because it is sensitive and you don't have to hammer them on a hookset just let it load up and sweep like a crankbait. I had the deputy and loved it it balances better than my h3s and is a bit slower action it was a great all around rod i regret trading. But i love the weight and sensitivity of the h3s. I recommend the one that fits your style better both are great rods but i havent fished the 7'1" h3

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Re: Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by harrison_g711 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:22 am

bronzebacks wrote:I have the 6'9" mh h3 and use it for spinnerbaits and love it you just have to let the fish eat the spinnerbait and not take it away from it to fast because it is sensitive and you don't have to hammer them on a hookset just let it load up and sweep like a crankbait. I had the deputy and loved it it balances better than my h3s and is a bit slower action it was a great all around rod i regret trading. But i love the weight and sensitivity of the h3s. I recommend the one that fits your style better both are great rods but i havent fished the 7'1" h3
Yeah that’s where I’m stuck on which one to get. I don’t want to sacrifice the sensitivity in those amazing loomis blanks used with the He3, but I really like it he all around aspect of the Deputy. I wish I could get my hands on both, but sadly I can’t get my hands on either. Have you had an experiences with the kistler customer service? I ask this because I haven’t heard great things about it, and that the warranty isn’t that loved, and I know that ALX has great customer service and a great warranty.

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Re: Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by rcdemel » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:29 am

I own several of the Zolos and they are great rods. That being said, I have around 20 Kistler KLX and He3 rods and they see a lot more service than the Zolos. They have a lighter and crisper feel to them and are very sensitive (especially the He3s). I also have heard miscellaneous rumblings about the Kistler service and warranty issues but have had no first hand experience
in this area. I fish several times a week and have been using Kistlers for years. Never once have I had a failure!

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Re: Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by harrison_g711 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:43 pm

rcdemel wrote:I own several of the Zolos and they are great rods. That being said, I have around 20 Kistler KLX and He3 rods and they see a lot more service than the Zolos. They have a lighter and crisper feel to them and are very sensitive (especially the He3s). I also have heard miscellaneous rumblings about the Kistler service and warranty issues but have had no first hand experience
in this area. I fish several times a week and have been using Kistlers for years. Never once have I had a failure!
That’s good to know, thank you.... I think my final choice has to be wether I want extreme sensitivity with the He3 or versatility with the deputy. I’ll have to think about it some more I guess. Thanks for the input!

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bronzebacks
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Re: Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by bronzebacks » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:42 pm

harrison_g711 wrote:
rcdemel wrote:I own several of the Zolos and they are great rods. That being said, I have around 20 Kistler KLX and He3 rods and they see a lot more service than the Zolos. They have a lighter and crisper feel to them and are very sensitive (especially the He3s). I also have heard miscellaneous rumblings about the Kistler service and warranty issues but have had no first hand experience
in this area. I fish several times a week and have been using Kistlers for years. Never once have I had a failure!
That’s good to know, thank you.... I think my final choice has to be wether I want extreme sensitivity with the He3 or versatility with the deputy. I’ll have to think about it some more I guess. Thanks for the input!
Just get both :lol:

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Re: Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by Hogsticker2 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:35 pm

From my experience, I don't find either blank to be super sensitive or incredibly responsive. That being said, the NFC blank probably takes the slight edge here. The Hydra blank is closer to a moderate fast, therefore making it a little more versatile, but again, not by a large margin. The idea of having a custom build will always appeal to me, so that might sway my decision.

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Re: Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by DavidSA » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:41 pm

I have only one HE3 (7'3H exfast) and no ALX.

I find the HE3 extremely sensitive- far better then my old school GLX rods and very competitive with my NRX. I sometimes throw small spinnerbaits on braid and have nice hook up ratio on this non-traditional approach.

My next rod maybe the 6'9 MH or 7'4

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Re: Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by harrison_g711 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:24 pm

[quote="Just get both :lol:[/quote]


Haha believe me, if I could afford both then I would 100% get both :big grin:

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Re: Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by harrison_g711 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:35 pm

Hogsticker2 wrote:From my experience, I don't find either blank to be super sensitive or incredibly responsive. That being said, the NFC blank probably takes the slight edge here. The Hydra blank is closer to a moderate fast, therefore making it a little more versatile, but again, not by a large margin. The idea of having a custom build will always appeal to me, so that might sway my decision.
Yes the option to customize the Zolo has made me decide on it. Also the extra versatility of it as I pond hop a lot and like to be able to throw as many things as possible on the same rod.

Thanks to all who put in their opinions on this topic, I appreciate it!

Tight Lines! :D

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Re: Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by Fishing4Fun » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:12 am

Nice choice!

I have rods from both the Zolo B and H3 lines. I think they are very good buys for the money. Both have similar cosmetics. I think they both have good feel as well but feel the taper on the Zolo to be more versatile. For $200-250 give or take sale prices and what not, they are good mid tier rods.

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Re: Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by hoohoorjoo » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:02 pm

DavidSA wrote:I have only one HE3 (7'3H exfast) and no ALX.

I find the HE3 extremely sensitive- far better then my old school GLX rods and very competitive with my NRX. I sometimes throw small spinnerbaits on braid and have nice hook up ratio on this non-traditional approach.

My next rod maybe the 6'9 MH or 7'4
I will agree with you, the rods are extremely sensitive in my hands, as well. I had the 7-4 hvy x-fast H3 and kind of regret selling it. If they made those rods with EVA instead of cork, I would own a few of them. Cork looks nice initially, but gets ugly quickly, even with U-40.
Try not to let your mind wander. It is much too small to be outside unsupervised.

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Re: Kistler He3 vs ALX Zolo

Post by Heddonfrog » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:08 pm

hoohoorjoo wrote:
DavidSA wrote:I have only one HE3 (7'3H exfast) and no ALX.

I find the HE3 extremely sensitive- far better then my old school GLX rods and very competitive with my NRX. I sometimes throw small spinnerbaits on braid and have nice hook up ratio on this non-traditional approach.

My next rod maybe the 6'9 MH or 7'4
I will agree with you, the rods are extremely sensitive in my hands, as well. I had the 7-4 hvy x-fast H3 and kind of regret selling it. If they made those rods with EVA instead of cork, I would own a few of them. Cork looks nice initially, but gets ugly quickly, even with U-40.
Holy crap, I thought I was the only one that encountered the grungy cork on my H3. I don’t know what it is but the cork they use turns charcoal brown after several uses. I was constantly scrubbing it with soap and a HD magic eraser during the course of the season. Bought in March and the top photo is after it had been cleaned multiple times between uses. That photo was not after a cleaning, just at a point that needed it again. At the end of the season I did a full fill-n-refub on it. We got some nice weather afterwards and I used it a couple times since the refub and it’s holding up better than it did stock. Btw you can order H3’s with Winn grips
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