4. KISTLER Z BONE
• Price: $520–$590
There’s no question that Kistler’s new Z Bone is one of the most advanced fishing rods on the market. Only a handful of manufacturers have dared to create a super-high-end stick, and Kistler is now among them. The first thing that impressed every tester was the weight of the rod. It was light as a feather at 3 ounces. The Z Bone demolished our tests for casting and accuracy in our field evaluation. The top-of-the-line guide train features Fuji Torzite rings in titanium frames that handled braided line flawlessly. The only knock on the Z Bone was price, because it’s still hard to justify spending more than $500 on a freshwater rod.