I use that rod all the time. It sure is a beast alright. Some surfcasters go through a phase of wanting the biggest, longest, and meanest surf rod you can get. The blank itself is a Kilwell 9oz heavy graphite measuring 13’6”. I extended the butt section another metre with alloy tube to give an overall length of 16 feet (4.9m). The butt is almost 10’ on its own which makes carrying it in the car a bit of a challenge. The only way to fit it in is to wind the back window down so a bit sticks out!
It can cast up to 9oz or 255g (over half a pound) of lead no problem.
At the time I built it back in 1997 Kilwell in Rotorua weren’t selling these blanks in New Zealand. They were only made for export notably to Hawaii where they were ideally suited to fishing their big swells rolling in from the deep ocean. So if you wanted one in New Zealand you had to place a special order and build the rod up yourself.
My objective was to build a powerful rod to handle marginal surf conditions. This is does very well. It takes a bit of muscle to operate though. Casting is more of a lob than anything else but I can get plenty of distance with it. For out and out distance you can’t beat a three and a half pound graphite blank teamed up with a free-spool reel. However such a rod can only cast 80g tops so isn’t much use in rough conditions.
Pictured: the author and 4.9m Kilwell beast.