I got to use one this past weekend to do some field casting with my cousin and I am impressed! My cousin is coming to fish Hatteras for the first time and needed some casting lessons which i agreed to help him on. He got the rod from Tommy. Most of time,we were casting a 10 oz lead weight to simulate 8 and bait. I had my Gen I rod with me that I had built. I am an experienced Hatteras caster and while there are some who may cast father, I can hold my own on the conga line.
Holding the rods. The Gen II is significantly lighter than my Gen I which I built to be lighter than the factory version. Mine had minimal wraps and a very light coat of finish but it was still heavier. The Gen II was beautiful. I suspect the walls are thinner on the Gen II than on the Gen I so you might want be careful not smacking into anything too much. I am not saying it is fragile; it just doesn't feel as "sturdy" as the Gen I version (which were built like tanks) but that might simply be my perception with the lighter weight of the rod. As far as breaking from cast, its seemed very strong and I am sure am sure that Tommy tested the rod with some extreme weights.
Casting: It bombed a 10 oz weight. Doing a simple straight-behind OTG cast, I am pretty sure I got a 10 oz pyramid sinker close to 150 yards. (I do a lot of offhand shooting with a target that is 135 measured yards so I don't think I am far off with that estimate.) That is not going to translate into the same distance with 8 and bait, but it is still impressive and it was pleasure to see that weight fly. I did not directly compare it with my Gen I 6-10 and I did not cast the Gen II a lot because focus was getting my cousin to cast it well, but I loved using it. The rod does seem to have more "spring' to it when casting compared to the Gen I. It seems to more actively push against the weight when casting.
My cousin was getting close to 100 yards with several of his casts and he really likes the rod.
Anyway, that is all that I have to write on it for now. I can say that I really like what I have seen so far and I see a new Gen II 6-10 or 8-12 in my near future!!!