I haven't had a chance to sling any bait yet but will be on the beach in about an hour or 2. My first impressions are very satisfactory. I was shocked at how light the rod is. It also just feels great. I stopped by Tommy's about 5:30pm to pick it up. Just his willingness to meet me after 5pm on a Friday is awesome. I was expecting to show up and pick up my rod and hit the road because I'm sure Tommy had more important things to do than hang out with some noob wannabe fisherman but oh nooo. Tommy took me and my new Akios upstairs and proceeded to show me how to adjust the spool and how to balance the spool. In the process, I ended up with a new spool of quality 20lb line. I was going to pick up some cheap stuff and use it until I was sure I had a handle slinging a conventional reel. He also gave me some great advice on surf fishing in general and a few casting tips. I will write a review on the rod after I have fished it but I have to say that the buying of the rod was just awesome. You can tell that Tommy has a passion for fishing when you talk to him and his willingness to spend time sharing his knowledge is over and above what I had any right to expect, especially after 5pm on a Friday. All in all, I was there for over an hour. Thanks for your time Tommy.