Well, I have had more time on the water to use my new Excels. I have nothing but good things to say about this series. I put the XL734C to work for lighter swimbaits and it performed well. This rod loads so easily and is sensative enough to feel the subtle vibration of a hollow body swimbait. I also used it yesterday as an open water "trap" rod. Once again I could load the rod easily and make the long casts needed to cover a huge flat. The rod is incredibly light and helps reduce fatigue after 10 hours on the water. Hook sets were solid and I did not loose a single small mouth on this stick.
I also broke in my new XL705 Glass CB rod. This rod is the real deal. Don't let that 5 Power rating mislead you. It's a glass 5 power. I was able to make extremely long casts because this stick loads and unloads. I matched it with a Revo Winch and was getting all the distance I wanted with no problem. The rod transmits the vibration of 200 to 500 series crankbaits extremely well. This rod, like the XCC725 and the Crank-N-Blade is so forgiving and helps you keep a fish buttoned up. The Excel is so light. It looks a bit bulky when you just look at it but put it in your hand and you see how light and well balanced it is. This stick is worth every penny. Add an XL703S and 704S and you have a 4 rod small mouth set up that will cover about any situation.
My only concern with this series was how the color finish would hold up to nicks and scratches. So far so good ! The folks at Lamiglas have a winner. I was at Bob's Sporting Goods in Longview today and noticed they have almost the entire line up in stock after a long but well worth it.