Well I have had my new XMG 50 (EXS 106 ML) for one week now. I fished the Barrier Dam Friday July 9th and yesterday the 7/16. Both days I caught 2 Springers and the rod did it's job. Great feel of the water and the power to put the halt to the fish as they tried to head to fast water. I'm very dissatisfied with the graphite handle though. So dissatisfied I'm going to have to alter the rod for it to work correctly. With a spinning reel you hold the rod at the reel and the butt of the rod follows your forearm down from your wrist past your elbow. When you have a fish on you get your leverage here, as you pull back on the rod. The issue is the graphite handle is so slick it slips off your arm and you are left using your wrist/hand only. On a 15lb springer this is impossible as you try to put the brakes on it. I had to put the rod butt into my stomach, hold the rod above the reel and play the fish this way. It is a waist of the great feeling of playing a fish out, and looks stupid crazy to boot. I had a wool sweater on for the first fish and thought that contributed to the slickness, so I went to bare skin on the next and it was no better. I do have a thin arm, but never in my life have I had this issue. I'm going to have to dip the handle into liquid plastic, or wrap it with that rubber emergency tape, or something else to fix this.
Just food for though and to give others a baseline before they decide to go with the same rod..