After watching Randy's video on his new rods (Black and Blue), and seeing him deadlift 20lbs with one, I decided I had to test my rod out. I bought it a month ago, but with work being so crazy, all I've been able to do is get the reel on it, and then line on the reel. It's got an Abu 7000LD Big Game with 50lb Silver Thread AN40 on it. The rod is the Daiwa Eliminator BA Conventional 7' MH 15-40lb line, 2-6oz rating, model EL-BA701-MHR. I tied the line to 15lbs of barbell weights using an improved clinch knot, and cranked the drag on the reel tight. The rod lifted the weight off of the floor with no problems. I, on the other hand, must be a wuss, or Randy had forearms like Popeye, because I couldn't believe how hard it was to lift that weight. I honestly don't think that I could have lifted 21lbs of weight, whether or not the rod is up to it! Kudos to him for lifting it and managing to video it at the same time. Then I put the rod in a holder that I clamped in my bench vise, and tied a snap on the end. I started with 6oz of lead and the rod just had the slightest bend in it. I kept going and stopped at 21oz. At that point, the rod did have a bend in it, but no more than a couple of inches off the centerline, and only in the upper quarter of the rod. At this point, without having fished it, I'd say that the rod is definitely under-rated for what it's capable of handling. It's a stiff rod, but it still has some tip action to it. I like the triangular shape to the front grip, keeps the rod from rolling in your hand under pressure. I also think that the overall length of the grips/reel seat are a good compromise for fighting and casting. Fit and finish is as good as any rod I've held in the store, even ones costing much more. What would I change? Not much. The graphics on the rod are sharp and look good together. A white blank would be nice, or at least a white tip area, for night fishing, but I can get over it. It has 8 guides and that seems to be enough to keep the line from rubbing the blank under load. The guides are stout ceramic boat guides. I like ceramic guides myself, but maybe all stainless rings and no insert would be more durable? It's a 7ft rod, my personal preference is no shorter than that, but I think that 7.5ft might balance a bit better with heavy weights. All in all, for $40 and shippng, I'm more than satisfied with it. I think that I'm going to order some more, I still have 4 reels that I have to get on rods. If you're looking for a nice rod for a good price, these may be for you. P.S. This is not meant to reflect on Randy's superb rods in any way at all. I know without a doubt that his rods are a better product than these, but I can't lay down $80-$120 per rod (as much as I'd like to). I figure that there are many other people in the same boat (jeez, no pun intended) as me that need a good rod for under $50, so I'm passing along my thoughts.