This is the new combo i been thinking about getting. Went to local tackle shop & put the reel on the pole & checked it out. Reel almost seemed too heavy duty for the pole. Seems like i would have a heck of a time getting any distance on my cast as well (mainly bank fishing). Also was wondering if you guys think it'll take me a long time to get down the casting, ive been using a 6500 more then a couple years now. What do you guys think? This will be my second pole for big cats , already own a 7 ' mh ugly cat/6500 cl3 combo.