Snow and wind finally cleared for an hour this evening. [It's almost May and we got 3 inches of snow here!] I took the Kabuto 7'6" 4 wt in the front yard to get some casting impressions. I'm not an expert reviewer but I can share my thoughts.
It casts as great as it looks.
In my hand and on my lawn, the Kabuto 7'6" 4 wt is a smooth medium progressive action that I'd describe as a versatile 4/5 wt. Pick the 4 or 5 wt line that matches best your casting rhythm and/or fishing requirements for the day, and enjoy!
More detailed report:
I know that lawn casting is not the same as casting on the water, but my session gave me an idea of it's action. My first couple casts with each line quickly felt familiar, resembling other medium progressive rods in my quiver.
I cast it with a handful of lines: a Hook & Hackle DT4
, an Orvis Wonderline WF5
, a Hook & Hackle DT5
, and a Wulff Triangle Taper 5
. I started with the DT4 and worked my way up. [Unfortunately, I don't have a WF4 line to try out. I do have a WF3 Peach & Sylk, but I didn't try them.]
On my lawn, the rod cast the H&H DT4 effortlessly between 20-40 ft, where I usually catch fish. At very short distances (<15 ft), the H&H DT4 didn't load the rod as much as some slow, very full-flexing rods. But this is probably more commentary on the line rather than the rod; H&H lines feel kinda light to me for their designation, and I didn't have a fly on the water to help load the rod so that may change after a pond visit or with a more substantial 4 wt line.
The WF/DT5 lines loaded the rod very well at short distances, even on the lawn. Casting up to 50 ft was smooth and did not overload the rod; more competent casters could likely cast further if needed. The TT5 felt great as well but started to feel a little overloaded at the longer distances. If the rod was labeled a 7'6" 5 wt, I'd believe it!
Basically, the 7'6" Kabuto is a smooth medium progressive rod that likes both 4 and 5 wt lines; I'd call it a 7'6" 4/5 wt rod. It casts great with either line in my hand. I'd guess that there might be just as many people using a 5 wt line with it as a 4 wt line; it just depends on your casting stroke and/or what you need the rod to do.
I'm gonna try a 4 wt line for mild wind or windless days and when fishing small to medium flies to spooky fish.
And I'll choose a 5 wt line if I expect mild to moderate wind, fishing up to larger flies/tandem set-ups, or if I need to fish in very close (<15 ft casts in small stream pocket water).
I'll update a casting report after I visit a pond, maybe this weekend. Hope to hear of others' impressions as well!