I didn't mean to offend you, and keep posting as much as you like. Ya won't get answers if ya don't ask the questions
Lets' see, best rod in it's price range. Well, if you can get a hold of some discount codes (I have one if you choose Kistler), that will bring the rod down to roughly 135 bucks. So my response would be NO, you will NOT find a better rod for 135 bucks. Phenix makes some nice stuff at the retail price of the KLX, Powell Endurance is another one. BUT, they don't have that North Fork blank, or those fuji tangle free micro guides. The rods are clean. I mean both build and cosmetics. I like clean. No overpowering bright labels, just a charcoal non sanded blank. I'm very happy that Kistler did not stray away from the fuji ECS reel seats (best, tried, and true IMO). These rods come partially technique specific, but the actions and tapers are wonderful making these anything but a one hit wonder stick. I can say this. I own a Cumara, Zillion, Omen Black, Endurance, and a Savvy at this point. They all hold there spots, but if I'm trucking to the river side for a little bank tossing...I'm bringing my KLX and whatever reel I decide to mount on it that day
Just keep in mind Kistler does not offer the best customer service, and that's a big part of the equation, likely why a lot of folks aren't jumping on these rods. You can get a nice rod from 13, St. Croix, or Shimano and the customer service is 2nd to none. Oh yeah, the cork could be of better quality, but that holds true with any new rod these days.