I've fished the Death Star a few times and would definitely agree with everything Mr. Beauchamp has to say. It is a great rod. That being said, I say the 12'3" Winston is a better rod. IMHO it was a bit more forgiving than the Death Star, and a fair bit lighter. Both rods do very well with modern shooting heads in similar grain ranges. Can't go wrong with either, but for $500, get the Death Star.