I concur with you wholeheartedly on the one piece aspect and as someone who fishes the Potomac as much as I can, I understand where you are coming from.
I just had a chance to answer a question from a gentlemen inquiring about a pitching rod and I think much of it applies as well to your request for help:
1. In pitching or flipping, since it is a pendulum based technique, go with the longest rod you can because it will give you a better "pitch or flip", and if needed, more accuracy at longer distances and when that "HAWG" hits, much better power and leverage to move him out from the cover or out from underneath those grass mats on the river.
2. The biggest mistake I see guys make is that they spend too little on their rods and two much on their reels. In applications where sensitivity is needed, such as pitching and flipping soft plastics or jigs, go with the most sensitive rod you can afford. And if you are tight on the budget, hold off and save if you can, to get at least the next model up from where you were thinking.
3. I know there are alot of brands out there that look like Kistlers, say there better than Kistlers, etc... but remember who was the first to do many of the things you are now seeing standardized in the industry today, 5-10 years later. Trey Kistler was on the cutting edge when there was no edge and I think he continues to be, both in his designs but also just as important, in his quality control. Sensitivity, power, backbone, the right parabolic bend, control and castability dont just happen by accident and just cant be mimiked through look-a-likes or by changing the color of the blank. There is a reason, even in down economies, why Kistler Rods fly off the racks!
All that being said, I love the one piece He76MHC or in some cases the He76HC, many ask why the difference, Medium Heavy or Heavy, it is another mistake I see alot of guys make, especially if they are braid users, as am I and I am sure you are. You will sacrifice very, very little in power and hookset by utilizing the MHC but you can do so much more in accuracy and distance, especially critical considering tidal movement makes where fish position more transitional than the average body of water. The other factor is controlling the fish boatside, where so many guys lose fish because the fish surges and a heavy rod cant cushion that power run. Understanding that there are occasions where a HC is called for such as flipping a 1 1/2oz All Terrain Jig or punching with a 1 3/4oz Penetrater Tungsten Weight, then yes, the HC is the right pick!
All in all, there our tons of options out there, I respect that and I appreciate you for taking the leap with your Chatterbait Rod - I think you now see what I did almost 10 years ago and if you do, you will not be sorry with any Kistler Rod you choose. There is much more to the Kistler Rods than just the rod, it is the company, the man, and what those stand for that seperates Kistler from anyone else!
If I can help with anything else, just let me know?
Good Luck and Gods Continued Blessings for your upcoming 2009 fishing season!
P.S. Dont just think because you are a weekend angler that Kistler wont custom make you something if you cant find the right fit. You are the reason that they exist and if possible and if needed, determining thatnonthing within their production models will fit your specific needs, they will work with you![size=18][/size]