Muddskipper: I have an Accurate Calstar 700H with a Stella 20K as well, although I have not yet fished it, I am unable to do justice to its casting ability.
T.J.: Although I have not yet pulled on the rod, and although it is half a foot longer than the 700H with more dead weight than I would dare lift, it definitely seems to bend more deeply into the entire blank. I have been told that the 700H is virtually unbreakable, and I have pulled 30 pounds of drag with it, but I would be terrified to lift 44 pounds with it. I have the 700XH, which many had warned me not to buy as being more dangerous to me than to the fish! I have pulled 38 pounds with it, and it still seemed to bend more in the tip half of the rod than your prototype. Of course, I was not deadlifting but just pulling against a scale.
For those few of you on this board who have not seen a Japanese 2-piece rod, I have 4 of the Smiths. (I am certain many have fished far more than I have even held in my hands) If the OTI is similar, they separate at the butt. There is a hole in the top of the butt section that looks like hole in a Colt 1911. It is, of course, composite inside, and when you slide the top section in, it goes in several inches and is as smooth as silk.
This rod has deadlifting capabilities like some of the 5 1/2 foot jigging rods. I wonder if it requires a very heavy lure for casting?