I like the shootout(s). To me it's not much more than entertainment. I do find some of the information valuable, such as the scores at particular distances and their opinions on feel and their facts on swing weight. Other items are too subjective and I don't put a lot of weight in their final rankings. Case in point is the Loomis Native Run (which I own), which scored second in their previous shootout - now in the back of the pack. How does one fall from grace so far outside of new entrants? Is it now a poor rod when it was just #2 - hardly. I also enjoy the counterpoints.
It's entertaining reading to me - not much more. Plus - I don't fish salt and don't boom 100 ft. casts