TESTED: G Loomis NRX fly rods

AUGUST last year saw the release of G.Loomis’s next generation in fly rod technology – the NRX. Loomis has been a long-time leader in graphite rod blank technology, starting with its IM6 and GL2, then to GL3 and IMX blanks more than 16 years ago. Then came GLX, the only graphite made strictly for use in the construction of fishing rods.

The new NRX fly rod series offers 16 four-piece models in line weights to cover every fly fishing option from a #3 weight to an impressive #12 wt, as well as offering a number of double handed / Spey casting models.

I first cast the NRX rods at the Australian Fishing Trade Association show (AFTA) on the Gold Coast last August when Dunphy Sports fishing imports released them locally. They are claimed to be 15 per cent lighter than the previous flagship GLX series as well as being up to 20 per cent stronger and more impact resistant due to both a new high density carbon combined with Nano Silica resin systems.
The build also includes black Ion coated REC Recoil guides and custom made proprietary G.Loomis reel seats with no exposed threads so as to make it easy to lock the reel to the reel seat. The grips feature a cork design, where the cork transitions to provide more sensitivity and feel while maintaining durability.

So what does this actually mean on the water? The first thing you notice is the weight or lack thereof! They are incredibly light. Next is their “liveliness “if that is the right term – they feel like nothing else I have cast to date. These rods are effortless to cast and forgiving, with errors being easily corrected. They are also responsive to being muscled with plenty of reserve power as you load further down the blank for punching out line for windy conditions or larger flies.

I have been fishing with two of these amazing rods since last December, an NRX 1089-4 9ft #9 wt 4-piece and the NRX 10812-4 9ft #12 wt four-piece. I have fished the 1089-4 on our local flats here in Hervey Bay, chasing golden trevally. This is a demanding fishery where fast accurate casts are needed between 40ft and 60ft generally. Casting 2/0 weighted clousers on Scientific Anglers Sharkskin clear wet-tip lines, I found the rod responds quickly and allows you to easily pick up 30-40ft of line quickly to re-cast when required to cover fish tailing. You can really put some power on when needed without fear of shocking the rod/line.

The previous GLX Cross-Current 10812-4 #12 wt has long been a favourite of mine and was the next NRX in my sights. I can now say I have a new favourite fishing friend. This rod is incredibly light in the hand for this line weight and delivers amazing line speed with little effort. I have fished this rod out in Hervey Bay for longtails and the Boyne River chasing large barra up to 124cm recently. It is light enough to cast all day with plenty of reserve power in the butt to turn over bulky flies and make short work on larger fish.

You really owe it to yourself to cast an NRX yourself to form your own opinion. Once you cast an NRX I believe you will see beyond the binding colours, which complement my artisticly finished Abel reels in any case!

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