As many of you are aware, the folks at G.Loomis shocked the fly fishing world this past summer when they unveiled their latest rod series, the Asquith – built using arguably the most unique manufacturing process in fly rod design since, well, graphite.
Like many of you, we were excited to get our paws on the latest and greatest (stay tuned for a review), however our first thought was.. We sure hope it doesn’t replace Loomis’ ever-popular NRX Series of rods!
Since its introduction in 2011, the NRX has become a staple on the flats. To this day, it still remains one of the most common rods we see from our anglers at Andros South, which, with the amount of rods that have come and gone since its introduction, we think is saying a lot.
We hopped on the NRX bandwagon this year (better late than never, right?), and spent a lot of time with the 8 weight on our flats. We liked it so much that we couldn’t help but plead to our friends at G.Loomis not replace it just yet. They eased our mind and told us they were going to keep it around a while longer, so today we thought we’d tell you why, despite some recent innovations in fly rod design, we think the NRX is still one of the best built saltwater rods on the market.
Built for Abuse
Simply put, the NRX is one of the toughest fly rods we’ve ever owned. Tropical saltwater fishing is extremely tough on gear, particularly fly rods. However, we’re continually impressed by what we put the NRX through without any real signs of wear and tear. In fact, we’ve talked with many of our guests at Andros South who come armed with the NRX, and we’re shocked at how many have told us they’ve never seen one break. There’s no doubt why so many experienced anglers and broke fishing guides have a love-affair with the NRX.
All the guides on the NRX are also built to resist the ugliest conditions and abuse that the salt can dish out. The front two stripping guides are nickel/titanium recoil guides which includes no ceramic insert. That means not only do they keep from rusting (not always the case in premium saltwater rods), but they’re nearly unbreakable as well. The remaining eight guides consist of nickel/titanium recoil snake guides which means they’re able to collapse when under pressure, making them salt-proof and nearly crush-proof.. Pretty great when fishing in an area far away from a warranty center.
The small contrasting fighting butt included on the 8 weight NRX is made from a super dense, seemingly composite, material which we really dig from a durability standpoint. Normal cork and/or foam fighting butts can get beat up over time (over a long time, mind you), from sticking in the sand while rigging, or better yet, pinning against your side while fighting fish.. However, the dense butt on the 8 weight NRX just feels rock solid from the get-go.
While accurately defined as a stiff, fast action rod, the impression by many anglers we’ve talked with is that the NRX is best suited for experienced anglers playing ‘long ball.’ Not the case. In fact, in terms of fishing performance, we think its greatest attribute is its versatility at both long and short distances – something that’s particularly helpful for our fishery on South Andros.
Is it the most accurate rod we’ve ever cast? We don’t think so. Is it the single most powerful rod we’ve ever cast? No, not really (although it might not be that far off). However, with a really stiff lower section for great reserve power for long casts, and a surprising moderately-soft tip for a quicker load in close, we think the NRX performs extremely well under a wide range of conditions, making it hard not to have confidence in whatever the flats throws at you.
Some rods cast really, really, far. Some rods present flies really, really, accurately and delicately in close. Some rods just fish really, really, well.. And we think the NRX is one of those rods.
One thing thats hard not to mention when talking about the NRX is the attention to detail that goes into each rod. We’re huge fans of the stealthy matte gray blank with ‘robin’s egg’ blue thread wraps with chartreuse accents. We think it stands out, in good way, in a world saturated with forest green and/or ocean blue fly rods, not to mention is just plain easy on the eyes, which we think is important for something you pay a premium price for.
We were super happy to hear that the NRX is going to be sticking around (at least for a little while longer), as we think its one of the more versatile bonefishing rods ever made. We really dig the 8 weight for our fishery on South Andros, and think you will too.
The NRX Saltwater is available in line weights 7 through 12, and retails for $797.00 – $900.00 respectively. For more information visit G.Loomis’ website, or pick one up today at your nearest G.Loomis dealer.