We here at Deneki are a very fortunate bunch. We fish some of the best locations in the world with some of the coolest people on the planet, we also get to fish with some of the best products developed as well.
In September this year, we had the privilege of spending a week with the new NRX+ 8133-3 from G. Loomis. This rod was developed by Steve Rajeff, long time head rod builder with Loomis, and Alaska West Alumni Tom Larimer (G. Loomis Fly National Sales Manager). These guys went back to the drawing board on this rod and really came up with something special. We fished it on the Naknek River, chasing monster Rainbows with big flies and sink tips from light to heavy, this rod did not disappoint in delivering anything we tied on it.
Appearance: It really looks like they went back to their roots of the classic GLX. While the rod is not the dark raw graphite color, it is a very esthetically pleasing lighter grey with solid color wraps that have a slim blue band (like the old GLX). Good cork handles, that are shaped well and very comfortable.
Action: This rod has a nice medium/fast action with a very welcoming stiff tip. The stiffer tip really helped with moving heavier tips and big bugs when setting your anchor. The rod has a nice deep load, that when unleashed would rocket whatever you had on as far as you wanted. If you have a faster stroke, the rod can load more towards the tip and perform very well. Overall, this rod is smooth and groovy and can huk mega.
Lines we used: We used 3 different lines on the rod, all Airflo. The Skagit Driver 570gr, Skagit Driver 600gr and the Scout 540gr. Honestly, all three lines worked well on this rod. For folks that want a lighter, more mid to tip load, the 570 performed great. For folks that want a deep, down to the cork load, the 600 jacked big. While some of you might really question the Scout 540, short heads like this really do perform well on longer rods like this. The Scout 540, at 19.5’, has the same grains per foot in 19.5’ as a Driver 600 does at 24’. What this line gives you is a super quick deep load that absolutely rockets off the rod tip. The short head allows you to get into tighter casting situations as well. Play with your overhang a little and you will find that you will not blow anchors at all.
Overall, we felt the NRX+ is a fantastic rod that is forgiving, light, responsive and a pure joy to fish all week long. We really feel like Loomis has created something special with this new NRX+ series of spey and switch rods. Loomis also did consumers another solid and kept the price a couple of hundred dollars under other top tier rods on the market. Stop by your local fly shop and see if you can get your hands on one to take for a spin, we do not think you will be disappointed.