I had a chance to attend ICAST 2012 this year and spend quite a bit of time with G Loomis and Shimano, going over the new products they are releasing. Being the fly fanatic I am, the one thing that caught my eye and most of my attention was finally being able to get my hands on the new G Loomis NRX Pro-1 fly rods.
The first thing I noticed about the rod is that it is incredible light weight. I did not have a scale to weight them side by side with the competitors but to the naked hand, the NRX Pro1 felt like they were the lightest 1 piece fly rods in their class. So I picked up a 10 weight NRX Pro1 and put my Nautilus NVG9 with Airflo line on it and went off to the casting pond. We spent hours casting both the 10wt and 12wt NRX at the casting pond in the convention center. We casted the NRX next to another brand’s 1 piece rod side by side, using different lines, mixing and matching between SA and Airflo lines with different tapers, between Abel and Nautilus reels for weight at the rear of the rod. We threw long shots, short shots, accuracy challenged shots into a hoola hoop set out 75ft away, and had multitudes of fly casters with different casting styles throwing the rods.
Here is my initial assessment without having been able to use the NRX Pro-1 in the field yet:
I can’t speak for anybody else’s feedback but here is my feedback based on my casting style and need. Both NRX Pro1 rods I casted were easy to cast and was able to match an aggressive or progressive cast, making them very forgiving. These are definitely fast action tip flex rods, but have enough flex to load line quickly for short accurate casts as well as load the line into the blank for that long bomb. They seem to pack a lot of ass to punch into the wind but I can not comment on that characteristic until I have fished one in the field. The NRX Pro-1 rods seem to load and cast better with your heavier taper lines such as the Airflo Ridge or Scientific Anglers Tarpon Taper.
Light weight and strength
Because of NRX Pro1′s light weight, I was able to cast them over and over without feeling much fatigue. This is a great plus when having those days when you are casting at hoards of stubborn oceanside tarpon. Speaking of tarpon, one question in every tarpon fisherman’s mind is the rods breaking strength. For years, I have fished the Crosscurrent Pro-1 and fell in love with the way you can high stick a fish or pull on a fish with all you have without having broken a single rod. I asked G Loomis’ Steve Rajeff about the new NRX Pro-1′s breaking strength in comparison to the Crosscurrent Pro-1 and he mentioned that the breaking tolerances for the NRX Pro-1 are the same, if not stronger then that of the Crosscurrent Pro-1. Knowing this, could the NRX possibly be the next generation of tarpon stick for guides seeking a 1 piece fly rod?
The G Loomis NRX Pro-1 comes in either a choice of the original NRX matte blank and blue wrap or a much more discreet clear coated dark green blank with black wraps. Warranty for the NRX Pro-1 is the same as the NRX: There is a 1 time wildcard unconditional replacement but afterwards, regular warranty (as with the other G Loomis brand rods) applies. The NRX Pro-1 will come in sizes from 8wt to 12wt and retail is expected to be about $100 less then it’s 4 piece NRX counterpart. As an additional plus, all rods and blanks are made and inspected in America for the highest quality.
For more information from the manufacturer, check out the following link:
I should have these rods in the field this coming Fall. So stay tuned for the full low down.
This is the one fish that drives all of us dedicated fly fisherman nuts come March, April, May, June, July, and even into August. The continuing cold spells this past winter and early spring have kept the fish from making their early migration. Anglers like us were housed in and on days when we just can’t take it anymore, we would sneak out anyways and sit at our favorite tarpon holes, hoping that we’d catch one stray fish wandering by. For as many times in the early season this year I sat, I saw nothing. All the images of tarpon stringing down the avenue were just mirages in my head. The way I felt can only be described as a nicotine addict rolling up burnt hibiscus leaves into a napkin and lighting one of these up, hoping to feel that nicotine. No, I don’t even smoke, nor do I ever feel the need to smoke a cigarette, but tarpon fishing… that is one addiction that is even harder to kick then any drug or narcotic on this earth.
The heat finally did come and we had a short early season tarpon fishery. The trickle didn’t last long as the big strings showed almost immediately after we witnessed the trickle. Hoards of tarpon showed up this year into all of the Florida Keys. The numbers of fish hooked; seen and heard spoke for itself this year as they proved this year to be the best year of tarpon fishing in a long long time. No cold spell, fish kill, nor bad press can hold back all the fish from spilling in and eating a well placed fly. This is what most of us has hoped and dreamed for all winter long as we sat on our tying benches cranking out green toads and other variations of this tried and true fly. Speaking for myself, I have had the most incredible year of tarpon fishing yet. I recently spent a few days on the water throwing at my share of tarpon and witnessing the best days ever. We had days with numbers going 5 for 16, 3 for 9, 1 for 3 on a slow day on the ocean (which is not bad considering we fed 3 hard to catch ocean fish under the toughest conditions), etc… Within all the madness, I managed to somehow managed to burn through half the tarpon flies out of my box and spend my nights desperately trying to replenish that spent supply. This year gave way for lost of creative thoughts and also my development of 2 new deadly laid up tarpon patterns (no, these will not be pictured anytime soon). To call this incredible would be an understatement.
Thanks to all my buddies who joined me out on the water these last few days and to David McCleaf for capturing more of the incredible fish porn on the skiff with us.
I head out to Fort Myers tomorrow to join my buddies Capt. Rick De Paiva, David McCleaf, Sam Root, and Capt. Colby Hane for a weekend of poon fishing on the west coast. Flies will be demolished, rods will be bent (and possibly blown up), wills will be shattered (hopefully the fish’s), and great times will be had. Stay tuned… this should be a season to remember.