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.
Rod: G Loomis NRX 9 foot, 9 Weight Fly Rod
Reel: Nautilus NV G8 Fly Reel
The latest and greatest from G Loomis has finally dropped in stores and I was one of the fortunate ones who got to take one out for a test spin. We put the new G Loomis NRX 9 foot, 9wt Flyrod to the test on some bonefish flats in the upper Keys this past weekend. Brewing storms around us made for a little bit of wind in the AM but it eventually slicked off through the day so we got to test the 9wt NRX out in the whole gammut of conditions. We arrived at our destination to be greeted by my favorite silvery frustration… cracked out bonefish. The fish seemed tense and moving at an erratic pace. I had to extend the leader to 20ft after the wind laid down and the NRX still had no problem turning over a weighted bonefish fly. I had a number of good shots in the next few hours and I ended up hooking 6 fish but losing 5 fish before landing one for a hero shot. Once the winds pick up and skies are clear, I can’t wait to fish this rod in Downtown Islamorada for monster bonefish.
When the winds kicked up in the AM, the NRX had no problem shooting right into it. The rod has plenty of reserve and I never once felt like the wind was going to over take the rod. While casting, both in the wind and not, you could feel where the line was at all times. Being resilient to a “muscle’d cast”, I was able to correct my loop mid cast when the fish or the wind would change directions and lay the line out where it needed to go. When needed, it took little effort to pick up the line from 50 feet out and punch it back out without having to make another false cast. The butt and mid section felt a bit stiff but not so stiff as to lose line feel. The softer tip makes up for the stiff backbone though and allows for shorter casts. The NRX also balances better with a lighter weight reel. The Nautilus NV G8 perfectly balanced out the 9wt NRX. Natuilus is one of the only reel companies building lighter weight reels that are still structurally solid to accomodate the lighter weight rods on the market today. Since, I am a firm beleiver in using clear fly lines for summer time bonefishing, I was using a Monic Clear Tropical taper, which has a longer belly and though it was great for longer casts, it took a little more manipulation for those shorter casts. When I switched out to a Monic Phantom Tip line which has fatter head and more aggressive taper, the shorter casts were easier, while it still held line in the air and shot out long casts extremely well. I would say that the best line to use on the 9wt NRX would be something between a redfish and bonefish taper as it compliments the rod’s strength extremely well. I wouldn’t go as far as over-lining the rod though as it doesn’t need to go to that extreme. I was amazed though that the line feel was still excellent even with lighter bonefish tapers. Another plus to the NRX was that even though it had the REC Recoil stripper guides, they were not noisy at all, like those on the Crosscurrents. The sensitivity of the rod is unreal as I felt every bonefish that bit the fly (I rarely felt that bite in the past when I fished other rods). At one point, I retied a lighter fly, stepped back on the casting platform and watched a group of big tailers pop out of the deep water right in front of the boat and tail 20ft in front of the skiff. I made a quick roll cast and laid the fly admist the tails. As the fly settled on the bottom I not only watched, but could also feel the bonefish pinning the fly down into the grass and knaw on it like a rabid pitbull to a chew toy. This is what makes the NRX what it is… is the sensitivity it possess while still retaining lots of backbone when you need to put the heat to a fish charging for cover. I didn end up breaking off that big fish though as one of my blood knots slipped as I was clearing line. This 9wt NRX is what I will claim to be the best all around Flyrod for fishing in South FL. If you are chasing small tarpon, redfish, bonefish, permit, and smaller pelagics, this 9wt is a must have.
The 7wt, 8wt, 9wt, 11wt, and 12wt NRX Flyrods are currently available at The Flyshop of Miami to test so if you are in South Florida and am curious to see what these rods feel like, go see Dave or Jorge at the fly shop and check them out.
I might be working on a little video clip soon so stay tuned!!
We all heard the “hype”… we all anticipated what was going to be next in the evolution of the skeleton fish… 8/13/10, Friday the 13th… NRX has finally arrived!!
The G Loomis NRX rods were officially launched tonight to the public. I was at the south FL leg of the NRX launch at the Flyshop of Miami. While at the launch, I was able to throw the whole gamut of the new G Loomis NRX Fly Rods from 7wt to 12wt. If you want the technical aspects of the NRX, you can find them on the G Loomis website, but if you are seeking the nitty gritty of how the rod performed in the hands of the fly caster then you might enjoy the following read.
Here are my initial thoughts on my favorite 3 NRX models…
7wt NRX… This is the true gem in the entire NRX Flyrod series. This rod is fast but still carries a light enough tip to make those short ninja casts when a fish pops up within pushpole stabbing range. Unlike most other 7wt rods, the NRX had the reserve to handle the wind when needed. Most importantly, of every fly rod I have ever cast in my life, the 7wt NRX had the absolute best line feel I had ever experienced. You are never lost as this rod keeps you aware of where your line is at all times so you can make the proper adjustments for your shot and not have to take your eyes off the fish. This was also a very forgiving rod, such that casts that would have fallen apart because of an error in your casting stroke were corrected with ease. Weightwise; the 7wt NRX is extremely light weight. For Sage fans, I would say the NRX weights in between the TCX and Xi3. This 7wt NRX is a must have in every summer time redfish or bonefisherman’s arsenal. I have thrown just about every flagship model 7wt from all the top flyrod manufacturers and the NRX has found it’s place at the top of that world.
9wt NRX… If I ever had to choose one rod to redfish or bonefish with for the rest of my life, it would be the 9wt NRX. I need not have to explain the versatility of a 9wt but to be specific about the NRX 9wt, it is currently my favorite 9wt Flyrod on the market today. This is the most forgiving rod in the entire NRX series as errors are corrected easy and those who decide to muscle their casts will find that this rod will still punch out the line and lay it out nicely. Unless you absolutely suck, you just can’t shock this rod. It feels as if the rod wants to cast for you. Line feel is incredible as all the technologies were put together into this rod to transfer what is going on outside the tip guide straight through the blank, through the best quality cork, and right into your hand. This 9wt rod has plenty of reserve and should punch out a wind resistant permit fly with ease if need be. The particular one I cast today had a 9wt Airflo Ridge bonefish/redfish taper line on it, which felt perfectly matched. I am going to throw a Monic clear line on there next and report back. Weight-wise, this rod is in the same weight class as the Sage Xi3, perhaps a tad bit lighter.
11wt NRX… This is “the” travel big game rod. What else can I say except that the 11wt NRX is a cannon with the weight of a small pistol. This rod is crazy light weight and as with the other NRX models, very forgiving and powerful. GTs and Tarpon around the world better say their prayers…
Stay tuned for more details and some “on the water” feedback…