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Rod Review

The Search For One: Eclectic Versatility in the 2 Hole. The G.Loomis NRX 852C


Date: 9/3/12
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: G.Loomis
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.92 - EDITOR'S CHOICE!

There is perhaps, no more nostalgic a rod company for me than G.Loomis. My first "quality" casting rod was an IM6 - a rod I had since passed down to my nephew. I had that rod paired with a Shimano Chronarch 100a, and it was a combo recommended to me during my formative tackle years by Jonah Li of Hi's Tackle Box. It was an IM6 CR721.


In 2012, G.Loomis did something they hadn't done in a very long time. With the introduction of NRX, they created a stir.

I took a hiatus from bass fishing from 1996 - 2003, working instead on my career and my other favorite hobby, cycling. When I returned to the world of tackle, I celebrated with a new combo purchased again from Hi's Tackle Box. And once again, I selected G.Loomis with an MBR782C IMX. Jonah suggested I pair it up with the popular Curado B series, but the green monster wouldn't do. It just didn't feel right, certainly didn't match the graphics of the IMX, and afterall a couple of other friends purchased that reel on my suggestion years ago so I couldn't copy them. No, I had to have another Chronarch, so a 101SF it was, and when paired with the IMX, it matched the gold highlight threads of that stick perfectly. I remember the moment as if it were yesterday because Jonah gave me such a look of surprise. We hadn't seen each other in years and he obviously was not aware of my ascension to the dark side.

I took a hiatus from fishing from 1996 - 2003 focusing instead on my career and another hobby of mine, cycling.

It's been nearly 10 years since that moment, and yes, my reputation along with my tackle collection has grown even more, but during that time my affection for the G.Loomis product had really waned. It's no secret that my preference in a fishing combo is in a rod and reel that are not only functional, but aesthetically inspiring as well. It just adds to the joy of the moment when fishing with tools that have an indescribable allure rather than a combo that simply gets the job done. That allure may be in the tools' aesthetics, their exclusivity, the pains you went through to acquire them, their feel, or any combination of these and other factors. Whatever the case may be, what they inspire is a connection beyond utility and one that is only understood by those with a similar affliction - that of the tackle enthusiast.

When I returned, the first combo I purchased was a Shimano Chronarch 101 SF paired with an MBR782C IMX.

For G.Loomis, up until recently, it was all about GLX. The original MBR GLX series remain among my favorite sticks and blanks of all time. In fact, I have two custom rods built on the MBR843C GLX blank even though the MBR842C GLX is probably my favorite (that blank was made not available for purchase). When G.Loomis introduced the BCR series, I was all over it - until I fished them. Something about those sticks just did not agree with me. Don't get me wrong they were, and still are, wonderful tools, but for me, they were just too much utility and not enough "it".

Jonah of Hi's TackleBox was astonished at how strong the dark side was in me.

So, I left for greener pastures - "Evergreen-er" to be exact and another company that can be mistaken for a saleable feature in a Sony stereo component - "Megabass". Certainly there are others in the mix like the Daiwa's Steez and Zillion rods, Shimano's Final Dimension, St. Croix's Legend Elite, even the Kistler's Z-Bone sticks featuring blanks built by Gary Loomis's new company North Fork Composites, and I'm sure many more that escape my conscious thought right now. But when it comes down "it", those companies from overseas are most consistent in their selection of characteristics that when assembled as a whole into a fishing rod, inspire me. I had all but forgotten about G.Loomis.

If you've paid attention to the site, you know that was mere child's play.

In 2010, G.Loomis finally changed things up and moved forward. Rather than continuing to offer mysterious blends of their existing GLX, IMX, GL3 and other materials, in technique specific tapers with obscure, species specific cosmetics they went back to the drawing board and introduced a new blank, a new cosmetic, a new everything right down to their warranty and replacement policy. What did they do? With the introduction of NRX, G.Loomis created a stir.

NRX gave me an opportunity to rediscover the joy I had lost in fishing the G.Loomis product.

In fact, with the controversy that ensued, it quickly elevated from stir to blend then beat, fluff and ultimately whip. Yes, G.Loomis as a brand was taking a beating on everything from quality control of their NRX sticks to the way they handled an update to their 10 year old no-fault replacement policy.

And what a joy it has been - do not try this at home, professional tackle tester at work using an NRX 852C JWR as a frog stick!?!

I loved it. Nothing inspires me more to check out a product that might interest me than people expressing their disdain and dissatisfaction in our discussion forum. Why? Because it motivates me to check things out for myself and build an experience to form my own opinion. Of course, I had already seen the rods at ICAST 2010, but seeing the rods at a trade show and using one out on the water are two entirely different experiences. Off to Hi's Tackle Box I went to visit Jonah Li and pick out a new G.Loomis stick. Introducing our look at G.Loomis's NRX 852C JWR.

G.Loomis NRX 852C JWR Specifications

Material G.Loomis NRX
Length 7'-1"
Line Wt. 10 - 14 lb
Lure Wt. 1/4 - 3/8 oz
Pieces one
Guides 3 - Fuji Ti/Sic + 8 REC + Tip Tip
Power Rating Medium
Taper Extra-Fast
Rod Weight 3.7 oz
Origin Made in the USA
MSRP $475

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