Performance at a Premium: The G. Loomis NRX 9 Weight
Total Score: 8.16 -
G. Loomis GLX was (and to some, still is) the gold standard for fly rods. While
the classic GLX fly rod line has since been whittled down to just a handful of
two piece rods, the CrossCurrent GLX series still marches on after many years on
the market. Drastically different in appearance from the standard GLX lineup,
they offer powerful tapers that are excellent for various saltwater
applications. Although these rods were the top saltwater offerings for several
years, the ultra-premium NRX fly rods have since taken over the top position as
the premier saltwater and freshwater fly rods. These rods are not simply mild
upgrades over GLX models; they feature all new materials and construction
processes. In this review, I take the 4 piece 9 weight model out to see how it
performs on some of our local saltwater species!
G.Loomis NRX 1089-4 Fly Rod
Most of you are probably familiar with the cosmetics of the original NRX rods.
They feature the very hard-to-miss matte gray blank adorned with baby-blue
wraps. This stark contrast is still a bit too much for some people to handle.
Just like the casting and spinning models, all NRX fly rods are also available
in the green color scheme for a more subdued look. While that shade is nice and
all, I am slightly more partial to the original color scheme. It took me awhile
to warm up to, but I have come to like it, yet not quite love it.
NRX rods feature eye-catching cosmetics that easily sets them apart.
The reel seat of the 1089-4 NRX features a bluish-gray graphite weave with an
edgy G. Loomis logo. To securely capture the reel, there is a generous
up-locking flanged ring along with a ported sliding ring. The ring combo looks
like it should work fine, but I am not a big fan of this setup. The flanges on
the main ring are downright uncomfortable to use when locking a reel down tight.
I commonly have to wear a glove or use some type of material over my hand to
avoid hurting my fingers while tightening down a reel.
The flanged reel seat ring begs for a redesign.
On the other hand, the main cork handle portion works well. The grip is
comprised of Korean-grown old growth high-density cork that looks unique
compared to more “standard” corks on the market. It also looks premium, as it is
very tight and lacks any visible use of fillers. Accenting the main grip is a
bit of composite cork, with a similar composite cork fighting butt.
Compared next to an 8 weight G. Loomis Pro 4X, the grip is actually smaller in
All NRX rods utilize ion-coated Recoil stripping and snake guides. You'll find a
fair amount of grief over these guides on the internet, all of which I've never
understood. I've always loved these guides, and never had a problem with them. I
applaud Loomis for using them on these NRX fly rods, as Recoil guides are pretty
much impervious to both abuse and corrosion, which makes them a smart choice for
demanding saltwater fly fishing. Many anglers fishing these heavier weight rods
will be doing so aboard a flats skiff or bay boat, and you won't have to worry
about cracking a frame or insert when sliding your rod in and out of the
horizontal rod holders that many of these boats feature.
Recoil guides make these rods even tougher!
Real World Test:
The 1089-4 NRX was tested strictly in south Florida saltwater. The ultimate test
came during a day of offshore fly fishing out of West Palm Beach, but more on
that later. An Abel Super 9 reel was the sole reel used on the NRX, and a WF9F
Rio Tropical Taper as well as a 10 weight Scientific Anglers clear intermediate
tarpon line were thrown on the rod.
The rod loads a bit deeper up-lined with a 10 weight intermediate, but handles
the line with ease. It should also be a great stick for Striper anglers throwing
bulky flies on 300, 350, or maybe even 400 grain shooting lines.
Next Section: Long distance casting performance