Performance at a Premium: The G. Loomis NRX 9 Weight
At short range with a WF9F line, the rod is pleasing. Like many fast sticks the
NRX is a bit stiff in super tight, but thanks to a bit of “give” in the tip I
still feel just fine fishing in close and experience some good accuracy. This is
not a moderate dry fly trout rod by any stretch, but for a powerful,
saltwater-oriented rod I feel it shouldn't disappoint anyone at close range.
Each piece features alignment dots.
From medium to long distances with the floater, this rod really feels sweet. It
is easy to cast at the most common fishing ranges of 30 to 60 feet, but has
brute reserve power to cast into the backing without breaking a sweat. I have
thrown many rods in my time that were what I call “compromise rods”. What I mean
by this is that they might be strong at a certain distance, but weak or just
fair otherwise. My last 9 weight was exactly that; it was good at throwing
medium to long, but when a short cast was needed it was one of the few rods I've
ever fished that felt completely lifeless.
All guides feature a dark, stealthy look.
The NRX 1089-4 is not only a strong performer at all ranges, but it doesn't
demand an ultra precise stroke to achieve some great results. Some saltwater fly
rods are ultra-fast, requiring perfect timing just to make them perform as
advertised. What fun is that? The NRX 1089-4 has a solid fast action that is
forgiving enough to deliver the goods without requiring total perfection. It's
also extremely smooth and provides plenty of feedback while the line is in the
air to help you feel the rod load.
Rapidly reeling in line as a hefty false albacore heads for the boat!
A common weak point of some saltwater fly rods is their lack of power. In my
opinion, there is no excuse for a heavier duty rod with a wimpy backbone.
Whether manufacturers don't feel it's necessary, or they are trying to cut down
on overall weight with a slimmer blank, power is very important when it comes to
fly rods designed to target big fish! Thankfully, it looks like G. Loomis nailed
it with this rod. It has gobs of lifting power for a 9 weight, but still
actually feels like a 9 weight! The blanks also seems to be extremely
durable when subjected to extreme punishment. How do I know this? I spent a day
with a friend offshore of Florida's east coast chasing false albacore on the
Build quality on this particular rod was excellent.
For those of you not familiar with these fish, they are unbelievably strong for
their size. The vast majority of them will take you well into the backing and
slug it out deep, requiring robust backbone to pull the fish up vertically from
the depths. The fact that numerous bull sharks were also around meant that I had
to keep intense pressure on the fish at all times. The NRX never felt outmatched
by these fish, which ranged up to 13lbs that day. At one point, a hooked false
albacore surprised me by streaking around the transom at lightning speed,
pinning the middle portion of my rod against the side of the starboard outboard
for a good 10 seconds. The unnatural and very scary bend put into the NRX made
me think that my test was going to come to a premature close, but I was able to
recover and the rod amazingly resisted splintering into several pieces.
You'll find a cool G. Loomis logo on the top of the reel seat.
Price, Warranty, Applications:
Let's make the pricing portion of this short and sweet. To get your hands on a
1089-4 NRX you'll have to shell out $815.00. It's among the most expensive 9
weights on the market, but is also one of the best performers. Is the price
worth it? That's for you and your wallet to decide.
All NRX rods feature the “Wild Card” warranty program in addition to the
standard warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. This unique Wild
Card warranty entitles an NRX owner to a special card that allows them a one
time, free, no questions asked rod replacement regardless of the cause of
A black rod tube and soft rod sock are included for protection.
An 8 weight is viewed widely as an extremely versatile saltwater rod, but I've
always considered the 9 to be a very close second. It is good for a huge range
of species like snook, bonefish, baby tarpon, redfish, and stripers...to name a
few! Saltwater anglers are often plagued with wind, and a 9 weight will cut
through a stiff breeze more effectively than the standard 8 weight.
Typically, a 10-12 weight is better suited for big Florida false albacore, but a
proper 9 weight like the NRX will whip powerful fish like this in short order
without exhausting the fish
Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide)
1089-4 Fly Rod
features high grade materials and has excellent quality craftsmanship.
best 9 weight on the market? I haven't thrown them all, but this rod is a
pleasure to cast and is very powerful to boot!
expensive but when it comes to a quality blank you get what you pay for
components and I love the use of Recoil guides
I like the
slightly smaller grip. In hand, the rod feels light but not shockingly so.
The major gripe here is the reel seat locking ring...it's extremely
versatile as an 8 weight!
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
Pluses and Minuses:
+ Solid casting at all ranges
seat ring design|
+ Top notch
materials and components
+ Nice rod
tube and sock
+ Wild Card
have become a huge fan of the entire NRX line of rods. Sure, the cosmetics were
a bit hard to accept at first, but the performance is simply impressive. I enjoy
fishing this rod so much I actually feel a bit sad when there isn't a use for
it! It's a blast to fish and I often pick it up off my rack just to admire it.
Who knows how long it will be until the next graphite revolution from G. Loomis,
but it's hard to imagine something better than the NRX. Then again, it was hard
to imagine anything better than the GLX!
big thanks to my friend and guide Captain Scott Hamilton of
www.flyfishingextremes.com for helping with some
of the “torture testing” of the NRX 1089-4!