The G. Loomis Pro 4X 1088-4 is the best of both worlds!
Total Score: 8.75 -
most anglers know, G. Loomis is one of the leaders in cutting edge graphite
technology and rod construction. In the fly fishing marketplace, their rods
have always been regarded as some of the best available. While the NRX series
leads their fly rod lineup, the high cost they command is outside of many
anglers' budgets. Introduced at the 2011 ICAST trade show, the new Pro 4X
series of fly rods from G. Loomis is advertised as offering an extremely high
level of performance for a very modest price. After acquiring the 9 foot 8
weight model, it was time to hit the water and see what this rod could do!
4X 1088-4 Fly Rod
GL3 and NRX graphite, Fuji
aluminum oxide stripping guides, stainless steel snake guides, black
aluminum reel seat.
G. Loomis continues to step away from their famed “matte” finished rods of the
past and further diversifies the appearance of their offerings with these Pro 4X
rods. While many anglers still have a special place in their hearts for the
look of the classic Loomis rods, the new appearance of this lineup is definitely
The Pro 4X is
thoughtfully designed from end to end.
The dark composite cork fighting butt gives a very utilitarian look
transitioning into the black aluminum reel seat. Up locking rings secure the
reel thanks in part to large, easy to grip flanges that make twisting a snap. A
white “Fear No Fish” logo adorns the top of the reel seat for added detail. The
full wells grip is very comfortable and sized correctly. The cork quality seems
excellent, with no pits or obvious use of big fillers used.
The handle is
extremely comfortable and is the perfect length and thickness.
The blank itself is an interesting design. The first 3 sections are constructed
of GL3 material for durability and lifting power, while the tip section uses NRX
material for additional lightness and improved accuracy. G. Loomis wanted the
Pro 4X series to have a lightweight feel, which this rod delivers well.
The blank cosmetics are tastefully done and well executed. The olive green
blank features complimenting light olive wraps, and a bit of gold trim is used
on the first wrap above the logo. The guides used are Fuji aluminum oxide
stripping guides, and stainless steel snake guides.
The cosmetics of
the Pro 4X look great and are even better in person.
Real World Test:
While an 8 weight is an incredibly versatile fly rod size, I chose to test this
rod targeting Snook in southwest Florida. Airflo Ridge, as well as Rio
Saltwater Taper lines were used. To see how the Pro 4X handled the heft of
sinking lines, 26ft sink tip lines in 300 and 350 grain sizes were also lawn
guides are sized correctly and provide easy line flow.
I have to give the rod high marks in this department. This is not an ultra fast
blank, nor is it the most crisp, but it casts with a butter smooth fast action
and feels satisfying in hand. Every caster has different perceptions on what
rod is perfect for them, but this one fit me very well. With floating lines it
has excellent feel up close and out far, and because of that I experienced
consistently solid accuracy with it.
Snake guides and
the tip top are sized just right. This aided with casting and made clearing
leader knots easy.
Speaking of casting at different distances, that is one thing that really
surprises me about the rod. Up close out to mid range with a floater, it loads
and fishes very well. At first, I thought with that kind of performance at
close to moderate distances it would likely run out of steam when casting long.
That is not the case! It is extremely easy to consistently throw far while
using a floating line. It's not all that difficult to carry a lot of line in
the air and shoot the entire length out of the guides plus a few feet of
backing. If you don't demand ultra fast action, this stick is tough to beat!
Casting this rod
is a lot of fun simply because it's so smooth and easy to throw.
Also pleasing is the Pro 4X's capability with a high density sinking line. I
honestly do favor a bit stiffer stick for muscling these lines and the often
bulky flies accompanying them, but the Pro 4X was more than adequate for the
job. Picking just one density line for the rod (pay attention Striper anglers!)
a 300 grain would be about perfect.
Power to handle Tarpon and Snook?