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G.Loomis Asquith
G.Loomis Asquith
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George’s Comments:

We first got a look and a chance to cast the new Asquith rods at the ICAST show last July.  Everyone that cast these rods was impressed.  All the models I cast were terrific.  From what I’ve seen and experienced fishing this rod for Atlantic salmon, their 8-weight will be a serious contender to win our next 8-weight Shootout.  The blanks for this rod are made by Shimano in Japan, with a new technique of combining spiral wraps of graphite, one wrap running one way and another in the opposite direction, with a flat sheet of graphite in between.  This new process produces a very light and very strong rod, and the performance is impressive, especially at mid to long distances.  It was the only rod together with the Sky to get a perfect score at 75 feet.   

This is a great looking rod with a dark green finish that sparkles in the sunlight. The wraps are a complementary dark green.  The guide set up is the best I’ve ever seen from Loomis.  Finally, they ditched those wire recoil stripping guides and replace them with single, light Torzite style guide.  The rest of the guides are the flexible and unbreakable nickel/titanium snake guides.  The handle is a comfortable Western style grip, with narrow rings and extremely fine quality cork.  The reel seat is also better than what Loomis has given us in the past – a very easy to grip, single ring up locking seat, and this one locks up very positively.  The wood insert is also made with narrow rings of bamboo with a beautiful finish and look.  Overall this is a really classy looking rod.

This is the first production rod to break the $1000 price point but I don’t see why that should slow any one down that is willing to lay out $795 to $895, and we have six other rods in our shootout in this category.  Once they get this rod in their hands and see how well this rod performs, the high price isn’t that big of a deterrent. 

The warranty policy on this rod is both good and bad.  The popular Loomis Expeditor policy still applies, however if you break the Asquith, Loomis will charge your credit card $250, (but then at least you will get a brand new rod in just a few days).  This is similar to the great Expeditor policy for the NRX rods where the price is only $100.  The beauty of this plan is that you get a rod back in your hands very quickly, and for most people this is a whole lot better than waiting 4-6 weeks in the middle of your fishing season! 

Another thing to keep in mind is that this Asquith is one of the strongest and toughest rods ever built–so if you are reasonably careful there isn’t much danger of it breaking.    

George’s casting notes:    The perfect line-  S.A. MPX in WF-6-F

Performance at 30 feet:  19 points out of 20

The accuracy was simply amazing but I just didn’t have the feel I got from some of the other top rods.

Performance at 50 feet:   19.5 points out of 20

Smooth, tight loops and this rod tracks beautifully.   I was tempted to give it a 20 here but the Sky and Cross SX were marginally better.

Performance at 75 feet:   20 points out of 20

At long range, nothing beats the Asquith.   This rod has explosive performance on tap when you need it.   Very tight loops and superb accuracy.  

G. Loomis Asquith
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James’ Comments:

Simply put, if I could take home any rod from the shootout this would be it.  The main reasons are how well it casts, how durable it is, and its supreme level of craftsmanship.  

First off, this rod casts some of the tightest loops I’ve ever seen, and due to its smooth power delivery design I rarely threw a tailing loop.  It was hands down the best rod in the wind (and one of the only rods that I’d want to fish in 25 mph + gusting wind).   The rod was deadly accurate at all distances but really wanted to cast 40-60 feet and beyond.  I can’t think of a better rod for competitive casting competitions.

These days, when anglers are traveling half way around the world to fish, durability is a big deal.  It is inconvenient to break a rod anywhere when you are on a trip, but if you are paying thousands of dollars to be in a bucket list destination like New Zealand or Patagonia it would be nice to enjoy your “starting stick” instead of a cheap back up the whole week.  Buying a rod you know is durable makes a lot of sense, even if your initial investment will cost you more. 

Regarding strength, G. Loomis did a lot of testing to make sure all Asquith models meet their own bending strength criteria.  They are claimed to be stronger than all competitors’ rods they have checked.  While we wish we could get our hands on a strength-bending machine, at this point we’ll have to take G. Loomis’ word for it.  We simply can’t afford to buy 16 rods and purposely break them!  After fishing my own CrossCurrent for nearly 10 years, I have always felt G. Loomis rods were stronger than anything else. 

The Craftsmanship on the Asquith shines through.  I love their elegant bamboo reel seat insert.  The bamboo insert barrel is made by the same company that makes Lexus steering wheels, if that tells you anything about the quality.  A closer inspection of the western style grip used reveals much thinner cork rings than used by nearly all other manufacturers.  I like the quality hardware on the reel seat as well, with larger threads which won’t get mud or silt stuck in them, sometimes making it harder to remove your reel as with some other brands.  Although there is only one lock ring, it appears to be a job done well.  The alignment dots all match perfectly and help with putting the rod together quickly.

I was surprised to learn that the blanks for G. Loomis’ first $1000 rod are made in Japan, but in the end it doesn’t bother me too much.  Shimano’s factory in Kumamoto does a fantastic job with the blanks and then G. Loomis in Woodland Washington builds the final rod.  

There are only a couple nitpicks I have about the Asquith. The first is its lack of feel in close.  I wish the tip were a tad softer to make it the perfect all around rod, but that is the price for having a true mid and long distance weapon in your hands. 

The second is the name.  While this rod may be silent and deadly, any name that remotely sounds like “ass queef” isn’t exactly a turn on. 

Lastly, if I were to actually pay $1000 for a rod it would be nice to have a classier rod inscription and butt cap, (i.e. Tom Morgan Rodsmiths or  Winston’s beautiful hand written inscriptions and engraved butt caps).  If a rod is going to cost that much money, Shimano can afford to pay an artist to inscribe rods and come up with an engraved fish logo for the butt cap.  Not that it’s a deal breaker, but I don’t find the extra rod information particularly aesthetic either:  690-4   9’0”   #6  4 pc G.Loomis Shimano EL.  And I didn’t like the “attention lightning and power line” warning permanently fixed onto the rod.   

Performance at 30 feet:  18.5 points out of 20

Superbly accurate but I’m not getting as much feedback from the rod as I would like.  For my tastes it’s too stiff at 30 feet with very little feel.  The only rod that had less feel at this distance for me was the Scott Meridian. 

Performance at 50 feet:  19.5 points out of 20

Again, superb accuracy.  I think this rod throws the tightest loops of all the 6-weights.  If accuracy is the most important thing for you, look no further – you’ve found your rod.  I would have given it a perfect 20 but both the Douglas Sky and Loop Cross SX had a little more feel to them.   That being said I can’t think of a better rod for casting competition purposes. 

Performance at 75 feet:  20 points out of 20

Best in Test.  Although the Douglas Sky and SX also received perfect scores at 75 feet, the edge would go to the Asquith.  It simply kicks ass when it comes to windy conditions or throwing the whole line.  This Asquith is my favorite rod for power to weight ratio, (as in the most amount of power while maintaining the lightest swing weight possible).

G. Loomis Asquith 9'#6
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Logan’s Comments:

The G. Loomis Asquith was my pick for the best six weight.  It is an absolute killer rod when it came to performance.  It was my top rod in accuracy and casting performance, but what put this rod over the top for me was its craftsmanship.  I don’t see a rod on the rack that I like looking at, and holding, more than this.  The finish is stunning, the cork is perfect and the reel seat is like no reel seat I’ve seen.  The G. Loomis Asquith is the rod you want. 

Logan’s Casting Notes: 

Performance at 30 feet: 19 points out of 20

The G. Loomis Asquith was surprisingly accurate at 30 feet.  I say surprising, because in the hand the Asquith has a very fast tip.  It has more feel than you’d think once you start casting it.  It went exactly where I wanted it to every time.  There were other rods I liked better at this distance but all around accuracy at any distance, the Asquith can’t be beat.

Performance at 50 feet: 20 points out of 20

This is where the Asquith started to sing.  “Wow” was the word I kept saying.  Anywhere I wanted the Asquith to go, it did.

Performance at 75 feet: 20 points out of 20

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “perfect rod.”  I can barely cast 75 feet but I was doing so on a consistent basis and accurately.  This is a case and point on how a rod can make you a better caster.

G.Loomis Asqeeth
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JG’s Comments:

The Asquith by G. Loomis is an interesting rod for many reasons, not the least of which is the name but I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about that since this shootout is based on performance.  Despite the strange name, which I think harkens back to an 18th century British Libertarian party leader, there are a lot of really neat things going on with this rod that translate to better performance in an angler’s hand.  In a nutshell the new Spiral X technology from Loomis adds strength, rigidity, and decreases ovalization in the rod blank resulting in better transmission of energy.  So does it work?

30 Feet: 18 points out of 20

Not so much at 30.  The action of this rod is simply too fast to load at such short distance.  There isn’t much sensitivity and it’s hard to be delicate.  It tracks exceptionally well at this and all distances which makes it very accurate, but I could be just as accurate throwing a baseball and have similar results to casting this rod in close.

50  Feet:  20 points out of 20

When you get a little more line out and there’s a little more mass to load the rod it really does come to life. I felt more connected to the fly at the tip of my leader than I ever have.  It still has a lot of power so the angler still has to be on his or her game not to put the fly down too aggressively but accuracy was great, sensitivity was great and it was easy to find my mark with tight laser speed loops every time.

75 Feet:  20 points out of 20

Long distance work is the Asquith’s bread and butter.  The rod’s super fast action gives it a ton of power that it uses to fight wind, hard to cast flies, and strike with pinpoint accuracy.  A great rod at distance, the Asquith won’t be for everyone, but technical casters that like to (or need to) reach out to long range targets will find that this rod fits the bill extremely well. 

G.Loomis Asquith
G.Loomis Asquith
G.Loomis Asquith
G.Loomis Asquith
G.Loomis Asquith
G.Loomis Asquith
G.Loomis Asquith
buy now