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#16 (tie)   Loop Cross SW (Fast)   9 foot #8  $849.00

Loop Cross SW saltwater fly rod fast action
Loop Cross SW saltwater fly rod fast action
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George’s Notes:

I had high expectations for the Cross SW when I first flexed it in my hand, and I’m still surprised to see how far down the Shootout it finished.  This is a fast action rod with plenty of power. This is a stiff rod, and this hurt its performance at close range.  It was also one of the heavier rods in both overall and swing weights, so it lost a lot of points here, and it was more tiring to cast than much lighter rods like the Asquith, Meridian, Helios 3F and Exocett.  Despite its heavier weight, it did perform very well at medium to longer distances, here matching many of the best rods.

The craftsmanship is top shelf.  This is a very attractive rod, finished in a dark midnight blue, with black wraps that include a little red on the butt section.  The epoxy coatings on the wraps were very well done.  I also like the use of alignment dots on each section.  Loop uses a full wells handle with contrasting corks at top and bottom and a fairly large swell in the middle of the grip.  The reel seat is a gray anodized, double uplocking affair, but a very unusual design.  Rather than an insert, they use three round aluminum legs that allow you to see the actual blank in the middle of the seat.  The locking rings are larger than most, with a nylon insert on the bottom ring that provided a very secure lock-up on the reel.  The large diameter cap of composite cork on the fighting butt looks comfortable, and matches the cork on the handle.

The top-notch guide set up utilizes two large titanium SiC stripping guides and then excellent flexible nickel/titanium snake guides, in a large size and dark color.  An oversize tip- top is used.  Like the Loop Q, this rod is designed in Sweden and manufactured in Korea.  

Performance at 35 feet:  18.5 points out of 20

The stiffness and heavy swing weight hurt both the feel and accuracy in close. All the top rods were better here.

Performance at 60 feet:  19.5 points out of 20

With more line in the air I’m getting nice tight loops with excellent accuracy.  But the rod still feels heavy in hand. The Asquith and Meridian threw even tighter loops and were much more pleasant to cast.  

Performance at 80 feet:  19.5 points out of 20

Tracks well, with lots of power on tap. This is a great rod at mid to long range.   Only the Asquith and NRX were better.

Performance at 100 feet:  19 points out of 20

Carries a lot of line in the air easily, and gave me good accuracy.   As good as the Meridian and Exocett, with only the Asquith and NRX better. 

8. (tie) Loop Cross SW – Fast 9’#8 4pc $849

Loop Cross SX
Loop Cross SX
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James’ Notes:

I love everything about the Loop Cross SW except for its slightly heavier swing weight.  It is smooth, powerful, and accurate.  This is probably not the best choice if you are looking for an all-around rod, but it is a terrific choice if you are looking primarily for a saltwater 8-weight that casts well in the wind and handles the longer distances with ease.  A true powerhouse, this rod will not disappoint anyone who needs to rely on a rod that will deliver 80-100 foot casts consistently and with good accuracy.

I like what Loop has done with full wells grip on the Cross SW.  It feels very comfortable.  The large guides may be overkill, but they do give you a good chance to survive a line tangle.  

1st impressions:  Interesting grip with a similar swell to the Meridian’s but closer to the middle of the cork.   Not the lightest rod.  Big beefy guides.

Performance at 35 feet: 18 points out of 20

A lot heavier feel than the Asquith, and not nearly as accurate. Short distance is not this rod’s forte. 

Performance at 60 feet: 19 points out of 20

Smooth, strong power but the heavier swing weight is noticeable.  Once you do get the rod in motion there is a ton of power behind it, which seemed to help when casting in a strong wind.

Performance at 80 feet: 19.5 points out of 20

Prepare to launch because this rod is a cannon!  I would have scored it a perfect 20 but the Asquith has the same kind of freight train power yet feels much lighter.  

Performance at 100 feet: 19.5 points out of 20

Mega power, but this rod requires a lot more effort than the Asquith to get it going.  It reminds me a of heavier drift boat that takes several strokes to get going, but then coasts once you get it in motion.   

#6. (tie)  Loop Cross SW – Fast   $849.00

Loop Cross SX
Loop Cross SX
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Logan’s Notes: 

The Loop Cross SW-Fast was near the top of my list because it was such a smooth casting machine.  It has a modern look with the same triangular, 3-pin aluminum reel seat that’s found on the other Loop Cross rods.  It had a heavier swing weight than the other rods we tried, but it wasn’t as heavy as the Douglas rods or the St. Croix LE.  I found the Cross SW to be very accurate despite its higher swing weight.

Performance at 35 feet: 19 out of 20

The Loop Cross SW-Fast was a stiffer action rod but performed surprisingly well at 35 feet. 

Performance at 60 feet: 19.5 out of 20

I was really enjoyed the Cross SW at 60 feet.  It was heavier in hand than rods like Scott Meridian but was just as accurate at 60 feet.

Performance at 80 feet: 19.5 out of 20

At 80 feet the Cross SW was one of my favorite rods.  It had a ton of power behind it and didn’t want to “fold” in the butt section when you really whaled on it.

14. (tie)  Loop Cross SW Fast   57/60    $849.00

Loop Cross SX
Loop Cross SX
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JG’s Notes:

The Cross SW is a really powerful rod.  I liked the feel in hand thanks to its good grip, although it was a little heavy compared to others.  I docked it for its stiffness and lack of feel for close range targets.  However I was still able to accurately hit the marks without being overly aggressive.  At longer range I didn’t give it full marks because it felt like I was working too hard, most likely due to the rod’s stiffness and heavier swing weight.  I think Loop is really close with this rod. It just needs a small amount of tweaking to be really good.

Performance at 35 feet:  19

I thought the Cross SW was good here.  It’s a little too stiff at short distance to get top marks, but I was getting good accuracy and a decent delivery. 

Performance at 60 feet:  19

I thought the Cross SW was pretty good here.  It cast well, with good accuracy and a good amount of feel. I docked it a half point here because it just doesn’t create line speed as well as some of the other rods.

Performance at 80 feet:  19

The 80 ft. targets left me with a really similar impression to the 60 ft. targets.  I felt the rod cast well enough, but I was working too hard to get the results I wanted.   This made it tough for me to cope with the wind if it started to kick up. 

Performance at 100 feet:

This was one of the rods that I had trouble with hitting the longest distance.