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#16 (tie)      Loop Q     9 foot #8        $229.00

Loop Q fly rod
Loop Q fly rod
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George’s Notes:

We were delighted with the performance of this new rod from Loop, considering its crazy low price.  The Q is a medium fast action rod with a slightly softer tip than the Cross SW, and this helped give it more feel and accuracy in close.  But at longer distances the Cross SW and the better rods blew it away. 

The Q is a good-looking rod, with much better components than we expected to see in this price range.  Another thing that impressed me was its extremely light swing weight that matched some of the best rods.  This will be a very pleasant rod to cast and fish all day.

The blank itself is finished in a medium matte gray, with lighter gray wraps trimmed in red on the butt section.  Loop uses a full wells cork handle with contrasting cork rings at top and bottom.  The cork handle had more filler than I’d like to see – the quality of cork used was not nearly as good as on the Cross SX.  Its matte gray anodized double uplocking seat matches the color of the blank.  The rings were fairly large and pretty easy to grip.  The bottom ring has a thin nylon insert on the top, which helped give a positive lock up with a heavier reel.  A short fighting butt is used that has a wide composite cork on the end for comfort while fighting fish.  The guide set up is only one SiC stripping guide, followed up with large size hard chrome snake guides and an oversize tiptop.  This rod is designed by Loop in Sweden, but produced in Korea.

Performance at 35 feet:  19 points out of 20

The softer tip gave me pretty good feel and even better accuracy than with the Cross SW.  Shorter distances are the sweet spot for this rod.

Performance at 60 feet:  18.5 points out of 20

Decent, but not nearly as good as the Cross SW or the DXF.

Performance at 80 feet:  18.5 points out of 20

The lack of stiffness hurt at long range.  As good as the Aetos, but both the BVK and SKY were much better.

Performance at 100 feet:  18 points out of 20

The lack of guts and butt section power compared to the Cross SW made it difficult for me to hit the 100-foot mark.

11.   Loop Q   9’#8  4pc   $229

Loop Q
Loop Q
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James’ Notes:

The Loop Q was another pleasant surprise in our Shootout.  The Fenwick Aetos (at $189.95) now faces some real competition when it comes to the best inexpensive 8-weight.  I was really impressed with how this rod performed at 6o and 80 feet, especially considering the price.  If Loop gave us a nicer cork grip, I could see the Loop Q being competitive at the $350-450 price mark.   

Look out TFO, Redington, Mystic, and Fenwick – there is a new player in town!

1st impressions:  The quality of cork feels cheap compared to other cork handles.  Otherwise, amazing performance for the money.

Performance at 35 feet: 17.5 points out of 20

The rod feels light and the fast action feels just right! But I’m not getting the same accuracy and feel I got with the top rods.

Performance at 60 feet: 18.5 points out of 20

With a nice blend of power and feel, at 60 feet the Loop Q feels more and more like an expensive rod.  I was tempted to give this rod a 19+ score but the other rods were still a tad more accurate.

Performance at 80 feet: 18.5 points out of 20

The Q is much softer than the Loop Cross SW, so you’ll want to take your time and slow down your casting stroke. Punching it hard doesn’t work well. Just take it easy and let the rod do the work for you.

Performance at 100 feet: 18.5 points out of 20

Difficult, but doable.  As long as you have your timing right this rod won’t buckle, but if you punch it too quickly, expect tailing loops.

#20.  Loop Q    $229.00

Loop Q
Loop Q
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Logan’s Notes:

The Loop Q is a very nice 8-weight rod.  If it weren’t for the longer distance performance, the Q would have been one of my favorite rods in the Shootout.  If you are looking for an inexpensive streamer rod, the Q is a winner.  The Q has a nice soft tip, making it a pleasure to cast at 35 and 60 feet.  I also really like the cosmetics of the Q.  The cork isn’t the highest quality, but that’s about the only downside to the Q’s appearance. 

Performance at 35 feet: 19 out of 20

The Loop Q was a great rod at 35 feet.  It has a nice soft tip and was extremely accurate.

Performance at 60 feet: 18 out of 20

At 60 feet the Loop Q dropped a point.  My accuracy wasn’t very consistent with the Q at 60 feet.

Performance at 80 feet: 16.5 out of 20

This is where the Q really struggled.  If I needed to cast 80 feet there was no problem, but I sacrificed accuracy when I laid into it.

18.  Loop Q   56/60    $229.00

Loop Q fly rod
Loop Q fly rod
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JG’s Notes:

I thought the Q was a smoother casting rod than the Loop Cross SW.  Looking at the huge difference in price- over $600.00, the Q has a lot going for it.  The Q is not quite as stiff as the Cross SW, and little lighter in both overall and swing weights.  I did notice a lack of feel and accuracy and this is what cost this rod a better score.

Performance at 35 feet:  18.5

The Q wasn’t bad at short range.  I liked the flex and feel, but the accuracy was not as good as I had expected. The Q felt heavier in hand than some, which I would say, hurt my accuracy more than anything.

Performance at 60 feet:  19

I liked the Q the most at mid-range.  The accuracy improved and it still had good flex and feedback.

Performance at 80 feet:  18.5

80 ft. was about the max distance for this rod.  Accuracy dropped off too, but wasn’t terrible.  Being a little softer than some rods in the test probably hurt it most here.  There were many other rods like the BVK that were much better at long range.

Performance at 100 feet:

This was one of the rods that I just couldn’t get 100 ft. from.