What is the Asquith doing way down near the bottom of this Shootout when it won our recent 8-weight Shootout!? It’s somewhat embarrassing for a $1000 rod to finish below one that costs only $198.00, but there are some good reasons for this.
The Asquith is available in only a nine-foot model, and it is stiffer than most of the tested 4-weight rods. This hurt somewhat in its scores for swing weight and light tippet protection. It also lost a huge number of points in the price and warranty categories that it couldn’t pick up in the casting distance performance categories. However, as you’ll see in the Performance Only scores, it finished much higher – in 12th place.
We have found that the Asquith rods are terrific rods in the heavier line sizes – from 6-weight right up through 12-weight. The 8-weight Asquith won our recent 2018, 8-weight Shootout, putting in a marvelous performance.
The 4-weight Asquith was one of the stiffer rods in our Shootout and this hurt its scores at the shortest distance of 25 feet. It was very light in swing weight, and quite accurate in close, but it just didn’t have much feel in close like the best rods. Out at long range it performed extremely well and was one of the very best, pretty much being equal to the Helios 3F and Avantt.
Steve Rajeff, the head rod designer at Loomis, designed the Asquith tapers, and the blanks are built by Shimano in Japan. The finished blanks are then shipped back to G. Loomis, where the rods are assembled, wrapped and finished at the G. Loomis factory in Woodland Washington.
To appreciate this rod, you need to see it in the sunlight. Then the dark green finish just sparkles. The craftsmanship is second to none and it earns a perfect score along with the Winston Pure and T&T Avantt.
The guide wraps are a dark green to complement the rod. The epoxy coatings are painstakingly done and close to perfect. The cork handle is a Steve Rajeff design; a half wells but with the swell slightly larger towards the front of the grip, and smaller back where the heel of your hand rests. This makes for a very comfortable grip that improves casting at longer distances. The cork is a stack of thin rings, and the quality of the cork is excellent. The reel seat is a gray anodized skeleton seat with a band and large single ring that is easy to grip and tighten securely. The insert is a gorgeous piece of bamboo, sourced from the same company that uses it for Lexus steering wheels. Guides start with a hook keeper, then a single titanium SiC stripping guide, followed with our favorite nickel/titanium snake guides that are flexible but unbreakable.
The perfect line: SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity in WF-4-F
George’s casting notes:
Performance at 25 feet: 18.5 points out of 20
The stiffness did not allow much feel but the accuracy was surprisingly good. Another stiff rod, the Avantt, was slightly better.
Performance at 40 feet: 19.2 points out of 20
The Asquith tracks beautifully and is giving me nice accurate tight loops. It was a little better than the Avantt here, but not as good as the H3F.
Performance at 60 feet: 9.5 points out of 10
Now we’re talking! At long range no rod has more power. The H3F rated slightly higher over all, but the Asquith had a lot more butt and mid-section power to blast out long casts. It would also one of the best 4-weight rods for throwing streamers.
Another rod I had high hopes for, the G. Loomis Asquith was simply too stiff and heavy for a great all-around 4-weight. On the bright side, it was my favorite of all the rods at 60 feet, receiving a perfect 10. For anglers wanting an aggressive 4-weight that can throw hoppers, stoneflies, heavy rubber leg nymphs, and streamers with ease, the Asquith is a great choice.
One thing we have noticed about the Asquith rods (and the 9’#4 is no different) is that they can take a beating! No other rod that I know of is as durable, tough, and dependable when it comes to playing fish, deflecting split shot, or yanking misplaced flies out of trees. If you are traveling out of the country, or on a camping trip, there is no other rod that I would trust more to make it back home in one piece, (or in this case, it’s original 4 pieces).
Feels like a 9’#5. Impressive reel seat with burled lock ring that is easy to grip. Looks nice with complementary bamboo insert. Large nickel/titanium snake guides, no alignment dots. This rod has a smooth feel to it, like the NRX LP, only stiffer.
Performance at 25 feet: 16.5 points out of 20
Feels much heavier than the Zephrus and Pure, with a lot less feel. Very stiff with little flex in close.
Performance at 40 feet: 18.5 points out of 20
Still very stiff for a 4-weight, but accuracy is excellent. A great rod for aggressive casters or for fishing hopper patterns.
Performance at 60 feet: 10 points out of 10
One of only 4 perfect scores, this rod is unbeatable throwing long. Immense power, yet with great feel and insane accuracy. No double haul required but fun for even more punch.
Logan’s Comments: 45.5 out of 50
Despite its fast action and stiffness, I really enjoyed the G. Loomis Asquith 9’ #4. It was the best rod at 60 feet and one of the most accurate at 40. The Asquith is the only 9-foot rod that was less than 8 oz. in swing weight. Since its introduction we have all been impressed by the Asquith’s ability to harness such power yet maintain a light swing weight. This is very apparent in the 8-weight version of the Asquith and exactly what we look for in a higher line size rod. As a 4-weight however, the amount of power that this rod produces is almost unnecessary.
Performance at 25 feet: 17 out of 20
The G. Loomis Asquith is a stiff rod, and not the best for delicate presentations or accuracy at close distances like 25 feet.
Performance at 40 feet: 18.5 out of 20
At 40 feet the Asquith was deadly accurate. It was still a little too stiff to give me delicate casts at 40 feet.
Performance at 60 feet: 10 out of 10
The Asquith was the only rod in the shootout I gave a perfect 10 out of 10 at 60 feet. It was incredible how powerful and accurate this 4-weight is at long range compared to other rods in the shootout.
The Asquith is a very powerful and durable rod, and the only one in my shootout to get a perfect 10/10 for performance at 60’.
You are paying top dollar for the Asquith, and it is a great looking rod, with excellent craftsmanship. I felt that it was just a little too powerful and stiff to make a good 4-weight. All that power and stiffness hurt at close distances but helped out long.
Performance at 25 feet: 17/20
Too stiff and too much power to get the delicate presentation I’m looking for at close distance. The stiffness also killed the feel and accuracy.
Performance at 40 feet: 18/20
Like some of the other stiffer rods in the Shootout, getting a little more line out helps the Asquith to load more efficiently. It’s accurate at mid distances but not in the same class as the Zephrus or Helios 3F.
Performance at 60 feet: 10/10
This was where I thought the Asquith outperformed all the other rods in the shootout. With tons of power, the Asquith fires the line to long range effortlessly and accurately.
The Asquith is a handsome, but pricey rod. Its action runs on the stiffer side, and for me, better suited to heavier line size rods. I loved the Asquith in the 9 foot #8 size. If you are looking for a stiffer four-weight with longer casts in mind, or one that you can fish with heaver nymph and streamer rigs, I would put the Asquith on your list.
Performance at 25 feet: 16.5 out of 20
Unlike the NRX LP, the Asquith has a stiffer tip section that was not conducive to producing delicate casts in close.
Performance at 40 feet: 17.5 out of 20
The Asquith, with all of its power, performs much better with more line out. 40 feet was a good distance for it, and I was getting good accuracy. But I felt it still lacked the ability to make light presentations.
Performance at 60 feet: 8 out of 10
This rod’s power made casting at long range delightful. This is where it shines and stands out from the crowd.