The IMX Pro is one of Loomis’ newest rods and we have liked it in the larger line sizes, like their 5 and 6 weight rods. This 8’6”#4, however, is just too heavy and too stiff to perform well as a 4-weight. Loomis designed these IMX Pro rods to be tough and very durable, and pro guides love them because they are so hard for clients to break. But this also means they have a heavy swing weight. When I put this rod in my hand it feels more like a 5-weight than a 4-weight! And a look at the deflection chart confirms this.
This rod has a slower action than the fast action NRX LP, as well as a stiffer tip. The stiffness and slower action hurt its scores in a lot of categories. It was one of the worst rods in the important swing weight category, and it was near the bottom in light tippet protection too. In the performance distance categories it was better at 60 feet than at the closer distances, but the overall weight and swing weight made it a workout to cast.
This is an attractive rod, with very good craftsmanship. The blank is finished in a dark olive green with dark green wraps, that include a little light green trim on the butt. The epoxy coatings on the guides were excellent. The handle is a comfortable full wells design, and the quality of the cork was very good. A darker composite cork ring is used on the bottom of the grip that is flared out to accept the uplocking seat. The skeleton reel seat is a gray anodized double uplocking with a dark gray laminated wood insert. I found the locking rings easy to grip and tighten.
The guides start with a hook keeper on the butt, then a single SiC stripping guide, followed with hard chrome single foot guides that seem sturdy enough, but are not nearly as good (or as light) as the nickel/titanium single foot guides used on the NRX LP.
The perfect line: SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity in WF-4-F
George’s casting notes:
Performance at 25 feet: 17.5 points out of 20
The stiff tip and heavy swing weight both contributed to a lack of feel and accuracy in close.
Performance at 40 feet: 18.0 points out of 20
Better as I get more line in the air, but still not nearly as good as the NRX LP or the DXF.
Performance at 60 feet: 8.5 points out of 10
Now the stiffness helps, and I’m getting nice loop control and decent accuracy.
The main thing holding the G. Loomis IMX Pro back from a higher finish is its heavy swing weight. It had the third heaviest swing weight in the Shootout, which is saying something seeing how this rod is 8’6” and still heavier in swing weight than several 9-foot rods.
The extra weight is all part of the package. Believe it or not, that’s the way G. Loomis designed it! The IMX Pro was designed to be the most durable, affordable rod on the market, and with that comes a heavier swing weight.
The IMX Pro series has definitely proven to be strong. Several of our guides have been using them now for a whole season as client rods, without any breakage. Beginner clients were hitting bridges on back casts, kids were sword fighting on the spring creeks, and countless cone head ricochets occurred, that would have left most rods shattered.
While the IMX Pro 8’6”#4 isn’t going to be your go-to spring creek rod for fishing tiny dries on 6X tippet, I will say it was a smooth casting rod. Look for this rod to excel in the 9’#5, 9’#6, one-piece 7 and 8-weight streamer rods, and the 11’11” Shortspey series.
Heavy and Stiff, feels like a 5-weight rod.Large cork grip for a 4-weight. Cheaper looking wood insert (like Winston Nimbus) but decent reel seat hardware. No alignment dots, and single foot hard chrome guides. Composite cork ring on the bottom end for less wear and tear.
Performance at 25 feet: 16.5 points out of 20
Very heavy in my hand. Not very pleasing to cast when compared with the best mid-priced rods. Almost no feel and little accuracy.
Performance at 40 feet: 17.9 points out of 20
I’m impressed with how smoothly this rod casts, but disappointed with the heavy swing weight.
Performance at 60 feet: 8.5 points out of 10
Good power, accuracy is also good. You can lean into this rod and it won’t throw a tailing loop.
Logan’s Comments: 43 out of 50
The G. Loomis IMX PRO is a newer rod from G. Loomis and it is new in our Shootouts. I was hoping the IMX PRO would be a bit softer for a 4-weight, but I was happy with its ability to cast in the wind and its accuracy at longer distances. It was one of the heavier rods in the shootout, but from my personal experience it is also one of the most durable rods on the market. G. Loomis purposely made the IMX PRO slightly heavier to hold up to the abuse dished out by serious anglers and guides. I own this rod in a 5-weight and I am a huge fan despite its stiffer profile and heavier weight.
Performance at 25 feet: 17 out of 20
The IMX-PRO wasn’t the most delicate rod at 25 feet. It just had too much power in close to give me any kind of delicate presentation.
Performance at 40 feet: 18 out of 20
At 40 feet the IMX-PRO was a far better rod than at 25 feet. It would make a great 4-weight rod for fishing nymphs or light streamers.
Performance at 60 feet: 8 out of 10
I really enjoyed casting the G. Loomis IMX-PRO at the longer distance of 60 feet. It was much more accurate than many of the mid-priced rods.
To me this rod almost felt like a 9 footer and had similar characteristics as the JPX. The IMX Pro is just too heavy and stiff for a 8’6’’#4. The IMX Pro seems more suited to fishing streamers and heavier nymph rigs than with a size 20 emerger or dry fly.
Performance at 25 feet: 17/20
Not great. Lacked the feel and delicate presentation necessary for fishing in close with dry flies.
Performance at 40 feet: 17/20
Like a lot of rods in this shootout, this mid distance seemed to be where I was feeling most accurate and efficient. Still not so hot compared to the better rods.
Performance at 60 feet: 8/10
With its stiffness, the IMX Pro now has good power and line control at 60 feet.
Having slightly smaller hands, I found the grip on the IMX PRO to be a little too fat. Other than that, this rod is on the stiffer side, and felt a little too “beefy” for light and gentle presentations.
Performance at 25 feet: 16 out of 20
Though the tip section does have a little bit of softness in it, in general I felt the rod was a little too stiff to give me good presentations at 25 feet.
Performance at 40 feet: 16.5 out of 20
This rod has some reserve power and you start to feel this at 40 feet. It handled well but lacked feel.
Performance at 60 feet: 7 out of 10
This rod can cast line to 60 feet no problem but lacks feel and accuracy.