G. Loomis NRX LP 9’ #4 $745.00
The NRX LP has proven to be an outstanding rod as a 5-weight, winning our 5-weight Shootout several times. I’m really surprised it is so far down in our finishing order as a 4-weight. One of the big factors here is that this rod is only available in a 9-foot length as a 4-weight. The added weight and relative stiffness over the other best rods hurt many of its scores. This is still a very good casting rod overall, but it just doesn’t come close to matching the scores turned in by the top rods in this Shootout.
The overall weight is good, but the swing weight is greater than all the other top ten rods. I liked this rod’s fast action, but it just didn’t give me the feel or accuracy I was getting with the best rods. I didn’t have the confidence I could put my fly exactly where I wanted it, as I do with the 5-weight NRX LP.
If you do a lot of nymph fishing, the extra length will help, and this rod has enough butt and mid-section power to also chuck some smaller streamers.
The craftsmanship on the LP is typical Loomis excellence. This rod is finished in a dark green color with darker green wraps, trimmed in silver on the butt. The epoxy coatings on the wraps were excellent. The cork handle is a half wells western style grip, with a contrasting darker composite cork at the bottom end, over the flare for the reel seat. The quality of the standard size cork rings was terrific. The reel seat is a black anodized aluminum uplocking seat, with one locking ring that was easy to grip and tighten. A dark green graphite insert is used that complements the color of the blank.
Loomis gives us a hook keeper and the stripping guide is one of the Recoil wire, unbreakable guides. The rest of the guides are their terrific nickel/titanium single foot guides that are light and flexible but will never break. These single foot guides are finished in a dark color to complement the blank.
The perfect line: SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity in WF-4-F
George’s casting notes:
Performance at 25 feet: 19.0 points out of 20
The heavy swing weight hurt, and I wasn’t getting the kind of feel or accuracy I got with the G Series Scott or the Orvis Helios 3F.
Performance at 40 feet: 19.0 points out of 20
I’m getting nice loops but the Scott rods were better. Both the Zephrus and Pure were far lighter in hand, and far better in performance at 40 feet.
Performance at 60 feet: 9.0 points out of 10
Good, just not great. Equal to the Orvis Recon, but head to head the Avantt and Helios 3F were far better.
The G. Loomis NRX LP’s action is perfect in a 9’#5, (hence the reason it has won our 5-weight Shootout four times in a row). In a 4-weight however, the NRX LP is too heavy in terms of swing weight and a bit too stiff to take the crown. Surely, a 8’6”#4 NRX LP would have scored better, but this is only available as a 9 foot model in a 4-weight rod. The craftsmanship is good and they use the best nickel/titanium single-foot guides on the tip sections.
Rather than asking Steve Rajeff to give us a better 4-weight NRX LP, his focus likely will be on the brand new G. Loomis rods that will be released the summer of 2019, to replace both the NRX and the NRX LP.
Smooth flex and feel, this is a smooth rod to cast. The stripper guide is one of the unbreakable wire recoil guides, while the other guides are the good nickel/ titanium single foot guides. No alignment dots used. I really wish this rod came in either a 8’ or 8’6” length as the 9’ version feels heavier in hand than most.
Performance at 25 feet: 1an.4 points out of 20
The heavy swing weight kills performance in close when compared with the lighter, shorter rods. Accuracy is still spot-on however.
Performance at 40 feet: 18.6 points out of 20
Smooth and effortless to cast, this might be my favorite 9-foot rod in terms of good power and feel at 40 feet. I just wish it were a little lighter.
Performance at 60 feet: 9 points out of 10
Terrific power and fun to cast. A double haul really seems to help here. Again, swing weight is holding it back from a higher score since it certainly was accurate.
Logan’s Comments: 45 out of 50
The G. Loomis NRX LP in a 9-foot 5-weight cannot be beat. However, the 4-weight lacked something that makes the 5-weight so special. I think that if it were available as an 8-½ foot model with a lighter action, it would have been one of the top contenders. Still, it was one of the smoother rods in the Shootout and it performed well at all distances.
Performance at 25 feet: 18.5 out of 20
The NRX LP had good presentation at 25 feet. It has just enough of a softer tip to make delicate presentations and protect lighter tippets.
Performance at 40 feet: 18.5 out of 20
At 40 feet the NRX LP was forming tight loops and was very accurate. It had really good tracking and consistent accuracy.
Performance at 60 feet: 8 out of 10
The NRX LP had plenty of power to make longer casts, and still maintain some delicacy.
Having worked at the shop for some years now, I’ve become pretty familiar with the great NRX LP series. I currently keep a 9’ #5 LP rigged in my car and I think if I were to get a 3-weight, the 8’8” NRX LP would be one of the top rods to consider.
That being said, I’m just not a huge fan of the NRX LP in the 9’ #4 model. It felt heavier and less responsive than the best 4-weights here, with a mid-section that feels too soft.
The craftsmanship was excellent and I do like the dark green color of the blank. The components were high quality, and I especially liked the light and flexible single-foot guides.
Performance at 25 feet: 18/20
Lacked a bit of touch to make delicate and accurate casts with small flies and long leaders.
Performance at 40 feet: 18/20
The LP felt nice and performed well at this distance.
Performance at 60 feet: 9/10
Good power and performance at long distances.
I had high hopes for the NRX LP, loving the five weight version of this rod. The four weight has the same nice soft LP tip, however I found the overall stiffness to be a little bit too much for a top four weight rod. Still a good rod, but better at mid to long distance.
Performance at 25 feet: 17 out of 25
The rod handled well in close and loaded smoothly. Having the “LP” tip is key, and you can count on it to make nice delicate presentations.
Performance at 40 feet: 17 out of 20
Being a stiffer rod, it cast beautifully at 40 feet. This rod makes good light presentations at longer distances.
Performance at 60 feet: 8 out of 10
60 feet is no problem! It loaded well and cast smoothly with all that line out.