The Q was not nearly as good as their new Opti K2. The action is much slower, this being more of a medium action rod. It is also a lot heavier in overall weight and swing weight, mainly due to the fact that Loop is using a much lower modulus graphite than in their more expensive K2. Heavy, slower action rods never perform well. This 4-weight Q was one of my least favorite rods to cast in our Shootout. In our 2018, 8-weight Shootout the Q finished in the middle of the pack, but the 8-weight had a swing weight that was pretty good, while here as a 4-weight, the swing weight was one of the worst.
Like the K2, the Q is only available as a 9-foot rod in a 4-weight. This had a negative effect on its scores, trying to compete with the best 8 foot and 8’6” rods.
I did like the flat, non-glare black finish used on the blank. The guide wraps are gray, trimmed with red on the butt section and first ferrule. The epoxy coatings over the wraps were a little heavy, but I’ve seen worse. The length and model on each rod section is inscribed as on the K2. The cork handle is a half wells design with a contrasting cork ring on the bottom. The quality of the cork is not so hot though, and a lot of filler is present. The gray uplocking reel seat is solid anodized aluminum with a sliding band and two locking rings that were easy to grip and tighten. The lower ring uses a thin nylon spacer that helps it lock up securely to the upper ring.
Like the K2, no hook keeper is used, which I miss on a 4-weight. The guides start with one SiC stripping guide followed with very large diameter hard chrome snake guides.
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 heavy swing weight and stiffer tip gave me very little feel. The accuracy was not good either.
Performance at 40 feet: 18.5 points out of 20
Much better at our middle distance, and here it is as good as the K2 and Douglas SKY.
Performance at 60 feet: 8.0 points out of 10
This rod wore me out casting long. It had the power to hit 60 feet easily enough but my accuracy was not very good.
The heavy swing weight was the Loop Q’s Achilles heel. In fact, it had the heaviest swing weight of all the rods in the test. Despite the extra weight, the Loop Q is actually a smooth casting rod. My guess is that it is also very durable, similar to the IMX Pro.
Again, my advice here is to save some money and go with the Fenwick Aetos which is less expensive and will give you better performance.
Feels heavy in hand. The cork grip looks vaguely orange in color and the quality of cork was not very good. No hook keeper. Burled lock rings squeak quite a bit. Reel seat looks cheap. Huge chrome snake guides. The rod alignment dots and model number stamped on each section are a nice touch.
Performance at 25 feet: 17 points out of 20
Feels heavy in hand, and a little clubby in close compared to the lighter/shorter rods.
Performance at 40 feet: 17.8 points out of 20
Not bad but it has a long way to go to match the feel of the Fenwick Aetos or St. Croix Imperial. The heavier swing weight is what seems to hurt the most.
Performance at 60 feet: 7.5 points out of 10
Not so good. The heavier swing weight hinders both feel and accuracy.
Logan’s Comments: 42.5 out of 50
The Loop Q was one 4-weight that would be best suited for a nymph/streamer rod. It was one of the stiffer and heavier rods in our Shootout, which hurt its performance scores. As an introductory 4-weight the Q would be a solid choice, but if you are looking for an inexpensive 4-weight that’s light and responsive I think there are better choices like the Fenwick Aetos. I really like the Q in the heavier line weights. In the 8-weight category, it performed at a much higher level than it did as a 4-weight.
Performance at 25 feet: 17.5 out of 20
The Q’s action is just too stiff for it to perform well at 25 feet.
Performance at 40 feet: 17.5 out of 20
At 40 feet the Loop Q was better than it was at 25 feet, but it lacked the accuracy and delicacy I was getting with the better rods.
Performance at 60 feet: 7.5 out of 10
I was able to go long with the Loop Q, but it wasn’t tracking very well, and my accuracy was not so hot.
The Loop Q was a rod that just fell short when comparing it with the other Shootout rods. The stiffer tip and softer mid section made my casting feel quite a bit less fluid and smooth than most of the other rods.
I did like the subtle matte black finish and the orange trimmed wraps give the rod a nice pop.
Performance at 25 feet: 17/20
The stiff tip on the Loop Q lacked the touch to lay line down gently at closer distances.
Performance at 40 feet: 17/20
I felt the Q did not track as well as some of the other rods, and lacked accuracy.
Performance at 60 feet: 8/10
The softer mid-section and stiff tip didn’t give me the performance or accuracy I was hoping for at long range.
The Loop Q had a bit more feel than the other rods, despite being on the stiffer side. Once I figured out the casting stroke needed for this rod, I felt it cast ok at the longer distances, but still lacked some finesse in close.
Performance at 25 feet: 15.5 out of 20
I found it to be a little too stiff to make delicate presentations in close.
Performance at 40 feet: 16 out of 20
Better at midrange. The action of this rod felt more conducive to casts in the 40-60 foot range, however, I still felt a lack of feel and delicacy at this distance.
Performance at 60 feet: 7 out of 10
Much better with more line out. I felt the rod loaded best at 60 feet.