Capt. Jamie Allen FL Snook

2016 8-weight shootout

by Captain Jamie Allen


Fishing has always been in Jamie's blood.  As a youngster born in Middlebury Vermont, Jamie grew up catching whatever he could, wherever he could, whenever he could.  Later in life it would appear Jamie hasn't grown out of that obsession, fishing or guiding nearly everyday where he lives in Southwest Florida.  Daily fishing opportunities now include fishing for Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Seatrout, Cobia, Pompano, Grouper, Snapper or anything else that swims by.
 

Since moving to FL Jamie has become a great guide, angler, and casting instructor (FFF certified).  He's a fun guy to fish with, focusing on sight fishing when possible.  He knows the good spots and knows how to get them, we're confident you'll have a great time fishing with him. To book a trip with Jamie, or just check out his awesome video fishing reports go to jamiesoutfishin.com.

 


Jamie Allen performance only 8 weight shootout

 

 

#1  Scott Meridian

Scott Meridian

buy now

Very light in hand. Nice saltwater hardware.  Oversized strippers, snakes and tip top. I liked the line weight printed on reel seat for quick ID.  Very accurate, tracked well at all distances. Nickle titanium flexible snake guides.  Won overall best of show at 2015 I-Cast.

 

 

#2 G. Loomis NRX

G. Loomis NRX

buy now

Felt a little heavier in the hand then the Meridian. Strong rod plenty of backbone.

Tough recoil guides.  Cool contrasting cork from grip to fighting butt.

 

 

 

#3 Orvis Recon

Orvis Recon

buy now

This was my surprise rod.  At first glance nothing special.  Middle of the road hardware.  Large tip top.  Silver guides.  But felt fast and light in the hand.  At $450 it’s a dandy.  Great accuracy. Reached 100’ easy.  Only weighs 3 ½ oz.

 

 

 

#4 St. Croix Legend Elite

St. Croix Legend Elite SW

buy now

A little heavier 4.7oz.  Another great price point rod $490.  Good heavy duty salt water hardware. Although slightly heavy it performed well.  Good power at distance and nice accuracy.

 

 

 

#5 Orvis Helios 2

Orvis Helios 2

buy now

I think this might be the lightest of all the rods tested at 3 ¼ oz.  Cosmetically the best looking rod of the bunch.  Fun to cast.  The tip flex was nice at the closer distances but it struggled a little bit at longer distances.  Locking rings were kind of small.

 

 

 

 

#6 Temple Fork Outfitters BVK

TFO BVK

buy now

This is a light very fast action rod.  Seemed a little tip heavy.  No nonsense hardware although it has small locking rings.  Had some trouble loading at short distances but good at distance.  This rod has a history of breaking easily when compared to many other rods on the market.

 

 

 

#7 (tie) G. Loomis CrossCurrent GLX

G Loomis CCGLX

buy now

Both of these rods (G. Loomis CCGLX and Hardy Zephrus) don’t lack in power.  They will handle heavy wind well but they both feel on the heavy side.  Where they didn’t shine was in accuracy. Maybe over lining would help that.


 

#7 (tie) Hardy Zephrus SWS

Hardy Zephrus SWS

buy now

Both of these rods (G. Loomis CCGLX and Hardy Zephrus) don’t lack in power.  They will handle heavy wind well but they both feel on the heavy side.  Where they didn’t shine was in accuracy. Maybe over lining would help that.


#8 (tie) Loop Cross S1 

Loop Cross S1

buy now

All of these rods (Loop Cross S1, Sage Motive, and Beulah Opal) are cosmetically pleasing, with the edge going to Beulah.  They all seem more like mid flex rods with the Loop being the stiffest. None struggle with distance.  The Motive and Opal might have some trouble with casting on the windiest days while the Loop Cross S1 is a little too stiff in close. 

 

#8 (tie) Sage Motive 

Sage Motive

buy now

All of these rods (Loop Cross S1, Sage Motive, and Beulah Opal) are cosmetically pleasing, with the edge going to Beulah.  They all seem more like mid flex rods with the Loop being the stiffest. None struggle with distance.  The Motive and Opal might have some trouble with casting on the windiest days while the Loop Cross S1 is a little too stiff in close. 

 

#8 (tie)  Beulah Opal

Beulah opal

buy now

All of these rods (Loop Cross S1, Sage Motive, and Beulah Opal) are cosmetically pleasing, with the edge going to Beulah.  They all seem more like mid flex rods with the Loop being the stiffest. None struggle with distance.  The Motive and Opal might have some trouble with casting on the windiest days while the Loop Cross S1 is a little too stiff in close. 


 

#9 (tie) Sage Salt 

Sage Salt 

buy now

Both rods (Sage Salt and R.L. Winston BIII Plus) have a nice finish.  The Salt felt the lightest in hand but both were well balanced.  Both have good saltwater hardware.  They were all good out to 60 feet, then started to go the other way.

 

 

#9 (tie) R.L. Winston Boron III plus 

RL WINSTON BIII Plus

buy now

Both rods (Sage Salt and R.L. Winston BIII Plus) have a nice finish.  The Salt felt the lightest in hand but both were well balanced.  Both have good saltwater hardware.  They were all good out to 60 feet, then started to go the other way.

 

 

 

#10 (tie) St. Croix Imperial 

St Croix IMPERIAL

buy now

These rods (St. Croix Imperial and G.Loomis PRO4x) are not each company's top of the line rod but both will get the job done at a reasonable price. Both are medium fast rods that track well. The St. Croix feels like it has a nicer swing weight while the Loomis has a little more power.


 

#10 (tie) G.  Loomis Pro 4 X

G. Loomis PRO 4x

buy now

These rods (St. Croix Imperial and G.Loomis PRO4x) are not each companies top of the line rod. But both will get the job done at a reasonable price. Both are medium fast rods that track well. The St. Croix feels like it has a nicer swing weight while the Loomis has a little more power.


 

#11 (tie) Fenwick  Aetos 

Fenwick Aetos

buy now

All 3 of these rods (Fenwick Aetos, Fenwick HMG and Redingston Predator) are very reasonably priced, (HMG $159, Ateos $189, Predator $279) and they cast surprising well.  None felt overly light in the hand, but none were too clunky either.  The hardware was just OK.  The salt water might take its toll so be sure to clean these rods up properly after each trip. 

 


#11 (tie)  Fenwick HMG 

Fenwick HMG

buy now

All 3 of these rods (Fenwick Aetos, Fenwick HMG and Redingston Predator) are very reasonably priced, (HMG $159, Ateos $189, Predator $279) and they cast surprising well.  None felt overly light in the hand, but none were too clunky either.  The hardware was just OK.  The salt water might take its toll so be sure to clean these rods up properly after each trip.

 


#11 (tie) Redington  Predator

Redington Predator

buy now

All 3 of these rods (Fenwick Aetos, Fenwick HMG and Redingston Predator) are very reasonably priced, (HMG $159, Ateos $189, Predator $279) and they cast surprising well.  None felt overly light in the hand, but none were too clunky either.  The hardware was just OK.  The salt water might take its toll so be sure to clean these rods up properly after each trip.
 

 

 

 

#12 (tie) LTS Zalt 

LTS Zalt

buy now

Both rods (LTS Zalt and Douglas DXF) have a nice fit and finish.  They cast well.  But for the money they would not be my first choice.

 

 

 

#12 (tie) Douglas DXF

Douglas DXF

buy now

Both rods (LTS Zalt and Douglas DXF) have a nice fit and finish.  They cast well.  But for the money they would not be my first choice.


 

 

#13 (tie) Echo Base 

Echo Base

buy now

Both the Echo and LTS felt a little clunky compared to the BIIIx.  The LTS looks like some of the fiberglass rods that are making a comeback.  The cork on the Echo felt really fat in my hand.  The rods reached out to 80’ pretty easy but lost accuracy.  The hardware for the Echo and LTS are just so-so for saltwater. The Winston is winning in that department.  The Winston BIIIx's action is just a little too soft for aggresive casting, but might make a good rod for learning saltwater anglers as it is easy to feel.


#13 (tie) LTS Explosive 

LTS Explosive

buy now

Both the Echo and LTS felt a little clunky compared to the BIIIx.  The LTS looks like some of the fiberglass rods that are making a comeback.  The cork on the Echo felt really fat in my hand.  The rods reached out to 80’ pretty easy but lost accuracy.  The hardware for the Echo and LTS are just so-so for saltwater. The Winston is winning in that department.  The Winston BIIIx's action is just a little too soft for aggresive casting, but might make a good rod for learning saltwater anglers as it is easy to feel.

 


#13 (tie) R.L. Winston Boron IIIx

WInston BIIIX

buy now

Both the Echo and LTS felt a little clunky compared to the BIIIx.  The LTS looks like some of the fiberglass rods that are making a comeback.  The cork on the Echo felt really fat in my hand. The rods reached out to 80’ pretty easy but lost accuracy.  The hardware for the Echo and LTS are just so-so for salt water. The Winston winning out in that department.  The Winston BIIIx's action is just a little too soft for aggresive casting, but might make a good rod for learning salt water anglers as it is easy to feel.

 

 

 

#14 Mystic Reaper

Mystic Reaper

buy now

I liked this year's Mystic Reaper better than last year's Mystic Reaper.  It still feels a little too soft for fishing saltwater.  I think on windy days this rod will struggle.

 

 

 

#15 Temple Fork Outfitters Impact

TFO Impact

buy now

Well, I guess someone has to be last. One thing I did like was the cool looking cork design. It looked like snake skin.  Other than that this rod struggled.

 

 

Captain Jamie Allen

 

The One-Piece Rods

All 3 of these rods are great. You couldn’t go wrong with any of them

That being said here’s how I rated them...

 

 

 

#1 Hardy Zephrus  SWS 1pc 77.5 / 80

Hardy Zephrus 1pc

buy now

Nice recoil guides (like NRX).  All oversized guides.  Nice steel blue finish.

 

 

 

#2 (tie) G. Loomis NRX Pro1

G. Loomis NRX PRO 1

buy now

I like the fit and finish better on the NRX so that could be the tie breaker.  Both are strong and can reach 100’ easy.  The Cross Current feels a little heavier but also a little stronger and might be less likely to tail on a windy day.

 

 

#2 (tie) G. Loomis CrossCurrent Pro 1

G. Loomis CCGLX PRO1

buy now

I like the fit and finish better on the NRX so that could be the tie breaker.  Both are strong and can reach 100’ easy.  The Cross Current feels a little heavier but also a little stronger and might be less likely to tail on a windy day.