#2 G. Loomis NRX 9 foot #8 $805.00
Just because the Meridian won, you don’t want to overlook the previous winner of our last two 8-weight Shootouts. This rod still is amazing, especially at long range. And if you are in a spot where you need that final 5-10 feet to reach a tailing bonefish, this rod will get it done. I’ve used the NRX rods in sizes from 8 on up to 11 each year, fishing for big tough fish in both saltwater and freshwater, and I’m convinced that these are the toughest rods on the market. They take everything you can dish out and then some, without breaking. A lot of this has to do with the way Loomis has used the nano-resins, developed back in 2010 by 3M. This allowed G. Loomis to build rods that were both lighter and far stronger than anything they had in the past.
Steve Rajeff has done a marvelous job designing these NRX rods, giving us some of the very best casting rods we’ve ever seen. They are not quite as feather light as some, but their reserve power is just awesome. When you really have to lean on an NRX to launch something long or into the wind, these rods just come up with explosive power that is amazing. But Steve has also designed these rods with progressively softer tips that bend much more than most other rods. This is why they still have such great power but cast so well at shorter distances.
At middle to long distances, you cannot find any rod that is more solid or casts better than the NRX. It does give up a little feel and accuracy in close though, but only to two rods in our shootout – the Meridian and the Helios 2. But at long range, nothing can match the NRX.
The craftsmanship on the NRX rods is excellent. In the past you could get both gray and green rods but from now on, all the saltwater NRX rods will be their flat graphite gray finish with robin’s egg blue wraps. They use a comfortable full wells grip and the new reel seats utilize a gray graphite insert, and have an additional locking ring to secure the reel. A short, fairly narrow extension butt is used. I much prefer something larger like the one on Scott’s Meridian. For guides two unbreakable recoil stripping guides are used and then the rest are black pearl nickel/titanium flexible snake guides with a large size tiptop. I love these flexible snake guides and you’ll probably never have to replace one.
George’s casting notes:
Performance at 35 feet: 19 points out of 20
Excellent accuracy, and easy to cast off the tip, but I’m working a lot harder than with the Meridian or the Helios 2, with a lot more swing weight.
Performance at 60 feet: 20 points out of 20
This is one of the most solid rods you can put your hands on at mid-range. Tracks perfectly and throws very tight loops. Equal to the Meridian here.
Performance at 80 feet: 20 points out of 20
At long range, nothing is better. I love the power, especially in the wind. Blasts them out there like you won’t believe. I can carry more line in the air at long range than with other rods.
Performance at 100 feet: 20 points out of 20
For sure, and with ease and authority! Only the CrossCurrent was equal to the NRX at long range.
#2 G. Loomis NRX 9’#8 $805 77.5/80
The NRX has always been a great rod, especially from 8-weight through 12-weight. Well, it has grown on me even more since it first came out. It is extremely durable, one of the best fish fighting rods on the market, and as versatile as it comes. Tried and tested, the NRX is (and will always be) one of the best 8-weight rods ever made…
Performance at 35 feet: 19.5 points out of 20 Pleasing to say the least. I was really tempted to give this rod a perfect score but only owners of the Scott Meridian or Orvis H2 can say they have the best in close rods, (in terms of accuracy, feel, and presentation). Still, accuracy is perfect and feel is certainly well above average.
Performance at 60 feet: 20 points out of 20 This rod is one of the best I’ve ever cast at 60 feet. All things are working in harmony and I don’t have to concentrate on making the cast – just look at the plate and let it rip with out thinking about it. Absolutely flawless.
Performance at 80 feet: 19 points out of 20 This rod has a lot of power – in fact – it actually has a stiffer tip than the CrossCurrent GLX. But the key to unlocking this rod’s power is to come through smoothly with your application of power. Once you are in the zone you can really rock and roll with this rod, but you have to hit that sweet spot or you’ll likely throw a tailing loop. Expert anglers and casters will benefit most from this rod. Beginners or folks who don’t have time to fish or cast once a week might do better with a Meridian, CrossCurrent, Legend Elite, Sage Motive, or Orvis Recon that have wider sweet spots and can absorb a casting stroke that punches in the power to abruptly.
Hit the Hun? 19 points out of 20 You know it. Throwing a hard back cast sets this rod up for serious success out long.
Capt. Jamie Allen:
#2 G. Loomis NRX
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
Capt. Skip Zink:
#2 G. Loomis NRX 59/60
Top line rod, splitting hairs in Performance as compared to Meridan, slightly heavier compared Scott Meridan
#2 G. Loomis NRX $805.00 79/80 points
Excellent overall - feels heavy compared to Meridian - easily tails if application of power is not spot on.