Again, we’ve found the rods that seem to do this best are nearly always fast action rods. I’ve been fishing for bonefish, tarpon and other saltwater species for the past thirty years throughout Florida, the gulf coast, and the Caribbean. The full wells handle feels perfect to me and Loop is using top quality cork rings with some good looking contrasting corks on the top and bottom of the grip. The NRX seems equal in performance to the Asquith and Radian at mid-range, and better than the Sage X or Zephrus. Douglas sure came up with a winner with the Sky. The DXF pulled this off again! A lot of people come to mind. This is a fairly light rod in swing weight, which I like but it has lots of power to throw long with the best of them. I rated it a perfect 20 along with the Sky. These are available if you want one but the cost is an extra $30.00. The Sage X was a disappointment for me. The MPX in WF-6-F has a total head length of 36 feet with a 6.5-foot front taper that allows for a quick turnover in the wind, and is especially good with the larger and more wind resistant flies like hoppers and even streamers that you may be throwing with a 6-weight rod. Not nearly the punch or power of the Sky or Asquith. A beginner would far better off spending another $100 and stepping up to the Fenwick Aetos. review by John Duncan, Telluride Angler. It is a full wells, but with not much of a swell at all in the middle of the grip, and slightly smaller in diameter than most. This rod just did everything well. The handle is a comfortable Western style grip, with narrow rings and extremely fine quality cork. Then we take the average of these measurements and this becomes the swing weight. The craftsmanship is typical Winston perfection. Overall this is a really classy looking rod. Winston 8’s because of the length of time it took for most repairs, especially during the busy summer months. It’s easy to hit the mark no matter how far out the fish are with such a great rod. The newly designed Cross SX is another inspiring rod from Loop and perhaps their best to date. I think you will find everyone’s comments interesting and worth reading. #13. The guide set up is one SiC stripping guide followed up with very light nickel/titanium and flexible single-foot guides in a dark finish. The accuracy is good also. But it is excellent at all distances. One chart gives you all ten of the expensive rods, and another chart shows the six mid-priced and inexpensive rods. With the newest 6-weight rods becoming lighter and lighter, a nice light reel like the Evolution LT is a perfect choice. In order to have a more manageable Shootout, we wanted to limit our 6-weight Shootout to what we felt were the ten best expensive rods. This is another rod that gave us a very strong performance and one that anyone will find a pleasure to fish. The new Orvis Helios 3F, the G.Loomis NRX and the new T&T Exocett all finish in a close heat for 3 rd place, in both the Overall and Performance scores. For experienced anglers that can afford the best rods our advice has always been that if you can afford the best, buy the best. A popular rod in almost any weight, the NRX is one of my favorite rods. Sage – Lifetime warranty to original owner. The NRX was good at 30 feet. Well, the Orvis warranty is now 25 years. At 50 feet, you shouldn’t have to double-haul to get the rod to perform. A good strong butt and mid-section will help you mend line, especially if you are fishing at longer distances like 35-50 feet, using an indicator. The Sage X is slightly slower than the rest, with a stiffer tip. The Sky has a western style grip with very high quality cork and contrasting rings top and bottom. examines it. Our deflection charts have been so popular that we have worked up more for this 6-weight Shootout. Almost as good at mid-range as the Sky. The wood insert is also made with narrow rings of bamboo with a beautiful finish and look. The Echo Base is really a surprisingly good for a rod this cheap. JG’s attention to detail helps tremendously as he is a great caster but more importantly also very in tune at feeling the subtle differences among rods. Are you comfortable showing up with a $200 rod when all your buddies have those hotshot $750-$1000 rods? So yesterday in a chain of extremely fortunate circumstances Derill, Nopes, and I met up with Austin Bacon, our G Loomis rep, to cast the new NRX+ saltwater rods.I say fortunately because none of us really planned on being there until about 12 hours prior. Washing your line and adding some silicone like Russ Peaks will cure any squeaking immediately. Yes, for all you engineers this may not seem precisely accurate, but as a practical way to measure swing weight it works fine. The grip is unusual in that it has the swell slightly above the middle of the cork grip. Still good but out long the Sky is much better, as are both Loomis rods. The reel seat is striking, with an orange tint to the wood burl enclosed in the black skeleton uplocking seat. This is a fairly light rod in swing weight, which I like but it has lots of power to throw long with the best of them. Nearly all of our testers felt the same way. The 6-weight was not as impressive though, and finishes right in the middle of the pack. A slightly softer tip would really put this rod over the top. We gave all the rods under $259.95  -BVK, Aetos, and the Base a perfect 10 here. They have the power to pick up lots of line to make an immediate re-cast, as you often do while fishing out of a drift boat. The NRX feels really good in close. ... 25% all G Loomis rod sale... Theme . I think the tip is too stiff, although the X does seem to have a faster action than the One. We debated not including the Pro-4X into this Shootout as there are already two other Loomis rods, but this one gets in since it is another very good mid-priced rod to consider. Rods are repaired, not replaced. Another rod that just did not perform well at long range. It is also seems a bit more powerful at long range. Older rods not under warranty cost $120 or more. The craftsmanship and finish are excellent. The blanks for this rod are made by Shimano in Japan, with a new technique of combining spiral wraps of graphite, one wrap running one way and another in the opposite direction, with a flat sheet of graphite in between. Our first review of an NRX rod... the finesse drop shot rod in the series . In picking the best 6-weight rods, it was hard to overlook the Scott Meridian, especially when this rod won our latest 8-weight Shootout. Douglas is one of the first manufacturers to use the new Fuji Torzite stripping guide that has a slight angle forward to allow the line to shoot more smoothly and the slickest ring in the business. The Douglas DXF, at $349.95 was our favorite mid-priced rod as it was in our last 5-weight shootout. Winston – Lifetime warranty to original owner, $50 handling fee. Performance at 50 feet:  19 points out of 20, I cannot form the effortless tight loops like I can with the Sky, or Cross SX. This is billed as one of their top performance rods and it comes through as advertised. The recoil stripping guides don’t bother me too much. Nothing jumps out to make me rate it higher than others, but the NRX gave a very solid overall performance. I especially like the handle design. ... G Loomis NRX Inshore Spinning Rod 842S MR 7'0" Medium 1pc. $640.00. All this contributed to somewhat of a lackluster performance. The swing weight was heavier than the DXF, but better than the Pro 4x, BVK and the Echo Base. With larger wind-resistant hoppers, our guides are normally using a 9-foot 3X leader. I think if they made the six-weight in the LP version it would be the winner of this shootout. The guides are one SiC stripping guide and the rest hard chrome snake guides. The performance figures were a straight 18.5 across the board. Fishing streamers is a joy as these rods have the power to drive a long 10-15 foot sinking head with good sized streamers, right up to size 4 with ease. The BVK and Base were the only rods not as good in close. But having a nice light rod (in swing weight) in your hand all day pays big dividends, in terms of fatigue. This rod is a lot better at longer range and feels very solid with tons, #10. These correspond closely to the distances that most people will be fishing these rods. At 50 feet you want a rod that will be light and smooth enough to do a lot of false casting, which you will do fishing dry flies like hoppers all day long. The extremely heavy swing weight does not allow for any feel and with the stiffer tip, the accuracy was not good either. The Western grip on the Sky gave me better feel, especially when casting at shorter distances. One last gripe is the lack of a hard case like all the other manufacturers provide. We found that the good ones could carry 55-60 feet of line in the air while double hauling, so hitting the 70-foot mark was pretty easy. If you haven’t tried a G. Loomis rod because of this stigma, you should forget about it and give one a try. There is also a certain lust factor going for the expensive rods. $35 handling fee. It is the relationship of the club head to the shaft when you wiggle the club. The Helios 2 is also one of the lightest in swing weight, which is so important in a rod that you will be doing a lot of false casting with all day long, fishing dries like hoppers. This is one of those rods that truly excels at casting everything from size 22 trico duns to size 2 streamers. One of the reasons these Scott rods perform so well is their softer, more flexible tips, yet good strong butt sections. The handle is a western style grip, just the right size, and the cork that they use is as good or better than you will see on any rod. So, if you want a 6-weight dry fly rod, this rod is wonderful. If rod broke because of a defect, or while fishing, the replacement is free. To my way of thinking, the most important thing when you break your rod is getting it back quickly, not so much the price you’ll have to pay. This actually hurts the rod’s swing weight. The DXF performance figures reflect the fact that this is a terrific rod for the price. But you’ll likely find these in the big box stores as well. You know about swing weight, if you play golf. A good example of this in a mid-priced rod is the Douglas DXF at $349.95. $35 handling fee. Personally I really like this dark green with matching green wraps. The Meridian uses two large SiC strippers and my favorite nickel/titanium flexible snake guides. TFO   BVK   9 foot 6-weight      $259.95. For once now all the NRX rods in sizes 6-weight on down are green and the 7-weight on up come in charcoal grey with blue wraps. The NRX comes in nine unique models specifically designed for the inshore saltwater fisherman ranging from 6’8″ to 7’8″ overall length with both fast and extra-fast actions and power ranges from medium-light to medium heavy. The reel seat is also better than what Loomis has given us in the past – a very easy to grip, single ring up locking seat, and this one locks up very positively. Performance at 50 feet:   20 points out of 20. But we have gotten a few comments that we don’t place enough emphasis on price in picking the best rods. The high priced, exotic Loomis Asquith delivered in performance with its new spiral graphite wrap process and good looks. At long range, nothing beats the Asquith. The handle is a Western style grip with excellent cork, and an uplocking aluminum seat with a single locking triangulated ring that is easy to grip and a green graphite insert. $60 handling fee. The Radian was a difficult choice for me over the Meridian, which has won our 8-weight Shootout. This new rod series from G. Loomis is characterized by beautiful componentry and some key features that trout anglers will certainly appreciate. The best rods have almost become a status symbol. The best 6-weight rods have enough power in the butt and mid-section to get the job done easily. This line is also available in an Amber/Willow version (MPX Stealth) for anglers that prefer a less visible line. I think that most anglers value performance far more than price and our main chart reflects our weighted emphasis on performance. Now we position the grip over the fulcrum created by the foam pellet so that the pellet is about half way up the grip – but more importantly over the center of the swell, where you will grip the rod. If you click on this chart, the link will take you to the page with the other deflection charts. This rod looks great in the sun. That first year, G. Loomis sold more NRX rods than any prior rod debut. This is a good looking rod too, finished in the Scott traditional gray unsanded but finished blank, with complementary gray wraps trimmed beautifully with two shades of blue. The handle is a western style grip but like the Aetos, the quality of cork is not so hot. He enjoys fishing the salt as much as I do but his real love is chasing big browns on streamers or fishing for steelhead when he gets the chance. This rod has a very nice fast action, feels great in my hand and is very light, and along with the Recon, these are the lightest overall weight rods in our Shootout. Please find the figures for price, overall weight and swing weight in our table for Objective Observations below. Only out long did the Radian lack a little power, but it was still in the top six rods at long range. Once the rod is placed precisely on the foam pellet as the fulcrum, we position the rod horizontally and apply finger pressure to the very end of the reel seat, usually using a fingernail over the butt cap. Nice tight loops and feels a lot like the Sky. It looks good and feels good. The deep emerald green that has been a Winston trademark, sparkles in the sunlight. Out long I liked this a lot better than the Sage X or Helios 2. The light tipped design of the 10’ 4-weight makes it castable all day for the high stick nympher or float tube angler. This line is a half-size heavier than a normal Trout taper. We get lots of requests for Shootouts on other weights of rods, like 4-weights, 6 and 7 weights, and then even 10 and 11-weights. “Perfect 6-weight Performance”  20 points available. Personally I really like this dark green with matching green wraps. But then at longer distances the Air lacks the mid and butt section power of the best 6-weight rods. Although the 9 foot 8-weight BVK is one of our favorite rods, the smaller line size rods like the 5 and 6-weights have not proven to be nearly as good. The wraps are a complementary dark green. This is a heavy rod for a 5wt. Punching it produced tailing loops. Good accuracy with the softer tip. The rest of the guides are single foot, flexible nickel titanium guides that are very light. The grip is a western style that Winston refers to as their cigar grip. Pretty good but no question the DXF was better. TFO uses a double ring uplock seat with a green graphite insert to complement the blank. 5.4 oz. 4. A great 6-weight can do it all. They are insanely light, unbelievably sensitive and stronger than you can imagine! #11. *PLEASE NOTE THIS ROD COVER WILL NOT FIT ON SPINNING OR EXTRA O.D. We hope to tackle some of these in the future, but we felt that a 6-weight shootout had more relevance as a great all around fly-fishing tool. On the above chart, it is interesting to see how much stiffer the Scott Meridian is than the others, and also how much softer the Winston Air is compared to the rest. It is hard to complain about the lack of craftsmanship – what do you expect for $89.99? (tie) G. Loomis NRX   9 foot 6-weight    $745.00. The G. Loomis NRX LP 9’#5 has had a stranglehold on first place in our past three 5-weight Shootouts, but now this rod is gone, replaced with the NRX+ LP, a totally new rod with new materials and a new design that has proven to be outstanding. For nymph fishing, 6-weights work better for chucking a two-nymph combo, like a #8 weighted rubber legs, with a smaller tungsten bead head dropper. 6-weight rods have just enough more guts over a 5-weight to make nymph fishing a breeze and they also provide enough power to throw medium size streamers on a sink tip. A rod’s ability to make delicate and accurate presentations with small flies and long leaders is the key to scoring well here. Scott uses one SiC stripping guide, with small diameter wire hard chrome snake guides the rest of the way, as well as a hook keeper. #2. Impressions: The NRX Series got off to a good start when they were well received at last year’s ICAST show taking home both the overall “Best of Show” and “Best of Show in the Freshwater Rod Category.” The launch was a major undertaking for the G.Loomis brand which is deeply rooted in tradition. Orvis – 25 year warranty to original owner. But most of these companies repair your rod, and don’t give you a brand new replacement. And it was always good to have what we felt was the top rod in the Shootout, like the Sky, on hand to make immediate heads up comparisons. The Scott rods, the Loomis Asquith and the Winston Air get the 10’s for the best craftsmanship. Part of this is the wow factor. The Loomis Pro4 10 weight is a cannon. And the craftsmanship is extremely good – something we have found to be very consistent year after year. TFO does also make a triangular travel case that will take up to 5 rods in their cloth bags for $49.95, Performance at 30 feet:  17 points out of 20. They don’t always agree with me, but that’s OK.  As you’ll see, however, we were all pretty much in agreement on which were the best rods. Nice loop control with little effort. Smooth, tight loops and this rod tracks beautifully. I’m convinced that the key to catching more trout and especially larger trout, is casting accuracy. 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