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. GLASS OR COMPOSITE ROD. Normal time 2-4 weeks. Set up with an Airflo Rage head and RIO Slickshooter, the rod repeatedly made long casts, even in windy conditions. At short range I like to cast off the tip of the rod, using mostly my wrist and very little arm movement to power the tip of the rod through the stroke. 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. It's about the tide and the affect it has … It loads great and has a really smooth transmission of power because of a great blend of soft tip to powerful butt sections. $640.00. 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. The tip is soft enough that short casts are easy and accurate. First you must zero out the scale. This is a gorgeous rod. The guides are one SiC stripper and the rest hard chrome snake guides. While we always recommend trying (and buying) a rod from your local fly shop first, we’d love to have your business! Once in a while in our Shootouts we’ll find a rod that feels and performs so much better than anything else, and this is why we gave the Sky a perfect score in the Perfect 6 category. Only then do the subtle differences reveal themselves. I was having trouble getting the kind of accuracy I did with the Aetos. Performance at 30 feet – 20 points available. Then we traced the outline of the rod in different color sharpies. The lock up ring is large and very positive. Nothing jumps out to make me rate it higher than others, but the NRX gave a very solid overall performance. Not quite as good as the Air, Sky, or Radian but certainly equal to the Zephrus. I helped design rods in the Sage LL series, The Loomis StreamDance GLX series, and doing the final casting and prototype work with Tom Morgan on his graphite and glass rods. The swing weight of the rod is the weight you feel out ahead of your hand, holding the rod in a horizontal position. A large extension butt caps it all off. The newly designed Cross SX is another inspiring rod from Loop and perhaps their best to date. 3. Overall this is a really classy looking rod. #11. This actually hurts the rod’s swing weight. The heavy swing weight didn’t equate to much feel, however. For this 6-weight Shootout we used our Clear Butt 9 foot 4X leaders. George’s casting notes: The perfect line- S.A. MPX in WF-6-F, Performance at 30 feet: 19.5 points out of 20. G. Loomis – Lifetime warranty to original owner. 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. On the other hand, the best rods must have enough butt and mid-section power to throw longer distances with ease. Just effortless tight loops and wonderful accuracy. The Zephrus seems to run out of gas at long range. The Sky has a western style grip with very high quality cork and contrasting rings top and bottom. $35 handling fee. But if you want the best, your credit card is going to take a hit for one of the higher numbers. In the hands of an expert caster, the NRX is an unstoppable fishing tool, capable of conquering every reasonable fishing situation thrown at it. The new Douglas Sky was a pleasant surprise to all of us! But this also requires an angler to double-haul well and form good, long, tight back cast loops. Here is a short recap of each manufacturer’s policy and what we have experienced for repair time required. To do this right, we had to ask ourselves: With all the rods set up identically, it was easy to take a few casts with one, lay it down, and immediately pick up another rod and do the same without having to take the time to strip all the line off the rod and load up another one. At least they do give you a hard case, which is better than TFO. We gave Sage and R.L. This rod just did everything well. I’ve always loved helping rod manufacturers like Sage, G. Loomis, Scott, Winston, and Tom Morgan, and Douglas in the design process. A lot of anglers associate G. Loomis with spin fishing, since they also excel at making the industry’s top spin gear. Craftsmanship was very good but not equal to what we are seeing from Scott or the Asquith. This year there were only a couple of 7s. The extremely heavy swing weight does not allow for any feel and with the stiffer tip, the accuracy was not good either. Only when your line is excessively dry will they squeak. Performance at 50 feet: 19 points out of 20. Punching it produced tailing loops. This is a great looking rod with a dark green finish that sparkles in the sunlight. One thing that all of us here in the shop have noticed is how good the craftsmanship has become in the past several years. I wish more manufacturers would give us these. The new MPX is a smooth line, which we prefer, and this year it is a two-colored line – the head is one color with the running line a different color. 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. 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. Sage uses one SiC stripper and the rest are hard chrome snake guides. I think if they made the six-weight in the LP version it would be the winner of this shootout. NRX Jig & Worm spinning rods are designed specifically for fishing jigs and soft plastics. The best 6-weight rods have enough power in the butt and mid-section to get the job done easily. The high priced, exotic Loomis Asquith delivered in performance with its new spiral graphite wrap process and good looks. Here is one of our favorite 6-weights, the NRX. This is a soft rod, and that gives it superb feel and accuracy in close. Beautiful tight loops and wonderful feel and accuracy. But to do this, the rod needs to have enough butt and mid-section power to drive a couple of nymphs, maybe a split shot or two, and also a big, wind resistant indicator, and then put the cast where you need it at 25-50 feet. It balances perfectly with standard weight reels enabling crisp and direct casting. Loop has a new series of the Cross SX rods that proved to both light in swing weight and sweet to cast. Performance at 30 feet: 18 points out of 20. Performance at 30 feet: 18.5 points out of 20. We love their 5-weight Opti-Stream which has been a top performer in the past but this new Cross SX is even more impressive. For this 6-weight shootout, we had identical Ross Evolution LT #2 reels set up with our favorite trout line, the new Scientific Anglers Mastery MPX in WF-6-F. On the lines we are using for this shootout we used our own 9-foot 4X Yellowstone Angler hand tied Clear Butt Leaders. Line it up with a line that suits your cast and fishing scenario and you should do fine with it. The performance scores were a straight across 18.5 but even some of the good rods got individual scores this low. Smooth, tight loops and this rod tracks beautifully. Usually takes 1 week. The most expensive rods, the $895 Sage X and the $1000 Asquith got the lowest score of 6. They feature split-grip cork handles with Fuji Titanium SIC stripper guides, with the ultra … The best 6-weight rods make superb rods for nymph fishing, both at short and long range. If you click on this chart, the link will take you to the page with the other deflection charts. And the craftsmanship is extremely good – something we have found to be very consistent year after year. The swing weight was heavier than the DXF, but better than the Pro 4x, BVK and the Echo Base. The light tipped design of the 10’ 4-weight makes it castable all day for the high stick nympher or float tube angler. Patagonia Foot Tractor Wading Boots – Felt (Built By Danner), Armstrong Spring Creek on the O’Hair Ranch. With your support, we can continue to give you more shootouts and head to head comparisons on tackle and fishing equipment in the future. As we noted when we wrote about the Asquith back in July, Shimano has a lot of fancy words — ones like "InfinityTape" and "Musclecarbon" — that it uses to describe exactly what Spiral-X is and what it does, … $35 handling fee. The New Zealand guys love this one.