Feb 11

NRX – A review from Angling Trade

I saw the review of the NRX in the latest email from Angling Trade (anyone can sign up for these emails, and you probably should if you have more than a passing interest in what’s happening in “the Industry”).  The rod got top marks from Kirk Deeter as he field tested an NRX down in Argentina.  The review doesn’t talk about what weight the rod was, but I assume it was a bit lighter than would be used out in the salt, and indeed there is an NRX Trout and NRX Saltwater, although I’m not sure what the difference in those rods is, action wise.

I got a chance to cast an NRX at the California Fly Shop back in November and I recall liking what I felt/saw, but 10 minutes in the parking lot doesn’t tell you a whole lot in any way that is useful.  My impression, casting the 9 weight, was that it felt like I was casting a 7.  It was light and crisp and bristled with power… or so it seemed.

I’m sure the NRX is a great rod and I’m sure it is comparable to the other great rods out there… the Helios, the Xi3, the BIIIx, the S4S.  If you got 10 anglers together and asked them which was the “best” you would likely end up with 12 answers.  So much in what makes a rod great is down to the angler.  I’d say it is easy to tell when you have a great rod, but sorting out something like “the greatest” becomes a very subjective affair.  Still… I’ll bet it is pretty sweet.

The price… the price is steep.  I know that these folks have done the research and figured out that there is a market for a rod that is $760.  I’ve cast some of these rods and caught fish on some of these rods, but I’m not “there” yet in my mind.  Maybe it is just too far from where I was when I first fell in love with fly fishing… when a ball-busting rod was $400.  Those were good days and I saw a lot of water and I caught a lot of fish (just none of them bonefish).

If you’d like a tour of the G. Loomis factory, you can check out the YouTube video below.


Nov 10

Shout out to the California Fly Shop

Today (actually, yesterday as you read this), my wife broke me off a little free time.  I could have grabbed a rod and gone in search of bass or carp, but instead, I headed up 101 to the California Fly Shop in San Carlos.  I’d never been there before, although I had seen some announcements from them over the years and I may be on their email list.

I needed help and I needed a full fledged fly shop to get that help.  We have an Orvis about 10 minutes away, but, ya know… the retail experience at Orvis is very uneven.  The fly fishing side of the store is often left in the hands of folks that don’t know a sink tip from a lead sinker.  Every once in a while you find some real quality folks there, but if they aren’t working that day you are SOL if you actually need some advice or something unique.  I have heard from a couple people that their actual gear has come leaps and bounds, but sometimes you just need a real fly shop.

The California Fly Shop is about a half-hour drive away and is tucked away in an industrial park, although it is next door to an REI.  I finally found the shop and the lack of cars out front made me wonder if they were open… which they were.  I walked in and found it to be a pretty nice shop… well stocked with gear, rods, flies and fly tying materials.  I picked up a few things and when Steve asked if I needed any help, I confessed to him my frustration with the Bimini Knot.  Fifteen minutes later I had learned the knot, gotten pretty sorted on what my tarpon leader needed to look like and I was out in the parking lot test driving the G. Loomis NRX in a 9 wt. and chatting with Steve about Baja.

Thanks Steve.  I appreciate the time you spend helping me out.  You guys have a great shop and I’ll certainly be back. My first and second Tarpon Leaders are now done.

The NRX 9 wt. was LIGHT but powerful.  It really felt like casting a 7 wt.  I was casting with a Rio Outbound floating line, which makes it pretty easy to cast, but I have to say, first impressions were very positive.  I still won’t be buying one unless they knock about $500 off the price tag, but if I found one in the Orphanage for Abandoned Rods, I’d probably rush through the adoption papers.

A nice shop with helpful people