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.