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G Loomis NRX Saltwater Spinning Rod Review

It is time to step it up and to take a look at one of the nicest rods I have ever had the pleasure of putting my hands on – The G Loomis NRX Saltwater Inshore spinning rod.  Let me just say right off the bat that I like a good deal with most things in life and it is not everyday that I would go out and drop a little over $600 for a fishing rod, so I borrowed this one from a friend who has a slightly larger disposable income account than I do.  Thank you Mr. X !

The G Loomis brand started by legendary rod maker Gary Loomis has been producing world class rods for decades.  While Gary is no longer the owner of the company (sold to Shimano in 1997), the high quality design and manufacturing continues to this day right here in the US in Woodland, WA where all of the rods are handmade, hence the higher price point.

I’ll get into the specifics of the rod in a minute, but let me say that I consider myself to be a good fisherman and I can honestly say that there is a difference between the G Loomis NRX and its less expensive counterpart the G Loomis E6X.  What I am trying to determine is if I think it is worth spending nearly 4x what the G Loomis E6X runs.  For those of you who have a mid range budget and are looking to get an excellent rod at a medium price point you can not go wrong with the G Loomis E6X rod.

 

Features

These G Loomis NRX rods are packed full of technology that is sure to wow the most experienced angler.  The “X” that we see in the NRX and other G Loomis rods stands for technology.

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. For the serious inshore fisherman or woman that is seeking an extremely lightweight and well balanced rod that is strong and at the same time is able to deliver incredible sensitivity to “feel the bite” this is your rod.  When you have one of these beauties in your hands, it is almost as though you can see what is going on under the surface of the water, as there is so much sensitivity that flows through the line, Fuji K Frame SIC guides and rod blank right into your hands.

NRX rod blank – The rod blank used for the NRX is the flagship for G Loomis and is composed of nothing but the finest materials at a cost that is reported to be 3x that of the materials used in its other rods like the E6X.  The rod blank is a combination of graphite, carbon and 3M matrix resin that is processed in a unique way that produces an extremely sensitive foundation for this excellent rod. The resin is the glue that holds all the material together and is extremely important in a high end rod like this. Anglers will notice what I believe is an unparalleled strength to weight ratio along with one of the most sensitive and lightweight rod blanks in the industry.

Split cork handle – The G Loomis NRX Inshore Saltwater series rods feature a split cork handle in 3 variations that provides the proper balance and the needed strength and durability for all of your inshore fishing action.   The butt is composed of a composite cork that is of a slightly higher density that is comfortable when placed against the mid-section when fighting a larger fish.

Reel seat – The G Loomis NRX has a unique reel seat that allows the cork handle to actually fit snuggly against the bottom side of your reel which transmits the feel of the fish and or lure extremely well.

3 Handle Choices

Guide components – The NRX incorporates an interesting combination of guides.  The NRX Inshore Rods use Fuji SIC K-frame stripper guides on the lower portion of the rod and nickel titanium RECOIL guides on the top section to reduce weight and increase the rate of recovery.  The combination of these two guides is perfect for braided line. The RECOIL guides offer an incredible amount of sensitivity that transmits even the lightest nibble through the rods blank – letting you know that there is action on the other end.

 Features at a Glance

  • Carbon fiber and graphite rod blank
  • 3 M Matrix resin
  • Fuji SIC K frame guides & G Loomis RECOIL guides
  • G Loomis reel seat
  • Premium split cork handle

The NRX Inshore Saltwater series was engineered to have a focus on sensitivity and strength with a considerable investment being made in the rod blank material and the guide system.  I don’t think that enough can be said about the quality of the rod blank in the NRX.  If there is one place that a manufacturer can cut corners it is in the rod blank and most customers would not notice the difference.  In the case of the G Loomis NRX, there was no expense that was spared and this is immediately apparent when you begin to fish this rod.

“Proper balance lets anglers concentrate on what is happening on the end of the line, rather than the tip of the rod,” said G. Loomis’ Bruce Holt. “Our NRX blank construction is the finest, we can provide light, sensitive, yet powerful rods for all types of inshore saltwater techniques, letting anglers focus on the feeling the bite instead of dealing with the fatigue that goes with fishing a poorly balanced rod. It’s all about providing the traits anglers can expect from G. Loomis.” A few of my favorite rods in the inshore saltwater series include:

  • 6′ 8″ Extra Fast Action Medium Power which is awesome when you need the extra distance when say fishing the flats for bonefish or your favorite oyster bed for reds.
  • 7′ 4″ Moderate Fast Action Medium Power which is excellent for drifting a live shrimp or for casting your favorite soft plastics on the inshore waters.
  • 7′ 8″ Fast Action Medium-Heavy Power If you need something with a bit more backbone, then you will want to check out the NRX 7′ 8″ Medium Heavy rod that is designed for your larger species such as Tarpon, Cobia, smaller Tuna and Grouper as well as smaller sharks when you will be fishing cut bait.

For those of you who want all the details I have provided the chart below.

Model NumberRod LengthHandlePiecesLine WeightLure WeightActionPower
NRX 803S XMR6'8"A110 - 20 braid3/8 - 1Ex-FastMedium
NRX 804S XMR6'8"A115 - 30 braid1/2 - 1 1/2Ex-FastMed-Heavy
NRX 842S MR7'A115 - 30 braid3/16 - 5/8FastMedium
NRX 843S MR7'A115 - 40 braid3/16 - 3/4FastMed-Heavy
NRX 882S MR7'4"A115 - 30 braid3/16 - 5/8FastMedium
NRX 883S MR7'4"A115 - 40 braid3/16 - 3/4FastMed-Heavy
NRX 921S MR7'8"B110 - 30 braid1/8 - 3/8FastMed-Light
NRX 922S MR7'8"B115 - 30 braid3/16 - 5/8FastMedium
NRX 923S MR7'8"C110 - 30 braid3/16 - 3/4FastMed-Heavy

One of the things I really respect about G Loomis rods is that they are keeping the jobs here in America by handcrafting these beautiful rods in Woodland, Washington. G Loomis backs these quality rods with a limited lifetime warranty and what they refer to as Xpeditor service. Personally, I never had to return a rod, but my understanding from speaking to others is that you’re not waiting for weeks to get back out on water.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Well balanced
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Legendary Quality
  • Made in the USA

Cons

What can you say negative about a very high end handmade rod other than the price point is steep.  As far as quality, fit, finish and feel this rod rocks!

Alternatives

If you find that spending $600+ is a bit to much for your wallet, then I can recommend that you check out the G Loomis E6X rod also from G Loomis and an excellent rod at that.  As I said earlier for me, it is hard to tell the difference between a $179 and a $600+ rod, maybe after I have fished for another decade and I have a pile of disposable income, I will see where it is a good fit for me.  Read the full review of the G Loomis E6X HERE.

If you are looking to go even a bit less than the $179 price point of the G Loomis E6X, then you can take a look at the Star Stellar Lite series of rods which start at around $100, carry a lifetime warranty and are also made here in the USA. Read the full review of the Star Stellar Lite HERE.

In Conclusion

Yes, the NRX is a very expensive rod and in this case I think that it is one of those things in life that you actually do get what you pay for. Once I fished with this rod, I can say that I want one and will start squirreling away my hard earned pennies for one of these beauties. The G Loomis NRX is a well-balanced, well manufactured quality piece of fishing equipment that is made right here in the United States. If you’re looking to invest in a high quality rod, I would highly recommend the G Loomis NRX Inshore Saltwater fishing rod. It’s also nice to know that if something were to happen to your rod, it is backed by a lifetime warranty from a Manufacturer that has been around for several decades.

If it’s a top of the line “Mercedes” lightweight and sensitive rod that you seek, then quit your research and buy this excellent rod – you can’t go wrong.  This impressive G Loomis NRX Inshore Saltwater rod will most likely become your prized possession when it comes to your inshore saltwater fishing rods.

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