G.Loomis NRX+ Fly Rods | Model-by-Model Review

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In this article, we introduce G.Loomis NRX+ fly rods with a detailed overview and model-by-model reviews.

GLoomis Logo, SmallThe discipline of G.Loomis rewards the angler with a new series of fly rods that is superior to the original in every characteristic.  The NRX+ replaces and improves the original NRX, a rod that was considered revolutionary upon its introduction in 2010.  The NRX+ has three sub-categories of rods: the NRX+ LP, which offers a slower action for dry fly anglers and slow-tempo casters; the NRX+ freshwater series, offering fast action fly rods for trout, salmon, steelhead, bass, pike and other species (line weights 4-8); and saltwater rods in line weights 7-12.

There are three sweeping improvements in the NRX+ series.

    1. Physical weight   — a new resin Loomis is calling “G8” reduces blank weight by 15% while improving durability by preventing the spread of “bruises” caused by impacts to the fly rod.
    2. Stability and accuracy  — you’ll feel this on every cast with every rod in the series.  These rods are not just a little more accurate.  They are a lot more accurate and stable throughout the swing with any fly line.
    3. Taper refinement  — especially notable in the fast action freshwater rods, the tapers are super progressive.  They flex in perfect concert with the amount of fly line in the air and power applied to the cast.  They cast short as well as they cast long, and all points in between.  This reflects incredible refinement in the tapers and probably a ton of prototyping along the way.  These are fundamentally very well designed fly rods.

Model-by-Model Review

by John Duncan and Richard Post, Telluride Angler

NRX+ LP Series – Medium Action

NRX+ 383-4 LP

John Duncan:  This rod has that addictive, springy feel that makes the LP series so compelling.  It’s a tweener length, however, too short to handle leaders much over 12’ and a bit long for a dedicated creek rod.  It’s length and action make it ideal for late season fishing on medium sized wade fishing rivers and spring creeks.  This is a lightweight and steady little 3-weight that casts with great accuracy and touch.  The NRX+ 383-4 LP is one of those rods with a distinct sweet zone, terrific between 25 and 45 feet, but less than automatic outside of that zone.  I recommend it with an SA Trout Taper (Amplitude Smooth is my favorite version), or a Rio Technical Trout, especially with larger flies in the size #10-14 range.

Richard Post:  This is a fun mid-length 3-weight. The action was very even and just right for a 3-weight of this length with a subtle crispness. The Scientific Anglers Amplitude Trout taper was a lovely pairing and matched the action of the rod superbly. The NRX+ LP 383 was a delight in close delivering the fly where you were looking and landing it with the lightness of a leaf falling onto the water. At mid-length distances to 40 feet the rod was dreamy and the supple crispness to the blank made me feel totally at ease. For the angler looking for a graphite 3-weight to double as a creek tool and a small freestone fun rig look no further. A perfect length in my opinion for Southern Appalachian freestones, the Wisconsin Driftless zone and Western meadow streams with small dries and terrestrials.

NRX+ 486-4 LP

John Duncan:  Does not generate high line speed, but the NRX+ 486-4 LP is very stable and offers excellent loop control.  It tightens down nicely around 20’ and can turn over a long leader out to about 55’ or 60’.  The rods in this series are chips off the same block.  Like its cousins, the 486-4 possesses that lovely elastic feel in the upper mid-section that entices the caster to make lots of false casts with 30 feet of line in the air.  It’s a great feeling, but the rod prioritizes this “sweetness” over “versatility,” which it lacks.  With a dry fly, it needs about 20-30’ of line in the air to push through its stiff tip and get into that nice, soft middle section.  The butt section is stiff enough to generate a little line speed and turn over a long leader, but not stiff enough to muscle a nymph rig.  So, the NRX+ 486-4 LP is a nice dry fly rod for calm conditions and average size flies.  Everyone should own a designated dry fly 4-weight, even if it’s not a good choice for aggressive angling situations.

Richard Post:  A very nice casting and handling 8 foot 6 inch 4-weight with a playful action that welcomes the caster. An airy swing weight and a sustained feeling of connectedness through the cast implore the caster to take another false cast. This is a very fun rod and it is appropriately tuned to its task. This is not a powerful 4-weight, it is a dry fly tuned rod designed to help anglers create presentation solutions inside of 65 feet. If you’re inclined to fish an indicator, I would look at another 4 weight, but for the GLoomis dry fly aficionado, give this rod a cast.

NRX+ 590-4 LP

John Duncan:  This rod is simply unbelievable with a Scientific Anglers Trout Taper.  It flexes a little deeper than the 383-4 or 486-4, using the whole rod to generate significant line speed.  Like some of my favorite Winstons, it has a stiff tip, so it actually doesn’t cast all that well at short distances.  Over about 25’, however, the loop control, line speed and touch are marvelous.  Very few rod and line combinations are sweeter than this model with a Trout Taper.  At distance, the casting loop is incredibly flat and tight, just spectacular.  I could cast this rod all day…until the wind starts blowing.  My favorite line for calm day dry fly fishing is definitely the SA Trout Taper.  To fish hoppers, stoneflies or nymph rigs, load it with a Rio Gold.  The Gold helps cut the wind, too, because it generates more momentum at short and mid distance.

Many anglers will compare this rod with the original NRX LP, a global favorite 5-weight.  The rods have a similar cadence, but every angler will notice the improvements in swing weight and stability.  The new NRX+ 590-4 LP has much less tip bounce and wobble in the stroke.  It’s lighter in hand and “fishes lighter” on the water.  Wind is still the enemy of the LP, but for a light-touch 5-weight, this rod has few peers.

Richard Post:  The predecessor to this model was so good and well received that we had big expectations for the NRX+ LP 590. We were not disappointed. This rod is a perfectly tuned medium action 5-weight capable of being a go-to 5-weight for everyday trout work and fitting into the quiver as a specialized technical 5-weight with a lighter touch. My favorite lines were the SA Trout tapers and the Rio Technical Trout line. A Rio Gold is a great option as well for the angler looking to throw a slightly larger fly or fish a reasonable indicator rig. The NRX+ 590-4 LP is an easy rod for the caster to dig deeper down on the blank.  You can feel this even with a roll cast. Loop formation was instant and even at all distances with the blank springing to life and encouraging the caster. This rod feels more refined and stable than the original LP 590 without losing any of that sweet stable feeling the series is known for. If you like a more moderate action 5-weight, take notice of this rod, it could be the next trout rod you reach for.

NRX+ 690-4 LP

John Duncan:  This is a lovely caster and fine representative of the NRX+ LP series.  If you own and NRX LP 590-4 and wonder if the 6-weight is a chip off the same block, the answer is yes.  In my hands, the NRX+ 690-4 LP is primarily a dry fly 6-weight.  It throws long, elegant loops with tremendous feel and control.  Accuracy and loop control rival any trout rod, but line speed is limited and butt section power doesn’t compare with the regular NRX+ 690-4 model.  So, if you want a 6-weight dry fly rod, this rod is wonderful.  I generally request more versatility from my 6-weights, but this is a well designed and executed fly rod.  Fish it with an SA Trout Taper for best casting control.

Richard Post:  The NRX+ LP 690 was my favorite rod of the new NRX+ LP lineup. I really like moderate action 9 foot 6-weights for my personal trout fishing in Southwest Colorado. I like the way they throw a bigger dry fly, fish all around out of the boat and handle a bulky hopper dropper rig. I tend to grab this style of rod when I want a little more push than a 5-weight provides but I still might fish lighter tippet down to 5X. The NRX+ 690 presents a strong argument as the new standard for this style of fly rod. This rod has a perfect trouty medium action that is so smooth and buttery while still having the power you expect from a 6-weight in reserve. The NRX+ LP 690 rolls out line so casually and confidently it gives you a feeling of relaxation. Feeling this rod load and cast is something special and it gave me the warm fuzzy feeling I get with rods I’ve fished for a decade or more. I felt right at home with this rod in my hands and welcomed the wonderful feeling of power transmission and stability through the cast. This is a great rod and a western 6-weight that will be talked about around riverside campfires for years to come.

NRX+ Freshwater Series – Fast Action

NRX+ 490-4

John Duncan:  There is almost nothing Steve Rajeff does better than design 9’ 4-weights.  This rod would be hard to improve.  If you’re looking for a fast action 4-weight that doesn’t pigeon hole the angler into power techniques, you’ve found the rod.  The NRX+ 490-4 is fast, but progressive, flexing evenly with each additional increment of line in the air or power applied in the casting stroke.  The casting cadence for this rod is definitely quick, but it defies “fast action stereotypes” in that the timing is intuitive with distinct feel in the line loading moments.  It casts both short and long better than any other 4-weight in its class.  The taper is so finely tuned that the angler may literally cast with eyes closed without losing rhythm.  Fish it with either an SA Trout Taper or Rio Gold for spectacular results.  The original NRX 9’ 4-weight was one of our favorites in that series, but the new model surpasses it in every category:  range, accuracy, line speed, touch and loop control.  On a scale of 1-100, I would rate this rod a 100.

Richard Post:  This is a superb 9 foot 4-weight, truly outstanding! I love the wells grip on this rod and the uber lightness of the rod in the hand. The NRX+ 490 feels like a true 4-weight, rather than a faster 4-weight that wants a heavier line to perform. The rod is light and playful while being uncompromising in its performance. The NRX+ 490 straddles the divide between a slower action and a faster action 9 foot 4-weight. I would not hesitate to add this rod to a quiver that already has a faster or slower 4-weight. With a Rio Gold the rod was superb and exuded the qualities of a true all around 4-weight for trout. The Rio Technical Trout threw beautiful V-loops that turned over a long leader with perfect crispness. The SA Trout tapers were wonderful as well and the NRX+ 490 didn’t seem to prefer one line to the other. For an all around trout line, go with the Gold and for a technical dry fly rod pick up a Rio Technical Trout or an SA Trout. Fine tune this 4-weight to your specific task and rest assured the rod will surpass your expectations. This is one of the only 9 foot 4-weights I’ve picked up that will appeal to both fans of faster and slower rods. This is a wonderful 9 foot 4-weight.

NRX+ 4100-4

John Duncan:  The light tipped design of the 10’ 4-weight makes it castable all day for the high stick nympher or float tube angler.  In fact, the NRX+ 4100-4 is a terrific caster by any standard.  The SA MPX is probably the best overall line for this rod as the ½ size heavy head loads the blank more deeply and the long rear taper offers substantial control at distance.  I also cast it with Rio Gold 4 and 5-weight lines.  I loved them all.  Predictably, the 4-weight gold feels lightest and generates highest line speed for dry fly casting.  The 5-wt Gold still casts terrific and offers a bit more command for line mends and roll casts.  I settled on the SA MPX WF4F as the best all-arounder for this rod.

Richard Post:  This was the most surprising rod to me in the NRX+ lineup. In general, I tend to look past 10 foot 4-weights and write them off as one note nymphing rods. The NRX+ 4100 could not be further from this and is the best casting and feeling 10 foot 4-weight I’ve every picked up. The rod felt perfect with an InTouch Rio Gold WF4F. It cast so smoothly overhead that I had to remind myself it was a 10 footer rather than a 9 footer. The lightness of the rod with the precision of the taper hide the extra foot of graphite exquisitely. You simply do not feel like you’re holding a 10 foot fly rod. The NRX+ 4100 features an aluminum uplocking reel seat with a smart looking small fighting butt appropriate for its line weight. This rod is highly capable of fishing dries, nymph rigs, streamers and even substituting as a legitimate Euro Nymph rod. I hate to say it, but this rod is a real quiver killer. Its versatility and skillfulness across such a wide range of fly rod techniques is truly unique. The NRX+ 4100 is a 10 foot 4-weight that fishes and feels like a 4-weight while providing the angler with extreme mending and reaching ability. If you’ve been curious about a 10 foot 4-weight rod, but not convinced, check this rod out. I haven’t picked up anything like it before.

NRX+ 590-4

John Duncan:  This rod represents the whole NRX+ series as a group of freshwater fly rods that are very powerful but also easy to cast.  It is light in hand and throws over the horizon, but what’s truly remarkable is how the finely tuned taper casts equally well at short and medium distances.  Starting with fly in hand, it casts laser loops from 10’ to over 90’.  Our friends at Loomis attribute this to numerous micro taper changes within the blank, a masterpiece of rod design.  I first cast the 590-4 with a Rio InTouch Gold and had no interest in trying different lines.  If your fishing calls for a specialized line, have no concern about the rod’s ability to cast it well.  With a dry fly or light nymph rig, however, go with a Rio Gold.

Richard Post:  The NRX+ 590 has a slightly quicker tempo and casts much more off the tip than the NRX+ LP 590. It is a good, even flexing fast 9 foot 5-weight with an action that falls somewhere between the NRX+ LP and the Asquith. The rod was good with the Rio Gold, but I liked it a little more with the SA Infinity WF5F (also my favorite line pairing on the Asquith 590). The NRX+ 590 is an improvement over the NRX in every way. More stable, easier line speed and more touch as well.

NRX+ 595-4

John Duncan:  Loomis designed this model as a big water stick that would be light enough to fish as your everyday fly rod.  Indeed, it swings light for its length.  The extra reach helps with distance casting, line mending, roll casting and lifting a long line off the water for your next cast.  Like the other rods in this series, the NRX+ 595-4 has a refined, progressive taper that almost anyone will enjoy casting.  Its fishing utility may be optimized with an SA Infinity Taper or other long-bellied fly line.  The rod feels lightest and casts for the greatest distance with a Rio InTouch Gold or SA MPX taper, but the Infinity Taper is a more responsive fly line when the angler is at great distance from the fly.

Richard Post:  This rod feels a little different from the rest of the NRX+ lineup. G.Loomis calls the rest of the lineup fast action and they call the NRX+ 595 medium fast. The 595 NRX+ is also the most specialized rod in this lineup and it is designed as a light tippet, small fly technical tailwater fly rod. The extra 6 inches gives you more reach and added ability to high stick through tricky seams off the tip. This 5-weight is very capable of handling light tippets in the 6X class with its supple tip and more limber profile. Think about #22s with 6X tippet fished from the surface to the bottom of the run. That is what this rod was designed to do. It gives the angler a longer reach with light flies and touch required to present these flies to highly selective fish. I give it 3.5 stars because the 5100 is so good and this rod isn’t exactly my speed in a 9-foot 6-inch 5-weight. If you’re a dedicated tailwater fisherman needing more reach with tippet protection check it out. There is no small fighting butt on this model.

NRX+ 5100-4

John Duncan:  Amazingly similar to the 4100-4, the NRX+ 5100-4 is an astounding pure caster for a trout rod of this length.  The 10’ rods in this series are truly impressive.  I really expected them to feel heavy, but they do not.  As with the 4100, my favorite line on this rod is the SA MPX WF5F.

Richard Post:  Take notice of the NRX+ 10-foot trout rods. They are remarkable.  Like the NRX+ 4100, the 5100 is exceptional for its line weight and length. This model is very easy overhead and unlike many 10-foot single hand rods, you do not have to change your casting stroke to accommodate the extra length in the blank. This rod tracks and unloads like a 9-footer. Setup for a roll cast and you know you’re holding a 10-foot rod, this thing can reach out with limited room behind you. I think the 4100 is where I would go for a 10-foot trout rod, but for anglers fishing large rivers, bigger nymph rigs or stillwaters with streamers from a float tube, the NRX+ 5100 is your stick. A very impressive 10-foot 5-weight from the Loomis team, the NRX+ 5100 features aluminum uplocking hardware and a small fighting butt that looks just right on the rod.

NRX+ 690-4

John Duncan:  When I first picked up this rod, it felt more substantial than others in the series.  I thought, “streamer 6-weight.”  Indeed, this is a magnificent streamer 6-weight, perhaps the best that Loomis offers.  Like the 490-4 and 590-4, the 690-4 cast both short and long with equal loop control and line speed.  You’ll cast it well on the first try, because the flex profile is nice and even with terrific feel delivered to the palm of your hand.  It’s fast, but not tricky; powerful, but not clubby.  This rod is so much more stable than its predecessor that it gives the illusion of being a stiffer, faster action rod.  In my opinion, the rod is not substantially different in fundamental action, just much more efficient.  Also, I’m really glad Loomis put a Wells grip on this rod, more natural for aggressive casting.  It is fantastic with a Rio InTouch Gold, but should also handle the wide variety of specialized streamer tapers that are popular with today’s anglers.

Richard Post:  Another great 6-weight from the NRX+ lineup, the 690 is an awesome rod. It features a modern fast action that perfectly matches the demands of most anglers fishing the 6-weight line. If you want a rod with a little more punch than the NRX+ LP 690 or you prefer your 6-weight with a small fighting butt, this is a rod to consider. I prefer this rod to the Asquith 690 as well, mostly on the basis of the full wells grip and small fighting butt. The NRX+ 690 doesn’t have the dry fly loving action of the LP, but it feels more appropriate for larger flies and challenging conditions. It is a spirited and snappy 6-weight that generates easy power with the upper middle half of the rod. This makes the rod very nice in close while having the reserve power to reach out and touch a target at distance. This is a true 6-weight capable of handling sinking and heavy headed lines while feeling very good with a hopper and an all around trout line. They look great too. The cosmetics on these rods are much improved over the NRX.

NRX+ 6100-4

John Duncan:  Simply stunning.  The 10-footers in this series may collectively be considered a marvel of fly rod design.  Light enough to cast all day, this rod possesses range and feel found in very few fly rods of any length or line weight.  10-foot rods are always lethal angling tools, but few possess any of the traits of this model:  lightness, refined progressive action, range, touch, loop control, stability.  I love it with an SA MPX or Rio Gold, but an SA Infinity taper would also cast and fish terrific on this rod.  After making a long overhead cast on the pond, I attempted to roll cast the same length of line without stripping any in.  The loop ripped across the water and turned over the leader with an audible pop.  This at over 50 feet.  Sensational.

Richard Post:  All the 10-footers in the NRX+ lineup are so good and the NRX+ 6100 is cut from the same cloth as the 4100 and the 5100. I wouldn’t call this a trout rod personally, but it would be a dream for summer run steelhead. For the trout crew, think about using this rod on the larger western rivers and reservoirs for targeting trophy class trout with larger flies. It swings so well overhead and roll casts like a demon, I’d love to take this thing up to the Miracle Mile when the fish are on the move. An excellent and welcoming 10-foot 6-weight that is ready for whatever you have to throw at it.

NRX+ 7100-4

John Duncan:  A superb fishing tool, this rod has endless capability at distance.  It casts overhead and with every permutation of single hand Spey stroke with command and touch.  To me, the other 10-footers in this series were a little smoother in the 30-50 foot range, but that’s splitting hairs.  Compared to any other 10-foot 7-weight, this rod wins in every category of performance.  Fish it with any common salmon/steelhead fly line for terrific results.  As with other 10-foot rods, I prefer a line with a long taper to give this long single handed fly rod a chance to manipulate the fly line best at distance.  On that level, I recommend a Rio InTouch Salmo/Steelhead line, SA Andro taper, SA Distance Taper or at least an SA MPX over weight forward lines with shorter heads, such as the Rio Gold.

Richard Post:  I can’t say enough about the 10-foot NRX+ rods. The NRX+ 7100 is best in class for its line weight and length. For the angler looking for a single handed rod to chase steelhead and salmon without jumping to an 8-weight, this is your stick. Overhead casting is a breeze and a welcomed relief compared to other 10-foot 7-weights and as one would expect roll casting with this rod is pure magic. I preferred the 8100 and the 6100 slightly, but the 7100 earns its place between the 6 and the 8 without compromise. Select this rod if the 8 is too much or you’re looking to do some heavy streamer trout fishing from the bank as well as hunt for sea run fish.

NRX+ 8100-4

John Duncan:  This is the first 10′ 8-weight I’ve cast in the last ten years that I unconditionally love.  If anything, this model casts farther with greater line speed than any of its contemporaries, but without the hideous swing weight and “wooden” feeling found in most other 10′ 8-weight fly rods.  It is terrific both short and long with overhead and Spey-style casting techniques.  It roll casts forever and mends line with agility and precision.  Fish it with a long tapered line, such as the SA Mastery Anadro taper or Rio InTouch Salmo/Steelhead line.  This is an incredible fishing tool that you’ll cast all day without fatigue.  Remarkable.

Richard Post:  Single hand steelhead and salmon fisherman take note, there is a new standard 10-foot 8-weight out there and it is the NRX+ 8100. This rod is surprisingly pleasant to cast overhead, throwing long, stable and predictable loops that provide the caster with a commanding sense of control and ease. The lightness of this rod for its weight and length is unbelievable, unmatched in any comparable fly rod. This is important with a rod of this size. Less swing weight means less wear on the caster and hopefully more wear on the fish. The NRX+ 8100 single Spey casts like you have an extra hand underneath and the loops jump off the tip flat, level and fast. A phenomenal rod that is ready to go to the big rivers and play with hard fighting anadromous fish, check this stick out for your next steelhead or salmon trip.

NRX+ Saltwater Series – Fast Action

NRX+ 790-4

John Duncan:  This rod swings and casts like a tight loop dry fly rod.  The 7, 8 and 9 is this series possess similar qualities.  They feel great in hand and are extremely light for their line classes.  This is a stiff fly rod, however, clearly designed for aggressive casting and heavy headed lines.  I first cast it with an SA Saltwater Taper, which wasn’t heavy enough to load the rod completely.  It threw nice little dry fly loops, but this is a saltwater rod that needs to flex into the mid section to generate the kind of horsepower required for blasting casts into heavy wind.  I came back with a Rio Direct Core Bonefish 7-weight, which was much better.  A Rio Flats Pro line would probably be the best overall match in terms of rod loading and general purpose fishing performance.

Richard Post:   There are a lot of excellent 9 foot 7 weights out there right now and G.Loomis has added another excellent rod to consider. The NRX+ 790 is a big improvement over its predecessor and the rod makes for an excellent do-everything 7-weight. This rod is as capable throwing trout streamers as a Crazy Charlie. Loomis has produced a 7-weight that is smooth casting, very stable and highly versatile. The rod is playful and light casting with a bonefish line and confident and powerful with a heavier weight forward head for throwing wind resistant and heavy flies. The NRX+ 790 is an excellent compliment to the rest of the NRX+ lineup and picks up right where the NRX+ 690 leaves off in terms of ability to carry more line with a bigger fly in tougher conditions.

NRX+ 890-4

John Duncan:  The NRX+ 890-4 is almost identical to the 790-4 in feel and casting characteristics.  This is a fine saltwater fly rod:  light, quick and powerful.  It requires a heavy line for optimal loading, like a Rio Flats Pro or SA Grand Slam.  The saltwater rods in this series will particularly appeal to old school saltwater casters, those who value power over any other trait and aren’t afraid to put some muscle into the casting stroke.

Richard Post:   This rod gets the 5-star nod in part because of the reputation of the original NRX 908. That rod was loved and proven as a top performing 9 foot 8-weight across the range.  For this line weight and length, I believe the NRX+ 908 is an improvement in every way. This is a level-headed fly rod that might not have as much “wow factor” out of the gate as some other rods in this line class, but what this rod possesses is a reliable and predictable action that inspires confidence through consistency. Pick up this rod and know you can get the job done. It is exceptionally stable and solid through the cast and doesn’t leave you guessing about what it can and cannot do. The new NRX+ is the rod for the angler that wants an 8-weight to perform all the duties required of the 8-weight line without compromise. You could argue there are better pure flats 8-weights out there, just like you could argue there are better heavy freshwater 8-weights or striper 8-weights and so on. I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a rod that steps up to these varied tasks better than the NRX+ 908.

NRX+ 990-4

John Duncan:  To me, the 7, 8 and 9-weight saltwater models feel like family.  The 10, 11 and 12 feel like family, too…but a different family.  The NRX+ 990-4 is a terrific caster with the lightness of the 7 and 8-weights and the characteristic stability of all rods in this series.  Casting accuracy is tremendous because there is so little lateral sway through the stroke.  The rod is efficient and hugely powerful.  It requires a heavy headed line, however.  My favorite saltwater lines are the Rio Direct Core bonefish and SA Amplitude Smooth Bonefish, neither of which are heavy enough to load this rod with a relaxed stroke.  The Rio Flats Pro is a good match, as are the SA Grand Slam and SA Amplitude Infinity Saltwater line.

Richard Post:   The NRX+ 990 has a very steep taper and casts like a traditional saltwater 9-weight, noticeably lighter in hand than the GLX or NRX but with a feel that is reminiscent of these models. There isn’t a ton of feedback offered to the caster as the rod loads, but the end result is automatic. Leader turnover and the delivery of the fly are both excellent and this rod has the strength in the lower end to drive a strong cast into the wind. This 9-weight feels like a great striper and sinking line fly rod possessing great strength in the blank and loads of stability. The NRX+ 9 weight requires the caster to pay attention through the cast and in the right hands will deliver the fly without compromise.

NRX+ 1090-4

John Duncan:  I would describe this rod as powerful and stable with terrific ability to shoot line, but not lightweight and not particularly easy to cast.  I threw it with both an SA Grand Slam taper and a Rio Tarpon line and didn’t really care for either.  I came back with a Rio Direct Core Tarpon WF10F, which smoothed out the ride considerably, but I still didn’t love the rod.  Both the tip and butt are quite stiff.  It flexes into the upper mid section, then tightens up abruptly, commanding the caster to “Shoot the line now.  Right now.”  Then, it really launches, but without the characteristic stability and loop control offered by the trout rods in this series.  The strong butt section will be useful for tarpon, large permit, adult dorado, trophy roosterfish and large stripers, all which push the boundaries for a 10-weight fly rod.

Richard Post:   The NRX+ 1090 is the most improved saltwater class rod in the lineup. I liked the absolute power that the original NRX 10-weight possessed, but I felt like that rod was meant for the upper 10% of fly casters. The NRX+ 10-weight is a slightly toned down version that makes the NRX+ a much more friendly casting fly rod than its predecessor. This 10-weight is very approachable to the average trout angler without being a “soft rod” in any way. It has a lot of stability built into the blank and makes for an extremely even casting big fly rod. The NRX+ 10 weight is a great choice for permit, light tarpon work and picking up and laying down sinking lines from a boat. If you’re a G.Loomis fan and you want a 10-weight that can do it all without killing your casting arm, check out this rod.

NRX+ 1190-4

John Duncan:  This is my favorite heavy saltwater rod in the series, the one that feels lightest and smoothest relative to its line weight.  It’s a long range 11-weight, casting best in the 50-90 foot range.  It feels fantastic at that distance, but many tarpon shots are shorter.  When conditions allow for long casts, it will excel.  The 10, 11 and 12-weights in this series feel like they were designed for fishing with the SA Grand Slam Taper and other load-and-shoot style saltwater lines.  The Bruce Chard taper and Rio Outbound lines are good pairings.  Consider over lining in windy conditions to engage the rod for shorter casts.

Richard Post:   The action of the NRX+ 1190 resembles the NRX+ 9-weight more than the 10-weight and reminds me of the GLX rods. This rod is certainly lighter in the hand than the GLX and is a much more castable rod than both the GLX and the NRX, but it still possesses that stout and solid feel that old school Loomis fans adore. The NRX+ feels like a fishing tool and is capable of strong, confident, uncompromising casting in the correct hands. You have to stay tuned with this rod through the cast, but for the right angler this rod is excellent.

NRX+ 1290-4

John Duncan:  This is a physically light rod with explosive casting capability, but like the 11-weight, it’s happiest at distance.  Short casts will be tough because the rod doesn’t load and create line speed until the whole head is in the air and the caster applies a double haul.  It’s like a car that goes 0-60 mph in 8 seconds, but 60-120 mph in 4 seconds.  All of these heavier saltwater models possess the wonderful springy feel that makes Loomis rods so addictive.  They don’t “cast themselves,” however.  The caster needs a tuned sense of timing and a bit of physical strength to get the most out of this saltwater fly rod.  It casts a Rio Direct Core Tarpon line very well beyond 50 feet, but needs a Rio Outbound or other short, heavy-headed line to work in close.  On windy days, most tarpon shots come at less than 50 feet, so choose your fly line carefully.

Richard Post:   The NRX+ 1290 has power for days and despite its line weight is a pretty easy caster and much more castable rod than the original NRX. It is a little tight in close, but certainly workable.  At distance the rod is wonderful and predictable. There is also a ton of strength in this blank for pulling on large fish. This rod could be a little much to handle casting all day to laid up tarpon, but certainly isn’t too much for short headed lines and big GT flies. Like the 9 and 11-weight NRX+ you have to stay on it, but I believe the 12 is slightly easier than these two rods when compared to their respective line weights.  The NRX+ 1290-4 offers Loomis quality, strength and durability in a 12-weight that does not require a graduate degree in fly casting to operate.

[G.Loomis NRX+ LP rod pages]
[G.Loomis NRX+ fast action freshwater rod pages]
[G.Loomis NRX+ saltwater rod pages]