We get questions about specific rod models all the time. "How does the 3wt compare to the 4wt?" and "When should I use this rod?" and "What line works best on this rod?". In an attempt to provide better info so you can make a more informed buying decision, we decided to start a 'model-by-model' blog series. We recently had the good fortune of having every model of the G. Loomis Asquith in our shop at the same time so we thought we'd cast and review them. This article is designed to pass that info along to you. Of course, like our shootouts and other casting commentaries, these mini-reviews are based on our casting style and preferences. Your mileage may vary.
Series Overview: The Asquith has been around for a little while now and certainly received a lot of hype in the series infancy. The Asquith offers new rod blank technology, cutting edge R&D, and an overall series that's one of the lightest and most powerful on the market. Unfortunately, the Asquith is also known for a $$ high price tag $$. Is it worth the investment? Read on to find out.
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The 4wt defies some generalizations of the series. It's not as fast as other rod models and sports a moderate action profile for increased flex and feel. We also thought it felt a bit heavy; it's not the lightest 4wt on the market. That being said, this model has sweet finesse and presents flies really delicately for the angler in tune with his/her dry fly side. If you can slow down your casting stroke and don't need a distance rod, this is a wonderful little 4wt.
Best Use: This is a small stream rod when delicacy with small dries is important. This is also a great small spring creek rod and local trout water rod.
The taper on the 5wt Asquith is a little stiffer than the 4wt and this rod generates phenomenal line speed at longer distances. The 5wt is just a much more powerful rod than the 4wt. This is also Ben's go-to 5wt. We found that the 5wt generated laser-tight loops, was highly accurate at every distance (for the angler with a quicker casting stroke) and really offers unparalleled performance in the 5wt world. Plus, it's really lightweight which is always a plus in a trout rod.
You can read our blog review of the 5wt Asquith here.
Best Use: This is a rod for the long-distance dry fly angler. The 5wt is powerful enough to cut through wind, present flies accurately at all distances, and minimize casting fatigue. This probably isn't the best rod for big nymph rigs or open-loop streamer fishing.
If we had to choose one other rod in the series that has a similar action to the 6wt it would probably be the 4wt. This is a low-powered 6wt with an action that's a bit more moderate. When cast alongside the 5wt, we were slightly disappointed about the low power levels on this 6wt. That being said it's a great rod for open loops and heavy rigs which may be the way G. Loomis designed it. If you're looking to accurately throw dry flies choose the 5wt. If you're looking to pound the bank with streamers or nymphs out of a drift boat, this is a solid rod choice... big dry flies, too.
Best Use: This rod is ideal for streamers and nymph rigs. It's really a boat rod and wouldn't perform particularly well in long-distance wading scenarios. It would also make a fun Bass rod.
This 7wt is one of our favorites in the whole series. You can instantly feel the rod's light swing weight and high power levels. This is a lightweight, lively, really powerful rod that delivers accurate shots at any distance. If you need a rod that'll cut through wind, throw laser loops, and land a variety of flies accurately from anywhere, this is the rod model for you. It's a little too powerful for a trout rod but would make a great Bass rod, Bonefish rod, and 'schoolie' Striper rod.
Best Use: The 7wt is a rod for power-hungry anglers looking for a high-performance rod that'll get the job done when fishing for Bass, Bonefish, and small Stripers.
We reviewed the Asquith 8wt and compared it to the NRX in the video above. Ben tells you all you need to know there. Spoiler Alert: this is a pretty sweet 8wt. Lightweight, accurate, and powerful... a rod that's similar in action to the 7wt and is a more moderate all-around saltwater fly rod. This 8wt is the 'flagship' model in the series and probably the most popular model... for good reason. That being said, Ben felt that the NRX was a better rod at longer distances.
You can read our blog review of the 8wt Asquith here.
Lines: Scientific Anglers Amplitude Bonefish Fly Line, similar lighter lines
Best Use: This is one of the finest short/middle distance saltwater rods on the market. Use this rod for Bonefish on the flats, smaller Redfish in the marsh, or Salmon.
This rod is an excellent long-distance rod and would make an efficient companion for all you blind-casting Striper fishermen out there. We were really excited about Titan Taper on this rod but it casts relatively well with SA Bonefish, too. This is a nice, light 9wt that's great for fishing the surf or targeting Reds in shallow water down south. Interestingly enough, nearly every rod model in this series is highly accurate at shorter distances... this 9wt is no exception.
Best Use: This rod has sort of two performance sweet spots if you will... it's a great distance rod when accuracy isn't all that important and you're more focused on dumping a lot of line (Stripers) AND it's a solid rod option for large flies at close range (Redfish).
As we start getting deeper in the rod series and upping the Asquith's line sizes we enter into heavy-duty, ultra-powerful, big water rods. The 10wt is stout with a powerful butt section for big fish lifting power and big fly casting power. This rod generates a high line speeds and is a great rod at longer distances. It's quick and rewards the angler who prefers a fast rod and can apply casting pressure at the right times during the casting stroke. Don't mistake this rod for a 'caster-friendly' rod or a 'versatile' rod. It's designed specifically for the angler who prefers high-performance fly rods and who's been around the industry for some time. And its price tag reflects that. That being said, its lightweight design and high line speeds make it a pleasure to cast... and easy for anglers who know what they're doing.
Best Use: A really nice smaller Tarpon rod and a great choice for pulling on trophy Redfish (strong butt section). Accurate at all distances but not a 'finesse' rod. PERMIT BEWARE.
While we're getting heavy in rod weights here, the 11wt Asquith actually felt quite light in hand. This would make a really nice Tarpon rod; the rod does a lot of the work for you and encourages high line speeds and solid accuracy across the board. The rod also has a really solid butt section for increased lifting power to turn a big Tarpon. The rod's taper and fast action design mean it's a rod that'll propel large flies through the wind easily and handle heavy fly lines efficiently.
Best Use: The 11wt is a lightweight, fast action rod that's ideal for Tarpon and smaller GT. Use this rod wherever a high-performance 11wt is required. Probably not 'stout' enough for Arapaima... but a great option for LARGE Pike or Musky, heavy sinking lines, and large flies.
We're happy to report that this is a big water, big fish 12wt. No messing around here. While we thought it felt a little heavy (a high-performance 12wt usually is), we found that it had decent feel at close/middle distances. Feedback and feel are relative for a 12wt, of course. That said, this rod can shoot lots of fly line and features some beautiful reserve power. And I'm sure it's great at throwing big flies in windy conditions and fighting big fish. This really is a GT rod and isn't for every angler. If you're dead serious about having one of the best 12wts out there, this rod is for you. If you're experimenting with 12wts or you're buying a rod you'll use once on a trip, there are better options out there that don't cost $1,300.
Best Use: GT and big water fish. Casual anglers need not apply.
Don't overlook the 7wt. This rod is a powerful little rod with a light swing weight and great recovery speeds. We thought that this rod captured the essence of the series and checked all the boxes of a high-performance 7wt.
We weren't super impressed with the 6wt. We thought it was a little underpowered and had limited applications. It also had a bit of a weird action that we couldn't quite get used to. That said, we're a bit confused about 6wt fly rod applications in general so maybe it was our '6wt bias'.