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The original NRX Series from G. Loomis contains some of our favorite rods we’ve ever fished. And we’re here to announce that they’ve made them even better in the NRX+ Series. These rods take intel gleaned during the research and design of the original NRX rods and pack a whole new punch to the world of fly fishing. Loomis has included Dynamic Recovery Technology, Mega Modulus+ graphite, and a slew of other technical advancements. We’ve fished these rods and firmly believe they’re better than ever before.
The freshwater rods, specifically, are faster, more capable, and snappier than the previous iteration of the NRX freshwater rods. They're also hugely popular at the moment which is why this review has taken so long... we worked HARD for 6 months just to get a demo. Loomis put a lot of time, effort, research, and design into these rods and we think they've created a freshwater 5wt that'll appeal to serious anglers. Read on to find out how the NRX+ Freshwater 5wt performs.
The NRX+ Freshwater features nice componentry, but it's not over-the-top-beautiful like other freshwater trout rods including Winston rods and T&T rods. The walnut hardwood reel seat insert is quiet and functional, double uplocking components secure any freshwater fly reel in place, and a modified full wells grip caters to the large-handed angler. Titanium SiC Stripping guides and black nickel single foot snake guides are nice upgrades from the original NRX series. The rod blank is built with Mega Modulus+ graphite and features a dark grey blank color. Overall, a pretty nice package from G. Loomis but not the best componentry we've ever seen on a trout rod.
This is a heavy rod for a 5wt. Weighing in at 3.14 ounces with a swing weight of 65.7 gm2, it's really more like a 6wt fly rod. While it's not the heaviest 5wt we've ever tested, it's on par with trout rods that are much less expensive. When you take the rod's action and powerful performance into account, its heavy swing weight is a little easier to justify.
This rod's performance at longer distances is really unparalleled. It's one of the easiest rods we've ever cast at 60-feet and it's also highly accurate. The rod blank, while stiff at shorter distances, encourages a powerfully accurate long-distance cast even in windy conditions. Carrying line in the air was easy with the NRX+ and it would make a fantastic rod for western tailwater fishing when an angler needs to accurately present a dry fly at long distances in windy conditions. To that end, the rod sort of reminded us of the Sage Igniter.
The NRX+ covers the top end of G. Loomis' lineup in terms of rod action. The NRX+ LP is medium to medium-fast, the Asquith is a fast action rod, and we'd categorize the NRX+ as a fast to extra fast rod. Its power and accuracy at distance mean it isn't a rod for every angler. If you're looking for a lightweight rod that's fun to fish in every trout scenario, this may not be the rod for you. But if you're looking for a rod that performs well in technical scenarios and has industry-leading power, this is one of the best options on the market.
While the NRX+ didn't provide a ton of feedback and feel at our shortest distance of 30-feet, it was highly accurate. Like we've said in other reviews, extra-fast action rods, when cast with the right casting stroke, are snappy, high-performing, and reliably accurate at short range. We found that it was easy to land the fly on the target almost every time with a quick stroke at 30-feet.
As we moved back to 45-feet, the rod's accuracy remained. The rod's quick recovery speeds and high-performance blank made it easy and almost effortless to place a fly on a dinner plate at this distance. This is a highly accurate rod across the board and the 45-foot distance was no exception. As a bonus, we started to get a little more feel out of the rod at this distance, especially with SA MPX.
At longer distances (out to 60-feet) we're happy to report that this rod landed a fly accurately and effortlessly. In fact, we'd encourage you to push this rod out even farther than 60-feet. Report back to us in the comments. As aforementioned, this is a highly accurate rod across the board when partnered with SA MPX and will certainly reward the angler with a quicker casting stroke who needs high performance in technical environments.
The NRX+ suffered in the feedback and feel department, somewhat unsurprisingly. Like we've said in reviews of extra-fast action rods in the past, highly technical rods that are designed for power and performance at distance aren't going to offer anglers a ton of feedback and feel at short-range. But that's not what G. Loomis designed this rod to do. Power often comes at the expense of feel and that's the case here. For anglers who want a rod for delicate dry fly presentations inside 40-feet, there are other rods that will do that better (NRX+ LP being one of them).
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If you find yourself in situations where you need some extra 'oomph', windy conditions, or fishing to technical fish, that's where this rod really shines. It's a purpose-built rod which means it fits into the Loomis lineup nicely but it's not a rod for every angler. If you're looking for one of the most powerful freshwater 5wts on the market, you've come to the right place. Cast one today with our Castability Guarantee.
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