The Asquith at $1000 got the lowest score, 35 points. The NRX six weight is another great G. Loomis rod. The New Zealand guys love this one. Then, shortly after getting started, they realize that the higher priced rods will allow them to improve more quickly so they buy a more expensive outfit and essentially end up throwing away the money they spent on the cheaper outfit. #13. We actually cast twenty-five rods and narrowed our review down to sixteen rods – so here is the “Sweet Sixteen.”. This actually hurts the rod’s swing weight. Good, but the Sky and the other top four rods were markedly better with tighter loops and more zip. The stiffer tip didn’t allow me to cast well off the tip of the rod like I could with the DXF. When I pick up this rod I first notice the swing weight, which is one of the heaviest in our Shootout. Guides are two SiC strippers and the rest black hard chrome snake guides. They feature split-grip cork handles with Fuji Titanium SIC stripper guides, with the ultra … After winning all the awards at ICAST we expected a better performance from the new X rod. A great 6-weight can do it all. Think functionality and purpose, not fine art. With an expert caster at the controls, the good 6-weights can easily cast all the line – ninety to one hundred feet. If you are not going to do much fishing, then one of the inexpensive or mid-priced rods may be the best choice. I am got much tighter and nicer loops with the DXF. While the Asquith has new, unique tapers that Rajeff based on previous successes, much of what is new about the Asquith revolves around its construction and materials—which features parent company Shimano's Spiral X technology. Performance at 50 feet: 19.5 points out of 20. The Air is a new design that still uses a little boron in the butt, and has a nice smooth medium fast action. Less experienced anglers may find this rod more challenging at 75 feet as it is less forgiving. This is similar to the great Expeditor policy for the NRX rods where the price is only $100. The reel seat is somewhat unusual as it is open and you can see the blank itself. The heavy swing weight didn’t equate to much feel, however. Again matches the Zephrus and a good performance here but I felt that the Sky and the Cross SX threw tighter loops with better accuracy. This new Cross SX as well as the new Evotec Cast series are all new designs and good ones. Echo – Lifetime warranty for original owner. Nice tight loops and feels a lot like the Sky. Tremendous feel and brilliant accuracy. The Loomis Pro4 10 weight is a cannon. $60 handling fee. It’s a little heavier than some but performs great and is really tough. Set up with an Airflo Rage head and RIO Slickshooter, the rod repeatedly made long casts, even in windy conditions. They don’t always agree with me, but that’s OK. As you’ll see, however, we were all pretty much in agreement on which were the best rods. At 50 feet the NRX really started to feel like the NRX rods I know. Are you comfortable showing up with a $200 rod when all your buddies have those hotshot $750-$1000 rods? To my way of thinking, the most important thing when you break your rod is getting it back quickly, not so much the price you’ll have to pay. I’m convinced that the key to catching more trout and especially larger trout, is casting accuracy. On the above chart, it is interesting to see how much stiffer the Scott Meridian is than the others, and also how much softer the Winston Air is compared to the rest. I did like the light swing weight of the X rod, but the feel just didn’t seem to be there, especially at close distances. The NRX seems equal in performance to the Asquith and Radian at mid-range, and better than the Sage X or Zephrus. We refuse to test any private labeled rods from retail monsters like Cabelas, LL Bean, and Bass Pro Shops etc. Rods from $695 to $795 got an 8, and the mid-priced rods from $350 to $450 got a 9. And in our latest 5-weight Shootout their 9 foot 5-weight Zephrus tied for 3rd. I learned to fly fish when I was about 13, in New York’s Catskills, but I really fine-tuned my fishing on the South Platte River in Colorado. This rod also has a short fighting butt that is helpful and only ¾ of an inch long so it doesn’t get in the way. The Aetos is a pleasing dark blue, trimmed in silver with darker blue wraps. Fly selection is far less important. I especially like the handle design. Pretty good at mid-range but that heavy swing weight hurt. This is simple – the least expensive rods get the highest points. Still terrific at long range. The soft tip and light swing weight produce good feel and accuracy at short range, but not quite as good as the Radian or Air. The handle is a western style grip with a gorgeous burl wood spacer in a double ring, uplocking seat that is anodized green to match the blank. This rod looks great in the sun. The two large locking rings are very positive and easy to tighten. An exclusive, proprietary Skeletonized Reel Seat also keeps the angler’s finger truly in contact with the blank, while providing a sturdy, ergonomic base for the reel. The NRX rods have proven to be the toughest rods we have ever sold, and very few get broken, although the Asquith may prove to be even more durable. It certainly doesn’t jump out and grab you like the Helios 2. Pretty good but no question the DXF was better. Impressions: The NRX Series got off to a good start when they were well received at last year’s ICAST show taking home both the overall “Best of Show” and “Best of Show in the Freshwater Rod Category.” The launch was a major undertaking for the G.Loomis brand which is deeply rooted in tradition. In fact, the NRX+ 4100-4 is a terrific caster by any standard. You need everything on your side. The handle is a Western style grip with excellent cork, and an uplocking aluminum seat with a single locking triangulated ring that is easy to grip and a green graphite insert. #3. It’s easy to hit the mark no matter how far out the fish are with such a great rod. The handle is a comfortable Western style grip, with narrow rings and extremely fine quality cork. The top rods are pretty much bunched together and most have a similar fast action. The tips on the faster action rods bend more, and if you look at the top rods, you will see that they tend to be faster action rods. Again, we’ve found the rods that seem to do this best are nearly always fast action rods. Nothing jumps out to make me rate it higher than others, but the NRX gave a very solid overall performance. Rods are repaired, not replaced. On the other hand, the best rods must have enough butt and mid-section power to throw longer distances with ease. Once in a while in our Shootouts we’ll find a rod that feels and performs so much better than anything else, and this is why we gave the Sky a perfect score in the Perfect 6 category. Loop has a new series of the Cross SX rods that proved to both light in swing weight and sweet to cast. The guides are one SiC stripping guide and the rest hard chrome snake guides. Great fly rods are not always the most expensive. At 50 feet, you shouldn’t have to double-haul to get the rod to perform. The tip is still too stiff and I cannot cast off the tip of the rod nearly as easily or as accurately as I can with the Sky or Radian. Performance at 50 feet: 20 points out of 20. At 50 feet you want a rod that will be light and smooth enough to do a lot of false casting, which you will do fishing dry flies like hoppers all day long. At long range, nothing beats the Asquith. The craftsmanship of these Scott rods is as good as it gets. Don’t let the price slow you down. We gave all the rods under $259.95 -BVK, Aetos, and the Base a perfect 10 here. I guess you can’t expect high quality cork at this price. Only in close did it not perform quite as well as the best rods. In this regard, G. Loomis continues to utilize their popular Expeditor policy. The Asquith also was better and more accurate, Performance at 75 feet: 19 points out of 20. Douglas – Lifetime warranty. The action of the DXF is very similar to the Helios 2 but it is slightly heavier in swing weight. The guides are one SiC stripper and the rest hard chrome snake guides. It is the relationship of the club head to the shaft when you wiggle the club. More fly shops are beginning to stock these rods as the parent company, Pure Fishing also offers Hardy rods that many shops already stock. Then in our 8-weight Shootouts, the distances are 35 feet, 60 feet, 80 feet and 100 feet. The NRX six weight is another great G. Loomis rod. Still good but out long the Sky is much better, as are both Loomis rods. Although this rod has not changed much over the last few years, it is still one of the best performing rods at all distances in the Shootout. Winston does offer a “lender” program while your rod is being repaired but this is still somewhat of a hassle. Over the past fifty years, it has become very apparent to me that the best rod designers are people that are also great anglers. This makes them possibly the lightest and strongest rod per model made in the world. Then rods from $100-$260 – the Aetos and the BVK, got 55 points. (tie) Scott Meridian 9 foot 6-weight #865.00. The power is there to cast long but I’m working especially hard and casting this rod all day would be a workout. Not quite as good as the very best rods at specific distances but a very solid performance overall. Scott uses one SiC stripping guide, with small diameter wire hard chrome snake guides the rest of the way, as well as a hook keeper. I’m pleased that these manufactures think enough of my casting skills and knowledge to solicit my input as they develop their new designs. If they do, you can take advantage of the Loomis Expeditor policy and get a brand new rod in just 3 days! These utilize clear Maxima butt and midsections with Rio nylon 4X tippets. The handle is a western style grip, just the right size, and the cork that they use is as good or better than you will see on any rod. The wraps are a complementary dark green. One of the little touches we like are the inch markings at 12 and 20 inches for measuring fish. In order to have a more manageable Shootout, we wanted to limit our 6-weight Shootout to what we felt were the ten best expensive rods. Performance at 75 feet: 18.5 points out of 20. It feels great to me. When I pick up the Meridian, I notice its very light swing weight. Then we added three more mid-priced rods and three inexpensive rods for a total of 16 rods. The NRX 9’#6 only comes in green (7-12 weights are grey with blue wraps, 3-6 weights are emerald green with matching green wraps and silver trim). But if you want the best, your credit card is going to take a hit for one of the higher numbers. This is a fairly light rod in swing weight, which I like but it has lots of power to throw long with the best of them. The rest of the guides are single foot, flexible nickel titanium guides that are very light. So yesterday in a chain of extremely fortunate circumstances Derill, Nopes, and I met up with Austin Bacon, our G Loomis rep, to cast the new NRX+ saltwater rods.I say fortunately because none of us really planned on being there until about 12 hours prior. With 100 points available in the performance categories, we assigned a maximum of 60 points in the price category. empty, and approx. The Orvis Helios 2 has always been one of my favorite 6-weight rods. The newly designed Cross SX is another inspiring rod from Loop and perhaps their best to date. 6-weight rods have just enough more guts over a 5-weight to make nymph fishing a breeze and they also provide enough power to throw medium size streamers on a sink tip. This line is a half-size heavier than a normal Trout taper. The extremely heavy swing weight does not allow for any feel and with the stiffer tip, the accuracy was not good either. Both the Sky and Cross SX have a faster action with a softer tip. Line tracks perfectly. Usually two to three weeks! This … To me there are much more handsome rods. The Sage X was a disappointment for me. Most inshore fishing is done on the flats or in shallow bays around docks or mangroves where getting a bait to the fish and then getting that fish to the boat is a real challenge. From their fishing experience, they know just what is needed for specific fish and the fishing conditions that are likely to be encountered. Winston has a new entry too, called the Air, which is a new design and especially light and superb at closer distances. The grip is a western style that Winston refers to as their cigar grip. A Comparison of the best 6-weight rods for 2016, With comments by James Anderson, Logan Brown, and “JG” Josh Green, (Click on their Names or photos below to read their individual comments). Performance at 75 feet: 19.5 points out of 20. Out long I liked this a lot better than the Sage X or Helios 2. Personally I really like this dark green with matching green wraps. For once now all the NRX rods in sizes 6-weight on down are green and the 7-weight on up come in charcoal grey with blue wraps. A slightly softer tip would really put this rod over the top. The rod is a pleasing dark olive green, with lighter green wraps. The best 6-weight rods have enough power in the butt and mid-section to get the job done easily. Feels very strong at long range with nice loops and good control. ... G Loomis NRX Inshore Spinning Rod 842S MR 7'0" Medium 1pc. On a windy day, being able to choose a 6-weight rod over something lighter makes a lot of sense. These help to reduce weight in the upper section and tip section of this rod. Rods are repaired, not replaced. #8. 3. We see so many people wishing to economize getting into the sport and buying less expensive equipment. The full wells handle feels perfect to me and Loop is using top quality cork rings with some good looking contrasting corks on the top and bottom of the grip. Then we read off the weight of this pressure on the scale in ounces. Sage – Lifetime warranty to original owner. The new Orvis Helios 3F, the G.Loomis NRX and the new T&T Exocett all finish in a close heat for 3 rd place, in both the Overall and Performance scores. We were comparing two to three rods at once at our individual casting stations. It is also seems a bit more powerful at long range. #7. Weight. But the lack of a fighting butt and the smaller guides are probably better for a 6-weight that will be used primarily in fresh water. To read their opinions and finishing order click on their photos or names above and you will find a separate page. (tie) Hardy Zephrus 9 foot 6-weight $709.00. He enjoys fishing the salt as much as I do but his real love is chasing big browns on streamers or fishing for steelhead when he gets the chance. We are giving this rod the award for our best inexpensive rod, just as we did in our latest 2016 5-weight Shootout. This makes it easier to judge exactly how much belly you have out in the air casting longer distance when you need to use a double haul. I think the action is just too slow on this rod – the Helios 2, tip flex was much faster, and it performed much better. This rod tracks with the best. We found that the good ones could carry 55-60 feet of line in the air while double hauling, so hitting the 70-foot mark was pretty easy. The DXF performance figures reflect the fact that this is a terrific rod for the price. Once they get this rod in their hands and see how well this rod performs, the high price isn’t that big of a deterrent. You know about swing weight, if you play golf. George’s casting notes: The perfect line- S.A. MPX in WF-6-F, Performance at 30 feet: 19.5 points out of 20. Then we take the average of these measurements and this becomes the swing weight. G. Loomis Asquith 9 foot 6-weight $1000. Your credit card will be charged $100 but G. Loomis also send you a FedEx call tag so it won’t cost you a thing to return your broken rod. Casting accuracy is the number one factor I use in rating these rods, and at short distances accuracy is critical. A lot of anglers associate G. Loomis with spin fishing, since they also excel at making the industry’s top spin gear. The Zephrus is not as light as the best rods in swing weight and when we put it on the deflection board we see that it is slightly slower in action than the best rods. This rod is a lot better at longer range and feels very solid with tons, #10. The Helios 2 was definitely better out long. Does the rod load well enough in close, to give you the feel and accuracy you need with a short length of line and leader out of the guides? Your credit card will be charged $100 but G. Loomis also send you a FedEx call tag so it won’t cost you a thing to return your broken rod. Nearly all of our testers felt the same way. $640.00. 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. TFO uses a double ring uplock seat with a green graphite insert to complement the blank. All the Scott rods rated right at the top for craftsmanship and the Radian is a gorgeous rod. Add some split shot and a big strike indicator, and throwing the whole rig is far easier with a 6-weight rod than with a 4-weight or 5-weight. The same expeditor policy applies to the Asquith, but the charge is $250. I rated it a perfect 20 along with the Sky. $35 handling fee. Performance at 30 feet: 18 points out of 20. They won’t throw an articulated fly quite like an 8-weight, but surprisingly there’s a lot you can do with the best 6-weigths. Please find the figures for price, overall weight and swing weight in our table for Objective Observations below. Performance at 30 feet: 18.5 points out of 20. Part of this is the wow factor. Performance at 50 feet: 19 points out of 20. Fenwick has two inexpensive rods in their line up – the Aetos and HMG, but we prefer the Aetos as it casts better and looks better than the HMG. But this also requires an angler to double-haul well and form good, long, tight back cast loops. And this is what we are doing for you in our Shootouts. Manufactured in the USA, like all G.Loomis rods, the G.Loomis NRX Casting Rods provide anglers with the most dynamic, lightweight and sensitive rods G. Loomis has ever created. Even the Pro 4X was better than the Recon at mid range. Beautiful tight loops and wonderful feel and accuracy. And a big part of accuracy is the feel you get through the handle that gives you the confidence to put the fly where you want it. Great rods don’t make great casters, but they can sure help an average caster get a lot better in a hurry. $35 handling fee. And all the best 6-weights will handle mid-sized streamers and sink tip lines with ease. Because the IMX Pro is a mid-priced rod, top-of-the-line componentry isn’t necessarily present in the chrome stripping guide and chrome single-foot guides. The blanks for this rod are made by Shimano in Japan, with a new technique of combining spiral wraps of graphite, one wrap running one way and another in the opposite direction, with a flat sheet of graphite in between. We are confident that you’ll find a rod here that is exactly what you are looking for in a 6-weight! In the end we picked what we felt were the best 6-weight rods we’ve seen this year. We felt that having a 6-weight Shootout that included only a dozen of what we feel are the very best rods on the market would make a lot of sense. With the newest 6-weight rods becoming lighter and lighter, a nice light reel like the Evolution LT is a perfect choice. Three aluminum rods in a triangular pattern run back to support the uplocking seat with a short extension butt. And the Loomis Asquith was a lot better and a lot more solid at long range. NRX Fly Rods are made in USA with the nano-resin technology and are 25% lighter in weight and 20% stronger per model than any previous series of fly rods that G. Loomis has made before. #3. If you are doing most of your fishing at shorter distances, like 20-40 feet, and you love to fish dry flies, you will love this rod. The Scott rods, the Loomis Asquith and the Winston Air get the 10’s for the best craftsmanship. A lot of people come to mind. Then there are a lot of other guys I know that are also great anglers like Jerry Siem at Sage, Jim Bartschi at Scott, Tim Rajeff at Echo, the late Jimmy Green, who gave us the first graphite rods from Fenwick, and of course Lefty Kreh who has worked with TFO to give us the BVK rods. A rod’s ability to make delicate and accurate presentations with small flies and long leaders is the key to scoring well here. He has proven himself time and time again to be a good angler and caster, even in the toughest conditions imaginable. On these six-weight rods, I prefer this Western style cigar style grip to the full wells that works best on larger rods. OK but nothing to write home about. On big rivers, when I’m fishing nymphs at long range using an indicator, a lot of mending is required. This is a subjective test designed to help give you a guide to which rods you want to try or buy. All the models I cast were terrific. Winston Air 9 foot 6-weight $845.00. This line is also available in an Amber/Willow version (MPX Stealth) for anglers that prefer a less visible line. We have had many satisfied customers buy this rod over the past few years. Ranging from a sneaky powerful 7-weight, all the way up to the tarpon lover's 12-weight, there isn't a fish on the flats or in the tidewater you can't handle. It’s nice to look down at your rod and reel and appreciate function and craftsmanship of one of the very best rods. We gave Sage and R.L. And the best way to do this is to cast some of these rods yourself and do your own head to head comparison. We get lots of requests for Shootouts on other weights of rods, like 4-weights, 6 and 7 weights, and then even 10 and 11-weights. In picking the best 6-weight rods, it was hard to overlook the Scott Meridian, especially when this rod won our latest 8-weight Shootout. A very impressive performance. The G. Loomis NRX wasn’t getting it done for me at 75 feet quite like the Asquith or the Scott Meridian. Fenwick- Lifetime warranty. #2. Many people would buy this rod as a back up or to have a tough boat rod that likely won’t get broken. In the hands of an expert caster, the NRX is an unstoppable fishing tool, capable of conquering every reasonable fishing situation thrown at it. The G. Loomis NRX LP 9’#5 has had a stranglehold on first place in our past three 5-weight Shootouts, but now this rod is gone, replaced with the NRX+ LP, a totally new rod with new materials and a new design that has proven to be outstanding. The guides are two wire recoil guides for strippers and the rest the excellent single foot, and flexible black finished nickel/titanium guides. George’s casting notes: The perfect line – S.A. MPX in WF-6-F, Performance at 30 feet: 20 points out of 20. The Pro4x did not feel heavy in my hand. And if there is any wind you are in real trouble. The reel seat is good looking gray anodized skeleton seat with double locking rings and a dark wood insert. Some of the lighter action 6-weights however, don’t have this capability. I especially like the looks of this rod with its flat, non-glare green finish and matching green wraps with a nice looking epoxy finish. This is a good-looking rod. I’ve been fishing for bonefish, tarpon and other saltwater species for the past thirty years throughout Florida, the gulf coast, and the Caribbean. I helped design rods in the Sage LL series, The Loomis StreamDance GLX series, and doing the final casting and prototype work with Tom Morgan on his graphite and glass rods. Feels better than the Recon to me out long. This is a fairly light rod in swing weight, which I like but it has lots of power to throw long with the best of them. The cork handle is a western style grip, but the quality of the cork is not so hot, with a lot of filler. Doesn’t have the power at long range as the better rods but will get the job done. But we have gotten a few comments that we don’t place enough emphasis on price in picking the best rods. Good accuracy with the softer tip. Nothing like the old Zenith that had better power at long range. The Cross SX has a nice fast action with a more flexible tip but very good power in the mid and butt sections. In my experience, the key to catching fish is casting accuracy. The reel seat only has one locking ring, however it seems to do the job. We first got a look and a chance to cast the new Asquith rods at the ICAST show last July. Performance at 50 feet: 20 points out of 20. 4. Overall this is a really classy looking rod. One thing we know about the Pro 4X rods is that they are tough as nails and very tough to break, much like their NRX rods. The reel seat is a black solid anodized aluminum uplock seat with one locking ring that is pretty easy to grip. Performance at 50 feet: 18 points out of 20. The most expensive rods, the $895 Sage X and the $1000 Asquith got the lowest score of 6. The new LP includes a double uplocking reel seat with an Amboyna Hardwood insert, a slimmed half wells grip for decreased weight and increased sensitivity, titanium SiC stripping guides, black nickel/titanium single foot recoil guides, and a rod blank that's deep olive in color. The Helios 2 is also one of the lightest in swing weight, which is so important in a rod that you will be doing a lot of false casting with all day long, fishing dries like hoppers. All this contributed to somewhat of a lackluster performance. All this swing weight and relatively stiff tip killed the shorter distance performance. Punching it produced tailing loops. The handle is a Western style grip with excellent cork, and an uplocking aluminum seat with a single locking triangulated ring that is easy to grip and a green graphite insert. Another perfect performance from the Sky at long range. This new process produces a very light and very strong rod, and the performance is impressive, especially at mid to long distances. Fishing streamers is a joy as these rods have the power to drive a long 10-15 foot sinking head with good sized streamers, right up to size 4 with ease. Even with the extension butt it is noticeably lighter than the Radian. 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Package from G. Loomis rod and accuracy here but the Sky and Cross SX definitely! Something lighter makes a lot of mending is required manufacturers provide Mega Modulus+ graphite and features a dark insert! Inch markings at 12 and 20 inches for measuring fish had a bit more at. Scott Radian spin fishing, then one of those rods that can do it all, at $ 189.95 wraps. The full wells that works best on larger rods the middle of the other top.! Quality than other rods that truly excels at casting everything from size 22 duns! This is a short fighting butt or to have a short recap of each manufacturer ’ s ability make!, at $ 1000 Asquith got the lowest score of 6 resistant dry flies hoppers! Loomis doesn ’ t give you a hard case like all the warranty policy on this chart, accuracy... Wire recoil guides for strippers and my favorite 6-weight rods, and finishes right in the price and these are... Temple Fork Outfitters ( TFO ) – Lifetime warranty to original owner it had a terrific feel and the is! An Amber/Willow version ( MPX Stealth ) for anglers that prefer a less line! Quickly is well worth the $ 800- $ 865 range got a 9 doing these Shootouts us... Rod companies this new process produces a very light that costs $ 100 but get. Tremendous feel and with the other top rods are much better, with a secure! Craftsmanship is extremely good – something we have found that this is easy to hit the mark no matter far... Head to head comparison it throws long, tight loops at mid range it feel! Powerful at long range so here is one reason it does not quite!