Spey rods are hard to figure out for most people. Given the order to cast and fish a couple of G. Loomis NRX Two Hand Rods by the boss made me a bit uneasy. Because I am like most anglers, a creature of habit and prejudices, I didn’t even really want to try out these rods. The funny thing is, my test run of the NRX Two Handed Rod Series ended up like the old “Give it to Mikey, he doesn’t like anything” commercial (for those old enough to remember).
Grudgingly I prepared to take the rods from the shop for a day of steelhead fishing. Paul had said if I tried them out and if I didn’t like them I wouldn’t have to write anything about them. First thing I did was use the Rio Spey line chart to match a Scandi line for one rod. For the second rod I used the G. Loomis line chart for a Skagit line so I could compare the line charts for accuracy. I did this since I had never touched either of these rods before, let alone cast either of them. After spooling a Galvan Torque and an Einarrson Invictus up, I mentally prepared myself for the next day of fishing the two rods. I almost left the without the rods that day. Somehow the rod tubes that held the 13’ 7/8 weight and the 14’ 6/7 weight rods had conveniently found their way to the rack by the door of Stillwater so I wouldn’t forget them as I left Friday. Coincidence? I think not.
My preference is casting Scandi lines. So I had matched a 620 grain Rio InTouch Long Head Spey line to the 13′ 7/8. I was afraid that it might be a tad bit heavy, which it ended up being. The rod handled the line fine even with a 15’ intermediate sink tip. This Steve Rajeff designed rod has a classic deep green blank that is elegantly wrapped with green and silver raps. I found that this fast, not super-fast, rod was extremely forgiving even when I didn’t get that perfect D loop. The rod fished and cast exceptionally well even though I had over-lined it. I should have gone by the G. Loomis line chart but to the rod’s credit, I could still cast it without laboring.
The 14’ 6/7 weight had a sexy matte black finish that I loved the second I took it out of the rod sock. I used my Galvan Torque with a 510 grain Airflo Skagit Switch Fly Line with a Ridged Running line. Fast and responsive, the ability to save a cast gone bad with this rod made me think that this would be a great rod for a beginning two handed rod fly fisherman. The only thing I wished was that this rod was 13’ when I was casting it. I did love the 14’ length for mending and I did manage to hook a fish on this one. Fighting a fish on this rod is a joy, not a job. Because these rods aren’t super stiff, this allows for a measure of forgiveness that a novice two-handed angler would appreciate when the fish runs.
Overall these rods cast very easily. Their taper gave let me generate extra speed without overpowering the tip. They were comfortable and well balanced making the NRX Two Hand rod perfect for the all levels of Spey casters. If you are looking for a well-balanced Spey rod with an advanced design that casts and fishes like a dream, then the G. Loomis NRX Two Hand rod series is for you. Because casting should be joy!