[Part 5 of a series.]
Do you shoot shotguns? If you do, you know it’s all about balance. You can feel it when a shotgun’s for you. You pick it up, put it up to your cheek and it just feels right – almost like it’s floating. That’s one way to describe how the new G. Loomis GLX rods feel.
That perfect balance makes a gun or a fishing rod go from dead to alive in your hands. And in the case of the new GLXs, when you throw in Loomis’ crazy light weight and amazing sensitivity, you’re going to be in love…and may be in for some creativity when it comes to explaining that purchase to your spouse….
Anyhow, to drill down a little bit into the magic of these rods, I talked to Justin Poe, the designer of the new GLX series, about what went into them.
Jay: The new GLX is crazy light. It seems lighter but somehow more substantial than the older GLXs.
Justin: It does – that’s the way we designed it. But if you truly weigh and measure the physical features of it, it’s not much lighter. In most cases we’re talking just a few grams lighter, and most people can’t feel that. So it’s really not that much lighter.
Jay: But that “substantial-ness” – it’s light yet it feels strong, kind of like a weapon-type feel. Was that the intent?
Justin: That strength you’re perceiving is in the blank – the blanks are stronger than they used to be while having the same or less weight overall. But the handle helps the way it feels because of the design of the rear grip. Since your fingers fit closer together when your hand is around the reel seat, you feel like you have a more positive lock on the rod. But the blank is truly stronger as well.
Plus the rod is balanced, so you don’t feel like you’re holding a 2×4 at the end. You feel like you’re holding it in the middle.”
Jay: Yeah, to me it’s like a well-balanced shotgun.
Justin: Exactly, or like golf clubs.
Jay: I think the new GLX rods feel as good as and maybe even lighter than the NRX rods. How does they compare to the NRX?
Justin: It really is kind of pointless to compare them because it’s a different guy who buys a GLX vs. an NRX. The guy who buys a GLX is like Zona – he’s donkey-stomping fish, and is buying a very refined tractor, sort to speak. But the guy buying an NRX is buying a Ferrari. It’s lighter, more sensitive, more refined.
One’s not better than another. Just for any person, one will be better. It’s just a different perception of the rod in your hand.
Jay: Why did you come out with cranking rods first?
Justin: Because we wanted to build those rods and give them their due. [The jig/worm rods], if we build that stuff, that’s what people focus on…those have always been the ones we sell the most of. But if we launched 41 rods at one time, I don’t know if the crankbait and flip/punch rods would’ve gotten the [attention] they did if we had the jig/worm rods in the mix.
Now that the jig/worm rods are coming, guys are viewing it as, ‘Holy cow, that’s my whole arsenal, everything I need is right here.’ They can see how they can utilize all of it.
Jay: How long were these rods in development?
Justin: Two years. First we started playing with blanks – composites and resins – to see what we could do to make them stronger. Then when we got them stronger, we started to shave material off to make them lighter. That’s fantastic because, believe it or not, the [original] GLXs were so far ahead of their time it was really difficult to make them lighter.
Jay: I heard some guys, like Zona, were a bit skeptical about improving the GLXs.
Justin: Yeah, some GLX fans were worried they would be not as good or different. The greatest thing in the world is handing them that [new] rod.
Zona told me, ‘I think you can do it, but if not I’ll fish my old GLXs.’ I said, ‘Man, I’m going to try.’ I talked to him [when Zona was testing the new rods] and he said he had one of the old GLXs in the boat with him – he picked it up and it still felt good, but it felt archaic after three days fishing new GLXs. They’re that much better.
Better means how much stronger it is, how much lighter it is and where’s the balance point. If a guy holds the trigger with his index finger, it feels totally different than if he holds it with his middle finger. The cool thing is with that rod, it balances both ways. No matter how much you choke up on the reel, or choke back on that grip, you still have that balance point.
Justin went through a long explanation of why the reel seat changed and why Loomis now makes their own reel seats. It was super interesting – too much for here but further evidence that, as with all great stuff, all the details are key.
[End of part 5 of a series.]
Category: G. Loomis