“The Best Just Got Better”
By Stan Fagerstrom
Those deep thinking dudes at the G.Loomis rod factory up there in Woodland, Washington gave my memory a big kick in the butt last summer. And though I’ve pinched myself a couple of times, I’m not sure yet that the way they’ve done it is really for real.
Maybe only someone who has been pestering fish one place or another as long as I have can fully relate to what I’m talking about. I caught my first fish, you see, way back in the 1920s out of a sleepy little slough in North Dakota.
I caught that first bullhead catfish with a line tied to a willow branch my dad cut for me to use as a rod. The bullhead latched onto a grasshopper impaled on a hook fashioned out of a bent safety pin.
My mom and dad, Depression Days wheat farmers out there on the Dakota prairie, were too poor to afford anything else for me to use. They were fortunate when they had food on the table. A couple of years after I caught that first bullhead they lost what little they did have. Then they stuck me in the rumble seat of a second hand Model A Ford and headed West.
Not too long after we reached Washington State I managed to come up with my first fishing rod. It was a 5-foot casting rod made out of metal. I made the bucks to buy it by helping an older kid with his paper route. I found the rod at a second hand store.
This bit of memory I’ve just shared came bursting back onto the scene when I wrapped my mitts around the latest product to come out of that G.Loomis factory I mentioned earlier this year. I’m talking about the wondrous new rods that carry the NRX label.
Anglers are finding it difficult to believe just how light, strong and sensitive these new NRX rods are.
The first time I saw these rods was at the American Sportfishing Association’s ICAST show at Last Vegas last summer. I heard what some of the folks who attended that show were saying about those rods. They were expressing the same sentiments I had when I first eyeballed a couple. Show officials must have agreed because these new G.Loomis NRX rods walked away with a “Best of Show” designation.
It came as no surprise to me that G.Loomis Rods got special attention. For years they’ve been recognized as some of the best you can find. But that ICAST show award provides ample evidence that the best just got better.
Eyeballing and making some test casts with these new rods is one thing. Actually fishing with them is another matter. I’ve not yet had that opportunity. Be assured that’s something I’ll remedy as soon as I have a chance. In the meantime I probed the thoughts of someone who has. He’s Bruce Holt, of Kalama, Washington.
Click picture to zoom
Bruce Holt is shown with a dandy smallmouth he took during the testing process of the new NRX rods. He says he didn't think he would have felt this fish even pick up his lure had it not been for the super sensitivity of the new rod.
Bruce is a longtime friend. He’s a guy who has been fishing darn since he first learned how to use a knife and fork. I know few men whose angling endeavors have taken them from all over the United States to the salmon rivers of Russia and from the peacock bass of the Amazon to the rivers of Scotland. Bruce has repeatedly.
I also knew that Bruce had been up to his ears in the testing of these new NRX since Steve Rajeff and his talented crew at G.Loomis got the first of them put together.
Holt is a familiar name to experienced anglers around the United States. For a number of years Bruce was in charge of the G.Loomis operation. He took over when Gary Loomis, the rod company’s founder, sold his business to Shimano.
Bruce stepped down from that position earlier this year. He’s still working for Shimano at G.Loomis but today he’s spending less time on the road. Now he spends more time working in the company’s promotional programs that often involve getting out on the water one place or another.
One of the questions I asked Bruce when I decided to share my thoughts about his company’s new rods was to summarize why anglers who’ve used them are making so much noise about it. He came up with a quick and concise response.
“Stan,” Bruce said, “In a nutshell these NRX rods are the most dramatic rods we’ve ever made and the most technical, high performance rods on the planet!”
Now that’s saying a mouthful, but when it’s Bruce Holt talking about fishing rods I’ve learned to just shut up and listen. Keep an eye out for my next column. I’ll detail for you why Bruce feels as he does about the NRX rods. I think you’ll find it of interest.
-To Be Continued-