by Mark Waldin Custom Fly Rods – I’ve been asked a number of times about which rod blank is which when it comes to G Loomis fly rod blanks. Loomis has a strong tendency to re-use names for their fly rods and put addendums on them. For example they make a GLX Cross Current rod and a GLX Presentation rod. The Presentation rod comes in 3 line speeds all called Presentation. I don’t know about you but to me these are fundamentally different rods and should have different names. It makes it hard for the consumer to know what is going on.
It is even more difficult when you are looking to build a rod because Loomis sells the GLX rod blank but it has no indication as to which GLX it is! If anyone wanted to deliberately confuse people they couldn’t have done a better job. So if you are looking to build or are looking to buy a custom fly rod, you need a little more insight in to what Loomis is doing. Here is my understanding.
Loomis makes some very nice rods, but the company has some strange quirks that make it difficult for anglers. Perhaps it is because they are owned by Shimano, perhaps not. The most important thing to know is Loomis does not sell any rod blanks for any current production fly rods. All blanks are older models.
Because Loomis is not building rod blanks for sale using current fly rods, they have to set up a special production run when they go to build blanks for sale. (This may be why the quality control on the blanks seems to vary.) Rod blanks are built in fits and starts with varying degrees of availability. It is not unusual to find that a particular rod blank is months away from being produced.
If your heart is set on G Loomis then order your blank and wait until you can get it. If you have some latitude, my recommendation for rod builders is to look to St Croix if you want a rod blank that has excellent performance and a great performance to price ratio. If you want the best of the best rod blanks then go with Sage. With St Croix you’ll get a very comparable rod and with Sage you’ll get a rod that will beat Loomis every time.