Originally Posted by troutnut4
do you think that George might have been under a little pressure to find a new winner when he gave the Loomis an extra .5 of a point in the 25' category and an additional full point in the 45' (20.5 & 21 out of 20). Hardy and the others were scored out of 20, Loomis.. out of 21! I my mind they tied. You might have guessed, I am a Hardy fan since I bought that first Zenith.
Just my thoughts.
I find there is an especially obvious "thumb on the scale" in the supposedly quantitative rankings this year. For example, if you eliminate the entirely subjective "fun to fish" and "perfect 5 weight" rankings, and drop the Loomis NRX ratings down to the objective maximum score of 20 where they have been scored with gratuitous extra points, the Orvis H2 tip flex actually edges ahead of the NRX.
Nevertheless, there is a lot of usefulness in the qualitative comments. Where the review notes that the NRX is better than the Zenith at shorter distances, I find that credible. I test cast the Orvis H2 8' 5" mid flex (a rod excluded from the shootout) against the Zenith at a show this past winter, and I found them equivalent in quality but with different strengths: the Zenith could fling out a long cast accurately and effortlessly but lost some sensitivity and control close in, while the H2 was sheer bliss at short and medium distances but no match for the Zenith for longer casts. Anderson's commentary does compare these kinds of differences among the various models, and I think those observations are probably more helpful than the absolute rankings.