Finally got out today to fish my new rod that I got for Christmas, a 10ft 8 weight Loomis Pro 4x that I'm going to be using on the Salmon River, NY for Steelhead as well as down South for stillwater largemouth.

I matched the rod with a Royal Wulff ambush fly line, a spey line for single hand rods, and I was really surprized at how well it could swing. I tied on a 6ft 7 ips sink tip and another 3 feet of tippet down to 0X and I was throwing a 4 inch conehead bunny leach 50 or 60 feet. By spey standards, that's not amazing, but for Great Lakes tribs on a singlehand rod, I felt pretty accomplished.

I wanted a singlehand specifically for nymphing because 90% of the time on the Salmon river, thats how you catch fish. Having the extra foot really helps when you're swinging flies for distance, and also for mending which you do a lot of both. Now for people reading this who want to nymph DO NOT use the ambush line for this! Kind of a gimme for people who know this line, but thats not what its meant for. Get a long belly steelhead taper, or a double taper line.

Okay now to the technicals. The rod is not as fast as I would have thought the descriptions of "fast" and "stiff" would be. I probably would still say its a fast action, but if you want something to be a broomstick, look at Scott and Sage. The tip is obviously made of NRX material, its very springy and returns to position quick. It's not the best for getting huge splitshot off the bottom, but its possible. I would bet that there is not a more sensitive tip in the price range which is great when you are short line euro nymping. I didn't get the chance to try this rod out before I bought it, but I tried just about every other one I was looking at and figured I would return it if I didn't like it. What the rod is great with is the progressiveness of it. I haven't felt a 10' that gives you this kind of smooth power and feel (but I haven't tried a 10ft Scott, only the 9ft which had more power, but not as much feel). With the right line, you can make 15ft nymphing casts, or 70+ bomber casts. What I've found is the best thing for this rod as far as steelheading goes is to get a big heavy line like the ambush, or overline a normal WF by 1 or 2, and its great for short to mid distance nymphing.

fighting butt, cork, reelseat, hook keeper, sock, tube are great. I haven't seen anything better but much worse and plenty about the same.

I was a little nervous before buying this rod because there was a real lack of reviews, but now I think I know why. The rod is not amazing, its not the best thing out there, it will not change your life. It is however a damn good rod by anybody's standards. This rod is not a specialized tool for one type of fishing, though it is marketed as a steelhead rod. It is a generalized fly rod built to the size and weight of what steelheaders normally use. Its not perfect, but it is a great choice especially for the price.

All the praise for this rod's action is well earned, but the first time I had it out fishing, the tip guide fell off (in 32 degree water with an outside temp of 12). The epoxy obviously did not melt off. Took it to a local shop who had a new tip on it in 2 minutes and charged me less than 7 bucks, which sure beats the hell out of warranty. I'm not holding my breath waiting for the next guide to fall off, because honestly those fall off any rod every once in a while.

Well worth the money, but definitely try it out first before you buy it. If you do try it out and want something with a softer action, check out Orvis Access, or if you want stiffer, look at Scott A3's and A4's

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No taxes, free shipping, you get a free line up to $75 and they answer the phone.

Hope this helps someone before they spend their christmas money, and if you have any questions about the rod, post a reply on this, I'll get the notification via email and I'll probably get you and answer within a couple days.

Stay warm - Alec B