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Rod Review

 

A Global Design for Enthusiasts, the Shimano G.Loomis Conquest Rods (continued)

 

Power: It is in the power category that the Conquest rods really stand apart from other rods, including the highest end offerings from G.Loomisís own lineup. Though these rods are light and crisp once there is a fish on the line they exhibit an entirely different character. Like so many other anglers I try and do my best pro imitation each and every time I set the hook, and when it came to the Conquest rods I found that I didnít have to swing nearly as hard to drive those hooks, as the response through the entire rod is exceptionally quick.

 

Lab Results for G.Loomis Conquest MBR843C

Model

Avg RoD (2-32oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
MBR843C CNQ
2.28
Fast
3.6
7
0.15
2017 MBR843C GLX
1.75
Fast
4.5
6
0.15
Legacy MBR843C GLX
1.93
Fast
4.1
8.5
--
TSFO 26 Rod Average
1.69
--
4.92
7.65
0.19

 

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our G.Loomis MBR843C CNQ against our 2017 (yellow) and Legacy (blue) MBR843C casting rods. The Conquest is one of the most powerful rods we have tested to date and though it is so much lighter than the similarly rated GLX is still delivers exceptional power.

 

In addition to casting distance and accuracy another benefit of the Spiral-X/Hi-Power design is that the blank transfers lifting power cleanly to the line without energy wasting blank twist which results in increased leverage for faster and more solid hook sets. Once fish are on the line the blank on this rod delivers outstanding control and power to control fish. The rod feels extremely powerful for having such a small diameter and the blank transitions quickly and beautifully keeping the fight in the upper section of the rod without ever feeling like you are taxing the blankís capabilities whatsoever.

 

Lab Results for G.Loomis Conquest SJR843C

Model

Avg RoD (2-32oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
SJR843S CNQ
1.78
Fast
3.7
9
0.19
MBR843C CNQ
1.75
Fast
3.6
7
0.15
2017 MBR843C GLX
1.75
Fast
4.5
6
0.15

 

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our G.Loomis SJR843S CNQ against our 2017 (yellow) and Legacy (blue) MBR843C casting rods. Here you can see the Conquest SJR holding its own against previous generation GLX 843C rods, this is one powerful spinning rod

 

The result is a rod that feels more powerful than it should while still remaining incredibly responsive throughout the battle. I caught largemouth up to six pounds on both the spinning and casting rods, and the biggest fish on the SJR, which absolutely manhandled these fish. When it comes to control versus weight ratio these are the best G.Loomis rods to date.

 


Fights with the Conquest are awesome. You can detect every change in the fish but sheer lifting power in such a light and small diameter rod is quite unlike any other rod on the market


Design & Ergonomics: I really like the Conquestís clean and refined styling, which is no surprise since I favored the original NRX styling so much (the original blue threaded rods, not the more mundane NRX green ones). Which is also one of the things that has me scratching my head in regards to the color choices on the Conquest rods and the fact that they look so similar to the NRX design. Up close the spiral X blank is a big differentiator but from just a few feet away the rods share a very similar styling and colors.


G.Loomis has always focused on clean and elegant American styling, not a lot of bling, and always an understated level of elegance. In this tradition the Conquest rods still bear the brandís DNA, and while there are more graphics on the Conquest than what is found on most G.Loomis rods they are still pared down to a minimum and the overall rod looks like a purpose built weapon.

 


Like other G.Loomis rods the Conquest has a simple and purpose built layout without much bling. The result is understated elegance that puts a priority on function and ergonomics


Color-wise maybe the intention with the Conquest rich blue color was to make it obvious to consumers that blue threading equates to high end in the G.Loomis lineup, but I do think that it is a bit too similar to the NRX. The Conquest rods are a halo product and should have a very strong visual identity all their own, and because they are such a significant investment and it should be obvious that this is the highest end rod offering. People donít buy Ferrariís because they want to blend in.
In terms of ergonomics the Conquest rods prioritize comfort with full cork grips on the casting rods that are contoured throughout the grip so that they feel natural wherever you choose to hold the rod. The cork used on the two test rods I fished over the last few months is among the cleanest and highest grade I have seen the company use to date, and there is no obvious use of cork filler anywhere. The spinning rods make use of a split grip for balance and weight reduction and the proprietary Shimano CI4 reel seats are very comfortable during both cast or retrieve because they do not have a lot of space between the sections.

 


The skeletal reel seat helps reduce weight while providing direct access to the blank

Next: Punching above the weight class...

 

   

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