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Rod Review

CB Rod Wars Part 18: G.Loomis goes with graphite for more sensitivity while cranking (continued)

Retrieve: If you are a fan of glass rods the G.Loomis sticks might not do it for you as they do behave much as you would expect graphite to. The Loomis cranking stick feels lightweight and crisp but the tip does have plenty of give to deliver the parabolic action anglers need to keep trebles from ripping out of the fishís mouth. I did find that this particular rod was very easy casting and did not require as much loading as pure glass rods to catapult lures. Also on the plus side the graphite based rod is very responsive making lightning hooksets easy.

The 845C handled Norman DD22 deep divers weighing 5/8oz. very well

This rod is good for slower big bodied cranks that move a lot of water rather than small shallow running cranks that you burn right under the surface. While I wasnít 100% confident about the tips of the rods when casting the really heavy stuff the tips do a great job preventing larger lures from feeling heavy at the end of the line allowing anglers to crank deep all day long without hurting their wrists.

The 845C makes use of 10 alconite guides

Sensitivity: Though we didnít get to fish the GLX crankbait rod much in terms of retrieve the sensitivity difference just cranking in baits while running our casting tests was noticeable. But with durability concerns with the high modulus graphite in this particular application it makes sense to give up a little sensitivity if that means more durability while cranking. The 845C was definitely not as sensitive as the GLX rod but was more sensitive than pure glass rods by far. It is here that the responsive tip on the rod is a plus, and not only can you feel every single bump with structure but strikes are clearly transmitted making it easy to swing the second your lure is hit.

A closer look at the SS/Alconite guides

Power: Though rated as a medium-heavy 5 power rod I found that the 845C was somewhere in the middle of a 3-5 power and capable of fishing medium sized crankbaits including the Fat Free Shad I love fishing in lakes in Texas and Mexico. When it comes time to land fish the 845C doesnít muscle fish so much as it guides them back to the boat. I got extra bonus time to test the rodís power when we got into some stripers on the Delta and the rod was able to handle them without issue.

The end of the 845C crankbait rod is finished with a traditional plastic buttcap

Ergonomics: The 845C balanced out reasonably well with the Chronarch in our tests and was easy to cast one handed when fishing lighter crankbaits up to 1/2oz. in weight. When it came to the heavier 1oz. baits I preferred to cast two handed and it was here that I really started to notice how short the cork reargrip was. Measuring out at 8 inches to the back of the reel seat the 845Cís cork grip is about average in length but shorter than many of the newer crankbaits rods on the market which are 10 inches in length. If youíre a diehard Loomis fan youíre likely not going to notice it but if you have bounced around a few brands it definitely feels short. I personally prefer a 10 inch rear grip for most applications for the additional real estate for casting and that extra leverage when fighting fish.

The GLX features a more attractive ergonomically shaped composite cork butt

Overall the 845C felt light in hand and weighs in at 4.3oz., and while it doesnít really stand out ergonomically in any area it doesnít have any glaring problems either, unless you are like me and prefer that longer rear handle. A conventional hook hanger above the foregrip makes it easy to stow crankbaits armed with treble hooks.

The 845C features a cork foregrip and looks quite traditional in appearance

Price & Applications: At some point we will go back and take a closer look at the G.Loomis GLX rod but for now we only have enough data to rank and recommend the CBR845C. While the GLX CBR855C looked really promising the premature breakage during tests didnít allow us to get a complete picture of the rod. Traditionally higher modulus rods are more sensitive but what they gain in sensitivity is often lost in durability, whether or not this is the case in this particular rod we are still unsure but for now we will stick the 845C, especially when you consider the price.

The 845C felt both sensitive and confident with medium and deep diving crankbaits in tow

The 845C retails for $245.00 which I consider a reasonable price and the GLX rod costs $385.00 which is a hefty premium to pay for a rod where the application doesnít necessarily demand that level of sensitivity. For the extra 140 dollar premium Iíd recommend putting that towards a higher end reel rather than moving up to the GLX rod for cranking even if we never experienced the breakage.

A look at the Fuji ECS reelseat on the 845C

The 845C is a good rod for slower moving cranks and the tip does a good job reducing stress of deep divers but Iím still a tad weary on casting really big and heavy 1oz. cranks with this rod, part of the problem for me is the very short handle which makes it a little difficult to get enough leverage for double handed casts. If you like casting big cranks single handed this really is a non-issue. Like all Loomis rods these crankbait rods come with a lifetime warranty and we actually got to test the system this time around and found the customer service to be both fast and courteous.

The 845C has plenty of backbone and was able to turn the heads of both bass and stripers

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

G.Loomis CBR845C Crankbait Rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A good overall construction just like you would expect from Loomis 8.5
Performance This rod is best for medium sized cranks and some deep diving cranks. I liked the way that deep divers felt when retrieved but not how the 1oz. baits casted with the short 8" handle 8
Price A reasonable price at 245.00 but there is a lot of good competition out there including Shimano's own Cumara Reaction rods which cost less 7
Features Sensitive graphite that exhibits proper parabolic action for a cranking rod, the rod does everything it is supposed to 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) A clean design that is characteristic of a traditional Loomis but I thought the handle was a bit short and the rod lacked the "wow" factor and I didn't feel it was as exciting to fish as some of the competing rods 7
Application Good for a wide variety of crankbaits and can be used for smaller jerkbaits as well 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Good for wide range of baits especially deep cranking L Short handle makes it harder for two handed casts of large baits
J Good sensitivity (The GLX rod was extremely sensitive)  
J Lightweight  
J Lifetime Warranty  


Conclusion: While I liked the 845C overall I found it somewhat lacking in terms of ďwowĒ factor. It gets the job done but didnít really shine or get me to the point where I really was excited to fish it, something I experienced with a number of the rods in the Crankbait Rod Wars including the Dobyns 704CB, Daiwa Steez Fle-X-Lite and Shimanoís own Cumara Reaction rods. When I compare the G.Loomis 845C with the more affordable Cumara Reaction Series CUC70H I find myself gravitating towards the Shimano offering both in terms of styling and performance. This is not something I could or would have said when comparing the offerings of both brands just a few seasons ago. Perhaps thatís the biggest problem I have with the 845C, besides personal preference there is nothing really wrong with the rod at all, but it is what the competition is doing right. The competition has just gotten that much better and while there is no doubt hard core Loomis fans that donít want anything done to the line there are others that would welcome an update to some of Loomisís offerings. At the end of the day while I canít recommend the CBR855CGLX at the time being the G.Loomis Crankbait Series 845C is a quality cranking stick that has all the elements that Loomis products are known for and is a worthy rod that is able to handle both medium and large sized crankbaits and is good for anglers that enjoy cranking deep.


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