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Rod Review

Elevated sensitivity and the power to move bass, the new GLoomis GLX Jig & Worm BCR803 Rod

Date: 5/15/05
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: GLoomis
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 9.08 + EDITORS CHOICE

Introduction: The "GLoomis" brand name has become synonymous with "quality," and for many bass anglers the company's rods are just about as good as it gets. GLoomis took the term "application specific" to a new level when they recently introduced 17 new rods on top of their already robust GLX lineup of Mag Bass rods. We take a look at perhaps the most well rounded of all these new "Jig & Worm Series" rods, the BCR803, to see if this new series of rods really lives up to all the hype.

GLoomis GLX (BCR803) Specifications

Material GLX Graphite
Length 6' 8"
Rod Weight 4.3oz
Line Weight 12-16lb
Lure Weight 3/16-5/8oz
Guides 9 plus the tip
Action Extra Fast
Power Rating Medium-Heavy
Color Green
MSRP $350.00

Impressions: There's nothing quite like your very first GLoomis rod, I remember the first time I finally saved up enough money to buy an IMX rod and the very first time I fished it. I'll never forget that day, as I couldn't stop myself from grinning from ear to ear all day. I was awed by both the overall light weight and the incredible sensitivity the IMX graphite rod afforded me. I came to depend on my IMX 783C for all my plastics work, and soon had to purchase a GLX version. The GLX rod was a tad bit lighter, just a tad bid more sensitive, but was certainly a step up. Before fishing the new Jig & Worm BCR803 I wondered if this new rod would even be better than the existing GLX Mag Bass rods at all, if they were, would it be just a tad bit better or would the difference be fantastically noticeable?


The newest GLX rods, the Jig & Worm series

We first took a look at the whole lineup of new rods in our preview last year in December. “Over the past few years, anglers have had exceptional fishing success with G.Loomis’ technique specific bass rods, such as those designed to be used with spinnerbaits, crankbaits and drop shot rigs,” said Gary Schaefer with the G.Loomis product development staff. “When the conditions find bass seeking their comfort levels when jigs and worms, flipping, or casting Carolina rigs or soft jerkbaits like Senkos are the ticket, the extensive line-up we offer in the new Jig & Worm series can handle it all.” These rods are designed to be lighter, more sensitive, and still deliver plenty of bass moving power than just about any rod out there, including the already super-refined GLX Mag Bass rods.

Complete Test Rig for GLoomis GLX (BCR803)

Rod GLoomis BCR803
Reel(s) Shimano CH50Mg
Line 14lb Yozuri Hybrid
20lb PowerPro


From the initial inspection our BCR803 did appear incredibly refined, exactly what we have come to expect, and demand, from a premium GLoomis rod. Unlike traditional GLX rods the BCR803 is completely gel coated for increased durability. The rod shimmers with highlights of flakes within the gel coat, all of which is above the tightly wound high modulus GLX blank. The most noticeable feature on the rod are the Recoil® guides that track across the entire rod. Additional features include a genuine Fuji ECS low profile reel seat, hook hanger, and a dense cork butt cap at base of the rod.


The BCR803 has plenty of admirable features including a GLX blank, a Mag-Touch Fuji ECS reel seat, and a high quality cork butt end

Real World Test: We have fished the BCR803 for five months now on the California Delta, employing the rod for a variety of plastic duties ranging from tossing un-weighted senkos, to pitching jigs and dragging Carolina rigs. We also decided to see if the rod was capable of techniques outside it's documented range and proceeded to tie on an assortment of spinners and crankbaits. To keep the overall combo weight as low as possible we paired the BCR803 with the lightweight Chronarch 50Mg for a total weigh in of only 10.2oz, that's lighter than some round baitcasters alone!


At first I wasn't used to the extra stiffness of the redesigned taper but after a few casts I grew to appreciate the extra accuracy and sensitivity the rod offered

Casting/Retrieving: Loomis describes the BCR803 as a rod that "balances perfectly with 14-pound line and 3/8-ounce jigs, 6” worms and medium-sized topwaters. Moves big fish with surprising ease and still feels like a feather in your hand.  It may be the best all-around rod of the bunch." So we decided to follow the GLoomis spec and spooled up 14lb Yozuri Hybrid for our cast tests. The minute we started casting our test plug we noticed something right away....this rod is stiff, actually quite a bit stiffer than we had anticipated. The rod feels about a half power greater than traditional GLX rods is normally rated, and this fact should definitely be considered when choosing which of the 17 new Jig & Worm rods you really are looking for. The BCR803 features a unique fast taper that lowers the casting trajectory. This faster taper helps anglers to more easily cast into tight spots in and around structure, and provides more accuracy and lure control. The question is can you get used to the added stiffness? It took us just a few casts to adapt to the ultra fast action. The BCR803 loads faster than a traditional GLX Mag Bass rod, and we determined that this faster response is primarily due to the stiffer more powerful tip. Casting distance is good on weightless plastics, and fantastic on anything weighing over 3/16 of an ounce. Accuracy is excellent with the stiff tip, and whether it is a long 40 foot cast or tiny 6 foot pitch it only takes a short swing of the rod to place your bait exactly where you want it.

The key to reducing the weight of the rod was to use Recoil nickel titanium line guides, bend them and these durable guides always return to their original shape and position

Sensitivity: There is no other bait that requires more sensitivity when fishing than a plastic lure. Feel is paramount and can really make the difference between setting in time and sticking a fish or never identifying a strike in the first place. GLoomis addresses increased sensitivity by first starting with their ultra-high modulus GLX graphite and relaying it to create an even more precise taper, one that exhibits an extremely sensitive highly responsive tip. To bring down the weight and further increase sensitivity nickel-titanium Recoil® line guides are used throughout. These guides make direct contact with your line, and are extremely light and still exceptionally tough. Like titanium spinnerbaits these guides will always return to their original shape when bent. They are coiled in such a way that even the largest bass will not buckle one of these guides because direct pressure is forced down on the center of the coil. Do all these modifications translate to added sensitivity? The answer is yes. How much more sensitive? The answer to that is... just a bit. While we found the rod to be more sensitive than a normal GLX rod, most of that had to do with the stiffer tip, which helped translate even the faintest activity at the end of our lines. Its hard to beat GLX sensitivity but GLoomis's adjustments to their already winning formula somehow manages to squeeze an ounce of extra sensitivity from what we already consider to be among the most perceptive of rod materials. 

While fighting fish we noticed the power zone on this rod has been moved further up the actual blank

Power: We were afraid that modifications to the GLX blank would result in weak spots or a reduced power curve. One of the things I like most about traditional GLX rods is their exceptional balance of sensitivity and performance. Even though you are armed with a super sensitive rod you could always depend on GLX Mag Bass rods to step up and muscle fish when hooked up. During one of our sensitivity tests on the Delta I felt a slight tick on the end of the line, and I reacted in a somewhat zealous set. The line instantly went taught and a fish on the end of the line immediately swam downwards testing the load bearing capability of the BCR803. I lifted the rod into position and noticed immediately that only the tip seemed to dip forward rather than the entire rod. The power zone on this rod has been moved up the tip. As I fought the fish I was surprised that the upper 30% of the rod could so easily bear the counter pressure that this fish was delivering. I purposely muscled her in and the rod responded with confidence. In the end this 4.5lb largemouth proved to me that though the BCR803 was quite unlike any GLX Mag Bass rod I had previously fished before, it was definitely born from the same proud pedigree.


The rod is excellent for fishing Carolina rigs or weightless plastics

Ergonomics: After the first day fishing with the BCR803 I could already appreciate the incredible lightweight characteristics of this rod. Weighing only 4.3oz this rod is lighter than the vast majority of rods on the market. Not only does the light overall weight help you keep a bead on what is happening to your lure, it also helps reduce casting fatigue. The only other ergonomic advancement present on the BCR803 is the composite cork butt end which is much more comfortable against your forearm, very durable, and also very lightweight....plus it just looks darn cool. The only thing that the BCR803 is not as well suited for is for working braided lines. While the Recoil
® guides were strong enough to handle braided line we found that casting with braid emitted too much noise, your better off fishing with hybrid or mono on this rod.


Enjoy bassin with plastics? Looking for more sensitivity to avoid missed opportunities? The BCR803 just might be exactly what you have been yearning for in a new rod


Price & Applications: The BCR803 is a premium rod, and comes with a price tag to match. While 350.00 will not deter enthusiast tackle collectors it is a lot to invest for the vast majority of anglers. The question really comes down to whether or not the rod is worth the money, and the slight premium over traditional GLX bass rods. To this my answer is yes. While I wouldn't recommend an entire arsenal of these costly rods, I do think that one or two of these highly application specific rods are a perfect complement to an existing IMX and GLX lineup. This is the most sensitive rod I have ever fished with, and while I was originally put off by the strange stiffness of the tip I have grown to love the rod's distinctive characteristics. The BCR803 doesn't just excel at plastics work, I found that the stiff tip was also capable of retrieving tiny cranks or spinners. These downsized lures can be worked perfectly, and the ability to sense quick strikes enables you to employ these smaller hardbaits when the bite is tough. Interestingly GLoomis has recently introduced their Bronzeback rods just for smallmouth, but the characteristics of the BCR803 also make it an excellent candidate for smallmouth bass as well. The quick tip, great feel, and ample power make it suitable for light lining tubes and burning undersized cranks.


GLoomis GLX (BCR803) Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality GLX fans can breathe a sigh of relief, this rod is everything that we love about GLX and some more. The rod's construction is top notch and detail in design is evident 9.5
Performance Great sensitivity! This rod is the most sensitive rod I have ever fished with. The rod delivers exceptional power and while it still is not the lightest rod I have fished with it is among the most balanced 9.5
Price A premium rod, and a premium price tag. This rod is not cheap and should only be considered by those that are looking for a premium rod primarily for plastics and jigs 7.5
Features The rod has many nice features ranging from very low weight, a newly designed taper that delivers unique action, recoil guides for light weight, and a very attractive composite cork butt end 9
Design (Ergonomics) The rod is ergonomically very good, and feels balanced with just about any small to mid sized baitcasters. This rod cry's out for a magnesium baitcaster like the Chronarch Mg or TD-Z so be prepared to spend the money to match it up with something nice for a total ultra lightweight bass outfit 9
Application This rod delivers the goods when it comes to being multitalented. While optimized for working plastics for largemouth the rod is also capable of working small cranks and spinners, making it a great crossover rod for bronzeback duty 10

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Sensitivity is paramount! L Cost of ownership is high
J Power is still there L Braids are loud on Recoil guides
J Very lightweight  
J Great for large and smallmouth  
J Stays true to what we love about Loomis GLX based products  

The BCR803 is the perfect solution for finesse fishing plastics and the extra-fast tip allows you to cast un-weighted worms and jigs a long ways with enough power to drive the hook home and still have the muscle to pull the fish away from trouble quickly. It seems GLoomis was able to squeeze a little more performance out of what many already considered to be a near perfect blank. It is as if the engineers at GLoomis found a way to somehow dial up the sensitivity and power of the GLX based rod while still managing to reduce the overall weight. The result is a fantastic application specific rod that stays true to everything that is a Loomis rod. The BCR803 is not a "revolution" in design, rather it is an "evolution" in design. While many manufacturers are pushing hard to create completely fresh products, GLoomis stays close to what makes their bass rods so popular....and GLoomis fans will applaud them for it. If you are not sure which new GLX Jig & Worm rod to try, the BCR803 should definitely be on your short list. This accommodating performer is capable of a wide range of applications and more than lives up to all the hype. With the BCR803 GLoomis has a real winner, and proves that in the race for increased sensitivity, improved strength and added raw power, the company's GLX variants continue to be the horse that you just shouldn't bet against.


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