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Rod Review


G.Loomis's 820S DSR GLX : A Top Notch Performer, but...


Date: 8/26/18
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: G.Loomis
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.83 - GOOD

Introduction: In March of 2017, we shared with you G.Loomis's reborn classic, the MBR842C GLX. Inspired by the recaptured performance and versatility of an old favorite, I felt it time again to explore something else within the manufacturer's former top end lineup. Looking back in our archives I found a 2005 review where Zander tested and wrote about the 820S DSR GLX. It received very high marks but had a fit and finish that G.Loomis no longer offers. The new version of this stick has a much more traditional GLX look, so I felt it was the perfect time to see for myself how well it performs.

G.Loomis 820S DSR GLX Specifications

Material G.Loomis GLX Graphite
Length 6'-10"
Line Wt. 4-8lb
Lure Wt. 1/8-3/8oz
Pieces One
Guides 9+Tip Ti/SiC
Rear Handle Length 9 inches
Power Rating Mag Light
Taper Extra Fast
Rod Weight 3.7 Ounces
Origin Made in USA
MSRP $414.99

Or first review of G.Loomis's 820S DSR GLX was thirteen years ago. Time to update ourselves on what this stick has to offer.

Impressions: Once upon a time, in a fishing life, long long ago, my primary fishing pole of choice was a G.Loomis GL3 MagLite rod, so I was pretty anxious to get my hands on this GLX model. Zander's model from 2005 had a painted blank and a full rear grip and foregrip design. The 2017 model year 820S DSR GLX features an unfinished blank from about the label towards the tip, and a split rear grip made of cork. The small foregrip remains and the blank is painted a translucent GLX blue from the label down to the butt end. You can see it in the middle of its split grip.


Now featuring a split rear grip design.

Real World Tests: One of the factors that landed me on the decision to purchase this rod was my need for a new partner to pair with my previously reviewed Shimano Stella FJ. While that reel performed perfectly fine on my Daiwa Steez AGS stick, and my Phenix Rods TJ713 K2, it never felt quite at home with either. So I thought I'd give it a go with the 820S DSR GLX.

Wrapped with Fuji titanium framed, SiC guides.

Casting: The 820S DSR GLX is what G.Loomis refers to as a "MagLite" power. That's their way of telling you this is a light powered stick with an extra-fast taper. Its lure weight range is from one eighth of an ounce up to three eighths (1/8 - 3/8oz). I fished it repeatedly with a one sixteenth ounce (1/16oz) tungsten drop shot weight paired with a variety of soft plastic finesse baits all with great success.

The blank is unfinished.

This stick is a little light for any kind of pitching presentation, but over the shoulder and sidearm casts are all made with ease. However, if there is anything negative to say about this stick, I did notice it occasionally makes a clicking sound when loading and unloading on a cast. I gently tugged at each guide and could not find the source of the noise, but it is there, possibly coming from inside the blank.

The open ended hook keeper is great for stowing drop shot weights, but our line did get caught in it a few times while fishing.

Sensitivity: If we were still using our old evaluation metrics, the 820S DSR GLX would receive a 5 in this category. The GLX graphite together with the rod's taper and power make for exactly what I think of when looking for a rod that is "sensitive." Everything from pressure bites to distinct "tick tick" bites and more are easily felt through this stick.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our
G.Loomis 820S DSR GLX against our old baseline finesse sticks.

Power: Looking at the chart above, it would appear the new, 820S DSR GLX not only possesses a new name, but its former self, the DSR820S GLX also charted differently back at the lab. Looking at the chart, the results are close, but it would also appear, G.Loomis has made the extra-fast taper of the 820S DSR more drastic - it's a little softer in the tip and a little more powerful as the weight is increased compared to the older model.

Checking out the rod's taper.

I liked almost everything about this rod except for the grip.

Regardless of this step up in backbone, if you're a tournament angler or an angler that likes to get a fish in as soon as you can after setting the hook, the 820S DSR GLX is not the stick for you. G.Loomis makes very few zero and one powered sticks anymore perhaps because they don't sell very well. Many anglers simply are not comfortable fishing with a stick that is this light in power.

The overall diameter is just a bit large.

Next Section: Light and sensitive but...









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