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Rod Review


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

Having said that, this "maglite" powered rod is far from being a noodle stick. Think of it as a rod with a top quarter or so from an ultra light rod that then transitions quickly to a stick with one step up in power from that point down to the butt end. There's actually plenty of power in the 820S DSR GLX for light line applications.

Look how wide the cork is compared to the blank.

Design & Ergonomics: G.Loomis's 820S DSR GLX comes in at only three point seven ounces (3.7oz) and with a balance point of six and a half inches (6.5") from the mid-point of the reel seat up towards the tip of the rod. Given the rod's length and power, it better have good numbers here and it does.

It does taper smaller towards the top.

What I found not so great about this stick ergonomically however, was the bulkiness of its grip. Sure it's a split rear grip, so by definition, it should be less bulky, but the handle's diameter is just a bit large for my liking. It kind of reminds me of the cork grips with a power bulge in them only in this case, the entire grip is the bulge.

But then it kind of flutes back out again like a popper bait.

I think the root cause of this problem is the reel seat. G.Loomis is using a custom reel seat instead of something more typical like those offered by Fuji. This particular seat is too large in diameter to begin with, so when G.Loomis shapes the cork to match this seat, the result is a bulkier than normal grip. This grip does taper toward the top, but then it kind of flutes back out again like a topwater popper.

We think the issue is with the reel seat. Doesn't it seem a bit large?

Lab Results for G.Loomis 820S DSR GLX

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
G.Loomis 820S DSR GLX
2005 DSR820S GLX

The threading is massive for a rod of this size.

Price & Applications: The 820S DSR GLX is available for purchase at the non-value price of four hundred fifteen dollars ($415). GLX is no longer G.Loomis's flagship rod series. In fact, with the introduction of Conquest, GLX is now number three in the rankings, but the rods in this lineup are still a pricey proposition. This rod specifically is made for drop shotting, but I wouldn't limit it to that application alone. In fact, I wouldn't hesitate to use it for any finesse specific application or to use it for panfish species like crappie, bluegill, etc..

The butt end is minimalist, but still kind of wide like a marshmallow.


G.Loomis 820S DSR GLX Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The rod makes clicking sounds when shaking it around 8
Performance This is my ideal power and taper in a finesse rod 10
Price GLX may not be top of the line for G.Loomis any longer, but it is still pretty pricey 6
Features High end guides and graphite 8
Design (Ergonomics) Light and well balanced but a bit clunky grip design 7
Application Excellent choice for finesse applications and fishing for panfish 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:


+ Super sensitive - Clicking sound when you shake it
+ Taper delivers good power with that sensitivity - Not a very elegant reel seat
+ unfinished blank  

The 820S DSR GLX's performance is perfect for me, but its ergonomics leave me wanting.

Conclusion: G.Loomis's refreshed 820S DSR GLX represents exactly what I seek in terms of power, taper, and sensitivity in a finesse rod. What keeps it from being perfect for me is that clicking sound when making a cast and the unbranded reel seat that results in a bulky handle design. It's actually at a point now where I'm weighing different strategies to either shave that cork down or cut the reel seat off all together and replace it. Trouble is the best way to replace a reel seat is to load it from the tip and I'm not sure I'm up for re-wrapping the entire rod. In the end, I guess my search for that perfect finesse rod continues.


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