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Rod Review

Want to feel even the slightest ticks 50 feet below? With the latest G.Loomis GLX Drop Shot rod you can (continued)

Sensitivity: The original G.Loomis DSR was already a highly regarded rod when it came to sensitivity but even it is no match for the level of response that the GLX version offers. This rod offers superior sensitivity due to a combination of factors. The first and foremost of which are attributed to the characteristics of the GLX graphite.  Using a higher modulus this blank is not only more sensitive but a bit stiffer. G.Loomis made sure to thin the graphite at the tip so it still has plenty of life when twitched. With subtle shakes the GLX’s tip doesn’t travel as much as the original DSR. This allows anglers to really twitch the baits in position rather than bounce them up and down. Many anglers go through a love and hate relationship with Recoil guides. Everyone likes the reduced weight of the guides, but some anglers dislike the casting feel, especially with braid. The GLX DSR is one rod where the Recoils make absolute sense. Anglers will spend less time casting lures with this rod, and more time simply holding it up and shaking the tip. The Recoils are also very sensitive, and are able to transmit strikes especially well. This coupled with a stiffer tip than most drop shot rods helped me distinguish strikes in much deeper water.


The G.Loomis proprietary reel seat moves the reel up for better balance of the entire rig and more access to the blank

The GLX DSR looks and feels like a finesse rod, rather than a mag bass stick. This is not a rod that you want to horse in fish with, but rather a stick that has just enough backbone to turn and guide fish in. The taper of the GLX DSR is very fast, and it loads quicker than most rods. The majority of the power comes from the lower 60% of the rod so this is not a rod that you will want to ever highstick. Anglers will have to sacrifice some power for the increased sensitivity and reduced weight, but then again is that necessarily a very bad thing? When fishing a drop shot with a spinning outfit one of the major advantages of the setup is the ability to fish lighter lines than most baitcasters. When fishing sub 6lb mono or fluorocarbon lines like we did in our test you will land more fish if you exhibit patience and work fish in rather than trying to overpower them in a tug of war, where you run the risk of snapping your ultralight lines.


Twitching the rod while extending your index feature to the blank is possible


Durability: The same reason that this rod is so sensitive is why this rod is not as durable as the previous non-GLX version. The absence of gloss over the entire rod makes for a much lighter more responsive rod, but opens the blank up to potential damage from nicks and scratches. If you are used to fishing a matte blank like the Mag Bass IMX or GLX’s this really isn’t a concern. If you haven’t fished a non-gloss blank yet then you really owe it to yourself to try one. Honestly, I prefer both the look and feel of a non-gloss rod. They not only come across as more subtle and refined, but I find them lighter, and they seem to have a more responsive action. Of course with the titanium based Recoil guides at least you don’t have to worry about bent guides nearly as much, but they can still break off if stepped on or pinched in a car door.


A cord butt cap is comfortable against your forearm, actually the weight holding pad is too


Ergonomics: This rod features first-class ergonomics when it comes to casting and retrieving. The cork is kept down to a minimum on this rod but thanks to the angled cork grip above the reel seat I found this rod better balanced than any other drop shot rod I have ever fished, including the original DSR. Because of the absence of Fuji guides the weight of the upper portion of the rid is brought down, and paired even with a magnesium reel this rod doesn’t put as much stress on your wrist as you twitch away. The nice thing about the cork grip is that while it provides superior ergonomics it also doesn’t impede sensitivity as it is short enough that you can still extend your index finger and make contact with the blank.


Another drop shot "schoolie" fish

One of the areas I would have loved to see improvement on is the method in which to secure your drop shot rig. The GLX version still supplies a G.Loomis band which can be adjusted to hold any weight along the foregrip. Shoving a weight into this band takes a bit longer than a wire hanger, and of course if you lose the band you’re pretty much out of luck. What I would have loved to see implemented is a modified z-keeper style hanger on the blank, or an open wire hanger like that employed on the Shimano Crucial rods, maybe even one made out of titanium to match the recoil guides.

Drop Shot success well into the evening on the Delta courtesy of the GLX DSR820S


Price: This rod isn’t cheap, but then it wouldn’t be a premium Loomis right? Priced in parity with a BCR GLX rod the new DSR is pretty much the ultimate drop shot rod for the G.Loomis faithful. In the scheme of premium rods the 355.00 cost of ownership may seem high, but will be acceptable to anglers that are looking for any possible sensitivity advantage they can acquire. Drop Shotting deep is one application where it actually makes sense to pay a bit more for added sensitivity. My recommendation is to buy the Moss Green non GLX version if you are a casual “drop shotter,” and to invest in the GLX version if you are a drop shot aficionado. Though keep in mind, the first time you fish the GLX version you can never go back. I hate to say it, but since I have started to fish this new rod my standard DSR has been relegated to split shot rig duty….that’s how good this new rod is.


GLoomis GLX (DSR820S) Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality GLX fans this is your drop shot rod. The build quality is excellent. This is a rod that will make the Loomis faithful very happy 9.5
Performance When it comes to sensitivity below 50 feet this rod is the single best drop shot rod I have ever fished. You can feel everything from the depths even with fluorocarbon 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 drop shot rod 7.5
Features Features include low weight, recoil guides, proprietary reel seat. The one thing I wish was added is a quality hook hanger of some type rather than just a band to hold weights 8
Design (Ergonomics) Ergonomically speaking this rod is hard to beat. With a weight of only 3.8 oz this rod is extremely light and the low weight helps makes this among the most balanced and easy to shake drop shot rod 9
Application Not just for drop shot this rod is also great for light plastics from split shot rigs to darter heads and jig and worm setups 10

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J GLX graphite is still among the best in the business L There are cheaper drop shot rods out there
J Matte finish, no gloss L Wish it had a new hook hanger
J Very lightweight  
J Excellent sensitivity  
J Fantastic build quality  
J Well balanced compared to many other drop shot rods  

Overall this rod exhibits a near perfect balance of being light enough to deal with delicate lines, and still strong enough to turn big fish. The company always talks about experiencing the “Loomis Advantage.” This is one of those rods where the experience is bona fide, and the “advantage” comes in many forms, including reduced overall weight, a nimble tip that is ideal for bring baits to life with amazingly little effort, and improved sensitivity. While the cost of the rod may be high, this rod is intended for those anglers that are looking for the very best in a drop shot rod. Drop Shot enthusiasts will not be disappointed in this new stick, and I am particularly thrilled to see the traditional no-gloss matte finish employed on this rod. An inventive hook hanger design for drop shot weights would put this rod over the top, but for now, as far as it goes for drop shot sensitivity in deep water, this rod is the best I have fished yet. There’s still something inimitable about G.Loomis GLX graphite based rods, and whatever magic it is that gives GLX that crisp ultra-refined feel, it has successfully been translated into the GLX DSR.


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