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Rod Review

Escape with the lightest rod from the G.Loomis travel lineup


Date: 9/09/08
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: G.Loomis
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 7.83 - Good

G.Loomis has updated their Escape line of travel rods making them more polished and application specific to give anglers more performance than what is normally expected in a multi-piece rod that can anglers can pack with them for any fishing adventure.  

G.Loomis ETR75-3ULS4 Ultra-Light Travel Rod Specifications

Material Graphite
Pieces 3
Length 6'3"
Grip Cork
Color Cherry
Line Weight 2-6lb
Lure Weight 1/32-1/4oz.
Guides 5 plus the tip
Rating Ultra-Light
Action Medium Fast
MSRP $310.00

Impressions: Fishing in your home water is fun but there is always something thrilling about targeting different species of fish and exploring new fishing locations. Travel and fishing go hand in hand for anglers, and prepared anglers always have a rod within reach just in case the perfect stretch of water presents itself. It is with this mindset that G.Loomis fashioned the Escape Travel Rods.

The G.Loomis ETR75-3-ULS-4 is the smallest rod in the Escape lineup

There are a total of ten rods in the Escape series ranging from the ultralight ETR75-3ULS4 for trout fishing to the heavy action ETR81-3HC20 which is capable of handling tarpon, big snook, small sharks, and other saltwater fish. All of the Escape series rods are three pieces and come with a rod sock and new for this year is a bundled rod tube for extra protection while traveling. All the Escape rods feature a cherry finish and gold threading. I have to confess I wasn’t a fan of the color when I first set eyes on the series as it reminded me of the lower end GL2 merlot rods.  

All Escape rods come with a rod tube and heavy duty rod sock for travel

G.loomis also offers GLX travel rods, and there are four rods in this series ranging from 6’6” to 7’ in length. The GLX rods are positioned above the Escape rods and carry a price premium of 100-150 dollars over the Escape rods depending on which models you are comparing. When deciding which rod to review I decided to pick up a new ultralight trout rod, as most of my light rods were either longer than 6’6” or single piece sticks. The ETR75-3ULS4 is designed to be an ultra-light spinning rod for trout and panfish and G.Loomis recommends the rod for light line enthusiasts, and describes it as “an awesome backpack rod.”

A closer look at the rod sock

Real World Test: Trout fishing comes in a close second to bassing for me. I usually target trout by backpacking into less travelled water with a spinning outfit and fly rod, but to properly test the G.Loomis ultralight Escape rod JIP, Cal, and I decided to tow our Boston Whaler over the “hill” to Crowley Lake in the Easter Sierras. Here we could pit the ultralight rod versus both Sacramento Perch and Rainbow Trout. Crowley Lake rests at an altitude of 6,800 feet and is a man made reservoir that was created by the damming of the Owens River Gorge to supply water to Southern California. It took us a full day to get to the Crowley from TT headquarters and we set up camp and prepped our gear for two days of light line fishing.

The rod sock separates each of the three rod pieces

Casting: I paired the Escape with a Shimano Sustain 1000 and loaded one spool with 2 and 4lb P-Line Fluroclear. As Cal prepared dinner I head to the water’s edge to try my luck with 1/4oz Kastmasters and spinners. The Escape rod takes only seconds to put together and the ferrules join together very nicely. I was able to cast the lures a good distance with the 2lb line, and while I got petite followers I didn’t get any takers before Cal rang the dinner bell.

The rod features a new design that is smoother through the ferrules

With the campfire going and beverage in hand I was ready to settle in for the night, the temperature quickly dropped the minute the sun disappeared behind the mountain range. Testing the rod’s feel and sensitivity would just have to wait until morning. We left the launch ramp early the next morning as it was only a stone throw away from our campsite on the bank of Convict Creek.

Our testing location, Crowley Lake in the Eastern Sierras

We powered on the big motor and noticed the boat had trouble getting on plane with our two-stroke Mercury 90, as is normal with carburetor motors at this altitude. When we finally arrived at McGee Bay we found over ten boats that had already beat us to the location. Most anglers were casting with fly rods versus spinning gear so we broke out the Escape and went to town. I found the Escape rod can cast anything from 1/32-1/2oz in weight with the six Fuji guides (this is 1/4oz greater than the G.Loomis recommended rating).

Cal cooks dinner while JIP preps the campsite

Retrieving: Once the lure was in the water I found the Escape more than capable at working lures in the water with light line. I fished a variety of spinners and spoons and within the first few casts got hit on a Kastmaster. The fish didn’t run like a trout, in fact it felt more like a Crappie or Bass. The reason revealed itself as I brought my first Sacramento Perch to the surface. The perch weighed in at just under 2lbs, and during the trip I would catch many more cookie-cutter perch on blades. While the Perch was entertaining I was here for the trout.

Good morning Crowley, time to put the boat in the water and start fishing...um, I mean get to work

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