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Rod Review

 

The G.Loomis NRX+ Bladed Jig Rod – Overkill, and Just What Enthusiasts Want (continued)

 

Power: Strikes with the BJR are epic. You can feel the split- second the blade comes in contact with even light vegetation and rips take little more than a rod twitch with the instant response. The second fish hit you can feel the blade go dead, and when fishing with low, or no stretch, lines the strike can be jarring, in the very best way. This is exactly when the best attributes of the NRX+ powered BJR kick in. Where many other application specific rods can feel whippy, slow, or even sloppy the BJR feels precise when there is a fish on the line.

 


Similar to the Conquest Series the lifting power with the NRX+ is excellent

 

I’ve always praised the lifting power of Compile X but unlike some of the Conquest rods the BJR delivers a better balance of power and crisp response. This rod feels as sensitive as NRX rods of the past but is clearly more powerful. The rod is rated as a Medium Heavy Power and Fast action which I feel is accurate but when there is a fish on the line it is more forgiving than the ratings indicate. Though it is nowhere near as parabolic as most bladed-jig glass rods it does a good job keeping fish pinned while never feeling too stiff or powerful. Even those that like to employ pro-style hooksets will be able to set hard and find this rod never feels stressed, or too fast.

 

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our G.Loomis NRX+ 883C BJR against the historical averages of similarly powered rods we've tested over the past twenty years

 

As you can see in the RoD Deflection tests from our lab the NRX+ 883C BJR has a smooth and powerful taper that falls right between the Medium and Medium Heavy power averages. Though it is a fast action rod it has a little softer tip section that helps anglers cast and feel every bit of vibration from those bladed jigs.

 

Lab Results for NRX+ 883C BJR Rod

Model

Avg RoD (2-32oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
G.Loomis NRX+ 883C BJR
1.97
Fast
4.2
10.5
0.28
Medium Heavy Pwr Avg
1.76
--
4.6

8.0

0.19
Medium Power Avg
2.19
--
4.2
7.9
0.18
Heavy Power Avg
1.39
--
5.1
8.2
0.23

 

Like other G.Loomis offerings the NRX+ rods, including the BJR, make use of multi-taper design which is the company’s proprietary process which utilizes material strategically placed on potential break points, and reducing material everywhere else to create what the company calls “micro-tapers” within the overall taper of the rod. This design has helped even value-oriented rods, like E6X, deliver a better balance of power, handling, and durability.

 


While I haven't really dedicated a single rod specifically for fishing bladed jigs the BJR had me rethinking that after a few fish


How G.Loomis further differentiates the NRX+ is with the use of their GL8 resin, which debuted on the NRX+ fly rods and is a “self-propagating” resin, which means that the resin creates nano particles as it is applied. This creates a very uniform distribution unlike traditional resins which requires particles to be blended in during the process.

 


The CI4+ reel seat is a single piece design that is ergonomic and still provides a lot of access

 

The result is particularly strong and even penetration into the graphite fiber so that less overall resin is necessary to create a blank of similar power, but one that is also significantly lighter. The BJR rod is a great example of this design executed perfectly as the rod delivers the power and action that you expect for this application and yet the rod weighs in at only 4.2 ounces.

 


Paired with the Metanium MGL this rod feels light and sensitive


Design and Ergonomics: In terms of layout the BJR features a split grip design that looks much like the previous generation NRX rods, but the grips are a lot more comfortable with the tapered edges. I think a full grip would have suited this rod just fine but the split grip does feel natural when it comes to balance and single handed casting. Overall the rod feels light and balanced with lighter baitcasters like the magnesium based Metanium MGL.

 


The one ergonomic gripe I have with this rod is the placement of the hook hanger in the rear and too close to the rear grip


The one thing that I do not love about this rod ergonomically is the placement of the hook hanger within the split grip, and directly above the rear grip. I like the look of the blue threading to call attention to the placement, but I still find it counterintuitive at times to reach down into the handle, and the line gets in the way when picking up the rod. To further complicate things you can sometimes detect the hanger when dual gripping when making two handed casts. I know many anglers like the lower placement which eliminates the hanger from potentially getting in the way of casts but I’ve always preferred the upper position. Call me old school.


The biggest improvement on this rod’s ergonomics is the sculpted CI4+ reel seat. Not only does it feel natural in hand but it reduces fatigue when palming and retrieving, as many anglers do with this technique. The original design arguably provided more direct access to the blank but the new design provides plenty of direct contact while better accommodating a more intuitive grip.

 


I find it easier to grab the rod and stow the bait in the traditional forward position


The foregrip on this rod is also kept to a minimum and the composite cork adds durability. You won’t find a fancy JDM styled machined foregrip on this rod but the composite cork foregrip feels comfortable, provides easy access to the blank for your index finger, and is in keeping with the signature G.Loomis look and feel elements.

 


A small carbon fiber ring adds some flair to a clean and simple composite foregrip

Next Section: Price, Applications, and Need vs. Want... 

 

   

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