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Rod Review

Getting "Shakey" G.Loomis Style

Date: 10/19/08
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: G.Loomis
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.08


Introduction: If it weren't for the big bait craze sweeping across bass fishing country, the current "in" technique could very well be jighead fishing, or to use the more current vernacular, shaky head fishing. More active a presentation than dropshotting, shaky head fishing is still considered a finesse technique. As such, it is primarily fished on light line and spinning tackle. At ICAST 2006 G.Loomis introduced a line of rods to specifically address this technique. We've been fishing one of these rods over the last year and are finally ready to share with you, our review of this stick. Introducing the G.Loomis SHR821S ShakyHead Stick.

G.Loomis SHR821S ShakyHead Specifications

Material IMX + GL3 blend
Length 6'10"
Length from Back of Reel Seat to Base 8.25"
Line Wt. 6-10 lb
Lure Wt. 1/16 - 1/4 oz
Pieces 1
Guides 6 guides plus tip (Fuji Alconite)
Power Rating 1
Taper MagLight
Rod Weight 4.2 oz
Manufacturing Country USA
MSRP $215

Impressions: G.Loomis just recently introduced two new rods for this lineup at ICAST 2008, a GLX spinning rod and a casting version of the existing two power rod to bring the total in this line to four sticks. From the original lineup are the SHR821S, reviewed here, and the slightly more powerful SHR822S. These sticks feature a brown blank, light brown graphics, and Fuji Alconite guides.


Introducing the G.Loomis SHR821S Shakyhead spinning rod.

Lab Tests: We decided to put the SHR821S in our RoD WRACK to see just how it compares to two of our previously reviewed and measured sticks from G.Loomis, our Bronzeback and Dropshot GLX rods.

Lab Results for G.Loomis SHR821S ShakyHead

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Rated Action
Spine (hard)
Measured Weight
Balance Point
Tip Weight
4.2 oz
Bronzeback GLX
3.7 oz
3.9 oz

Rate of Deflection (RoD): What we found was that between the load ranges of two to thirty two ounces the SHR821S is a much more powerful stick than either of the previous two already reviewed but up to about four to six ounces, it actually behaves very similarly. Thanks no doubt, to the light tips in all three of these spinning rods.

Fig. 1 : This RoD Deflection Chart shows the deflection characteristics of the G.Loomis SHR821S ShakyHead (yellow curve) against several similar sticks.

Spine, Weight, and Balance Point: For some reason, at least for us, these statistics don't seem as important when discussing a spinning rod. Nevertheless, the hard spine on our SHR821S was found to be on top. Its weight, at 4.2 ounces is not out of line although its two counterparts in our comparison are lighter by a hair. Balance points are similar, but again, with the weight of most spinning reels these days, none of this feels very relevant.

A view down the length of the blank...


... and an impression of the rod's power curve though not really captured well here.

Real World Test: More important, of course, was how this stick felt out on the water and to test that aspect, we paired it with a couple of different reels over the course of the past year. The two most common pairings were with a Daiwa Certate 2000 or a Daiwa Exist 2004.

Cal thinks he has a bite.


Complete Field Test Set-Up for G.Loomis SHR821S ShakyHead

Daiwa Certate 2000
Daiwa Exist 2004
10lb Toray Bawo Polymide Plus
5lb Toray Super Finesse

Casting: Pretty much status quo here. The Fuji Alconite guides on the SHR821S are smooth and predictable as is the action of the blank as it loads for a cast. The blank handles baits within its rated range perfectly fine and even handles some 3/8ths ounce heads fishing some four and six inch Roboworms straight tails with little issue.

The SHR821S paired with a Daiwa Certate 2000


Not a bad match functionally but aesthetically?

Sensitivity: What I really liked fishing on this rod was a 1/4 ounce football style jighead with a Yamamoto Hula Grub. This is hardly your standard "shaky head" offering, but that combo just feels right on this rod. You can really feel the bottom with those football heads for some reason or maybe it's just the fact the Yamamoto Hula Grubs sink well because of the heavy salt formula GYCB uses in their plastics.

The Daiwa Exist 2004 matches the SHR821S just a little better.

Fuji Alconite guides throughout.

Certainly darter heads and standard shaky head offerings are fished just as easily on this rod as are spit shot rigs though for some reason that I cannot explain, I did not care for the latter very much on this rod. Maybe I've just outgrown that technique.

A standard grip design with some compressed cork accents.

Though the seat is Fuji...

Next Section: Let's talk about power









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