Stuff We Like #2: G.Loomis GLX CrossCurrent

June 13th, 2014| No Comments

Stuff We Like #2: G.Loomis GLX CrossCurrentJust so we’re clear, this is not a review. It’s a wee bit late for that, after all. And anyway, many others (plenty of them better qualified and better able than me) have done that already. However, if you want to read one man’s entirely subjective appreciation of one particularly iconic bit of tackle, consider yourself in the perfect place…

I wish I could say I spent hours testing loads of different rods before choosing the Loomis GLX CrossCurrent. I wish I could tell you all the others felt cold and lifeless, but when I picked this one up the world stopped around me, a luminescent glow spread from my hand all the way up through the rod, and that I was instantly imbued with some kind of Jedi-like casting ability.

It didn’t quite work like that. The truth is I was gearing up for a trip to the Bahamas and my previously-trusty-but-now-broken bonefish stick needed replacing. I’d never spent big money on a fly rod, but as chance would have it, the Loomis was on sale (the NRX was about to drop, I seem to remember), and with a third off, it was finally within my price range.

I’ll be honest – it took a little getting used to. I didn’t fall in love with its looks straight away. The moss-green blank and burgundy whipping looked a little old-fashioned and a tad unsexy; the skinny section of cork handle took a little getting used to and the Recoil guides looked, dare I say it, a little on the cheap side.

We grew on each other though. I scheduled in enough pre-trip casting time to ensure we didn’t embark on our Bahamas bonefishing odyssey as total strangers, and before long we were getting along famously.

It quickly dawned on me that this rod was in a different league to its dear departed predecessor. The super-fast action took a little getting used to, but once I’d locked it in, everything changed. I’d rate myself as an average caster, but suddenly I felt better than that – I wasn’t used to seeing the fly line travel that far from my rod tip. Smooth, rhythmical and accurate – it had the lot.

On the flats, the GLX revealed itself to be a beast of a rod, marrying all those other attributes with awesome stopping power and great close control. My very first fish turned out to be my biggest – a 9lb slob that was tailing on an Andros flat in the late-afternoon sun. That’s comfortably the biggest bonefish I’ve ever had, and I was struck by the difference in power between that and the smaller fish I’d encountered on previous trips. The rod handled it with ease.

Stuff We Like #2: G.Loomis GLX CrossCurrent

It was one of the defining moments of a very special trip – a week spent on my own, as the only guest at the lodge. Just me and my Loomis. And whenever I look back at pictures of that time, given that I had no-one else to photograph, the Loomis is front and centre. No doubt that’s part of the attachment I feel for the thing.

A few years have elapsed since then and things have changed. It’s not as light as some of the newer rods on the market (Orvis Helios 2, Sage Method and Loomis’ own NRX for example), but I’m not that bothered. It still feels light enough in the hand for me.

I’ve picked up and tested a handful of these newcomers, but I haven’t picked up an 8-weight that I prefer sufficiently to warrant spending big and putting my Loomis on the shelf.

And anyway, I’ve come to love how this thing looks. There’s something solidly traditional about the colour scheme that sets it apart in this era of nano-resin blanks and futuristic finishings.

There aren’t many rods that you can distinguish from a distance. The CrossCurrent, with its green blank and burnished copper real seat is one of them. You can tell a mile off what it is. And you know what? Despite the ever-evolving fly rod industry – the constant appetite for updated, upgraded products – you still see these rods everywhere.

I guess one day I’ll consider a change. I just don’t see that day coming any time soon.

Rory Batho

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