- G.Loomis kickstarted the mid-priced, high-performance game a few years ago when it introduced a line of trout rods similar in feel to its flagship NRX brand, but without the expensive components or proprietary resins. Since then, the company has vastly expanded the range of rods in the PRO4x series to include saltwater versions, two-handed Spey and switch rods, and in 2015 two new specialty rods — Long Handle Predator (LHP) and ShortStix models in the PRO4x series.
LHP rods are 9 feet long with a long two-handed handle meant to toss extremely large flies and handle big game like salmon, muskies, and tarpon, but without the fish-fighting drawbacks of a long rod. With two hands it's also more powerful for lifting heavy lines, easier to use in a boat, and reduces fatigue over the course of the day. They come in three weights: 9/10, 10/11, and 11/12.
ShortStix PRO4x take the concept one step farther — all the way down to 7'6" rods for 8/9- to 11/12-weight rods. Designed by G.Loomis director of engineering Steve Rajeff in collaboration with saltwater anglers Ian Devlin and Mark Sedotti, these shorties make quick, powerful casts with surprisingly little effort if you load them up with the right lines like the Scientific Anglers Titan Taper, the new Siege (details on that line of page 43), Airflo Sniper, or RIO OutBound Short. With these short rods, it's important to have a line with a short, heavy head for maximum performance. They are perfect for kayak fishing, wading shallow water, and for big fish like reds, roosterfish, cobia, and striped bass. €¨$375-$550