G. Loomis PRO4x ReviewMarch 21, 2014
- Good blend of power and presentation
- One of the lowest priced rods in the class
- Most versatile rod in the test
- One of the most inexpensive rods in the test
- Slightly heavier than some
- Felt a little tip-heavy to some casters
The G. Loomis PRO4x comfortably handled any task we threw at it. The PRO4 presented dry flies as well as it handled drifting nymphs off a sink-tip line. G. Loomis designed this rod to be a perfect rod for the angler who only wants one rod, but it also excels as the perfect travel rod when you don’t know exactly what conditions you’ll find at your destinations.
The PRO4x incorporates a new taper that reduces weight in the top half of the rod. That keeps substantial strength and power in the butt section to help fight big fish and to add power to distance casts. Meanwhile the lighter upper sections allow quick recovery for added line speed, thus improving distance and accuracy. That supple upper also helps deliver small flies softly for a delicate presentation. With power and accuracy, combined with one of the lowest prices in the class, the PRO4x stands nearly at the top of the class in terms of pure performance. Indeed, this is the best rod in the class for anglers who prefer a natural cork grip to the novel synthetic grip of the Vapen Red.
Casting Distance and Accuracy
Though it falls well into the middle of the range for this class in terms of distance and accuracy, the PRO4x also offers good sensitivity, ensuring it can be effectively fished while nymphing, casting streamers, or delivering tiny dry flies.
General fit, finish, and feel
The deep moss green rod blank and black anodized aluminum components looks sharp, and the deeply cut half cork grip fit comfortably in hand for all our testers. The comfort in grip during casting and fish handling was as good as nearly any in the class – only the synthetic grip of the Redington earned higher ratings from the majority of our testers, and one self-described traditionalist favored the PRO4x’s natural over the Vapen’s rubber grip.
We fished sinking tips in deep pothole lakes in eastern Washington while pursuing big triploids (i.e. sterile hatchery-raised planted rainbow trout) and had no trouble casting those weighted rigs. We also had great success throwing floating lines on Idaho’s Kelly Creek, casting small caddis flies to rising cutthroats. Across the board, the PRO4x was one of the most effective and efficient rods in all fly applications.
Dan Nelson- Fly Fishing Editor
Dan Nelson is GearInstitute.com's fly fishing editor. He is based in the Pacific Northwest.