The American made G.Loomis rods are known as some of the finest graphite rods in the world. Over the past 20 years many Aussies have found these rods to be perfect for a variety of lure casting situations.
I first found out about Loomis rods when I saw a younger Steve Morgan fishing for bream with one at Brunswick Heads.
A few years later I finally used one of the lighter Loomis rods for casting bream lures around Tuggerah Lakes. I was immediately impressed with the rod’s extreme sensitivity and how light it was.
One of the more interesting G.Loomis rods that I’ve fished with is the SJR843 in GL3 graphite. Part of their Spin Jig range, this rod measures 2.1m and is rated for 4-7kg lines.
I matched the rod with a Daiwa Kix 4000 that was spooled with 4kg FireLine and took it to a local rock platform. After casting a metal around for ten minutes a tailor snatched the lure and bit me off, all in one go. That was the only lure I had that morning so a smelly bait was tossed into the foamy water. Obviously not what the rod was intended for, but resulted in a bream.
My next trip involved casting and jigging soft plastics for Lake Macquarie flathead. Lake Macquarie’s lizards come in all shapes and sizes so medium to large plastics on 1/4-3/4oz jigheads were used. The rod’s slightly stiff tip section meant that larger plastics cast well. As the plastics settled on the bottom the sensitive side of the rod made it easy to feel if the lure was bouncing over sand, hard rock or picked up a bit of weed. Then when a lizard hit, that stiff tip meant that hook ups were very positive.
Over the next few months I tested the rod on the rocks and beaches around home, casting metals and poppers at tailor, salmon, bonito and frigate mackerel. The rod’s tip section really pelted lures out to feeding fish and produced solid hook ups. This rod won’t lift hefty fish onto the rocks, but it can comfortably lift an average sized tailor out of the whitewater.
Recently I have used the SJR843 as a plastics snapper rod. Plastics are usually cast from the boat and slowly worked through the water column. Some snapper will gently pluck at a plastic, while others just hit like a ton of bricks and you’re on. Most snapper I have caught on this rod have been around 2kg, with a sprinkling of fish to 6kg. Although this isn’t what you would class as a true offshore rod, it deals with rampaging snapper quite well and has enough power to turn their head and guide them safely towards a landing net.
Other inshore applications I’ve put this rod through are casting metals to tailor around the washes and hurling poppers at rat kings to 6kg. I’ve run 7kg Fireline through the rod and am convinced that this is the best line class for it. The next best line class would probably be 5kg GSP line.
I’ve applied a lot of pressure on stubborn fish with this rod, but one thing that must be avoided with all graphite rods is ‘high sticking’. In other words, the rod shouldn’t be held too high (above 45 or near vertical), particularly towards the closing stages of the fight. A big fish should be dealt with via the lower or butt end of a rod, not the higher tip section when guiding it towards the boat or shore.
The SJR843 has an attractive matt black finish and is fitted with a quality Fuji reel seat, single foot guides and cork grips which help relay bites from the rod tip through to your hands. I would class it as a medium to heavy weight estuary plastics rod and a light weight snapper stick. If big flathead, jewfish and snapper are some of your favourite plastics targets, then this rod is well worth investigating. RRP of the SJR843 in GL3 is around $450.Reads: 5221