G. Loomis DSR8200
  |  First Published: May 2008

With the popularity of tournament breaming and simply casting small lures around the estuary growing stronger every year we now have a huge variety of high quality small rods to choose from. Flicksticks are the popular term used when it comes to these lightweight rods. The general description of such a rod is a stick between 1.7-2.3 metres in length designed to be matched up with a small thread line or spinning reel.

While there are plenty of brand names out there on the market, the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of the modern, lightweight rod is American company G. Loomis. There are plenty of rods in the current Loomis line-up that would fit into the flickstick category. One that I've been using for over a year now is the DSR8200 which is the lightest rod in the Loomis Dropshot range.

Eight different dropshot models are featured in the range, from the conservatively priced GL2 graphite through to the high performance GLX model. For my tastes though, I chose the DSR8200 to suit my small water bream fishing where lightweight lures and very fine leaders are mainly used. This model comes in at 6ft 9 inches or 2.08 m in length, and it is rated to suit 2-3kg line and cast weights between 1/16th and 5/16th oz. It's a one piece rod with high grade cork grips and single foot fuji guides.

I teamed the rod up with a Daiwa sol 2000 spooled up with IGFA rated 10 pound castaway braid which is around the same diameter as 4lb fireline. Perhaps the rod also came with some extra luck, because on the second cast I hooked and boated a small jewfish. Apart from my initial surprise, it was easy to notice the strong butt section of this rod come into play as the school jewie was coaxed towards the landing net.

Over the next few weeks the rod was put into action on plenty of bream which were all caught on soft plastics fished down deep. The three best aspects of the rod soon stood out and continue to impress over a year later. They are the comfort in the hand that the well designed cork grip and reel seat configuration give, the very sensitive tip section of the rod and the strength and fighting power of the lower half of the rod.

After several months had passed I was lucky enough to score quite a few school jewfish on the rod, mainly in the 3-5kg range. On heavier tackle fish like this come in quickly, but on light bream gear they take a while. A couple of the bigger jew were hooked on 2kg leader and took over 20 minutes to bring to the net.

In recent months the DSR8200 has been almost non-stop popper casting around Tuggerah Lakes and Lake Macquarie, both from my little kayak and the shore. It's been fantastic for this application, casting a variety of small surface lures and hooking into a tonne of bream as well as flathead, whiting, pike, long toms and estuary perch. As light and sensitive as the tip section of the rod is, you can always put extra pressure on a big rampaging bream with the powerful lower half of the rod. It's almost like having two rods in one.

Of course, there are limitations to such a lightweight rod. It's great for casting tiny lures, but isn't designed to throw anything heavier than about 9g or 10g. It's not much good as a spinnerbait rod either, as the light tip folds away under the pressure of the retrieve and isn't stiff enough to effectively set large hooks in hard mouthed fish like bass.

This is a finesse bream rod and perfectly suited to the application. When fish are deep and timid the sensitivity of the tip really stands out and in the long run a rod like this will set more hooks when plastics fishing for bream. If the bite turns out to be a jewfish or monster bream, then you've got the fighting power to deal with it. Regardless of whether you're casting, hooking or fighting fish, the rod always feels very comfortable in the hand, to the point where you almost forget it's there.

If you're serious about your bream fishing and want something that really does help you catch more fish, the DSR8200 is something well worth considering. At a recommended retail price of around $560 you're paying for quality made in America, which is increasingly rare these days. – Jamie Robley

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