Loomis GL4 Spey Blanks
I picked up a 3pc 18010-11 GL4 blank for much less than a song recently, This is an un-soiled virgin blank that is still sealed in the plastic sack with the tag and label inside. What I'm after is the personal opinions of anyone who has thrown a line on these blanks, what were the factories claims for the blanks action and power, as well as some history of their developement and their demise. The blank is soon to be off to it's first step in the journey of becoming my Winter rod for next year, so I am eager to hear any thoughts, opinions, pains, or praise.
This was the replacement for the IMX rods. The action is pretty similar to the IMX 15 foot 10/11; however, it is a stiffer and faster rod than the IMX simply because the graphite used in it is stiffer than that in the IMX. I personally did not like the GL4's because they tend to be a tip action type of rod because of the increased stiffness over the IMX. They cast OK, but they force you to put a lot of power into the rod to work properly and I don't find that enjoyable to do all day long. NOtice also that G; Loomis no longer makes GL4 2-handers, I suspect because of the incerased stiffness without changing the rod taper from the IMX.
The GL4 2-handers are cannons though because of the increased stiffness over the IMX 2-handers. I was very disappointed with the GL4 2-handers that I cast when they were first produced, and was rather disappointed that G. Loomis quit making one of the nicest 15 ft. 8/9 weight 2-hnaders our of production and replaced it with the (in my opinion) too stiff GL4.
The GLX on the other hand I find to be an excellent and enjoyable rod to cast, which is why I own the 13 ft GLX. The GLX is stiffer graphite than the GL4; however, the rod taper is different and you don't have to work at getting the rod to load as with the GL4.
It will definitely make a powerful rod and will cast the 10/11 GrandSpey or MidSpey with ease. If you are planning on using the Windcutter on it, I would go with the new 11/12/13 because this rod is so stiff.
Thanks for the insight Flytier, I paid less than 1/5 of the orig. retail price for the blank so for the money it should suit me fine. I did however pick up one of the Windcutter Versi-Tip systems in an 10/11/12 version, again a good deal at 40% off from Welches. Looks like it may be too light, but answer this for me..... do you know of anyone or anywhere I can purchase the main line body in a 11/12/13, allowing me to ulilize my tips? How would it work to buy the Grandspey in a WFF and cut the head off? if this would work, in your opinion, which Grandspey should I buy (novice casting ability), and how far back should the line be seperated to install the loop connection ?
The Windcutter 11/12/13' s are available as an uncut line without tips. If you want a line that will make the rod a tad slower than it is with the 10/11/12 Windcutter you picked up, buy a 11/12/13 Windcutter by itself without the interchangeable tips and cut it 15 1/2 to 16 ft. from the tip and install a loop. Then use the tips that came with the 10/11/12 Windcutter. It will work just fine.
The rod will cast the 10/11/12 Windcutter fine, I wouldn't buy another line for it for a couple years. Then I would buy the 10/11 MidSpey with tips. If you want a tad slower feel to the rod, pick up a 10/11 MidSpey without tips, cut it 15 1/2 to 16 ft. from the tip and use the tips that came with the 10/11/12 Windcutter.
I love the GrandSpey line but I don't recommend it for beginning spey casters. It is a lot of belly to keep aerialized, and it takes time to learn good spey casting technique to keep in moving and forming good "D" loops.
You are going to have a very powerful rod when you finish building it. It will be a winter stick that can throw heavy tips with ease.
I bought one used that I fished twice then sold. I echo the comments already made - it's too stiff a butt, too wimpy a tip, and requires too much effort to fish.
Since you got it cheap, it's a good deal no matter what. You might have to experiment to find the right line as I think this rod will have to be overlined to get the butt working. Alternately, you might look for a line that will work the tip only. You won't get tons of distance but it will be light to cast.
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