Rod review: G. Loomis EastFork FR1085-4 (Part 2)

gear bagIncluding a taste of the Grey Reef

Following up on part one of the G. Loomis Eastfork 5 weight review, I finally had a chance to put the stick through the paces. The location for testing was the Grey Reef – North Platte River, Wyoming.


I’d previously noted that the rod was very accurate at intermediate distances, and felt a little mushy on the long end. I can’t say I had much of a chance to air it out, but I can say that on a large western trout stream you’ve got all you’ll ever need with the EastFork. I threw weighted and unweighted streamers, including doubles, and did a fair amount of nymphing with it as well. It performed admirably with all. I did not, however, cast any small dries with the rod, but I’m not going to wonder whether it can cleanly turn over a #20 Parachute Adams – the rod isn’t built for ultra-light work (although it still fared well protecting tippets – see below).


Marketers would like you to think that ‘feel’ is what it’s all about when it comes to fly rods. But while ‘feel’ may make you think you’ve been transported to some mystical place where the trout eat your fly and then swim directly into your net, the reality is far from it. Once you cast your magic rod, you still have to hook and land fish! And that’s where this baby seemed to shine.

During a day and a half of testing on a large mountain states tailwater, I caught and released roughly 25 fish. Better yet, I did most of that on 5X tippet and in very heavy flows. Best…the smallest fish was 17 inches and the average fish probably weighed a couple of pounds.

Loomis EastFork Fight
Bend or break – it bends and bends and bends

To get ’em to net you need a outfit that has leverage in its heart but isn’t so much of a broomstick that you’re on your second spool of tippet by noon. The Grey Reef was running around 2,000 cfs, meaning every hookup was a challenge. And while I pulled more than my fair share of hooks, I only popped one tippet (and I’m chalking that one up to user error to boot).

Here’s the best catch of the test…

Grey Reef Pig
Screwing up the weight average – at minimum I’ll call the rod lucky

Proof is in the pudding. The G. Loomis EastFork has earned itself a permanent spot in my multi-rod tube.


well done sir. Now finish up the review with a real field test , some carps.

Ever tried the teeth hold shot with a 12w?

@Rough – Not sure whether I want to test Loomis’s repair department response time just yet.

@Pete – Haven’t, but we all know my mouth is big enough!

Hack says:

You have a rod in your mouth. Ha!!!!!

Tom says:

I got a rod for your mouth Gracie….. a huh huh huh.

I apologize for that extremely juvenile and off color comment. However, since I have been labeled as such, I must maintain a certain image here. Thanks for your understanding in this matter.

Liked the review. Knew you’d like the rod. Our fishing styles are similar, so I knew you’d like it. And our fishing styles could best be described as…..Meaty. Yeah….Meaty.

@Tim/Tom – I’d generally ban you two for the allusion of obscenity, but you’re the only friends I’ve got!

And Tom…you know you’ve got a good fly rod in your hand when you carry four on a trip and only use that one the whole weekend. I’m hard pressed to imagine pulling out another five-weight right now, even with dries (which I will, since I do still have to fish it with 6X, just to know for sure). Thanks!

anthony vizza says:

great write up but don’t dare test their service department. I got my rod broken and 4 month later they are still telling me that they are backed order and are not able to replace mine. I highly recommend that you be careful with your G-loomis rod.

Anthony – No worries…I wouldn’t actually try fishing carp with the thing. Eight weights exist for a reason.

frank cada says:

I built a Loomis rod before they were bought by Shimano. I lost a tip on my GLX rod and asked for a new blank. They sent me the East Fork instead. I assume that they no longer have the old GLX tip. This was a big step up. I have nothing bad to say whatever regarding the Loomis service. The East Fork is now the best looking rod I have and am afraid to use it. I do have 2 other 6 weights. If anyone wants to trade for a 7wt, I am game.

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