Loop is back, and with a vengeance. I had the privilege of borrowing a 9 '# 5 rod in Loops New Cross S1 series a week before Christmas and in between rain storms on Orust and snowstorms in Malung I found a few gaps where I was in reasonably calm weather. I would, only as a reference baseline, compare the rod to the G Loomis Stream Dance GLX High Line Speed 9 '# 5.
Details and feel of the rod without reel/line:
In terms of weight and balance, I think both rods are top class. It is noticeable that the Loop has found a good balance of weight between the handle and the lightweight top. The rod fits perfectly in your hand and you actually get that indefinable "I want this" feeling! Turning to the details you see that Loop has chosen to work with the same type of recoil nickel titanium rings found in the GLoomis NRX series. These stylish and durable rings in gun-smoke color give the rod a desirable, premium feel. The reel seat has a unique design and together with the highest class cork and with composite-reinforced handle ends Loop has ensured an elegant look and feel with maximum durability. The matte-black finish matches the rings and appurtenances perfectly and overall the rod gives a serious, sober, and tasteful impression.
The action is described as having a Medium / Fast action and if you pick it up and flex-test it in comparison to the Stream Dance you notice that the rods are similar at first glance. Upon further study it is obvious the Stream Dance has a slightly softer top and is a bit deeper in the upper section, although rods could still be considered relatively close to each other. Loop’s blank provides a more responsive overall feel and it's clear that the new material they have chosen to work with gives very little unwanted residual vibration.
The feeling of the rod with reel/line:
I chose to test the rod with a reel weighing approximately 135g together with a WF5F and a 9 'standard 3X tapered leader. The Cross S1 has a smooth and deep action with no unnecessary wobble. One notices immediately that it is a very good rod. This is evidenced by the effortless, sleek and tight loops you can shape with it. After spending a moment on short, precise casts it was easy to vary distances and angles with the same feel. The rod effortlessly cast the entire line and it is clear that this is a rod which will handle any and all possible fishing situations a 5-weight rod should be expected to – and more. I'm impressed, but I am also impressed with my Stream Dance, so I switched for a moment to compare.
The Stream Dance rod casts well and is similar, but the big difference is that the Loop Cross S1 generates a higher line speed when I press it. After adjusting to the difference between the two, it became clear that I could shoot longer with less line out with the Cross S1. This is a great advantage when fishing at close fish and then needing to reach out at varying distances up to your max. The first half hour, I threw the same distance with the two rods (around 28-30m). Once I got adjusted to the Cross S1, I realized there was much more available for me to get out of it! The higher line speed with the Cross S1 gave me a few problems with tailing loops if I got quick or careless with it. I simply added some tippet length to calm down the roll-out of the leader and this allowed me to press as hard as I wanted to easily reach out at max distance.
Unfortunately, I was not able to hold onto the rod for further and more detailed testing. However my impression from the short time I had the rod is that Loop succeeded with a direct hit in this new rod series. The combination of a deep rod with the “Loop” fishing-feeling together with incredible performance makes the Cross S1 a fishing tool able to meet most of the “class-five” angler's needs. Another bonus with the rod’s principal construction in 3M Corporation’s Powerlux™ material is the 60%-80% improvement in strength and durability.
The overall rating of this rod is first class.
For those of you who want to learn more about the materials in the rod and see a well-made promotional film about the rod, I recommend Loops website:
Plus and Minus
Highest perfomance regardles of distance
Top class materials
Excellent fishing feeling
Pleace give your own comments on this rod in our forum: http://www.edgeflyfishing.com/ipb/topic/137994-loop-cross-s1-9-5-mf/page__pid__1508519#entry1508519