Odds 'n' Sods of Information and Opinion

Sharing lines and reels among PRO-4X rods

Traveling lighter by sharing reels and lines between rods: the unique fit of the PRO-4X rods

OK, let’s say I’m off to the Gaspé to fish for Atlantic salmon and I have identified the need for a single hand rod, a switch rod and a Spey rod. Now I could just pick up my favourites, grab the reels and spools for them and go fishing, but that’s adding a lot of weight and bulk.

Most of us don’t have any choice in this because we’ll have to use lines dedicated to each rod, but if we’re fortunate and we own G. Loomis PRO-4X rods, we may been able to share lines across rods.

PRO-4X rods are rated accurately and consistently. This means that when we pick up a 9 wt., it really is a 9 wt. and not something a lot heavier. How this works out in practice: my 9wt. PRO-4X switch rod will overhead cast exactly the same lines as my PRO-4X 9 wt. single hand rod.

Looking at the switch rod and Spey rod series we see that they have a line rating number, a Scandi rating and a Skagit rating. The line rating numbers won’t correspond as the switch rod has an overhead line rating, while the Spey rod has a Spey line rating, but the Scandi and Skagit line weights will correspond. If we look through the Loomis online catalogue, we see that the 9’ 9 wt. PRO-4X switch rod and the 13’ 7/8 wt. Spey rod share the same Scandi and Skagit ratings.

The 9 wt. single hand and the 9 wt. switch overhead the same lines. The 9 wt. switch and the 7/8 wt. Spey handle the same Skagit/Scandi lines. So will the 7/8 wt. Spey rod overhead cast the same lines as the 9 wt. single hander? YES!

Not only will all three rods overhead cast the same single hand lines, if these lines have decent Spey casting capacity, all three rods will Spey cast them as well. I’m thinking specifically of the Airflo 40+ Extreme line that looks very much like a small Spey line. Not only can all three rods overhead cast this line, they can also Spey cast it as well.

And there’s more -- the 9 wt. 9’ single hander can overhead and Spey cast a 450 grain Airflo Compact Scandi shooting head. I prefer 420 grain heads on these rods, but the 450 works just as well. The rod is a bit too short for a 510 grain Airflo Compact Skagit, but a 510 Airflo Skagit Switch is only 20’ long so that line should work. I just don’t have one handy to test.

In theory we could take all three rods and just the 9 wt. 40+ Extreme or a Scandi head and go fishing, but realistically we would probably want to take at least one dedicated overhead line and one Spey line. We could look at a 7/8 Delta II as it works on both the 9 wt. PRO-4X Switch and the 7/8 wt. Spey, or the appropriate Scandi or Skagit head.

So if we need to travel light, all three rods can be serviced by one or two lines and a reel. Even if we don’t have to worry about travelling light, the line matching flexibility offer by these rods opens up all sorts of possibilities.