Loop continues to make their CLW fly reel and is rumored to have their own line of fly reels in development.
I find it interesting to read rod reviews that claim that a rod “speaks” to the angler. I’d say that’s true sometimes. After stringing up the Loop Green line rod and fishing with it, I discovered that it speaks……LOUDLY! Perhaps it was how well the combination of the rod, Evotec FW4Seven and the Loop OptiStream fly line work together, but all three are major players and deserve special attention.
The line~Loop’s OptiStream series of lines for single-handed rods is built for fishing rivers and streams, as the name suggests. A WF floater, the OptiStream is designed with an over-sized shooting head in a sort of mustard color, a thinner white running line follows. I found that this taper is very effective for distance casts, turning over big flies and fighting the wind. I’d say its very well suited to fast-action rods as the head portion feels significantly larger in diameter than a standard WF 5wt. line. Opinions on fly lines, like any gear, are subjective but I think anyone who has fished one of these would agree that jumping up a line weight with this line is not necessary. I can also honestly say that, even after more than a dozen outings with it, a cleaning was not necessary. I kept looking for evidence of needing it, none was present. Its been cleaned a couple of times now, but that’s in the wake of fishing two different rivers, two lakes and a warm bass pond!
The rod~Loop’s Green Line rods are what Loop describes as “ The elite rod series in the Color Concept”. after fishing this rod dozens of times I am left with no question in my mind as to why this line, and Loop rods in general enjoy such popularity in Europe. The LGL597 (Loop Green Line 5wt. 9’ 7” 3pc.) I tested truly is a remarkable fishing implement. In my
experience fishing, I’ve never cast a rod with an action so fast. In fact, it took a little more time to get accustomed to as a result. (Probably due more to my limitations than the rod’s) Once I DID get a feel for it, I was able to achieve long-distance casts like never before. The combination of this rod with the OptiStream line was great.
The action of the rod, the extra length, the shooting head…..fish rising 60’-70′ upstream were now within reach of this powerhouse….next challenge~setting the hook at that distance! As you might expect in a premium rod, the build quality and components are very good quality. Silver/rosewood Struble reel seat, ceramic stripping guides, hard-chrome snake guides..you get the picture. The rod comes equipped with an extra tip section~an excellent feature and great peace of mind when traveling. Loop Green Line rods are available in a wide range of weights and lengths, from an 8’2” 3-4wt all the way up to a 15’ 10-11wt. Double-hand (Spey) model. There is a Green Line rod to cover any freshwater fishing requirement.
A note on Loop’s rod warranty:While I’m not eager to admit it, I did manage to break the tip section of the LGL on one very cold day this winter while fishing for steelhead. Angler error, but I had the extra tip section in the car and it amounted to a 5 minute interruption in the fishing. What a relief, as I was 2.5 hours from home. I sent the broken parts, as outlined in the literature that comes with the rod, back to Loop in Sweden via priority post. Fortunately for me, they spent more on shipping and sent a new tip section via express courier! Very professional, prompt service.
The reel~EvotecFW4Seven There are many who consider this reel to be one of the very best, and for good reason. On the outside, its large arbor, ported “V” shaped spool and skeletal appearance announce that this new Loop reel already benefits from some of the winning design experience from the fertile minds at Danielsson Innovation. This reel differs from the highly-regarded Evotec reels with respect to both the design/aesthetics and in it’s reduced weight. (FW~abbreviation for “Feather Weight”) What it SHARES with the Evotec, however, is it’s amazing drag system.
There has been much said about the discs used in the drag system. They are made from the same material used in the braking systems of Formula 1 race cars. While this sort of sounds cool, its purpose is to actually STAY cool…and it does. This drag system has been tested in temperatures approaching 2000 degrees and has functioned consistently. Another benefit of the EvotecFW is that it’s drag system is totally waterproof. If water/debris can’t impact it’s performance (and temperature has no effect on it) you have a pretty dependable reel in the FW. So, the engineering is impressive, but what is it like to fish?
The drag is remarkably smooth, totally silent, incrementally adjustable and can be set-up (if you wish) to give you the range of adjustability you’re after. Think of it this way~the reel is built to run from totally free-spool all the way to the point where you can barely turn the spool. (Lets say 0-100) With a simple adjustment, you can select the range of drag to be, say, 10-50. (almost free spool all the way to serious stopping power, but with an eye on protecting the tippet) There are no numbers to set it to, of course, its done more by feel…..if you want to do it. I probably would not have ever changed the factory setting (which seemed totally fine) if I had not needed to switch it from right to left hand retrieve. This exercise did give me a chance to take apart, and reassemble the deceivingly-simple drag system though. Stressful, but not really difficult.
these two triangular plates"
Performance~I would have to guess that the FW4Seven I tested certainly didn’t get pushed anywhere near the limits of it’s capability. I did hook a number of fish that took line though, and the smooth feeling of the reel with the outgoing line is VERY nice. All of this, combined with the fact that its saltwater safe and it shares the same body as the EvotecFW5Eight (meaning you can have an extra 5Eight spool for use on the reel) means that your choice of an EvotecFW4Seven gives you a platform for use with lines all the way from a 4wt to an 8wt. ….or in fishing terms, light trout/panfish/bass all the way up to salmon/steelhead and light saltwater applications. A very impressive reel indeed.
The Final Word: The combination of this very fast action rod, shooting line and an Evotec FW reel are truly awesome. With the rods action and length, I’d say it probably has allot more power and capability than your typical 5wt. rod. In fact, I would guess that most experienced anglers (not knowing what wt. of rod they were holding) would guess that its at least a 6wt. With this in mind, I used this set-up for streamer fishing~bass and trout as well as some late-winter steelheading. It seemed to fit these applications VERY well. If purchasing some
exceptional fly fishing gear is in your plans, you would be doing yourself a favor in considering the Loop LGL597, Loop Evotec FW4Seven and Loop OptiStream fly line.
Loop Fly Fishing