Question: It seems to me that the “new” G. Loomis Escape Travel Rods are different from the old ones. And, in my opinion, seem to look “cheaper” with different guides that seem cheaper as well. Are they as good as the originals and will they perform as well?
Answer: There have been many changes to the G. Loomis Escape rods this year (2010). G. Loomis knew that they needed to look them over and redesign them since they had not changed since they were introduced. They had originally been designed using mandrels that were just not the best of the best design. So with this new, redesign G. Loomis purchased new mandrels that really improved the rods. What they really did was created a much better transfer of energy through the ferrule. This is critical on shorter 3 and 4 piece rods. When you really pull hard on a shorter rod with many ferrules the connection points become severely stressed. To enable the rods to flex perfectly, not feel like a club, and come back after a hard day of fishing in no more than 3 pieces, G. Loomis created a new design that enhances the performance immensely.
With these new G. Loomis Escape Travel rods G. Loomis did the following:
- Blending material – Putting the right material in specific places to both heighten performance and increase durability
- New pattern designs with special tooling to enhance the flex and performance on the cast, the hook set and the fighting ability on all species, even exotics
- Streamlined the handles to tighten up the line. No need to have 14 handles on 16 rods. Picked best handles
- Reduced models from 16 to 10 rods. Many of the longer models were just not right. G. Loomis had some customers that wanted them but more and more customers were looking at 7 ½ ft. overall length or shorter. So they tightened up the line to 10 of the top 10 models.
- A very significant point was that G. Loomis added a hard rod tube to this line. This was one of the top requests and one that G. Loomis knew they had to add. The G. Loomis Escape Travel rods now use the same style of tube that they are using on their Fly rods.
Lastly your question about the guides. G. Loomis used to have Fuji Alconite guides on these rods. They struggled a bit on what guide to choose, looking at an Alps guide that was made of Zirconium and was a very classy guide. But they decided to stay with a Fuji guide. They wanted to have a guide that would work well with the rod and not compromise function. They also knew that they needed to keep the price down at a reasonable point. They also wanted to find a Fuji guide that was lower framed to fit easily into the tube along with a strong guide to take the pressure of travel and also be priced right to help with the costs. The Alconites were too tall for this improved Escape Series, so the choice was the Fuji Hardloy guides which were both super strong and lower framed. The small weight difference (Hardaloy’s weigh slightly more) was not enough to make a difference in performance.
- American Legacy carries every G. Loomis Escape Travel rod in stock.