When I heard that that Gary Loomis is back to build a new breed of rods after selling G.Loomis to Shimano, I imagined his new creations may be at par or possibly even better that his old creations.is One of the rods he released is called Edge First Strike EFX. According to initial reviews, it looks different but has that Loomis feel and quality. When given a chance, I said to myself I'd try one of these Edge rods for frogging, saltwater fishing, and maybe for bottom contact fishing for bass.
Just recently, I was able to acquire an Edge First Strike EFX 714-1. It's a 7'1" 12-25lb, Fast Action rod rated for 1/2-1.5oz lures.
On its first outing, I used a Boze Sumo frog. When a nice snakehead lunged at the frog and dove for cover, the rod managed to wrestle it out of the weeds and I was able to lift it out of the water, weeds and all, without fearing that it will snap. Now that's awesome power. I also tried other lures and it actually felt nice for jerkbaits and spinnerbaits. Casting was smooth and it really lobbed those lures with confidence. It doesn't feel strained and it sure felt that it can handle more.
The rod grip is made of graphite and it takes a while to get used to. Although the handle is well made and fits really nice, It feels a little slick when it gets wet.
If it is lacking in the sensitivity department especially during bottom contact fishing, which I will find out on my next bass fishing trip, I might replace the guides with Fuji Titanium-framed Sic guides and top. The blank is nice but the guides may be frowned upon especially here in Asia where Fuji SIC is the preferred hardware by casting enthusiasts. The idea of replacing the guides with TiSic might sound crazy because those guides are really expensive. Luckily, I got a great deal when I purchased the rod and after upgrading the rod with TiSic, this will still end up cheaper than its online price.
I also tried the rod on Peacock bass and I managed to hook a couple of 1kgs. I casted jerkbaits, spinners, and a 5gram jig head with a Eco Gear Grass Minnow. Peacocks loved the Grass minnow and and a Bassday Jerkbait. I was able get a couple to commit. The rod performed flawlessly during the cast, retrieve, and fight.
All in all, it is a decent topwater (frogs, spooks, mirrolures), spinnerbait, crankbait, and a jerkbait rod. Will I replace the guides with TiSic? I still might replace them to find out if it will enhance its sensitivity and/or balance.