G.Loomis rods were all the rage at the turn of the century. In exciting new developments, a hugely-expanded range of all-new G.Loomis rods – at various price points – is now available through Australian tackle shops. As far as baitcasters go, the G.Loomis Conquest 783C MBR is most likely the best barra baitcast rod ever made.
Back in the ‘90s and early in the new millennium, G.Loomis high-modulus graphite rods were all the rage for anglers who wanted the best and could afford it. I had a bunch of them, and not only for barra fishing but for some pretty serious bluewater sportfishing too. The brand had the reputation for being the lightest and fastest-action fighting sticks on the market at the time.
In subsequent years, other rod brands started to catch up and, although G.Loomis rods have always been strong in the marketplace, there was plenty of competition out there too, and not a hell of a lot in the range anymore.
From my own perspective, it was good news when Shimano Australia recently announced that G.Loomis rods would once more be available in local tackle stores, and with a huge selection of different rods across six ranges: E6X, IMX, IMX Pro, NRX+ and the top of the line Conquest.
In the USA, the G.Loomis Conquest is described as “the most technologically-advanced bass rod on the water” and is the result of a joint development between the two companies, Shimano and G. Loomis, to deliver the absolute pinnacle of performance. (G.Loomis is a subsidiary of Shimano North America Holding Inc.)
Whilst the Conquest has been available overseas for some time, it has only landed on our shores recently. Also, there are only three rods in the Conquest range: two spin sticks and one baitcast rod.
Our test rod is the fantastic G.Loomis Conquest 783C MBR 6 feet 6 inches(1.98m) in length. It is rated as a fast-action (Medium Heavy) baitcaster with a line rating of 10 – 17 pounds (5 – 8kg).
The Conquest bears joint branding of both Shimano and G.Loomis and also shares a similar title to the Shimano Calcutta “Conquest” high-end baitcasting reel. Interestingly, the butt and reel seat section have a distinctive G.Loomis pedigree while the rod blank and fittings appear Shimano inspired and bear immediate resemblance to Shimano’s Zodias and Dialuna rod models while preserving the traditional G.Loomis rod actions.
Fit and finish of this rod is all class with excellent cork grips and a custom skeletonised blank-through-reel seat to enhance sensitivity and ergonomic comfort. The G.Loomis Conquest rod blank employs Shimano’s Spiral-X/Hi-Power technology which offers increased leverage for better hook sets and fish-fighting power and prevents blank twist while under load. Hardware is in the form of Fuji high-performance Torzite guides and a SIC Titanium tip. Torzite is a hi-tech ceramic composite and is claimed to offer the best material for rod guide inserts being thinner, lighter, stronger and smoother than any other material available.
A baitcasting rod of this quality deserved to be matched with a best-quality reel and there was no hesitation in deciding that the Shimano Metanium 150 would be an ideal companion for the Conquest.
The result is a masterful combination that is a delight to use …and it is just so damn light. However, as always with Shimano high-end products, you pay for what you get. In this case, the G.Loomis Conquest 783C MBR matched to the Shimano Metanium 150 will cost close to $2000, with the Conquest recommended retail price in the vicinity of $1200.00.
The Conquest delivers lures with bullet-like accuracy and similarly is no slouch when a fish is hooked. The rod’s light weight belies its power reserves when under load. The Conquest has awesome sensitivity and provides plenty of feedback on how your lure is performing and highlights the slightest interest from a fish. At this stage, I’d rate it as the best barra baitcaster I’ve ever used.
If you are happy to spend the money, the Conquest is a desirable piece of kit and definitely won’t disappoint.