G Loomis IMX & Shimano Curado review

It’s like this rod/reel combo was made for me! When G Loomis announced a new product being added to their line up, I thought, “Honestly, what else could you possibly make?” I started out fishing a Loomis and never found a need for a different rod. Last winter, I was able to attend their release party with their full IMX line up on display and got a sneak peak at the new Shimano Curado that was set to be released that spring. I had been trying to preserve my old Curado for as long as possible but I’d fished it hard for the past 3 years and I felt the end coming near so when I saw this one, I was beyond ecstatic. Needlesstosay, my old Curado is still trucking on bringing in the fish!

We purchased a few new IMX’s this past year, but there were 2 that got me so excited, I lost sleep over. One was the IMX 1562-2 CPR 13’ (which I’ll be doing a review on next springer season) and the IMX 1363-2C 11’4”. My previous float rod was a little too heavy for steelhead, and a little too light for big fall kings so I decided this year I’ll be using 2 float rods for small salmon/steelhead and then the big coastal kings.

Why do I fish a casting reel when I’m float fishing?

I spend equal amounts of time fishing a spinning reel and a casting reel and they each have their perks. Float fishing is about sending out the most natural presentation as possible. You want your float moving smoothly and freely with the current. First reason: I can let line out with almost no tension to my float. This can be obtained best with a center pin rod/reel with the 1:1 gear ratio, but a casting reel is the next best thing. Second reason: When you’re fishing a spinning reel and letting line out, how many times have you been caught with your float going down and your bail open? Seasoned anglers can quickly just grab the reel and set the hook, beginners have plenty of other things to focus on when that moment happens and they end up setting the hook and you hear “pfffffff” as you watch all the line come coiling off the spool when the angler sets the hook. With a casting reel, you only have to press your thumb on the spool and reel to engage. Simple as that!

Here are the reasons why this rod is hands down, the best float rod for a seasoned angler that fishes a casting reel:

ROD: 1363-2C 11’4” 6-12 LB

  1. It’s over 11 feet long! I stand tall at an astounding 5’2” so float fishing has its own areas of difficulty for me. It’s not only hard to cast when there’s only 3 feet of me above the water, but it’s even harder to men my line when my elbows are basically touching the water. Some might say 11’4” is a little bit much, but for the vertically challenged or those that can handle that much rod, it’s perfect. I’ve fished a 12’ float rod before, and that was a little bit too much for me. It was difficult to land fish in the drift boat because I had to step back so far, and I was constantly getting the line wrapped at the tip. For some, 12’, 13’, or even 14’ works for them, but for me I found my new comfort level in 11’4”. Mending my line is a breeze and I finally feel like I can fish without the challenges of my height! Last benefit of a longer rod: when I set the hook, I don’t have my hands behind my head, falling backwards because I have to lift higher to catch up with all the line sitting on the water.
  2. The graphite is so sensitive! I can darn near FEEL the fish bite before I watch my float go down. Okay, but really. Fighting fish has never been so fun. You get to feel every little move and this time, you’re not afraid that you’re going to lose the fish because it’s acting crazy. The IMX graphite absorbs every head shake and run and gives me that extra second to realize when the fish is running right at me. The 6-12lb weight ratio doesn’t matter when I’m fighting a 20lb king because the rod absorbs everything! I was bringing in kings left and right, pulling them up heavy current without a hitch. If they wanted to go for a run, my rod didn’t buckle under pressure because it’s like a rubber band.

Check out the “Bend test” on the new IMX series here!

 

Reel: Shimano Curado 201HG

  1. I could cast a country mile! With a longer rod, you get an extra “Flick” at the end of your cast which makes it go twice as far. Paired with the new Currado’s SVS Infinity Brake System, I was able to cast farther without getting a backlash. The came off the reel smooth and evenly making my casts effortless.
  2. Greater line retrieve ratio! Am I the only one who reels up as fast as I can so that I A) don’t get skipped in the casting order and B) can get my stuff back in the water ASAP? The new Curado’s have a gear ratio of 7.2:1 whereas the Curado CU200 had a gear ratio of 6.2:1. That’s 17% greater of a gear ratio! When the fish take that turn and head straight towards me, I can crank up faster than ever and keep the tension before fully catching up to the fish.
  3. It’s so smooth! The Curado comes with Shimano’s X-Ship technology which adds cranking power and makes it easier to turn whether it’s fully loaded by the weight of a fish, or weightless. The A-RB bearings which support the pinion eliminates unnecessary twisting which provides more power and a smoother retrieve.
  4. My favorite part: They have the 201 series now which means a left hand retrieve! Well, maybe not my FAVORITE part, but I wouldn’t purchase the reel until they made it in a left had retrieve. Jeff fishes a right hand retrieve so I can fish either if I have to, but I’ll always prefer the left hand retrieve! Why? Because I hold the rod with my right hand. My right arm is stronger so I want to cast with my right arm, support the weight of a fish with my right arm, and mend all day long with my right arm. When I go to set the hook and engage my reel, I don’t want to have to switch hands!

So, for anyone considering a new float rod, make it easier on your life and pick yourself up the 1363-2C IMX and Curado 201HG!

~Bry