Loop Multi Fly Rods
• Trout Model: 9ft 5wt, 590-4: Purchase Here
• Streamer Model: 9ft 6in 6wt, 696-4: Purchase Here
• Action: Fast
• Sections: Four
• Guides: Ceramic stripping guides, chrome snake-guides
• Reel Seat: Triangular, locking reel seat for easy reel placement
January 24, 2014 (Sonoma, CA): Loop doesn’t claim that the Multi Series are “the greatest fly rods ever made,” they’re just great rods. They aren’t the “lightest rods on the planet,” because balanced casts and your reel/line selection are more important than weight. The Multi Series is proof that quality fly rods don’t need to cost upwards of $500, and they’re everything you’d expect from a Swedish brand dedicated to building premium tackle.
Casting above all else: If you’re like us, you care more about how much fun a rod is rather than how high-modulus its blank is. Loop puts this emphasis on casting above all else. Designed to deliver solid line control and hold up in tough conditions, the Multi Series has the kind of components you expect from rods twice the price. And with two featured models, the 590-4 Trout and 696-4 Streamer, it’s the ideal trout option for anyone looking to upgrade an old rod or add something new to their arsenal.
The 590-4 (Trout): For a great all-around trout rod, it goes without saying that the 9ft 5wt is king. The Multi 590-4 is an excellent option that’s versatile and easy to cast, making it ideal for a range of techniques and skill levels. Your buddy is getting into trout fishing? Here’s his answer. You want a backup rod for an upcoming trip? The Multi 590-4 is it. If you want to cover just about any type of water, and you’d rather spend extra on flies or a sturdy reel, then take advantage of this offer from Leland and Loop. Limited quantities for a limited time, so pick one up in time for next season.
The 696-4 (Streamer): This is a great rod with a ton of power, perfect for anyone who wants a dedicated streamer rod. At 9ft 6in, the added length gives you plenty of coverage and lifting power for large trout. The review below has a good rundown of its on-the-water performance, but suffice to say it makes easy work of streamer fishing. Loop rods have always been designed for going after huge trout (these guys pioneered Jurassic Lake) and the Multi 696-4 is a part of this legacy.
The Rundown: If you’re in the market for a great rod, be it because you need to upgrade or you want another trout setup in you gear cache, go for the Multi Series. They are built to be solid and fun, and that’s ultimately what we look for in the gear that we recommend.
Loop 696-4 Pro Review – Leland’s Burke White
California’s Lower Truckee River flows from the famous Tahoe Lake. It winds it’s way though beautiful alpine country, passes through the quaint mountain town of Truckee and then bends eastward. Unlike most Sierra Nevada streams, the Truckee River never meets the Pacific Ocean. Instead, it heads inland, eventually feeding into Nevada’s Pyramid Lake. It’s a pretty western river and it’s full of trophy trout…but they don’t come easy.
It was on this river, that I had the chance to test out Loop Tackle’s Multi 696-4 fly rod. That might sound like a larger fly rod for your standard-sized trout stream, but I had a plan in mind. Knowing that really big brown trout hold in these waters and also knowing that there’s a healthy population of crawfish in this watershed, I was going streamer fishing.
I tied up some heavy-duty, rusty brown crawfish patterns with barbell eyes. I even added some rabbit strips to mimic the claws of the crawfish. This fly would be the only pattern I would fish this day. To efficiently deliver this heavier fly, I need a fly line with more mass. I chose the new Airflo Mend in a six weight. You might think I would fish a sinking tip line, but most of the clear water runs on the Truckee are not that deep and if a big brown trout wanted my fly…he’d happily move toward it.
To keep things simple, I used the Loop Multi fly reel (6-9) to compliment this outfit. Might sound like a pretty big reel to put on a six weight, but I chose it for two reasons: The reel’s extra weight would counter-balance the extra length of this rod, providing improved balance for a long day of casting. Also, this larger reel would give me extra line capacity, should I need it on a big brown trout.
Here’s an important factoid related to crawfish. They have an exoskeleton (a hard outer shell). As these critters grown, they shed or molt their entire exoskeleton and grow into their new one. Calcium is the key element here, as it is used to harden the new exoskeleton. Not wanting to waist any calcium, prior to the molt, a crawfish removes as much calcium from the old shell and stores it in its gastrolith (stomach stone). It then blasts this calcium back into the new shell to create a hard exoskeleton.
And the point of all this is…? When a big brown trout eats a crawfish, the trout’s stomach dissolves the crawfish, except for the gastrolith. This white, pill-like stone (it looks like a Tums antacid) is passed through digestive track of the fish and drops to the bottom of the stream. A big brown trout will eat many crawfish and the expelled gastroliths will collect in the tail out of brown trout’s run. Just think bones near a dragon’s lair.
With the Loop Multi 696-4 fly rod rigged and ready, a walked the banks of the Truckee in search of a promising run. Prior to fishing, I inspected the tail of the run, looking for expelled gastroliths. Within a short hunt, I found a run with many (as in a lot) gastroliths in the tail out. The Loop Multi six weight had plenty of casting power to propel my Airflo six weight Mend fly line with ease. It’s a nine foot six inch rod that provided easy mends and superior line control.
I could easily dead drift, jig and swing my crawfish pattern. I had total control over my many casts and drifts. My guess is that most people would have moved on to another run after a dozen or so casts, but not me. The confidence provided me by visually inspecting the collection of gastroliths kept me on the hunt. On one drift, my line literally stop. There was slight pressure and I set the hook. My Loop Multi rod bowed over and the Loop Multi fly reel’s drag smoothly paid out line.
It was a big, really big brown trout on my line. I had twelve pound tippet, so I felt pretty confident putting hard pressure on the fish to keep him from structure. Not kidding, these big brown trout act more like Ling Cod, as they will dig (head first) into any crevice afforded them by the stream. I had the chance to land two more large trout during my day. Casting the Loop Multi 696-4 was fun and easy. It had plenty of power and balanced nicely with the Loop Multi 6-9 fly reel. This is one great rod/outfit for any angler wanting to pursue larger trout with confidence.