By Terry Wiest
Length: 10′ 6:
Line Weight: 6 – 10
Lure Weight: 1/4 – 1/2oz
Power: 2 (Medium-Light)
As G. Loomis describes the 1262: From the banks of the Umpqua to the north ponds of the Calawah, this rod has it all for summer and winter steelhead. This 10’6″ float rod will handle 1/2 oz jigs, bubblegum worms, sandshrimp and small egg clusters. Definitely a rod of choice among seasoned float fisherman.
I first started fishing the G. Loomis 1262 in the 2005/2006 season. Now in the 2008/2009 season I am convinced this is the ultimate steelhead float spinning rod without any doubt. So convinced of this fact, I even got a second 1262 as another backup rod.
I have collected quite a few float rods over the last several years and when heading out for a destination you can be assured that a 1262 is one of the rods I’ll have with me.
Although not the perfect rod for every situation, the 1262 is about as close to the perfect all around float rod you can find.
I start off fishing for hatchery fish early in the season and I don’t give it a rest until after the last day of the native catch and release season in April. The rod gets a workout! It seems the more I fish with the rod the harder it is to use any other rod.
About the only place I don’t use this rod for Steelhead is in those really really small streams that don’t require any weight and I’m using only a 1/16oz or 1/8oz jig and balsa float with no additional weight. Not that the 1262 couldn’t handle them it’s just usually a shorter rod is a better fit, and then I’ll step down to a 9 foot rod.
At 10′ 6″ the 1262 is just the right length for float fishing. It’s superbly balanced and extremely light weight. Match it with a 2500 series spinning reel and you’ll have one of the lightest rigs on the river. The added length over a normal drift rod helps with getting that extra distance out of a drift and also provides you with the means to “mend” your line when needed.
Casting is excellent. Of course the extra length is great for providing pin point accuracy into those tight spots, but on long casts there’s no extra wobble at the end of the cast that you get with some less expensive and unbalanced rods.
Don’t let the “light” part of the medium-light power rating fool you. With the moderate action of this rod, a small fish is fun to catch, a large fish is down right exhilarating. The moderate action is designed to wear the fish down so set your drag correctly and let the rod do it’s job. I’ve landed jack’s all the way up to an 18lb’r on the Queets with the 1262 and all fish are a blast. There was never a doubt with the 18lb’r that the rod wouldn’t do it’s job. Have confidence in your equipment and it will reward you.
With a line rating of 6 – 10lbs, I use braided 20lb mainline with 6 – 12lb leader. I’ve never had a problem with the braid. The guides are precision alighned and spaced to proved as little friction as possible, again aiding in casting accuracy and distance.
The special material the G. Loomis line of float rods is made from is unique as well. Finished in a brilliant raspberry red, the rod looks great on the river. But looks aren’t what this rod is about, performance is. The rods sensitivity will amaze you as you can actually feel a takedown before the float disappears.
My experience with the 1262 is not unique. Everyone that I talk to that fishes this rod agrees, if you could only have a single float rod for steelhead, the G. Loomis 1262 is it… Period!