Gear

5 favorites: Gussy’s largemouth rods

Canadian standout, Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson earned his first Bassmaster Elite Series title by targeting southern smallmouth on the Tennessee River. However, the man Dave Mercer calls the “Canadian Snow Leopard” also knows his way around a good largemouth bite.
Gustafson, who earned a fifth-place finish on Lake Fork (2019) and a ninth at Santee-Cooper (2020), recently shared his thoughts on what rods best serve his pursuits of big green fish.
G.Loomis NRX 852S JWR 7-1 Extra Fast Medium. Favoring this rod for Ned rigging, Gussy actually considers this the basis for a good all-around spinning outfit. He’ll also fish Neko and wacky rigs, along with drop shots.
This rod is a good tool for fishing around grass or any cover, because it gives him plenty of fish-fighting power. The NRX series, Gussy said, boasts a feather-light construction with comfortable handles for all-day use.
G.Loomis NRX 894CJWR 7-5 Fast Heavy. This four-power rod has plenty of backbone for flipping jigs and big Texas rigs into cover, but that lighter design characteristic of the NRX series cuts down on fatigue.
G.Loomis’ proprietary GL7 Resin System uses 30% less material for a lighter rod. Also, the multi-taper design strengthens the areas of potential stress, while reducing unnecessary graphite material
G.Loomis IMX-PRO 864 CBR DF 7-2 Moderate.  Like all crankbait rods, this one has a fairly soft action throughout, but Gussy likes the shorter length, which enables him to make accurate casts around shallow cover.
That being said, the 7-foot, 2-inch length still provides enough rod to make long casts necessary to reach spooky fish. It’s just helpful to know that he can seamlessly transition from launching a bait to making brief casts to docks, timber or other tight quarters.
G.Loomis NRX 893CJWR 7-5 Extra Fast Medium Heavy. Gussy calls this one his all-around favorite rod for largemouth bass techniques. He said he loves throwing a football jig on this rod, but he might also throw a bucktail jig, ChatterBaits or spinnerbaits.
Lauding this rod’s blend of backbone and tip sensitivity, Gussy said this model would make a good choice for the budget-conscious angler looking for a multipurpose rod. Also, for friends and family interested in buying their favorite fisherman a high-end rod, this model would offer a lot of application.
G.Loomis GLX 892C JWR 7-5 Extra Fast Medium. Gussy uses this rod with braid for his topwater work. Long casts and lure response are essential, but he also appreciates the softer tip that won’t pull hooks out of a fish’s mouth.
With that 7-foot, 5-inch length, Gussy knows he has plenty of rod for launching a big walking bait, but he can still fish a popper with the precision he needs.