From the moment you pick up the IMX Pro 7 11’11” you know this rod is different. It redefines lightweight while also maintaining a strong enough rod to turn big fish in heavy water. Where I used to think a 13′ 7wt and a 9′ 8wt with a single hand skagit line were the perfect quiver on a number of Washington rivers, I now think the compact modern “Short Spey” will take the place of both.
This is the first short spey of it’s kind and I do differentiate this from other switch rods. THIS IS NOT A SWITCH ROD! This is the next generation of Spey rods that marry’s the feel of a 13′ rod with the fast action necessary of modern short skagit heads.
The first time I cast this rod was with a 480 grain Skagit Scout line (18.5′) and 44lb Impact mono running line and there wasn’t a situation this rod struggled with. We fished the Deschutes for two day’s in high water and cast a number of tips effortlessly including: 10′ Flo Tips in the t-10 and t-14 ranges as well as straight sections up to 12’ in t-10 and t-14. We battled high winds as well as cold temperatures and were able to feel a few nice tugs on the end of our line. (Since that trip, I have enjoyed fishing the 480 grain Skagit Switch line, just a foot longer than the Scout at 19.5’.
When you cast this rod, you seem to forget how compact it is until you find yourself tucked under overhanging trees and wading deep, tight against the bank.
The other thing you can’t seem to believe is the price of this rod. Compared to other rods in excess of $1000, this rod excels. For $575, this rod is a home run and one that I can’t wait to get out and fish. A component I typically overlook on other spey rods is the reel seat. However, on this one you are drawn in by its modern looks, sleek design, and smoothness.
For those gearing up for our winter run fish, the 7wt is the perfect addition to your existing lineup or a single rod quiver for the new spey angler.
As for trout spey, I think you can stop searching once you land on the IMX Pro 4wt 11’11”. This rod has all the power you could want but still has some major play when fighting a fish. For those searching for the lightest rod, that can still throw big streamers and heavy sink tips, the 3wt can be another great option. Karlie Roland prefers the 3wt.
As for the con’s associated with this rod, it is hard to come by. We literally cant keep these on the shelf. If there was one thing that I had to change, it would be the bottom grip, I prefer a slightly larger knob but that is one that you quickly forget once fishing! GLoomis knocked this one out of the park.
Other lines we enjoy on the IMX Pro 7 11’11”: Skagit Switch G2 510, Rage Compact 450, Scandi Compact 450
Karlie: 3wt 270 Scout, 225 OPST Commando
Give us a call with any more questions or feel free to stop by the shop to see for yourself 206.708.7250.
Photo’s and text: Caldwell Rohrbach