First Look - Guideline LXi 13'9'' #8/9

First look at the new Guideline LXi!
2013 is going to be a big year for Guideline rods! After 8 years of being a bestseller, the much loved Guideline LeCie rods finally give way to an exciting new range for 2013 - the new LXi series! These new rods are still based on the same super charged graphite and actions of the LeCie, but with a new look, new components and tweaked actions and lengths, and this new range of rods certainly have their own identity and temper! We got our hands on an LXi in 13'9'' #8/9 to put it through its paces, and we hotly tip this model to be one of the top sellers of 2013 and years to come!
The cork appears to be the High Density type as seem on the GL NRX!

First impressions right out of the tube are that the cosmetics on these rods are a lot more grown up. This is a trend we have seen filter through from the lower end of the Guideline range such as the Exceed and ACT4 rods and a move away from the space age mirror finish on the LeCie range, a rod finish that didn't take to kindly to rough use. We love it!
The lower grip - durable and well shaped!
The rod handle follows the more recent trend of combining composite cork with natural cork, a move which improves not only the aesthetics but the durability as well. We also noticed that this handle appears to be made from the so called "HD cork" first seen on the G.Loomis NRX range of rods where it was used to improve rod feel and reduce weight due to its dense structure and the need for less filler. It's not mentioned in the rod specs but either way we like it!
Lightweight guides and double legged snakes too!
The reel fitting is a solid, gloss black, double locking workhorse - you will have no problems here. The guides are lightweight and durable and the use of double legged snakes add to this durability - a move away from the ultralight single leg guides used on the LeCie. And yes, if you are wondering, the LeCie "screech" is gone!!! The rod blank is marked with recommended line weights for both shooting heads and Skagit lines in grains as well as grams. We cast the rod with a range of commonly sold shooting heads (DDC Connect, AFS, RTG Scandi, Mastery) in #8/9 weights, different densities and an odd #9/10 thrown in for giggles and found the rod to be a smooth casting tool, with a crisp, fast action up to a point but by no means excluding the rookie spey caster (myself included) in the way that some top end rods can. These rods are very versatile and this 13'9'' #8/9 could easily give a lot of bigger, heavier line weight rods a run for their money on most of they Salmon rivers of the UK and beyond - great if you are fed up lugging that old 15 footer about!
A cordura tube and bag comes with the LXi
The Guideline LXi is available to pre-order now from Glasgow Angling Centre - the UK's biggest Guideline dealer! Stock will be arriving in a few weeks time and as always the first batch will sell out quickly so don't forget to reserve your either instore or online! Click HERE to buy now!

Now we just need to get our hands on a Guideline Reaction FRS............