I know fishing friends in the US and Canada who would class this as a salmon or steelhead rod. Personally, I would opt for a 7-weight when trout fishing in bad weather and or when using higher density lines – these days I prefer to fish a 6-weight outfit on a stillwater bank.
Talking to a couple of tackle retailers they feel they are seeing a trend towards lighter gear, but this remains their top selling rod. One retailer described the 9ft 6in 7-weight as a ‘first rod’, bought because the brand was trusted and recommended by fishing friends.
The GRXi+ is a neat package, the selection of components and build quality is good, comes in a sectioned nylon covered tube. Assemble the GRXi+ and you soon get the impression of a powerful rod. For casting I started with a middle of the road WF7F, frankly too light. I can load the GRXi+ against a standard #7 line, but I need to move the rod fast then stop the rod fast, which may be ok at long/full distance but is not so great for short and medium range, or for Spey and roll casting. Thinking about who will fish with this and where, novice casters tend to strugge a bit, initially at least and so few will cast a full line but because of where they fish they will be trying to cast to their maximum range.
With a heavier line, first a WF8 then a heavy WF7 (Rio Grand) the GRXi+ seemed to me to respond more. Naturally, short casts became easier, however, I found it much easier to make long casts and the heavier line increased the maximum distance I could cast a fly. (Of the lines I tried the Rio Grand #7 suited me best – that line is technically an 8-weight, at the lower end of the line-class.)
Now, while I might quibble about the line rating, this rod can play a good fish and land it hard and fast. Realistically, the ability to play bigger fish on light fly gear is a learned skill, give a less experienced angler a powerful rod and a heavier line and you greatly increase their chances of landing a fish. The GRXi+ certainly has the guts to handle sinking lines, and the simple strength to survive me handling them badly, pulling a deep sinker straight into the air without rolling it to the surface first. I can think of rods which cast a little more sweetly with #7 lines which would fold if I tried that.
A very popular first ‘serious’ trout rod, on balance this is actually a rather good first ‘serious’ heavyweight trout rod.
9ft 6in #7 Greys GRXi+
Action angle: 70
Rod weight: 127.1g
Rings: Two lined butt ring, large snakes
Handle: Full wells, modest cork with cork composite reinforced ends
Reel seat: All metal, saltwater resistant
Fighting butt: Small
Blank: Gloss, dark green
Thread: Brown metallic
Build quality: Good
Rod bag: No
Rod tube: Nylon covered
From: Greys stockists