Rod Review: Mystic JXP
I have been fishing the new Mystic JXP for 3 or 4 months now. I always like to have had a lot of experience with a piece of gear before I review it (All fish pictured in this blog were caught on my 5wt JXP). This rod has been my go to, do it all rod since the day that I got it. I have fished everything from small headwaters creeks to big tailwater fisheries and everything in between. The main qualities I look for in a rod are the aesthetics, performance, and price.
Visually, the Mystic JXP has a no-nonsense, utilitarian, modern feel to it. It looks similar to a Scott fly rod and the rod blanks have a nice blackish grey finish to it as well as a textured feel to them that is very pleasing. Mystic used titanium snake stripping guides along the rod blank. The reel seat is a combination of of aircraft grade aluminium and carbon fiber. The rod also sports a visually pleasing and functional full Wells grip. All of these qualities are assembled and finished in the USA, ensuring a top quality finished product. The JXP also comes in a handsome aluminium rod case. This rod has a mystique to it and a vibe that lets you know you are using a high quality, top-tier piece of fly fishing equipment.
Although I do appreciate the looks of a rod, one could argue that aesthetics is not important at all when compared to the performance of the rod. Performance should always be the deciding factor when you are buying a new piece of equipment. Luckily, the Mystic JXP delivers in both style and performance. The JXP is a fast action rod that I liken to a G Loomis NRX LP, which I have used extensively. One of the JXP’s biggest selling points is its weight, or lack thereof. This rod weighs next to nothing. Its multi modulus blank construction, coupled with the use of aluminium and carbon fiber results in a featherweight rod that has a ton of power and backbone while still maintaining the finesse and touch to work big fish on lighter tippet. The JXP is also extremely accurate across the board but shines most in casts 30-70ft out. If you plan on using it for smaller to medium sized water and will be casting a lot closer I would recommend getting a line that is a half weight heavier to help load up the rod and make those shorter casts spot on. If you follow my blog I wrote a piece called “A Wade to Remember”. In that post is the story of my first day fishing with the JXP where I landed two trophy browns, one on the streamer and one on a tight-line euro rig. That day was an eye opening experience for me and I knew I had my new favorite rod. I have used this rod primarily for nymphing and streamer fishing but have had success with it throwing dries to Browns on the tailwaters as well. If you are looking for a new rod that can do it all and look good doing it, look no further than the Mystic JXP.
Wu-Tang Clan said it best, “Cash rules everything around me” and that is true in the expensive world of fly fishing. Money talks, and if your are like me I can’t readily afford the Scotts, G Loomis, or Thomas and Thomas rods. So when I have taken the time to save up and am looking to purchase a true high end piece of equipment that I will be using for years, I want to know that I am getting my monies worth. I have already compared this rod to a Scott and an NRX in this review; they are shockingly similar in appearance and performance. However, they are not similar in price. The Mystic JXP will run you $499 USD compared to the 700-800 price tag on the Scotts and G Loomis that the JXP competes with.
This rod passes my big three tests. It is an aesthetically pleasing rod that you’ll be proud to be seen using for years to come. It is a performance driven rod that excels in a variety of environments and situations. It offers the performance of the top tier rods in all of fly fishing but at a fraction of the cost. If you are looking for high end performance, weight, and aesthetics but not a high end price, this rod is for you.