Lamiglas review of XMG series

Posted: August 6, 2013 by Hellcat in Fish Reports, Gear Fishing, Salmon, Trout & Steelhead, Tips & Advice
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**This original review was originally written previously and current rod specifications may have changed.

By Chris Heller

Prior to starting this product review I attempted to establish a base line of facts from which to draw upon throughout this article. It had been my goal to make reference to as much design and technical information as I could before beginning my examination of their top of the line rod series. I’ve since scratched that.

Mostly because that’s just not me. The seach engine results that surfaced when I punched ‘XMG-50’ into my Google engine showed me very quickly that is everyone’s angle. That’s boring. Instead I’ve decided to take a more practical look at the XMG-50.

I won’t be using any technical nomenclature regarding the action, weight or taper design. I’m not going to be talking about scrim, resin or mandrels either. Feel free to visit the afformentioned companies website for as much of that as you can stuff into your mellon.

After all, a dumb man can sound very smart if he practices at it long enough. So why would I want to know anything else other than ‘how it fishes’ under different circumstances and with different methods. Who really cares how many million or psi tensile modulus a particular graphite actually contains? I know I don’t.

Assuming there is a common and basic understanding of typical rods we use in this part of the country, actions they employ and intended purpose for use etc…..let’s get started.

Lamiglas XMG-50 EXC92M paired with a BC Steel is a deadly combo for both salmon and steelhead

The XMG-50 series from Lamiglas is primarily viewed as a high octane line up of method-specific rods designed almost exclusively for the free-flowing river steelhead angler.

With the heaviest rod in the series ringing at only a 10-20# rating…one might normally consider this to be a mark against the XMG in their overall rating of the rod. The fact is though….this series is very true to, what I believe, is it’s primary intended use-design for finesse steelhead or light salmon bank fishing. Mostly a steelhead series though.

The appeal with the XMG doesn’t start and end with it’s sleek and super cool design either. Although that is what attracts many people to them to begin with; the graphite handle…the sanded, uncoated blank, etc.

Taper is something that is mostly misunderstood among anglers. The taper is different from the ‘action’ of the rod, for example. AND, tapers of rods are trendy and cyclical at times whereas the action of a rod will always apply to a specific method of fishing which makes ‘actions’ stay static in their definition, decade over decade.

Lamiglas introduced the XMG a few years ago…towards the end of what I like to call the ‘Magnum Taper Phase’ of rod development and subsequent heavy and frequent use among those avid anglers here in the Pacific Northwest. I happened to be selling tackle as a man in my early twenties some 15 years ago when I noticed rod manufacturers moving in this direction.

In the beginning of this trend many rod makers introduced magnum tapers to rods that had no business holding such an action. I’ll divert our attention briefly to a description of ‘magnum taper’ so we can all be on the same page: Rods that employ the magnum taper can be quickly recognized by the shake of the rod. How do you properly test the rod to determine taper? Read on and I’ll explain.

By firmly holding the rod by the reel seat area and making a quick jerking motion with the rod butt against your forearm you should be able to see how far down the rod flexes before recovering to the original position. I will do this to a rod while allowing my eye sight to relax on, what I like to call, the tracer of the rod. In other words…did that rod bend rougly a quarter of the way down the blank when shook properly or was it more like a third or a half?

The answer to that question will always tell you the action of a rod while not necessarily giving away the taper as quickly. Lamiglas XMG-50 series are an extremely fast action rod. Extra fast in the models that allow it in blank length. Aside from the G-Loomis IMX graphite (which is extremely similar to the XMG) these rods are perhaps the fastest I’ve ever fished.

While every angler at one point in their fishing career will fall in love with a magnum taper rod as if it’s the best thing to ever happen to their game…it’s not always the appropriate action to use based on your method of angle. You’ll hear a lot of anglers speak of ‘quick tips & backbones’ in the same description of one of their favorite rods. They’re describing a magnum taper and most likely a fast action.

The XMG Series is available in casting in 8’9″ 2pc salmon models, 9’2″ steelhead drift/spoon models and float rod models from 9’6″ to 10 feet available in both casting and spinning. There original line up of rods included a 10’6″ spinning float rod that was discontinued about a year into production.

These rods are 280.00 MSRP and like so many upper end manufacturers almost never go on sale. They are designed by absolutely dedicated river anglers who are local fishermen who actually fish A LOT. That holds a lot of weight with me and it should with you as well.

Let’s take a look in some detail at how these rods play out in my evaluation of them…as it’s important to remember that I’ve fished all the models except one without any endorsement from Lamiglas whatsoever. This is just one angler’s honest opinion on a series of rods that has to be considered one of the coolest the Northwest has seen in quite a while.


This review is one of many to come within the new ‘Product Review’ series from Each product will end up with a point total that will be a plus or minus based on the number of +’s versus -’s. The number of criteria listed will be restricted to a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 points of interest….or lack thereof. Therefore the rating, positive or negative will only be relative to the number of criteria and can never be more than 5 points.


+1 ~ 100% manufactured in Woodland, WA with a lifetime warranty from Lamiglas should make you feel very confident about your XMG investment not leaving you high and dry if your rod ever breaks.

+1 ~ Versatility: Representing itself with a tributary fishermen’s dream of rod specifications…the XMG series offers what is almost the perfect line up of rods for our PacNW rivers and streams.

+1 ~ Extra fast action makes this rod very exciting to cast and to fish. The distance & accuracy I am able to accomplish with the XMG rods in comparison to other rods I have is incredible. When paired up with a properly selected casting reel it’s east to feel like a ball player on a hot streak hitting buckets from all over the court.

+ 1 ~ The sensitivity of the graphite used to create these rods is phenominal. It has honestly given me quite the edge in many scenarios when I need to feel the bottom of the river with almost no lead in tow. When paired with a braided or a fused line it’s a senses overload which is one of the reasons why I recommend using only mono with these rods.

+ 1 ~ I have to say I am a huge fan of the graphite or carbon fiber handle. Although it doesn’t add sensitivity to the rod as many suspect (it has foam underneath) it cleans up from egg goop wonderfully and looks damn cool…dark gray against dark gray.


-1/2 ~ Extremely sensitive XMG graphite means a very low durability factor. Whether you are a driftboat fisherman or an avid backpacker steelheader you should be aware these rods hold up very poorly to what I consider ‘typical use’. Meaning; hiking through brush or setting your rod down in the boat can mean a bruise that later most certainly results in a break. Sometimes, as in the picture below, in very strange places throughout the rod.

In addition and regarding durability; these rods do not pair well with braid. The graphite is just too brittle to handle the intense lack of stretch (1-2% same as stainless steel wire) that comes with fishing a braided or a fused line. I have shattered these rods using braid on fish while slamming down a good drag system to turn them.

I’ve only deducted half a point for the durability knock because the excellent warranty make the complaint somewhat moot. Even a user negligent break can be negotiated with Lamiglas. If only for a small fee. The best course of action when speaking to them on a warranty issue is the honest one. Remember, they know 95% of the time if the rod broke on a fish or not…just by looking at it.

I know many experienced anglers who have broken these rods to no or little fault of their own….

-1 ~ They need to add one more model in the series to sit between the EXC92M 9’2″ 8-15# and the EXC10M or the 10′ 8-15# and this rod should be nine six or nine eight and hold a slightly higher line rating.

They almost have it nailed with the EXC89MT but not quite. They need this rod for hardware (spoon & heavy spinner) anglers.

TOTAL POINTS: 3.5 out of 5

Thanks for reading my XMG review. There are G1000, Extremes and Certified Pros yet to be reviewed. Check back a few times a week for new content.


  1. Derek Reed says:

    Ive been looking at these type of rods for quite a while and just wasnt to sure about them. With your insite and experience with fishing these rods it help me better understand the XMG-50 Series. Thanks Chris

  2. Hellcat says:

    Thx Derek!

  3. Sasquatch253 says:

    Nice review! Any reel recommendations to pair with this rod?

  4. Hellcat says:

    Thanks, Sasquatch253! I would recommend any of the Abu Revo series.

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