ECHO EPR Review – Clearly a Great Fly Rod

 

This is a thumbnail sketch of a fly rod review I wrote for the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog—featuring the ECHO EPR (extreme performance rod) fly rod. I based my review on a week fishing recently with Gary Bulla out of La Ventana in Baja.

Jay Nicholas EPR fly rod strip set

If you examine the image above closely, you will see the small splash of a skipjack taking my fly in the upper left corner of the photo. You might also be able to see that there is a slight upturn in the tip of the 10 wt EPR as the line is just coming under tension as I’m stripping. In the center of the image, there is surface commotion as other skipjack are crushing baitfish, throwing water into the air and generally getting all of us anglers about as adrenaline infused as possible.

Jay Nicholas EPR fly rod Review

The image immediately above shows my fly line leaping as it clears the deck after strip setting the hook on the previously referenced skipjack.

Jay Nicholas ECHO EPR fly rod review

The final image here simply shows my 10 wt EPR fly rod under strain. This is a good kind of strain that we fly anglers all hope to experience.

Without fanfare, I can recommend the ECHO EPR unequivocally, based on my experience with the 8 and 10 wt rods, plus my long association fishing a wide variety of ECHO fly rods ranging from 4 wt glass rods to 12 wt high modulus graphite.

I invite you to read my detailed review of the EPR on the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog, but in the meantime, I’ll reiterate that you positively can’t go astray if you purchase one of these rods. Their casting ability and fish fighting power rank very favorably alongside rods that cost twice the price; their guides and handle are superbly right-sized for saltwater rods, and this is something I have not found to be true for some more expensive rods. Finally, the reel seat has the sturdiness and saltwater resistance that I expect in an ocean bound rod.

I would be pleased to answer questions you may have about this or any other fly rod I have experience with.

Jay Nicholas  – May/June 2017

Short Video on the ECHO OHS Rod

This is a revised post with a slightly different video embedded.

My dear friend Jeremy cut the footage together for this short video that captures a few memories of a day this winter season swinging flies for steelhead the the ECHO OHS (one hand spey) rod. As noted in my review of this rod for the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog, I prefer to fish this rod in classic two-hand style and find that it performs flawlessly and makes monster casts feel effortless when fished with an AIRFLO Skagit Scout head.

The video has been edited a little from the first one I posted in order to 1) correctly name the ECHO rod as the One Hand Spey, and 2) to show a better view of my super powerful D Loops and give a little justice to how far I was casting — trust me, it was AWESOME.

My best to you on this day May 5th, 2017
This revision posted on June 1st, 2017

ECHO OHS fly rod: two-hand casting excellence in the tightest quarters

Echo OHS Fly Rod a

Just a quick notice that I’ve written a review of this very fine new OHS fly rod by ECHO for the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog—after fishing this rod a full ten days this winter season. Tim Rajeff coached me into the proper wt. Airflo Scout head and tip to load the rod properly for two-hand casting, and I love fishing this rod in everywhere from close quarters to wide open runs.

Rather than a full repeat of the review, I’ll include a link to the OFFB here, and publish both posts simultaneously . I realize that my reviews make almost no mention about the OHS rod’s cosmetics and hardware. These rods are built very much like the Echo 3 Switch Rods with emerald green shaft and anodized aluminum reel seats. The rod includes the option for shorter and  longer butt handles—I fish the OHS exclusively with the longer handle (it screws into the reel seat.

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Here are a few OHS rod and line matches if you will strictly be casting two-hand style, as I normally do.

ECHO OHS 6 wt. — 270 gr Airflo Scout8 ft Airflo T-10; or OPST 96 gr tip.

ECHO OHS 7 wt.  — 330 gr Airflo Scout10 ft Airflo  T-10; 10 ft Rio T-11; or OPST 96 gr tip.

ECHO OHS 8 wt. — 390 gr Airflo Scout10 ft Airflo  T-10; 10 ft Rio T-11; or OPST 96 /132 gr tip.

If you plan on using the OHS rod as it was originally intended (single-hand casting with a haul to load the rod properly), it is fair to suggest that you subtract 60 gr from the recommended head weights listed for each rod above.

Jay Nicholas winter steelhead 2017.jpg

Swinging for winter steelhead on the upper river has been a scratchy proposition for me this season. One friend fished about 6 days and caught 3 fish. Another friend fished close to two weeks and has hooked (and lost 5 fish). My count for 10 says swing fishing is three fish lost and one to hand. A challenging but successful season in my mind.

I loved the light-in-hand feel of the 7 wt. OHS rod.  It is shockingly light compared to most 7 wt switch rods. When I finally hooked a steelhead that held onto my fly (on the last day of the upriver season) I had my hands full of excitement with a nice 12 pound (I swear) hen. We all have different perspectives, but I felt that the 7 wt is entirely powerful enough to fight the fish.  At least it worked out for me. If you have doubts, I’d suggest that you reach for the 8 wt.

 Two-hand casting with this 10 ft. 6 in. rod is so pleasurable that I don’t even dabble at developing my single hand casting style—I’m satisfied to classify the OHS as a mini spey rod—realizing that I’m missing out on half of the rod’s performance capabilities.

I’ll also reiterate that these rods are ideally suited to small and modest sized rivers. They will cast a country mile, handle in the tightest quarters, and I would recommend these short (10 ft 4 in) rods in a very wide range of fishing habitats. For places like wide open runs on the Sandy, Clackamas, or Deschutes, I would often reach for a longer Spey rod. Even on these larger rivers, I have fished specific places where trees and brush complicate casting with longer two-hand rods. These make a perfect place to swing the OHS rod without stress or strain. Wow, another excuse to buy more tackle.

My best wishes to you:

Jay Nicholas