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.
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 Scout + 8 ft Airflo T-10; or OPST 96 gr tip.
ECHO OHS 7 wt. — 330 gr Airflo Scout + 10 ft Airflo T-10; 10 ft Rio T-11; or OPST 96 gr tip.
ECHO OHS 8 wt. — 390 gr Airflo Scout + 10 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.
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: