Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Product Review: Echo 3 13' 7wt



As slush starts flowing down the Beaverhead behind my house my mind wanders from trout fishing and tunnel vision sets in on winter steelhead.  Winter steelhead to me means standing waist deep in a glacial-green flow freezing my "waist area" off and throwing a two handed rod.  This past fall I picked up a new rod, the Echo 3 13' 7wt, and couldn't put it down.

As any spey caster knows the line makes the spey rod, and the E3 is one of those rods that can take a very wide range of lines.  I tend to like a rod that is lined with what I would call medium-heavy.  I definitely don't like a rod that is heavily lined, nor do I like one that is to light, and if choosing, I will error on the side of heavy.  For the E3 the line of choice was a Airflo 510 compact skagit.  I threw this line with a variety of tips ranging from 13' chunk of t-11 to a 15' 3"/second poly leader.  The set up I spent most time with was a 15' extra heavy fast poly leader.  I love the 15' poly leaders on skagits for fall fishing because they help my tall self to not pop the anchor, and get down nicely in the even runs on a river like the snake or Grand Ronde.

Built in Mojo?  I think yes!
The E3 7130 is what I would describe as a mellow rod with enough balls to throw anything that should be thrown on a 7wt.  You can certainly feel the rod load when you set the d-loop, but there is also a nice positive snap when you come forward.  I had no problem launching a 5" fly as far as one needs with this rod, but it was also comfortable throwing small dump casts into boulder gardens that a rod with more "feel" excels at.  While writing this review I consulted rod nerd, casting guru and all around steelhead-freak Brian, who described the action of this rod as "take-your-time-but-don't-be-late" which fits it perfectly.

As far as fit and finish goes, this rod looks better than most in it's similar price range.  I love spey rods with down locking reel seats, which this one has.  The cork is high quality with little to no filler, and it has alignment dots, something that every fly rod ever should have.  The cork is also a comfrotable diameter.  Even with my gorilla hands I don't like a thick gripped spey rod (z-axis for example, great rod, crappy grip) and the E3 has an excellent feel in hand. The green blank shines beautifully in the sun as well.

More importantly than all of the above is the built in Mojo that this rod comes with.  I have yet to spend a day swinging with this rod and not hook a steelhead.  Coincedence?  Maybe.  Built in Mojo?  Definitely!  If you're looking for a mid priced rod that looks great and performs like a champ, check out the E3 13' 7wt.

3 comments:

  1. Sounds like a nice rod for the money. And you know what they say about Gorilla hands...

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  2. My Echo Classics are back! Though the tip is slightly faster with a bit more recovery. Nothing but the best for the dollar!

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  3. Yes @Kirk, Rods as well as fish look small in gorilla hands.
    @Mike, I saw that, super pumped! Those are great rods. I really want to get my hands on the DH2 as well.

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