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Echo Base 9'#5

Echo Base 9'#5

George’s Comments:

The Echo Base is really a surprisingly good for a rod this cheap.  It has a medium fast action that does a reasonably good job.   It is hard to complain about the lack of craftsmanship – what do you expect for $89.99?  At least they do give you a hard case, which is better than TFO.  And their warranty is one of the best.   When I pick up this rod I first notice the swing weight, which is one of the heaviest in our Shootout.   But for this price you cannot expect to get the high-tech, highest modulus graphite.    So it’s a trade off.    Many people would buy this rod as a back up or to have a tough boat rod that likely won’t get broken.   A beginner would far better off spending another $100 and stepping up to the Fenwick Aetos.  

The Base is a very dark blue rod, with black wraps that are trimmed in silver on the butt.  The actual finish coat on the wraps is quite good.   The handle is a western style grip but like the Aetos, the quality of cork is not so hot.  The reel seat is a black solid anodized aluminum uplock seat with one locking ring that is pretty easy to grip.   The guides are one SiC stripper and the rest hard chrome snake guides. 

George’s casting notes:    The perfect line-  S.A. MPX in WF-6-F

Performance at 30 feet:  18 points out of 20

Decent in close, definitely better than the BVK.  The heavy swing weight didn’t equate to much feel, however.

Performance at 50 feet:  18 points out of 20

Pretty good at mid-range but that heavy swing weight hurt. I was having trouble getting the kind of accuracy I did with the Aetos.

Performance at 75 feet:  17.5 points out of 20

Another rod that just did not perform well at long range.   It was a workout too.   

Echo Base 9'#6

James’ Comments:

We first got our hands on the new Echo Base series last year during our 5 and 8-weight shootouts.  I have to say these rods are very smooth, easy to cast, and have a very pleasant feel for any rod, much less a rod that costs only $89.99.

Guides in need of a boat rod should take a good look at this 6-weight!  You could purchase four of these rods, rigged with reels and high-end lines for what an Asquith would cost you. 

For beginners and novice anglers who might not be able to feel the difference of a high-end fly rod the Echo makes a lot of sense.  It’s not pricey, the repairs are quick and inexpensive, and the rod really does cast well up to 65 feet or so – plenty long enough to catch even the wariest of trout.

If you are on a budget, but don’t want a piece of junk, then the Echo Base is your stick.  It is the best rod we have found for the money. 

Performance at 30 feet:  18.5 points out of 20

Lighter in hand than the BVK with better feel too.  This is a great design for a 6-weight rod and although it is heavier than most it is a great bargain rod.  I’d expect to see the Base series in many guide boats across the country.  

Performance at 50 feet:  18 points out of 20

Nice for the price!   This rod blows away any of the “big box” rods you’d find at Cabela’s or Sportsman’s Warehouse.  Great feel with a forgiving nature will make the Base a great rod to learn on.

Performance at 75 feet:  17 points out of 20

BVK smoked it here.  (If novice anglers start throwing 75 feet on their first float trip let me know who their guide is)…

Echo Base

Logan’s Comments:

The Echo Base is one of my favorite rods.  Not because of its performance but because of its price and what it represents.  This rod demonstrates that you do not need to be elite or an upper echelon angler to enjoy fly fishing.  All you need is a willingness to have fun and a good rod.  This is a good rod, and I highly recommend this rod to people getting into the sport.  

Logan’s Casting Notes: 

Performance at 30 feet: 17 points out of 20

The Echo Base has a good balance of power and feel.  Although it was not as accurate as some rods, a beginner could really grow into this rod.

Performance at 50 feet: 18 points out of 20

50 feet is the Eco Base’s sweet spot.  This would be a good nymph rod for anyone at any level.

Performance at 75 feet: 17 points out of 20

At 75 feet the Base started to show signs of weakness, and I could feel the weight. Many other rods were better.

Echo Base

JG’s Comments:

The Echo Base, what a rod! At less than $100.00 this rod can deliver the goods to any angler on any budget.

30 Feet:   18 points out of 20

The Base did pretty well at the 30 ft target.  It has a soft enough tip that you can make nice delicate and accurate casts easily.  The only real gripe I have with it at this distance is that it feels pretty heavy throughout the casting stroke.

50 Feet:   19 points out of 20

I was really surprised at the Base’s performance at 50ft.  I didn’t notice the weight so much at this distance and found the rod to be really accurate.  You could feel the rod loading and unloading making it easy to get your timing just right, it even did well if the wind kicked up a little bit. 

75 Feet:  17 points out of 20

Not the best here but the Base did a good job of keeping up with the more expensive competitors.  I found a drop off in power and accuracy at our longest range target but it still performed just as well as many rods that cost many times more.

Echo base best fly rod for the money
Echo base best fly rod for the money
Echo base best fly rod for the money
Echo base best fly rod for the money
Echo base best fly rod for the money
Echo base best fly rod for the money