A few years ago, a $700 single handed rod seemed unimaginable. Now, Sage, Loomis, and Winston all have rods in the $800 range. U.S. fly rod manufacturers like Echo have seemed to avoid this trend. Echo has, however; released their Echo 3 and 3S lineup of fly rods, which is the company’s biggest push to enter the high end fly rod market.
Does anyone have experience with the new Echo 3 rods? How do these rods measure up against the $750-800+ fly rods on the market? I’m especially interested in learning how the Echo 3S saltwater models match up to some of the better rods on the market. At the $350-380 price range, an angler can buy two of these rods for the price of one Sage One, Winston BIIIX, or Loomis NRX.
I have no experience with either of these rods, but I will say this. Big $$ doesnt always translate to the best rod. Sure, there will be one or two of these rods that will clearly outperform every other rod on the market, but mid level rods are often better than some of the high end rods.
You may be familiar with these rod comparisons for 5-WT and 8-WT rods, and particularly in the 8wt comparison, a $250 rod was deemed to be the second best rod.
Obviously, if you have the money for the big guns, then you get them, but in my opinion, the rod must also fit the arm that casts it, and not just the wallet that pays for it.
It could be that the echo's are better rods than the price says.
I deinitely agree with the thought that the big price doesn't always translate into the best. Higher price often translates into better materials and lighter weight, but that is not always true when comparing some of the new rods on the market. This is primarily why I'm interested in learning the opinios of others regarding the Echo 3 and 3S rods. I'm a huge fan of the St. Croix Legend Elite series of rods for the higher weights, and those rods are nearly half the price of the more expensive brands listed in the intial post. I'd like to keep my purhcase in the US manufactured realm of fly rods, and the Echo 3's and St. Croix Legend Elite series seem to be the best rods for the price that are currently offered when you begin to look at a saltwater fly rod.
I too am curious about the Echo rods with which I have no experience. I do believe, however, that like the terrific BVK's and newest Albright EXT's, they are also Korean-built. High-end American made rods are (like everything else it seems) expensive but if you go to cast an NRX #8 you had better leave your credit card at home.
+2 interested in the Echo3. I'm looking for something with backbone for tossing deer hair bass bugs, and getting down the coast for some redfish from time to time. I've read lots of great reviews on the BVK, but I'm not sure it has the ummph for the big flies.
but I think if you're after bang-for-the-buck in a high performance rod, you owe it to yourself to try a TFO BVK.
They're simply amazing and they sell for $250.
I agree with Cilff.
I've cast the BVK in a 9 wt. and used it for Stripers in Maine and it's a very nice rod; particularly for the money. I think that Lefty spent a lot of time on this rod before he let his initials go out on the blank.
This rod, in the 8 wt. version, also did very well against the high dollar rods in the recent shootout competition that George Anderson put together.
If you look at Anderson's "Performance Only Results" chart (taking price out of the consideration), the BVK is in the 6th slot tied with some very respectable and more costly competition. Though Anderson didn't call it a "Flats Rod" Shootout, that is esentially what it was. We have a #8 BVK which is going on its second bonefishing trip in a couple of weeks and, in large part because of its power to weight ratio but also its elusive character, it has become a favorit of my wife's. We like it best with a 1/2 size heavy or a front loaded agressive taper line. The SA Textured Magnum and RIO's #8.5 Tarpon Taper are perfect bonefishing lines for this rod.
It is hard to design/build a flats rod and nothing else I have tried from the TFO line up is close to BVK. Same goes, not only for most of the other Asian-builts but even some of the vaunted US makers; with the very notable exception of the terrific #7 - 9 rods designed by Sage and G.Loomis. Tim Rajeff, designer of the ECHO rods is, of course, the brother of Steve - designer of the G.Loomis Rods. I, again, reiterate my curiosity about the performance of his newest models and how they migh compare to the performance of the Big Boys.