Epic 686 FastGlass vs Orvis 686 Superfine Glass

The Texas Angler

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Hey friends, I have narrowed down my next fly rod to either an Epic 686 FastGlass or an Orvis 686 Superfine Glass. I fish primarily the Texas Hill Country for bass, panfish, Rio Grande cichlids, carp, and gar with the occasional catfish or freshwater drum when the opportunity arises. I also fish our local tailwater for trout as well as Colorado, New Mexico, Tennessee and others for trout when traveling for work or with my wife.

I both wade fish and kayak fish and am wanting a glass rod for its feel, its versatility and its durability. I would fish this rod with an Orvis Battenkill Disc III reel paired with a SA Amplitude Grand Slam line primarily, a SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity when trout fishing, and a SA Sonar Titan Triple Density I/2/3 full sink line when fishing streamers in deeper pools.

What I'm looking for in this rod is something that as a 6wt can turn over size 4-6 streamers or poppers while also having the ability to dry fly to unsuspecting trout when the hatch is on. But, I also want the rod to still be fun when the panfish bite which is why I'm so interested in glass for my new 6wt. I also like the thought of having a very durable glass rod in my kayak for the times when a carp or large bass dives under my boat thus bending the rod in half.

6wt glass rods appear to be very versatile tools that can give me what I'm after, so I'm now trying to decide which to get. I've looked at virtually every brand out there and the Epic and the Orvis are what I keep coming back to. I already have the Orvis reel, so I'm sure the Orvis SF rod would pair nicely with it, plus it's more reasonably priced and has excellent reviews, but so does the Epic which just looks like a cool rod. But is the Epic worth twice the price for what I'm after, especially if it's going to be used in a kayak where things tend to get a little more wear than when simply wade fishing? I'd love to know your thoughts.

Have an awesome day!
 

WNCtroutstalker

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Only you can decide about the cost and breakage risk of using in a kayak, but FWIW although it's been many years now I've cast both (actually owned an Epic 686). Loved the Epic, did not care for the Orvis. But YMMV.
 

skunkedalot

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People who fish Orvis glass indicate that the Orvis 866 is a GREAT rod. The fibreglass flyrodder website has many many rviews and opinions but in general- the consensus is that it is a great rod. For what its worth- I fish glass from a yak and have no issues..
 

WNCtroutstalker

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May I ask what you did not like about the Orvis?
As I said, it's been years since I cast it and it was only briefly. But my recollection is that it swung heavy (even for glass) and had a sloppy, slow-recovering tip (again, even for glass).

People who fish Orvis glass indicate that the Orvis 866 is a GREAT rod. The fibreglass flyrodder website has many many rviews and opinions but in general- the consensus is that it is a great rod.
While I haven't looked at reviews of the rod lately, I would agree with the above. I'm sure my view is the minority one.
 

WNCtroutstalker

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ECHO B.A.G. Quickshot 8' 6wt.
I haven't cast the BAG QS, but just from what I've read about it that was the rod that sprang to mind when I read about the OP's intended use, and to me at least easier to be rough on a sub-$300 rod that one that costs at least 50% and perhaps upwards of 100% more. But sounds like the OP has done his research and narrowed it to the Epic and Orvis, which is of course fine.
 

proheli

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CORRECTION. I am sure that I have seen the Epic Fast glass listed as S3, per their pwn website it is listed as S2. so of course, that is the reference document and the truth of the matter. I will change it out in my post below. However, I still believe the Fast Glass is faster than the Orvis glass.

Notably, the Orvis is made from second generation S glass called S2, and the Epic Fast Glass is also S2 but faster, so it is a bit faster than that of the Orvis. As someone who is currently looking at an E glass rod, S2 is not necessarily what a guy wants, it just is what it is.

I found this awesome article on the Superfine Glass, had some great general glass knowledge as well.

 
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dswice

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TTA - have you considered an Epic 686 rod building kit? At $399 (plus the 10% off coupon frequently offered), you can get a new Epic FastGlass for less than a new Superfine Glass. Also, Epic touts the rod build as fairly easy to do and the kit contains everything needed for the build.
 

Hayden Creek

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The kit is a great way to go. I built an Epic 686 fg2 for my brother who uses it for trout and peacock bass. He loves it.
 

ddb

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The link suggests that the " Surperfine Touch" model now is redesigned in S3 glass and is noticeably different than earlier Superfine S glass models.

True? And if so, how do the two compare in actual use.

The older 6 wt model I have is pretty stiff for a glass rod. It definitely gives you range to manage bigger fish with ease while still enjoying run of the mill specimens. I would not use it for tiddlers in small water but it otherwise is a solid all-rounder.
 

el jefe

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I've seen referenced above S3 glass, but when I go to Orvis's and Epic's websites, they both state that their rods are made from S2 glass. I am not even aware of S3 glass. Where have you guys seen that info on S3 glass?
 

ddb

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El Jefe,

Sorry, I misread the link above. There is no mention of ORVIS S3 glass in it. Looks like the Superfine is still S2 glass.
 

el jefe

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El Jefe,

Sorry, I misread the link above. There is no mention of ORVIS S3 glass in it. Looks like the Superfine is still S2 glass.
Gotcha. I thought maybe I was a generation behind!! I get anxiety about that, because that's what my kids tell me.:)
 

proheli

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El Jefe,

Sorry, I misread the link above. There is no mention of ORVIS S3 glass in it. Looks like the Superfine is still S2 glass.
El Jefe. I was sure I saw S3. That is not the kind of thing I would usually imagine out of thin air. And you are right, the Epic website lists the Fast Glass as S2, so S2 it is. Their own website would be the reference document and the truth of the matter. I'm sorry for putting wrong data out there.

Edit:

Okay, I found it. At least one reference of S3. This is a cut and past right from a google search. Shane Grey is a very well respected Fiberglass rod maker. He does not roll his own blanks.

"Fast glass, epic glass, epic fly rods, epic fiberglass rods
Search domain graywolfrods.comhttps://www.graywolfrods.com/swiftepic

Swift Epic "fast glass" These rods really need no introduction. Known to the world as "Fast Glass". The blanks are made of 8 micron Unidirectional S3 Glass. Fast tapers, with smooth progressive actions, sure fit ferrules, snake belly finish in brilliant colors."

I knew I had seen it somewhere. Now it will take a phone call to Shane or Epic or both is going to sort it out.

Gregg
 
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el jefe

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El Jefe. I was sure I saw S3. That is not the kind of thing I would usually imagine out of thin air. And you are right, the Epic website lists the Fast Glass as S2, so S2 it is. Their own website would be the reference document and the truth of the matter. I'm sorry for putting wrong data out there.

Edit:

Okay, I found it. At least one reference of S3. This is a cut and past right from a google search. Shane Grey is a very well respected Fiberglass rod maker. He does not roll his own blanks.

"Fast glass, epic glass, epic fly rods, epic fiberglass rods
Search domain graywolfrods.comhttps://www.graywolfrods.com/swiftepic

Swift Epic "fast glass" These rods really need no introduction. Known to the world as "Fast Glass". The blanks are made of 8 micron Unidirectional S3 Glass. Fast tapers, with smooth progressive actions, sure fit ferrules, snake belly finish in brilliant colors."

I knew I had seen it somewhere. Now it will take a phone call to Shane or Epic or both is going to sort it out.

Gregg
Good find. I think we should watch Carl and Shane have it out with Salsa-colored light sabers, to see who is right.:)

And I think Shane is going to begin rolling his own blanks, as he bought McFarland and its equipment recently.
 

jayr

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Good find. I think we should watch Carl and Shane have it out with Salsa-colored light sabers, to see who is right.:)

And I think Shane is going to begin rolling his own blanks, as he bought McFarland and its equipment recently.
McFarland, are you sure? I do know that Shane just bought Steffen Brothers. If he has also bought McFarland, he’s really cornering the glass market.
 

el jefe

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McFarland, are you sure? I do know that Shane just bought Steffen Brothers. If he has also bought McFarland, he’s really cornering the glass market.
DOH!! You're right! It was Steffen. My mistake. Thanks for the correction.
 

proheli

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Well, he got Steffen Bros AND Trout Smiths. So he did get TWO companies or rights or whatever the situation is called. He is a firm advocate of Trout Smiths. You can read about them on his website.
 
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