The Echo King series of fly rods consists of two 13footers - a 9weight and a 10weight. My experiences are from the 9weight.
It has a black finish and deep red wraps on it, which makes it look ageless. I personally appreciate looks like these on a rod. Nice and simple.
The reel seat is a standard, black Echo aluminium reel seat and the grips are made from the new and sweet "HD"-cork. The "HD"-cork is very nice to hold on to when your fishing and it takes a beating without falling apart. I think the cork is a major step forward for Echo as I have had some not that good grips on my previous Echo's.
|Echo man shooting to the moon...|
The action, well it's... Just what you've expect from Echo = smooth and responsive. A very strong butt section that eases off when you get to the middle. Mix in a authorative, but responsive tip and you got the King rod!! It is a delight to cast and you can get some serious distance with it. I think that the rod is at it's best when lined with a shooting head that has about 700grains of total mass and punched out with a modern two handed single spey or around 650gr if your doing a more pure underhand cast. That for me, were the sweet spots on the blank. For sustained anchor casts with heavy and long tips I would start off with a 660gr skagit and feel my way from there if personal preference tells you that another line would be better. I feel it's not a pure skagit rod so there might be some scenarios where one could say it would need a stiffer tip to throw the biggest junk? Well, that then might throw off the otherwise sweet action. All in all, casting sinking tips, full sink lines and even floaters is a pleasure with this rod. It's one of those rods that you don't have to do much and still it gets your fly where it should be and after a while you don't have to concentrate on your casting at all and just fish. I am a big fan of rods like that and while there may be rods that can produce tighter loops and better looking form, these are the rods that you love to grab when your going fishing and not to the casting pond...
|Throwing a big 6" fly with the King|
As a fish fighting tool for salmon size fish this rod is the best I've ever used and I really mean it. There's a s#%t load of power in the butt section and you can put some serious pressure on the fish your fighting.
|The power is in the butt|
So, if any of you guys are looking for a rod that is nice to handle (13' #9 is much easier to handle and fish then a 14' or 15' #9), can shoot some serious line and will handle big and strong fish, this is the rod for you. Think big chinooks and bull dog chums in BC or the early season atlantic salmon fishery in mid-Norway when your fishing from the bushes. It's durable too!
Tim Rajeff and his crew have a real nack of creating user friendly rods that are relieble, easy to use and very fishy. My hat is off to you.
Pics and stuff.
Dorky youtube clip... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhZgkSxwXI0