Echo Boost & Hatch Professional Fluorocarbon Leader Review

Booomer at work testing ECHO "NAP" device.

Booomer at work testing ECHO “NAP” device.

We all have our burdens in life, and one of mine is to occasionally document my reaction to various elements of fly fishing gear I have “tested.”

I have often been surprised to find hundred buck rods that seemed (to me) to cast the way I would expect a 600 buck rod – and I’m not afeared to say as much.

There is a certain amount of randomness in my reviews, and an element of personal relationships as well.  I have a long term friendship and professional relationship with Tim Rajeff and the crew in Vancouver, just as I do with Kerry Burkheimer in Camas.  Two rod companies, very different price points and history, but both represented by the finest people and offering really excellent products.

Jack Harrell at the vise at his shop in Pacific City.

Jack Harrell at the vise at his shop in Pacific City.

So I’m an ECHO Burkheimer guy.  Who also fishes Scott and SAGE and Loomis rods too.

Confused?  Don’t be.  It’s just fishing tackle, and I only write about gear that really pleases me, no matter what the “Brand” happens to be.  The fact that 90% of my fishing clothing and waders happen to be SIMMS doesn’t keep me from sliding into my Patagonia fishing pants and sun hoody.

Where was this going?

SAMSUNG CSC

SAMSUNG CSC

SAMSUNG CSC

Got my BOOST 8 wt a few weeks ago.  About darn time I might add.  I’m not one to just go off and wave a rod around for a few hours and rush back to write about it.  I want time on the water, seeing how the gear really performs.  So far I have five days in the ocean fishing from Dory boats and four days on the estuary fishing with the 8 wt BOOST.  First few days were in the ocean, casting fast sinking shooting head lines like the AIRFLO Custom Cut T-14, RIO STRiper Line, and RIO Custom Cut T-14 Outbound fly lines.

The 8 wt ECHO BOOST fly rod handles over-lining like a champ, and it was a delight to catch black rockfish on Clousers and Poppers, plus being quite capable of hauling decent (30″) lingcod up from the depths.

ECHO Boost at sea

ECHO Boost at sea

Jay Nicholas Lingcod Dental Detail

Fresh Lingcod fillets, thanks to the ECHO BOOST, certainly the ONLY fly rod capable of catching these fish ha ha ha ha.

Fresh Lingcod fillets, thanks to the ECHO BOOST, certainly the ONLY fly rod capable of catching these fish ha ha ha ha.

So then I fished the BOOST rod in the estuary for springers too.  Four days fishing and two grabs, yielded one very fine hatchery spring chinook that went home with me after dark.

ECHO BOOST & Hatch fly reels

ECHO BOOST & Hatch fly reels

Clousers and Hatch Professional Leader

Clousers and Hatch Professional Leader

Oregon Hatchery spring chinook on ECHO BOOST 8 wt.

Oregon Hatchery spring chinook on ECHO BOOST 8 wt.

After Dark at the Cabin.

After Dark at the Cabin.

Honest 21.

Honest 21.

No fish today, still a smile.

No fish today, still a smile.

On the topic of the Hatch leader:  I fished 12 lb leader and landed the 21 pound springer, putting plenty of pressure on the fish.  I found a wind knot (imagine that) in my leader, and was grateful that I did not break the fish off.  I have been and remain a staunch supporter of Maxima Ultragreen for my leaders. But I started fishing the Hatch Professional series leader last summer in the ocean for Albacore, and then for silvers on buck tails, and then for chinook in the river and then winter steelhead and now for springers.  I still think a person can not go wrong with Maxima Ultragreen, but if you can afford the Hatch leader, it offers smaller diameter and I have found it to be absolutely 100% reliable, and the only other Leader I have felt this affection for previously is the Ultragreen.

Wind Knot in Hatch Leader that I used to land 21 pound springer (12 Lb. leader)

Wind Knot in Hatch Leader that I used to land 21 pound springer (12 Lb. leader)

On the BOOST fly rod series:  I will be adding a 7 wt to fish silvers and a 12 wt to fish Albacore very soon.  The rod has a powerful butt section needed to pressure strong fish, but has a moderate tip that really seems to allow me to load the rod.  I find that I prefer to “over-line” the BOOST, and when doing so the line seems to spring from the guides.

If your normal line doesn’t get the job done, add a line wt and let fly.

The handle is right, finally, with a more pronounced center diameter on the grip and composite tip to the handle to enhance durability. The reel seat rings are also sufficient to allow me to over-reel my rod.  I often fish a hatch 11 on the 8 wt because Im expecting to catch a two hundred pound springer one of these days.

Ok, I’m exhausted from writing this post and need to get out on the water so please, allow me to conclude by saying thanks to Tim Rajeff for bringing out the Boost, but honestly, I do not know how I feel now about my ECHO PRIME rods that formerly held my greatest affection and I sure would not want to be thought fickle but now I’ll have to check out the BOOST versus the PRIME fish for fish through the springer season and into albacore season and see if i have a favorite or not.

Best fortune to all.

Jay Nicholas, May 15, 2015

New: ECHO Boost with Tim Rajeff from Rajeff Sports on Vimeo.

NEW: ECHO Boost Saltwater Series with Tim Rajeff from Rajeff Sports on Vimeo.

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One Response to Echo Boost & Hatch Professional Fluorocarbon Leader Review

  1. jamie says:

    I love the looks of this rod. The new painted blanks are so cheap looking in my opinion.

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