Product Review: Echo King fly rod

Yes folks, the much anticipated Echo King rods are in the shop, handles neatly encased in a shimmering layer of plastique (or is it just shrink wrap?) and are ready for your next trip to the Kanektok, Norway, South America, or the Russian far-east.

These Echo King rods are 13′ two-handers designed to cast HEAVY Skagit head lines, but they also cast integrated shooting head lines overhead and have been very popular with east coast striper fishers casting from beaches and rocky outcroppings.

Two rods are offered in the King series, both at 13′ – 9 and 10 wts. The 9 wt. has a 630 – 720 gr. wt window and the 10 wt has a whopping 720 – 810 gr. line window. These are serious heavy duty lines intended to cut through wind, chuck long heavy tips, and swim big heavy flies deep – or in the case of our striper brothers and sisters – to reach waaaaaay into the blue and entice hog stripers to munch our flies.

Why Thirteen footers? This King Spey rod is a product of the ebb and flow of opinion, experience, and preference that is gradually evolving throughout the two hand fly fishing community: the long rods versus the short rods.  Both ends of the rod-length spectrum offer advantages under different conditions.   Tim Rajeff’s decision to go with a mid-range length of 13′ is based on his personal judgment and years of working with fly anglers that have ranged from the most experienced to the complete first-timer.  The Echo King’s modest length – combined with what Tim describes as a medium fast action – represents a configuration that will allow an angler to handle the heaviest Skagit heads and sink tips (or shooting head type lines) with the least fatigue- providing great flexibility to fish anywhere from open Tundra, beach, and tree/shrub lined rivers.

Cosmetics. These are very well appointed rods.  That isn’t the language that folks typically use when beginning to describe fly rod components, but hey, it fits.  The King rod shafts are a gloss jet black, thread wraps are deep red with metallic red tipping.  The reel seat, like all the components, is top-grade metal, and will accommodate any reel you may choose to line-up for the day’s adventure.

Handle.  We appreciate the cork handle on the Echo King.  The high density cork is shaped with a curvature that allows intuitive hand positioning, and the natural cork handle’s durability is enhanced with cork composite tips on both upper and lower grips.

Rod action. As noted, these are medium-fast, two-hand rods.  For the Spey fisher casting Skagit heads, this means the rod will provide the flex through the butt that will allow the Spey caster to feel the rod load.  For the overhead caster seeking stripers beyond the surf line, this means that you will be able to feel that integrated shooting head straighten out behind you, and then power your cast forward through the wind and salt spray.

Fish Fighting. The action of the Echo King offers an ideal combination of butt strength (lifting power), whole-rod flex, and tip sensitivity that make the process of interacting with a finned beastie a real pleasure.

Echo King Warranty. Like all Echo fly rods, the King offers a lifetime warranty.  In our experience, Echo’s warranty service is unsurpassed in the fly fishing industry.

Likelihood of needing warranty service? Our return rate on Echo fly rods is extremely low.  Tim Rajeff has a talent for designing rods that cast extremely well and that are among the most durable on the market.  His quality control inspections on rods are rigorous.  The result is that the King, like all the Echo fly rods, are meritorious of your trust.  Head out anywhere in the world, Alaska, Norway, Russia,  BC, and Cape Cod – and count on your Echo King to perform under the toughest conditions.  Just don’t stuff it into the Jet Pump Impeller, OK?

Outfit an Echo King rod with a precision fly reel like the Hatch Finatic 11 or the Bauer Mackenzie Xtreme, and line it with one of the Airflo or Rio balanced fly lines, and you are ready to tackle big fish just about anywhere. Tarpon? Honestly, this is an area where you could be a true pioneer, so if you are up to a challenge like this, give it a go.


This entry was posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Product Review: Echo King fly rod

  1. John Putnam says:

    Can you provide some things to think about when trying to choose between the 9 and the 10 weight in the Echo King Rod. I am thinking of a rod for the Lower Dean. I have a 10 weight already, bit was trying to decide between a second 10 weight or going with the 9 weight. Has or one or the other become a shop favorite or ??? Thanks.

  2. Dale Lindblom says:

    which head would be best on my Echo king 10 in the Airflow F.I.S.T. head or the rio 3D head ?
    Thank You

  3. Oregon Fly Fishing Blog says:

    I am familiar with the Airflo line but both cast and fish very well based on feedback we get from clients. JN

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *