I wouldn’t call myself a fly fishing “purist” by any means, I do it all: euro nymphing, dry dropper, stripping streamers, swinging bugs. I don’t have a favorite technique, I let the water dictate how I’ll catch all the fish that day. So, when I was handed the Echo Dry rod to fish with, I felt trapped – really? Only dries! But don’t let the name fool you (like it did me), this rod is great for many applications but also fantastic for its name sake.
Rods Tested During Review:
- 9ft 2wt, 3wt, 4wt, 5wt
- Fish Caught – Trout Ranging from 2 – 20 inches
The Echo Dry at a Glance:
- Action – Medium Fast
- Weight: 2.9oz – 3.3oz
- Reel Seat – Carbon Fiber
- Guides – Stainless with low-friction ceramic stripper
- Four piece travel design
- Length: 9’0”
- Line Weights 2wt – 6wt
- MSRP – $229.00
The flex of the rod and soft tip made for great dry presentations, I expected that because of the name of the rod. The rod paired with the Airflo Superflo Presentation Floating line was ideal for those stream dwelling fish that were right in front of me, hiding in those banks and pockets. Casts from 20, 30 and even 50 feet away were so accurate it even amazed myself and made me look like a champion caster (I am not, hence the “look like”). I was even caught gazing at the supple landing of the fly and forgot to strike at the rising fish. This only happened a couple times, don’t worry.
But what I didn’t expect: the rod really protected the light tippet really well. Echo is the only company right now making a 9’ 0” 2wt for the US market. For a small stream angler, like myself, that extra length changed everything. I knew the rod was fantastic at presenting dries, but could it handle a euro rig? A typical 2wt dry rod is usually in the range of 7’6” – 8’6”. I find the 8’6” is too short to even think about Euro nymphing. But can the extra 6 inches that Echo provides make a difference? Seeing a big deep run coming up, I quickly rigged up a euro leader set up on the end of my Airflo line. Tuck casting two nymphs to the top of the run was effortless. A twitch, a strike, and it was fish on. The soft tip of the rod protected the 7X tippet while I turned the big brown away from the log I didn’t want it to go back into.
The 2wt rod rigged with a tapered 15’ leader to a 2’sighter and 7X tippet was presenting dries with precision and made it able to nymph the deep runs. To me, who only likes to carry one rod, that is a game changer. Now I’m not saying the Echo Dry is an amazing Euro rod (the Echo Shadow X is an outstanding Euro rod, just to let you know), but it is capable and able to handle this style of fly fishing in certain circumstances. Not all Euro specific rods can cast a dry and not all Dry rods can handle a euro rig – but the Echo Dry can handle both.
Let’s not forget about a dry-dropper set up or indicator. One of my favorite ways to fish, when the conditions of the river call for it, is the dry-dropper. The Medium action of the rod allowed for this set up to turn over with easy. Mending and roll casts were effortless. The 2wt handling dries ranging from size 12-18 and the 4wt and 5wt throwing the bigger size 8 Chubby Chernobyl with ease. This time, when I made a “champion cast” and a fish sipped the dry or the dry fly dunked under the water, I didn’t forget to set.
The Price Factor:
Echo is getting it right! The Echo Dry is an impressive rod for only $229 MSRP. There aren’t a lot of “dry only” rods (but we all know this rod does much more than “just” dries) out there for this price and its totally worth it. Did I mention: it comes with a lifetime warranty!
Should You Add This To Your Quiver:
If you are a dry purists – this is a great priced dry rod that will deliver in real stream conditions. If you are someone that doesn’t like to carry more than one rod, but wants to fish different techniques – this rod is made for you. Head into Fishwest or and give it a cast, you won’t be disappointed!
Interested in learning more about the Echo Dry? Check it out HERE: