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Two Weight Fly Rods and a Product Review of the Echo Carbon

Updated on November 29, 2013
The 2wt fly rod experience as viewed by Jack Ohman in "Fear of Fly Fishing".
The 2wt fly rod experience as viewed by Jack Ohman in "Fear of Fly Fishing".

Why a 2wt Fly Rod?

Everyone likes to land that big fish. Feeling the action and the response of the fly rod with a large and aggressive fish on the end of the line is a big part of the fishing experience. The problem is, there aren't that many big fish. Landing the big one is a limited experience. One solution is to pare down the size of the fly rod so that even little fish feel like large ones. Enter the 2wt fly rod.

Why The Echo Carbon?

Most people picture a 2wt fly rod being five to six feet long with the fly fisher proudly displaying a colorful brook trout with a size that suggests that it just jumped out of a sardine can. This picture also comes with a narrow, brush-lined creek in the background. This is not my fishing environment.

My fly fishing environment is primarily open lakes with panfish. I needed a fly rod with some length to it so that I could cast farther. I wanted a fairly flexible fly rod so that the little fish felt like big ones. An acquaintance of mine (from Ohio) recommended the Echo Carbon 2wt due to its length, casting distance, and action. He also referenced a website that reviewed/field tested many 2wt fly rods. The test was also conducted in Ohio; where, it appears, there are many fly fishers. Based on his recommendation and the reviews, I purchased the Echo Carbon.

What I Expected From a Two Weight Fly Rod

First, let me explain a lost love. I had an Orvis Clearwater I 7'6" 3wt, full flex fly rod. I fished bluegills with it for a year and loved everything about it. I broke the tip landing a large catfish. Orvis has a terrific return policy; but unfortunately at the time, Orvis was no longer making 3wts and supplied me with a 4wt. It was not the same and I've been looking for a replacement ever since. I felt a 2wt fly rod would have the same action, but I feared sacrificing casting distance, limited fly selection in terms of bulk and weight, and limited line shooting ability with a lighter fly rod. On a positive note, with a lighter line, I was also expecting a quieter presentation. I started off light with a 2wt fly line, light leader,and 5x tippet with flies tied on size 14 hooks. Later, I worked my way up with a 3wt fly line, heavier leader, and 4x tippet on flies tied on hooks up to size 10.

A bluegill that could have come from a pickled herring jar.
A bluegill that could have come from a pickled herring jar.

Results

The original set-up resulted in bluegills that were very small. They looked like they just jumped out of a pickled herring jar. In order to get that big fish feel, I needed bigger, little fish. The challenge was that it was November and fishing was slow. My past experience for this time of year is that the larger bluegills are in deeper water and require a sinking fly line, which I did not have. Never-the-less, I did land a small bass that clearly gave the fly rod that big fish feel. Moving up hooks sizes did keep the little fish away, but as expected, the leader and tippet did not support the larger flies well. Often times the fly did not extend to the full length of the leader and tippet with the loop collapsing about halfway up the leader. The 2wt fly line functioned, but loaded slowly . It required too many false casts and the distance was about 25 feet. Surface disturbance was minimal, however.

The 3wt line was a vast improvement in terms of loading and distance, although there was slightly more surface disturbance and some overloading effects had to be compensated for. The distance was about 35 feet and heavier flies were possible.

A pleasant surprise was improved accuracy with both lines. I would have to say this is the most accurate fly rod I own. Fly placement in pockets of open water amongst lily pads and maidencane grass was effortless. This alone made the rod exciting to cast.

Echo Carbon Review

The Echo Carbon 2wt fly rod is 7'3" long and in four pieces. It comes with a rod sock and plastic tube encased in canvas. The cork handle feels very firm. I would anticipate it to last some time. The reel handle has six holes in it, three on each side. This, combined with a two-toned cork handle gives the rod a futuristic look. If Buck Rodgers owned a fly rod, this would have been it. The thread wraps and epoxy are well crafted. The blank is a dull brown, which I appreciate. A 2wt should be rather stealthy. The manufacturer did reduce production cost by having single foot guides and only one tightening ring on the reel seat. The rod comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Many thanks to the fly fishers from Ohio. I truly enjoy the Echo Carbon. You helped me find a good replacement rod. The 2wt fly rod review from Ohio is found at:

http://www.flyfishohio.com/2-Weight_Shoot-Out/2-Weight_Shoot-Out.htm

The Echo Carbon 2wt fly rod with rod sock and case.
The Echo Carbon 2wt fly rod with rod sock and case.

Fishing With the Echo Carbon 2wt

Catching Bluegills on the Echo Carbon

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