Echo’s Bad Ass Glass Quickshot

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By Justin Pickett

The resurgence of fiberglass rods over the past few years has been interesting.

Rods that could have been found on eBay, or in antique shops, for a few bucks have suddenly bloomed into this new identity of high-end versions with words like “technology” and “fast” entering the verbiage of a seemingly plain, antiquated material already decades old… And I love it!

One of the most recent and outstanding examples of the modern fiberglass rod is the Echo Bad Ass Quickshot. Following the successful development and release of the original B.A.G. rod, Echo blew our minds again with an eight-foot offering that would promise even more badass performance. Prior to our trip to Argentina, I purchased two of them (8wt and 10wt) and toted them with me in hopes of putting some serious bend in these rods. I already own the original nine-foot, 8WT B.A.G. and knew that the Quickshot should certainly suit the fishing demands well. It did not disappoint.

Before we get into why I will continue to buy up stock in these rods, let me dive in to what it is that makes this rod badass. First off, the price. Echo is known for designing performance rods at reasonable prices. Tim Rajeff knows that you don’t have to spend a stack of Benjamins in order to get a quality rod. At $279.99, the B.A.G. family of rods is available in 6wt through 10wt at a cost well below most graphite rods, as well as a large portion of the modern fiberglass market. Big performance at an economy price. What’s not to like about that?

Each rod is wrapped up inside of a divided rod sock that is stuffed in an attractive, blue fiberglass rod tube with the Echo logo on the exterior. On first inspection, the cork isn’t flawless, but unless you’re spending $800+, you’re probably not getting flor grade anyways. However, the cork handle is dense and holds up to abuse in even the harshest environs. The black reel seat is saltwater safe, aluminum with the Echo logo etched on the top of the seat and double up-locking rings. Capping off the reel seat is a cork/EVA foam fighting butt of appropriate size depending on the line weight of the rod. Each rod has two large stripper guides and chrome snake guides that line the blank. The blank itself is a sexy, bright, transparent blue that lights up like a saber in the sun. It’s flashy, no doubt, but it looks really good. Finished with blue wraps, it’s one of my favorite blanks on the market when it comes to aesthetics.

So why am I writing about this rod?

GOPR1227-2Simple. It’s pretty damn awesome. Tim Rajeff and Echo wanted to create a shorter B.A.G. rod that would be a little lighter and allow anglers to come through their casting stroke faster, thus being able to make quicker shots at fish. The Quickshot was born. Now, don’t just assume that they chopped a dozen inches off the nine-foot Bad Ass Glass. That ain’t what went down. These rods are spankin’ new and built to be performance centered for the angler who chases big fish in both fresh and salt. Say goodbye to the days of yore when the words “fiberglass” and “slow” were synonymous.

After flying into Corrientes, Argentina, we traveled to the small, riverside town of Itati, which sits along the banks of the Parana River. These waters are known for large Golden Dorado, as well as hefty Pacu, Pira Pita, and the eerie sounds of Howler Monkeys that echo through the jungle. My goal had been made clear from day one… Land my first Dorado on glass. Why? It just sounded fun as hell, so why the hell not?!

The first thing I’ll say about the action of this rod…. Don’t skimp on the line!

The first day out on the water with the B.A.G. Quickshot had me a bit frustrated. I had set the rod up with a Cortland Liquid Crystal Guide, which casts amazingly on many of my rods, as well as the nine-foot B.A.G.. Thinking conservatively, I chose to put the same line on the Quickshot. I was concerned about overloading this rod, and with this line’s lighter head and more gradual taper, I felt it would match the rod (a fiberglass rod) better. It seemed to cast this line just fine after throwing a few casts on the lawn at the lodge, however when loaded up with a fly and faced with real-world conditions I immediately regretted not going with a more aggressive taper. Day one would throw some tough conditions at us and leave me sans Dorado, but day two would be different. The next day I had my reel loaded with the Cortland Tropic Compact 10WT. What a difference a line makes. The more aggressive taper was just what this rod needed to toss these flies out at distance, as well as load up at shorter distances. Just for reference, this 10WT line weighs in at 350 Grains of head weight, and this rod ate it up all week! Most flies were of the Andino Deciever variety with both bead chain and lead eyes. Some rat chucking did occur and, yes, I still tossed those heavy, water-logged rodents on this rod and had a blast doing it.

The B.A.G. Quickshot feels like a shotgun in the hand.

It’s a little heavy, packs a big punch, and does work. Don’t let me scare you with the word “heavy”. All glass is heavy compared to graphite. That’s just the way it is. However, if you set up this rod correctly, then your casting arm will greatly appreciate it. I had my Echo rigged with a Lamson Cobalt 10, 200 yards of 30lb Dacron, and fly line. This setup balanced the rod right over the middle finger of my casting hand, which is where I prefer it. I threw this rod every day that week and by week’s end my casting arm still felt great despite making thousands of casts.

DSC02228When it comes to the performance of the rod, there’s plenty to say about it. One of the first things you notice immediately is that this isn’t your grandpa’s fiberglass rod. This rod is fast and lively. A more aggressive line is needed in order to load the rod at short distances, and long distance bombs are seemingly easy to achieve. One thing you definitely do not need to do with this rod is push it in an attempt to help it reach out to distance. Even when faced with windy conditions, this rod still threw darts at the bank. Let the rod do the work and all will be wow. The shorter length brings your stroke through quickly, earning its Quickshot moniker. With that shorter length comes more accuracy as well. Having to tuck your fly into tight spaces amongst thick cover is common place on the Parana. Having the ability to point-and-shoot tight-looped casts between timber and skip casts under tree limbs was tons of fun.

On the hookup, everything feels solid.

One of the things I really like about fiberglass is its ability to absorb so much shock. With a large, aggressive fish like Dorado, you need your rod to be able to take some of the shock and awe that’s delivered during the fight. With the B.A.G. Quickshot you get the forgiveness and tippet protection you need with all of the pulling power that you want. On every Dorado that I hooked up with, I made it a point to pull hard on them, bending the rod in half on multiple occasions without failure. The rod made fighting these vicious fish an absolute blast, translating every gnarly headshake through the blank and into the grip. The Bad Ass Glass has some grit for sure.

I almost exclusively fished this rod the entire week on the Parana, and only gave it up for about an hour when one of the other guys on the trip wanted to try it out. By the end of the day, he didn’t want to give it back. There isn’t much that this rod won’t do. Short and long casts. Backhand casts into the wind. It does things you might not think a fiberglass rod could do. When it comes to glass (or just about any fly rod for that matter), this thing truly is a Bad Ass. I tried to beat it to submission with the same aggressive lines, freak-nasty flies, and harsh conditions that busted five rods that week. I bent it in half on every angry fish that the river could throw at it. I tried to break it, but it wouldn’t falter. It just kept doing its job like a boss! If you’re looking for an affordable, durable, and fun-to-cast rod to chuck streamers at big fish, you should definitely give the Bad Ass Glass Quickshot a toss! I’ll definitely be adding to my collection of these rods for everything from Tarpon to Shoal Bass for the coming summer months!

Check ‘em out!

Here’s a video of Justin and the B.A.G. taking on golden dorado!

Justin Pickett
Gink & Gasoline
www.ginkandgasoline.com
hookups@ginkandgasoline.com
 http://www.ginkandgasoline.com/hosted-trips/
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4 thoughts on “Echo’s Bad Ass Glass Quickshot

  1. Read the review. Echo B.A.G. rod sounds great, but I need a 4-weight for small streams. What do you suggest that’s budget-to-mid priced?

    • Echo has what they call Small Water Glass that is absolutely wonderful as well. I enjoy my 3 weight for fishing the Driftless small waters.

  2. I really appreciate the review. I’ll likely be picking up the 10wt BAG Quickshot in the near future…I figure it’ll pair nicely with my Epic Bandit for having two different setups while musky fishing. I really can’t wait to get my hands on one!

    Cheers!

  3. awesome review! whenever i think about glass i think of my first fly rod: an eagle claw. it felt like a limp noodle, and being a warm water guy, i had no hope of casting bass bugs, and making a presentation over 40 feet felt more like luck than skill. but i distinctly recall two things that kept me in love with it: how much fun it was to catch a fish on glass, and how it seemed indestructible. i never tried, but it almost felt like i could tie a knot in it and not break it. i’m considering picking up an 8 weight BAG for bass, carp, and great lakes steelhead, and from the sounds of reviews it sounds like it will be perfect for convincing a 30+ inch carp that it doesn’t -actually- need to be in a nearby fallen tree.

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