Echo’s Prime One-Piece Fly Rod for Musky

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Echo Prime Fly Rod Review. Photo Louis Cahill

For a while now, I’ve been noticing a huge increase in fly anglers talking about fishing one piece fly rods. Because I recently had the opportunity to test one, I felt it was only right for me to share the details with the G&G community. Prior to Louis and I hitting the road for West Virginia to chase muskies on the fly, I received a random call from Randy Stetzer at Rajeff Sports. He asked me how guiding had been and what G&G was up to and I filled him in on us fixing to pull the trigger on a musky trip. Talking on, I mentioned I had a bunch great fly rods on hand to use for the trip but what I really thought would be killer was targeting musky with a one piece fly rod. Randy responded, “it’s funny you bring that up Kent, Echo just finished designing a new one-piece series called the “Prime”, and I’d love for you to try it out.” Blown away by the offer, I gave Randy my address and the Echo Prime 10wt 8′ 10″ one-piece fly rod showed up at my front door the following week. Thank you Rajeff Sports for getting this great fly rod in our hands to test out. It’s always super cool when we’re able to spend time product testing during our fishing adventures. Below you’ll find out how the Echo Prime performed targeting musky with heavy sinking lines and 12-inch plus streamers.

Casting fatigue is usually a concern for most anglers when heavy sinking lines and foot long streamers are involved. I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little concerned myself. Although I’m plenty comfortable with casting sinking lines, I rarely pair them up with flies of such great proportions. Surprisingly, the musky set up didn’t turn out to be all that awkward or difficult to cast. It was clear that the Echo Prime one-piece construction helped me feel that way. The one-piece construction made it a very responsive fly rod. I had no problem feeling it load and it did it in perfect harmony from tip to cork (a clear benefit of casting a one-piece rod). The only time I had a problem is when I got overly anxious and found myself over powering my casting. When I casted the Echo Prime easy and let do the work, it resulted in me being able to pull off powerful and accurate presentations for extended periods with very little fatigue. All it took was one or two false casts for most presentations. The Echo Prime proved to be more than ready to handle the challenge of the beefy musky rigs. I matched the one piece Prime with an Airflo Streamer Max 380 grain sinking line, and that turned out to be a very good matchup for most situations. I had no problem turning over my leader and straightening out my fly at distances in excess of 80 feet. Honestly, it was heaven to cast and fish. That being said, if I had a chance to do it all over again, I would have also packed a heavier sinking line for situations where I needed to get my fly down quicker and deeper. In our case, that was about 50% of the time. That was all my fault though, so make a point to pack an extra fast sinking line if you plan on going musky fishing. To fix this issue I bummed a more aggressive sinking line during the trip from my buddy to see how the Prime would handled it. It turned out the Echo Prime had more than enough backbone to handle a 450 grain sinking line.

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The quality of the Echo Prime was on par for the retail price of $449.99. It passed the musky test with flying colors. Everyone on the trip agreed it was their first or second choice among all the rods we fished during the trip, and I will tell you, we had some much pricier rods in the boat. I’d be proud to fish the Prime any day of the week. The aesthetics of the rod weren’t all that impressive, but the Echo Prime made up for that with its titanium coated SIC stripper guides, ease of fishing and its overall light weight construction. Honestly though, If I asked you whether you’d rather fish a pretty fly rod or save a couple hundred bucks and a fish a average looking rod that performed fantastic, what would you pick? I’d be the first to tell you I’d choose the latter. The Echo Prime comes with a life-time warranty and is available in three different models to match your preference.

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I see the Echo Prime being a great all around big game rod for both freshwater and saltwater. The one-piece construction will call for you to put in a little extra effort traveling with it, but that’s nothing a couple bungees can’t handle. I strapped it on the roof of my truck and it was no big deal. If you drive a full size SUV or live where you can fish the Prime regularly I’d highly recommend checking it out. It turned out to be a very good musky rod and I’m sure it would work equally well for multiple saltwater species or for  big striper in freshwater. For more information about the Echo Prime series of one-piece fly rods, please visit echoflyfishing.com.

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First musky on the fly using the Echo Prime. Photo Louis Cahill

Have a question or topic you would like Gink & Gasoline to write about. Drop me a line at kent@ginkandgasoline.com

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
www.ginkandgasoline.com
hookups@ginkandgasoline.com
 
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12 thoughts on “Echo’s Prime One-Piece Fly Rod for Musky

  1. I’ve only had the chance to cast a one-piece rod once. It was a Hardy Zenith and it was a 7wt. I was really impressed with how well it cast and how smooth the rod loaded. On the down side there’s the price tag and the fact that I don’t have room in the jeep for a one piece rod. I’m sure it’s great for others, just not gonna be worth it for me. I’d probably break it within the first week of owning one. Nice review though Kent, and a nice musky too!

  2. Great Write up,
    Randle and the rest of those Echo guys are class acts, and their gear, and fantastic customer service, should be the reason everyone has an Echo in their quiver.

  3. I am sure the Echo is a great one piece rod. I have fished and cast several models over the past years. That said, I have to “echo” the sentiments of Justin, the Hardy Zenith is an unbelievable rod. Their Syntrix blanks are stronger, and more flexible than any rod I have ever fished. The one-piece rods are a dream to cast. I recognize that they are a couple of hundred dollars more than the Echo Prime model you demo’d, but last summer you could have picked one up for half-price. If money and space were not issues, I would have certainly added the 7wt to my collection. As it is, if there is another sale this summer, it will be my newest Rod.

    As confirmation, I now own two Zenith Rods, both 4 piece. One an 8′ 3wt, the other a 9′ 5wt. Love the 5wt, but have not fished the 3wt yet, because I picked it up at the Somerset Fly Show in January and have not fished “small” water in some time.

    • Brian,

      The streamer max cast amazing. Turned over the musky flies with very little effort. The sample we used had a thick blue intermediate head that started right after the sinking head ended and ran for about 8+ feet before it tapered down to the running line. This section of the fly line worked with the sinking head and made the fly line a power house.

      Kent

  4. I’ve fished the old GLX in one piece tarpon rods. No ferrules = no ferrule splits. I have several 8-10 wts that all have split ferrules. A one piece fly rod would be a nice “keep it in the boat” rod, pushing the muskie niche further.

  5. Built my own one-piece 6′ 6″ 4/5 wt fiberglass rod a few years ago. First fish I caught was a brown trout on a streamer, but I really like it for kayak fishing for bass and bream. A a pain to take anywhere, but it is a great rod for local fishing.

  6. Despite transporting and storage issues the Rod performed flawlessly against what I have used on the water before (sage BSN redington Predator.TFO BVK and a Scott custom Musky). Fast loading for throwing bones and a stiff backbone for the figure eight. Musky fishermen learn real quick to check their rod section connections frequently after a few casts. Loosing a little connection can cause your rod to explode on your back cast. Double hauling big flies on heavy lines will work them apart no matter how you shove them together. This fact was probably the most pleasant experience about using the ECHO 1 piece. Trust me you dont want to throw out a shitty cast along with your fist section of rod. Musky are inquisitive beasts and there may be one out there who has followed but not shown himself. Don’t get caught with your pants down and check your connections or buy a 1 piece.

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