The Echo Base is designed as an entry-level rod for fly anglers who are new to the sport or looking for a low-cost option to expand their quiver of rods. The Base utilizes simple and durable graphite technologies to produce a medium-fast action rod appropriate for anglers in a wide array of fishing environments. Available in weights 3-8, there is a Base model suitable for anglers focusing on water types and species ranging from trout in small creeks to warm water species like pike, bass, and carp in large rivers and stillwater. For the price, the Base offers quality components that improve the ergonomics, performance, and durability when compared to generic entry level rods found in large chain retailers. Each Base includes a durable rod tube and Echo’s Lifetime Warranty, so mishaps and broken rods are covered for a $35 +shipping repair fee. The Base is also available in a kit for the 4, 5, 6, and 8 wt models. In addition to the rod, each kit includes an Echo Base reel, weight forward floating fly line, leader, and rod tube with attached reel pouch. The Base kit is ideal for anglers who are true beginners and allows anyone to hit the water with nothing more than a few flies and some tippet.
The quality components Echo equips the Base with are immediately evident upon picking the rod up. The cork handle feels good in the hand, and attention to detail from the designers at Echo translates to a solid, quality rod that feels functional and capable beyond its $89.99 price tag ($169.99 kit price). Paired with the pre-spooled Echo Base reel included in the kit, the rod balances nicely and is ready to hit the water. The tip of the rod is noticeable soft, more so than one would expect from a modern medium-fast action rod. This enables novice casters to easily feel the rod load. Understanding the concept of loading the rod is essential for novice anglers, and the Base demonstrates the potential power and casting performance even with a short amount of line out of the rod tip. The stiffer mid-section of the rod provides the power necessary for casting heavy flies, and the system performs quite well at short-mid range distances. The 5 weight I’ve been using has been effective in a variety of situations, from small streams to large rivers. It mends well and is surprisingly pleasant to cast dry flies with.
At the Base’s entry-level price, compromises have to be made and there are areas in which the Base does not perform as well as more expensive offerings from Echo and other premium rod manufacturers. When casting at distance, particularly with heavy flies, the soft tip fails to generate the line speed which allows effortless and consistent casting that more expensive options enable. Additionally, unwanted vibration generated by the quick stops and starts from a casting stroke is noticeable, and the rod is not incredibly accurate at long distances.
Overall, the quality of the product Echo is able to produce at such a reasonable price is tough to beat. Many anglers who are learning to fish will appreciate the ergonomics, durability, and ease of casting at short-mid range targets. The rod is a great tool to learn on and will perform in most angling situations. The Base reel, constructed of Echo’s “impact-resistant resin”, pairs well with the rod and seems durable enough to hold up to the abuses of being on the river constantly. The drag feels more than powerful enough to slow down the strongest of fish, and if cared for properly should provide all of the functions essential to a fly reel for years. The line floats well out of the box and casts and mends without complaint.
To take a closer look at the Echo Base rod or kit, stop in the shop or visit our website.