What is great about fly fishing is that there is a toy for every situation. If you are like me, there is a fly rod for every occasion. One particularly fun fly fishing rod that came out this year is the Echo Trip. The company Echo Fly Fishing is known industry wide to design outstanding fly rods with a creative spin. What also sets Echo apart in the fly fishing industry is the fact that all Echo Rods can be purchased by any fishermen. You don’t have to bring home a six figure income to own an Echo rod. The Echo Trip is an eight piece travel rod that comes in quite handy in many fishing applications. I’ve have had the opportunity to fish and review the Echo Trip Fly Rod and used it to instruct fly fishing.
Initial Thoughts on the Echo Trip Fly Rod
The Echo Trip Fly rod is an 8 piece travel fly rod that comes in three line weights of 5, 6, and 8. As far as I know, I have not seen any companies design fly rods that have more sections than this one. The length of all the Echo Trip fly rods, including the five weight that I was testing, is 9 feet in length. The color of the blank used in the 5 and 6 weights is dark green. The grip of the rod is made from cork and is a traditional Western style seen in many fly rods in the smaller weights. The rod has lightweight snake and low friction stripper guides as well.
The action of the Echo Trip Fly Rod is marketed as a medium fast action fly rod and in comparison to the other single handed fly rods that are designed by Echo Fly Fishing this rod falls towards the slower action side of the graphite fly rods.
The Echo Trip Fly Rod comes with a rod tube and rod sock. The rod tube is made from plastic with a nylon cover and zipper to open and close. Attached to the rod tube is an adjustable carrying strap.
Field Testing the Echo Trip Fly Rod
Although geared with 8 pieces as a travel rod the Echo Trip is a fantastic all around rod. This spring I fished the Echo Trip as my main fly rod on lakes, rivers, high country, and even used it during fly fishing instruction and was quite impressed with the performance.
The Echo Trip is a medium action fly rod. It is marked as a medium fast, but I would say straight up medium. When casting the Echo Trip loads smoothly deep into the rod. The lower section is where the power comes from. Also this rod is incredibly easy to cast. There is a large sweet spot and makes casting effortless. This rod is would be perfect for a beginner, but is also nice for more advanced anglers. Often new fly fishers purchase or use fly rods that they struggle cast because of the flex. As an instructor, this rod was great to get into new fly fishers hands. Within minutes, these novices were loading the rod well and casting with ease. It is amazing how the right rod makes instructing so easy.
I found the Echo Trip a fun rod to fish. Obviously, where portability was a factor the Echo Trip was outstanding. It’s nice to be able to put it in the backpack hassle free and it packs down small enough that it is easy to carry with you anywhere. When biking into work, I could easily carry this rod with me. The Echo Trip could really give new meaning to “Working Late.”
Setting up the Echo Trip takes a little bit longer due to the many pieces. Echo has small dots on the ends of each section that show where to line up the sections. Once together the rod fished as well as four piece rods I spend most of my time with.
Although a medium action rod, the Echo Trip had more than enough power to bring in large fish. There is good lower section power on the Echo Trip. Even hot 20 inch rainbows were outmatched. This rod was equally at home casting small dry flies to small brook trout and grayling. Small fish were equally fun to play. The 5 weight really is a pretty versatile trout rod capable of throwing indicator rigs, small streamers, and dry flies.
The aesthetics of this rod are nice. The cork handle is built well and looks great. The reel seat is black and pairs nicely with the dark green rod. The chrome snake guides look sharp and match nicely with the dark stripping guides.
One thing that I did have to pay attention to is that with all of those pieces, I felt like I had to check my ferrules often to make sure none of the pieces were coming loose. In the past, I have broken rods due to the sections coming apart when casting. This didn’t happen often, but I definitely made sure to keep them in check.
The Echo Trip pairs up nicely with the 5 weight Airflo Bandit line. This a super cool fly line that casts well on medium action fly rods. The most unique feature to this fly line is that the first twelve feet is alternating two tone with olive and brown. This line was developed for fishing in New Zealand where trout are spooky and will shy away from noticeable lines.
This line is perfect here in the West especially here in a mountain resort town where trout are heavily pressured. Every advantage is important. This camo line could be a game changer when fishing where trout may see hundreds of flies over a weekend.
Another feature that I like is how smooth this line casts and lays down. The long taper allows for big casts with dry flies. Casts lay down with little disturbance and it is the perfect line for fishing dries or small nymphs. My largest fish on this rod and line came when fishing in a shallow pond. This fish came in to feed late in the evening and was swimming in six inches of water. I was able to make a long and accurate cast right to this fish without spooking it. I am convinced that the camo and long taper made this fish possible.
Like all Airflo floating lines the Bandit line uses SuperDri technology that allows the fly line to float high in the water as well as repel grit and mud. The other characteristic of Airflo lines is that they are made from Polytetrafluoroethylene. This material has low friction and allows the line to move effortlessly through the guides.
Specs on the Echo Trip Fly Rod taken directly from Echo Fly Fishing
- Pieces: eight piece travel design
- Blank: Dark Green Gloss / Dark Blue Gloss
- Action: Med. Fast
- Tube: Fabric-covered rod case & sock
- Guides: Stainless w/ low-friction ceramic stripper
- Grips: Features two grip styles
- Reel Seat: Black anodized reel seat
- Warranty: Echo Lifetime Warranty
Specs on the Airflo Bandit Line taken directly from Airflo
- Taper: Technical Trout Taper
- Core: Power Core
- Range: WF4 – WF8
- Coating: Super-DRI Ridged
- Polyleader: Light Trout / Trout
Final thoughts on the Echo Trip Fly Rod
The five weight Echo Trip is a great all around medium action trout rod. With eight sections, this rod can be taken anywhere. It fits easily into any backpack and is ideal for hiking into remote waters. Although a travel rod, the Echo Trip is a solid all around fly rod. It is perfect for fishing lakes rivers and can fish nymphs, streamers, and dries. When fishing the Echo Trip, it matches perfectly with the new Airflo Bandit line. The Airflo Bandit is the ideal floating fly line for to use with fish that spook easily. The camo head and long taper allow for long stealthy casts. If you are looking for a new rod or even a new backup rod the Echo Trip paired with the Airflo Bandit line should make your short list.