Despite Demystifly being a relatively new site, this is already my third fiberglass fly rod review. Frankly, I was expecting to maybe do just an occasional one, but here we are. Why such an early fuss over glass? Simply put, it's damn cool. More and more fly anglers are discovering this for themselves each year, and companies continue to respond with a growing menu of fiberglass rods being offered. Graphite still completely dominates the marketplace, but glass fills a traditional niche and a new feel that some yearn for. Oh, and it's really a hoot to fish, too! Echoing this thought (see what I did there?), the fun-sized Echo Glass 474-3 seemed like it might be hugely entertaining to fish with—but I had to find out for certain!
Length: 7-feet 4-inches
Line Weight: 4
Rod Weight: 3 ounces
Stripping Guides: Stainless frames / zirconium inserts
Guides: Chrome snake guides
Reel Seat: Cork/Aluminum
Rod Tube/Sock: Yes/Yes
Like the Echo Bad Ass Glass I reviewed, the very first thing that jumped out at me about this stick was the blank color. I'm not quite sure what the actual name is, but I'll call it a kind of "burnt mustard-yellow" color. Whatever it is, it looks great and has an old-school vibe to it—very fitting for a glass rod!
The blank is adorned with one small stainless-framed stripping guide followed by a lineup of chrome snake guides, each wrapped in dark "olive-ish" thread wraps. Alignment dots are in place at each ferrule, and below the logo you'll find a small closed hook keeper that's perfect to secure small flies. Adjacent to the hook keeper is a silver winding check for a finished look.
Lots of filler could be seen in the short cork handle, but it is nicely-shaped. To secure the reel, there's a down-locking seat featuring a cork base and stainless components. The single locking ring spun easily, sported a good size/texture, and secured my small reel down firmly. I'd rather see an up-locking seat here as they are just easier to use for me, but some may disagree—just personal preference. Also of note here, an alignment dot on the reel seat hood would be a helpful addition as I had trouble finding it a few times!
I'd rate the build quality as good. Other than a bit-too-much epoxy on one or two wraps, everything lined up straight, there were no unsightly defects, and I'm a fan of the looks. Personally, I can't see anyone being unhappy with the finished product, especially considering the budget-friendly retail price of just $199.99.
I can't tell you how much I wanted to go chase trout with this rod. Give me a little bubbling brook or a mellow spring creek and the 474-3 would be right at home. But, the reality is that I'm in Florida, so instead I went off to find panfish, tilapia, bass and whatever-else-with-fins on some inland waterways. Rigged up with both a WF4F Cortland Finesse Trout II line and even a WF4F RIO Single Handed Spey line along with a box of nymphs and miniature streamers, it was time to hit the road and finally put a bend in the Echo.
Like the glass rods I've tested, the Echo Glass 474-3 is heavier than a comparable graphite rod. Sitting at about 3-ounces its obviously nothing outrageous, but I always make note of the extra heft.
The actions of the newest fiberglass fly rods continues to impress me, and this one was no different. Sloppy, gutless, and inaccurate are words that never entered my vocabulary when fishing this rod. The action was progressive and silky-smooth, with a generous flex that could be sensed through the grip itself. This action and the short length made this a not-so-great choice for fishing at any great distances, but at shorter distances this was a little finesse ninja stick. Accuracy and delicacy are where it excelled, but it had a little pop to it for cutting through a breeze or pushing out a little bit bigger bug. Unlike many faster graphite rods, a slow, relaxed casting motion got the job done here. Come to think of it, the Echo Mellow would've been a very fitting name!
Even for an angler that thinks he or she doesn't have a use for a glass rod, I say bologna. Maybe you don't need one, but gosh, what a fun stick this would be to own. While a rod such as this may not be vitally important to one's arsenal, it adds a whole new dimension to the angling experience. Even if you're fishing pretty much the same waters each week and catching about the same-sized fish, making a drastic change in the gear you're using can create a new challenge and provide a new kick-in-the-pants thrill. Short and sweet—the Echo Glass 474-3!
ECHO Glass Fly Rods