The Face-Off in 5 wts. - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 06-30-2003, 04:57 PM
Mean Mr Mustard
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Post The Face-Off in 5 wts.

Earlier in the year I was in the market for a nice 5 wt. for fishing Farting Frogs Lake. As I like longer rods, I was shopping 9 footers; looking especially for one that handled beadheads well. When the search started I was certain the rod I would find would be in the high $300's or more, yet I found several NICE rods for far less:

I tried my son's St. Croix Pro and found it an excellent dry fly rod. I liked the action so much that I bought one for myself. My rod exhibited the same sensitivity/action and is my alltime favorite dry fly rod. Except when a breeze comes up, whereupon it becomes a less flattering pig. And anything heavier than a lightly weighted fly is cumbersome at best. Still, at $90, it is a nice rod to have around for those dry fly days.

The other rod I tried and liked was the Echo brand 5 wt. This rod is also a very nice 5 wt. but with different capabilities - It is a really fine weighted nymph rod and an all-around performer. At $120 retail, it is the finest 5 wt. I have ever fished and should receive serious consideration from those looking for a great rod with reasonable pricing.

After two weekends fishing this pair, I would have to give the overall nod to Echo (the SC Pro a distant second). It will do everything. One point I wish to make though, with regards this rod, it REALLY helps to load this rod with more surface stick when casting. If you lift the line with little more than the leader in the surface film, this rod suffers to load. Conversely, if you allow more line to lay in the film when starting the casting stroke, this rod will load like a cannon. Sweet stick.


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Old 06-30-2003, 07:29 PM
Mean Mr Mustard
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A migraine kinda made me bail from finishing my review but, here is the rest:

On smaller creeks and streams the 9 foot length can be cumbersome but I like the long rod's ability to dapple a fly over a bush into a nice inviting pool and this added length is nice. Further, a softer tip is an added bonus. Here the Pro was my favorite, hands down. This rod's softer tip also allows one to "flip" the fly quite easily.

On larger streams and rivers the stiffer tip of the Echo gave me far more control for tight-line nymphing and dealing with the larger volumn of water. This would be my choice, here.

Lastly, the catching part where the rubber meets the road. For the stillwater fishery the Pro was simply a delight; the 15" trout put the bend deep into the blank. Although not quite as delightful as the Pro in this regard, I found the Echo to be preferable on more technical water (obstructions, etc.), with the needed backbone to turn the fish quickly.

The Bottom Line - In my estimation the Pro is a pleasure to cast when things are all going right. The catching is the best. ...but that's my more laid-back style.

As a fishing machine the Echo was supreme and IMHO the best rod value. I would recommend all to try this one first! Oh, and the Echo comes as a 4 piece.


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