Two years ago I was gifted my first fly rod, an ECHO Solo rod, reel and bag setup. I was pleased to have something to begin my relationship with fly fishing on Montana’s rivers. I have never been displeased with the rod itself.
It’s a good medium-fast action rod that is able to cast dries, nymphs and smaller streamers with ease. I’ve landed fish over 4 pounds and never felt like the rod was not up to the challenge. The 9 foot Solo as a 5 weight was an all round good starter rod and I’m going to keep it as a primary rod for unexplored thick-brush creek adventures. It has become my backup rod for every other situation since I have moved up to another model from another company.
The reel has been reliable enough for me to hold on to it. I have since moved up to another model from another company but still appreciate its endurance over the last few years reeling in over 200 fish without any maintenance. However, the floating line tends to catch between the housing and the cage on every fishing trip at least once. This can be frustrating especially when there is a fish on the end of your line. The drag system has held up to some of the larger fish I have caught and I have no complaints.
Overall, this rod and reel combo from ECHO has been fun and is perfect for a starter and backup. ECHO has since discontinued the Solo and replaced it with the Base. Their Base “Kit” comes complete with everything you need to get out on the river for a very reasonable $169.99 accompanied by their Echo Lifetime Warranty. My Solo just recently broke at the last section of the rod so I sent it in. Once Echo received my rod they called me and I paid the warranty fee of $35 over the phone. I received a brand new Solo in three business days inside a new case and sock. Overall I’m very satisfied with their customer service, prompt return of my fly rod and the way they stand behind their products. If you’re looking to start on something with a reasonable price or just looking for a backup, ECHO might have what you’re looking for.