ECHO’s latest graphite rod for the 2016 product year gets the job done in versatile fashion. ECHO has been around since 2001 and recently celebrated their 15 year anniversary. They ship their products worldwide and their product warranty speaks volumes of how they stand behind their craftsmanship.
Read my ECHO Solo review to find out about my experience with their warranty claims. Tyler Allen is the marketing and pro-team manager at ECHO. Allen also handles warranty claims and he says, “I rarely see any Carbon’s come back in for any issues.” He personally uses the Carbon XL with clients and he hasn’t seen any tips break and has noticed the rods are very durable.
This year the original Carbon design upgraded to the Carbon XL and ECHO shaved off 10 percent of the weight. Allen says that taking the extra weight off helped achieve the action they were looking for. “It’s that nice Goldilocks zone,” says Allen. “It’s quick but not super fast and has enough power with the 6 weight to toss big bugs, streamers and sinking line all day. It typically works with everyone’s style of casting.”
The Carbon XL 5 weight took a little getting used to but performed well on small streams, lakes and large rivers. Right out of the package the rod looks and feels like a $500 stick, but comes with the price tag of $139.99. It comes in a hard travel case along with a rod sock that protects each section of the rod.
The rod itself is 100 percent graphite and was designed by Tim Rajeff. It was developed to be an all-round go to rod for any situation. The Carbon XL did most of the work itself out on the water. It’s very lightweight and easy to cast. The return rate was also good, making double hauls easy as pie.
Making roll casts under foliage and bank overgrowth was fairly simple with the rod weight and action. The 9 foot length also made longer casting a dream out on the stillwater. The guides offered little to no resistance when releasing the line after priming just out of the back cast.
Reaching further distances was great when I was attempting to fish for brown trout on Lake Lawrence. I used a mouse pattern and eventually nailed some nice 2-4 pound largemouth and rock bass. With a 4 pound largemouth bass on the line, the Carbon XL got bent and still kept its cool. I was able to direct the bass straight into my net after stripping line to bring it in.
I am always impressed with ECHO’s rods and continue to use their products on the water. I would suggest the Carbon XL to anyone looking for a durable and medium to fast-action rod for any situation. Quality rods and you get a great bang for your buck.
You can find Carbon XL’s at ECHO’s website