Okay, I admit it, I’m a horrible blogger. Funny thing is I love to write. Sharing information and instructing is part of the fabric of my being. With that, I’m officially declaring myself a blogger. It’s all about discipline, making the time, and doing it!
What to blog about? Well, that’s never a problem – I’ve got lot’s to say. Right now the new Echo DH II rods are at the forefront of my thoughts and excitement. The original DH series of two-handed rods have been around for several years, unchanged. I’m proud to say that these rods have garnered gobs of faithful followers and enlightened many anglers to the virtues of slower, full-flexing rods. You know who you are and I Thank You for the support.
Recently Tim asked if we could change anything about the original DH rods what would it be. My reply was, “Not much really” if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? “However, I wouldn’t mind if the rods recovered a little quicker, and be just a touch crisper”. I asked if this was possible without disturbing that sweet full-flex feel that we all love so much. Tim responded with an emphatic, “Yes, we can do that!” Sweet! While we’re at it, let’s change the cosmetics a bit — still utilitarian, but with a slightly more stealthy look”. Timmy was all for it, so we went to work.
We kept the new Echo DH II line-up in the core Steelhead rod range: 6, 7, and 8 wt., plus a sneaky and extremely useful little rod that falls right in between the 6 and 7. A true 6.5 – my dream summer-run rod! I’ll be writing about the 6.5 in a separate upcoming blog post. I’m REALLY excited about it.
The new DH II rods are as follows:
6126-4. A wonderful 12’6” 6 wt. for light summer Steelhead fishing applications, and Trouty ventures that require swinging flies with a 6 wt. Just what the heck is “light Steelheading”? I’ve seen it written in catalogs over the years, and just mentioned it myself, but have never seen it explained. I personally classify “light Steelheading” as fishing waters where the average fish is on the smaller side of typical Steelhead standards – fish from 4 to 7 pounds and utilizing floating lines and small to medium flies are the order of the day. For instance, I have fished many an October day on Oregon’s GrandeRondeRiver with a size six Muddler attached to a floating line, 35 to 60 foot casts amply covers the water. These Steelhead, if I’m lucky enough to hook one, are in this 4-6 pound class.
6.5129-4. Yes, 6.5! This is my baby — a 12’9” 6.5 wt. that I’ve been dreaming of and wanting for years. I told you I was saving my description for another blog post and I’m sticking to it. Stay tuned!
7130-4. In this ever-evolving two-handed community it’s fairly proven, at least in North America anyway, that the 7 wt. is the new 8 wt. The often asked question, if you had to own just one two-hander for Steelheading what would it be has a new answer. I’ve watched the answer evolve over the years from a 14′ 9 wt. to an 8 wt. in the 13 to 14 foot range. Now the common answer is a 13′-ish 7 wt. Enter the new DH II 7130. If there was ever a rod that can really do it all, this is it!
Lined with an Airflo Skagit Compact 540 grain, big flies and heavy tips are bombed to center-river with ease, and landing an 18-pound mint-bright Steely is more than doable. Conversely for dry line summer work a Airflo Scandi Compact 510 grain or Delta II 7/8 make casting smaller flies a dream. Typical summer Steelhead of 6 to 11 pounds put a killer bend in the rod and feels right at home.
8133-4. If the 7 wt. is the new 8 wt., then the 8 wt. must be the new 9 wt., right? I think so. A true workhorse, the DH II 8133 can chuck the heaviest lines and the biggest flies you’d ever want or need to throw. She’s a great stick for winter conditions and anytime you’re after truly big fish. British Columbia’s SkeenaRiver drainage comes to mind. How big a fish? Well, most of my guide buddies in Alaska are using 8 wt. rods for King Salmon. Myself included! The DH II 8133 is simply a smart rod for so many applications. A must-have for just about anyone’s arsenal.
That’s it, the new Echo DH II line-up. I’m really happy with the changes we’ve made and I’m confident you will be too. BTW, this blogging stuff ain’t so bad.
Now about that 6.5129…….. (coming soon!)