Military intelligence.

Jumbo shrimp.

Artificial turf.

Black light.

“Where are you going with this, Mark?” Well, valued reader, I think these things are all pretty rad.  If I may, there’s one additional item I’d like to add the list. (queue drum-roll..)

The Square Rod Tube.

Really? Don’t be silly! Rod tubes are round. They’ve always have been. Why mess with a good thing??

After giving the vale tudo treatment to a few of my ECHO 3’s tubes and their funky new shape, I’m a firm believer in the square tube, to the extent that I wish Uncle Tim & Co. at ECHO would ship all of their lovely fly poles with a 4-sided home. By no means should the following be considered an exhaustive list of reasons to love the square rod tube, but viewed as a good start – use the comment section and add your own…


Reason 1# Square rod tubes play nicely in pairs.

Being an airline passenger in the age of baggage restrictions, has caused more than a little grief and trepidation for vacationing fly anglers worldwide. The dilemma: “Do I check my rods and run the risk of them going missing – OR – do I carry a couple of tubes on the plane and have an emotional  breakdown trying to wrangle them into the overhead compartment while getting bitched at by the flight attendant for having more than one carry-on?”

Good news my fishy friends…those days are over! With just 2 rubber bands (or duct tape, if you are AK-style “classy”), you can make a simple, ultra stable – and most importantly – SINGLE carry-on item to easily stow in the overhead compartment.

Reason #2 – When you put a square tube on a tailgate, dock, or table, or IN a float plane, skiff, or ATV rack, you can be reasonably sure it will stay put.

Loose gear can drive pilots, guides, boat drivers, and wives, absolutely crazy. Equipment that rolls all over the place can also be viewed as a potential hazard if the wrong set of circumstances are encountered, so the best way to be safe is make sure your gear stays where you stowed it. Round things roll…square things stay put. Brilliant.


Reason #3 – You can fit more than one rod per tube.

This one might require you to get your “nerd on” a little, but stay with me – there is a payoff at the end. The area of a circle follows the formula A=πr2, whereas the area of a square is expressed as A=a2 where a represents the length of a side of the square. You might be surprised to learn that the width of ECHO’s square and round rod tubes are similar – both tape out at around 2 ⅜”. If we examine them with the formula noted above, we find that the mouth of the square rod tube is 127% larger, which should (and does) mean that the square rod tube is exactly 127% more awesomer. What it also means is that you can fit 2 rods comfortably in one tube, and this is HUGE when it comes to economizing space. As long as you remember to put both rods in at the same time (one facing down, one facing up) and don’t try anything silly (like putting an 8134 in a 6127 tube), 2 rods go in one square case like chicken and waffles go with breakfast coffee.

There are definitely more reasons to like the square rod tube (the color of the E3 tube is absolutely FABulous), but this is a pretty good foundation – don’t forget to add your own reasons in the comments section.


Echo/Airflo Pro Ambassador Mark Hieronymus is a senior guide for Bear Creek Outfitters, pattern designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants, and serves as the Trout Unlimited Southeast Alaska Sportfish Outreach Coordinator working to protect native spawning grounds in the Tongass National Forest. No bones about it…Mark’s one busy dude.

Learn more about the Tongass 77 Campaign here.