The ECHO Glass Switch and Spey rods are out in the wild now and some guides have been using these for several months now. Jeff Hubbard of Outfitters North has been working out the Glass Switch on the Pere Marquette River in Michigan and graciously took some time to pen a few thoughts on this exciting series of fly rods.
Jeff wrote... "The Pere Marquette River was created to fish for Steelhead with a switch rod, they go hand in hand with one another. When your fishing a smaller river for Steelhead or Salmon, these rods allow you to have better line control and cover a lot of water with little to no effort.
Over the last few years I have seen Bamboo and Fiberglass Rods, really make a comeback back into the industry. Good to see the sport going back to its roots. Never been much for change, until Echo's New Fiberglass Switch rod came out. With clients anxiously asking me to get one so they could try it this fall. I decided it would be a fun rod to cast and fight a fish on. Honestly I have casted Glass Spey Rods and Bamboo ones before and never liked how heavy they felt. Until Echo sent me this New Glass Switch Rod this fall for myself and clients to enjoy. They sent me the 11ft 7 weight version and I love it. It has now been my go to rod for everything."
"This rod is extremely light for a glass rod and like all Echo rods very tough in strength and durability. It has great mojo too. We have had a extremely rough Fall for Steelhead on all the northern Michigan rivers. Every time I had a little time to spare to get out and fish, the Glass rod came through for me. Fighting fish on this rod is so much fun, every fish feels huge. I found there is no need to baby the rod. It fought big fish just like a graphite rod.
What I like best about the rod is how easy it cast. It will be great for beginners to learn on. With it being a softer rod you have to slow your stroke down to feel the rod load. This allows new Spey casters to catch on to the timing of the cast. It's much easier for a new caster to make their plant and feel the rod load. I would recommend running a AirFlo Skagit Switch head if you like fishing heavier sink tips and flies. I ran a 420 head and it seemed to match the rod well when throwing 8 to 10 feet of T-14.
The other thing I love about this rod is how it truly does lay the fly out nicely. Having a softer tip allows the cast to be snappy, allowing the Angler to tuck under the trees. Which the Pere Marquette pools are known for. The fly tends to land much softer on the water, which equals less spooked fish. I find a faster,stiffer rod often with beginner's leads to a giant "Smack" as the fly lands on the water. On a river like the Pere Marquette, that can always be low and clear and have a lot of fishing pressure. This "Smack" can jeopardize your fishing success, sending Steelhead into its notorious log jams. I have tried to fish a AirFlo Compact Intermediate Skagit head on the rod it too works great. Would recommend running nothing bigger then 420 grains. To big will become to heavy giving the rod a much springier effect. If your a beginner caster though, stick with the Airflo Skagit Switch head. The line will be much easier allowing you to feel the load better and learn the basic Spey casts."
"For the avid Angler who loves Spey and Switch Rods and wants something different to add to the quiver, you will love this rod too. It's so fun and easy to cast, if your like me your not going to put it down. Lately I don't think I have rigged up any other rod when I hit the river. You will have fun casting it. I know you will enjoy this rod when you feel the grab and fight your first fish on it. Even the smallest Trout feels like such a big grab. With such a great price point and many models to choose from you cant go wrong. I know next I cant wait to get my hands around a bigger Spey rod. So stay tuned for another up date to come. Good Luck and tight lines."
Jeff...thanks for taking the time to write this review up to share with the T.F.M. readership.