Echo Base Fly Rod Review: The Best Fly Rod for Beginners

Are you looking for an Echo Base Fly Rod review? You may be interested to know that this rod, and fly fishing, has thousands of years of history behind it.

Fly-fishing was first invented in Macedonia, which is now Greece. It’s the oldest form of recreational fishing. It wouldn’t reach the rest of Europe for 1,000 years, and it took nearly 500 more for the sport to come to the United States.

The rivers found in North America gave rise to their own type of fly-fishing, better suited to the terrain of the East Coast. But new types of fly-fishing developed in Michigan, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Northwest, home of Echo Fly Rods.

Now, you can learn to carry on that tradition. Our comprehensive Echo Base Fly Rod review will help you decide if it’s the best choice for you.

Our Echo Base Fly Rod Review

When you’re planning on getting out in the stream, there’s nothing more important than having the right fly rod at your side. If you’re new to the sport, it can be hard to know just what rod that is.

One fly rod that may have caught your eye is the Echo Base Fly Rod.

​This rod looks like a great choice at first glance. It is inexpensive, geared towards beginners, and comes well-reviewed from Amazon customers. But is it actually the right choice?

When you’re starting, you may not know what to look for. Our Echo Base Fly Rod review will help you sort out whether this rod is the one you need for your fly fishing trip.

The history of Echo Fly Rods

The first thing you should know about Echo is that it’s a brand dedicated to one thing: fly fishing. That’s a big comfort in a time when you can buy gear off the Internet that is worth less than you pay for it. So to find a brand with the history of Echo Fly Rods is a good sign already.

Echo Fly Rods is a subset of Rajeff Sports, founded by Tim Rajeff. Rajeff himself has been a lifelong fly fisherman, another mark of pedigree for the Echo Fly Rods brand. Echo knows fly fishing rods, and it’s easy to tell they actually mean something to the brand.

What makes the Echo Base special?

But for this Echo Base Fly Rod review, we need to look at the rod itself.

Echo advertises their Echo Base model as an ideal rod that performs far better than a rod of its price should. According to Echo, it is a great model for everyone from experienced anglers looking for an inexpensive rod to beginners who want to get started without sinking hundreds of dollars into the sport.

Echo also says that their Base rod is as durable as a graphite fly rod can be. It features a power balance and action that work in any fishing situation. Plus, it will last for years without breaking, so you may never need another rod.

As for technical aspects, the Echo Base Fly Rod has a medium-fast action and comes in six models to fit your needs. You can purchase this rod at nine feet in anything from a five-weight to an eight-weight, as well as two shorter rods for the three and four-weight lines.

If you’re planning a big fishing trip or even a small weekend getaway, you’re in luck. The Echo Base Fly Rod breaks down into four pieces and comes with a cloth-covered carrying case. It’ll be protected on the plane or in the trunk, wherever you go.

Voices from Around the​​​​​ Internet

This Echo Base Fly Rod review wouldn’t mean much if we just told you what the website said. Of course- it sounds great — they’re trying to sell it to you!

To make sure you’re getting the most unbiased Echo Base Fly Rod review we can give you, we didn’t stop there. We went to professional reviews from sites such as Hatch Magazine to provide you with an authoritative eye. Plus, we made sure to dive into customer reviews and give you a widespread consensus from across the Web.

Professional verdict

Our first step for the Echo Base Fly Rod review is checking out expert reviews from respected outdoors sites. Professional reviews are especially helpful because they know exactly what to look for from a fly fishing rod.

Reviews like these come from anglers who have been fly fishing for years. They know what they want from a fly rod without even having to think about it. The weight, the action, the strength of the rod are second nature to these reviewers, and they know how the Echo Base squares up to others just from experience.

According to Hatch Magazine, the Base fly rod impressed testers from the moment it made its debut on show floors. Many experienced fly fishers joked that Echo had taken an upmarket rod and put a much lower price tag on it.

In fact, this rod outperformed fly fishing rods 3 to 10 times more expensive. Testers advised the rod for fly fishers of any experience level and advised serious anglers to buy more than one.

On Yellowstone Angler, their Echo Base fly rod review included four reviewers. They came to the consensus that this rod performed well above its low price point. One of the only chief complaints they had was that it was not a very exciting rod to look at. The Echo Base is a lot heavier than other rods with similar performance.

Curiously, the reviewers said the low price hurt their unbiased review of the rod. It made it easier to excuse the lessened accuracy and feel of the rod.

The consensus of nearly every Echo Base Fly Rod review is that this rod is a good deal for its price. It would even be a good deal if it were two or three times more expensive.

​Customers speak up

Echo Base Fly Rod, 376-4

​Of course, it’s also pretty important to look at the everyday user of this rod. A consumer consensus helps us see what users think of this rod. A single Echo Base fly rod review from a customer may not hold the weight of that of a professional. But when you take them all together, they are just as important as those from more experienced reviewers.

The only place online with customer reviews of the Echo Base Fly Rod is Amazon. Many customer reviews reflected the same sentiments made by reviewers on other sites. One noted that the cork handle was less than amazing and that the reel seat was utilitarian.

One reviewer noted that the price to quality ratio is what made this rod great. If it was at the same price point as the $200 rods it outcompeted, it might not have quite the same impact that it does now. But the overall Amazon Echo Base fly rod review stated that this rod did not lack when it came time to cast.

​​Other Fly Rods You Should Consider

​The Echo Base Fly Rod is a fantastic choice for the money. But there are enough little things about it that make it worth considering other rods. We picked out a few that may go toe-to-toe with the Echo Base.

​How We Reviewed

​Since this fly rod earns its acclaim from being a high-quality rod that’s reasonably priced, it was hard to find rods of similar quality at the same price. To balance this out, we took rods that were of similar quality, or a similar cost, without going too far in either direction. ​

​Fenwick Aetos Fly Rods

​Fenwick Aetos Fly Rods

Fenwick AETOS Fly Fishing Rod, 9 ft., 5 wt

  • Fast-action blank for ideal performance and recovery
  • Artfully crafted with a lightweight feel
  • 4-section deep blue fly fishing rod with carbon flake accents

​The Fenwick Aetos Fly Rod series pushes the limit of our price range, at around twice the cost of the Echo Base. This rod is a new step up in quality from Fenwick and challenges the Echo Base for a low-cost, high-quality rod. Yellowstone Angler considered this one to be one of the best rods for new fly fishers.

This rod is a fast action fly rod, which is a little tougher to use for beginner fly fishers because it requires a higher degree of control. If you have some experience, though, you’ll love the feel of this rod.

Yellowstone Angler notes that this rod isn’t made with the high-end components that top-line fly rods are, and it may look like it came from Wal-Mart. But that doesn’t affect the rod’s performance at all. Compared to more expensive rods, this one easily held its own, much like the Echo Base. It frees up room in your budget to get a high-end reel and line, too!

​Like Yellowstone said, Amazon customers agreed that it is not as nice in look or material as rods in the $600 to $800 range. But it performs well and is excellent for fishers on a budget or just learning to cast.

​Redington Fly Fishing Crosswater Combo Kit

​Redington Fly Fishing Crosswater Combo Kit

Redington Fly Fishing Combo Kit 590-4 Crosswater Outfit with Crosswater Reel 5 Wt 9-Foot 4pc

  • All water, Medium-Fast action rod
  • Anodized Machined aluminum reel seat, ideal for all water conditions
  • Alignment dots for easy rod set up

The Redington Fly Fishing Crosswater Combo Kit is a little above the bargain-basement price of the Echo Base. With a core nine-foot five-weight rod and the included extras (which we’ll get to shortly), this is a great low-cost pick for the new fly fisher.

There’s no need to worry about where you take this rod. Its all-water construction will hold up to saltwater corrosion, all the way down to the anodized aluminum reel seat. This protection will take the guesswork out of fly fishing, and let you try your line in any water.

Part of the price of this kit comes from the fact that it’s not just a rod. You also get a reel pre-spooled with fly line. If you’re looking for a low-cost rod because you’re just getting started with fly fishing, this kit makes sure you have everything you’ll need. It’s a great way to cut down on starting time and cost.

One reviewer liked that the rod didn’t feel cheap, and the case alone felt worth paying for. While it’s not an elite, high-quality rod, that fact adds to its appeal. You can learn on it without being afraid of breaking it.

​Wild Water Fly Fishing 5/6 Rod and Reel Combo

​Wild Water Fly Fishing 56 Rod and Reel Combo

Wild Water Fly Fishing 9 Foot, 4-Piece, 5/6 Weight Fly Rod Complete Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Starter Package

  • FLY ROD: 5/6 weight, 9′, 4 Piece, medium-fast action, IM8 graphite. Has machined aluminum reel seat with double lock rings…
  • ROD CASE: 32” hard tube case with, reel pouch and side storage pouch with zipper. The case will hold rod, reel, fly box and…
  • FLY REEL: 85mm diameter spool, die cast aluminum, adjustable disc drag. Comes preinstalled with chartreuse, WF5-F, weight…

​Wild Water Fly Fishing’s 5/6 Rod and Reel Combo comes the closest to the Echo Base’s low price, and it includes a reel, line, carrying case and flies with it.

This rod is targeted at the beginning angler, although Wild Water intends for it to work well as a backup rod for more experienced fly fishers. It’s especially helpful for new anglers, though, because of the amount of gear included in the kit. You won’t have to worry about finding anything but the fish!

Not only does this rod and reel combo give you everything you need to get started, but you’ll also be able to continue using this gear for a while afterward.

The fly box, which is waterproof and floats, comes with nine flies but can hold nearly 400. The carrying bag is sturdy and protective, and the rod comes with a lifetime warranty. Even if you outgrow this rod, you’ll be able to have it in your kit as long as you’re fly fishing.

The Wild Water Fly Fishing 5/6 Rod and Reel Combo has earned the most customer reviews of any rod we’ve considered here.​

​Echo Base Fly Rod Review: Pros and Cons

This Echo Base Fly Rod review has probably convinced you that this is a top-notch fly rod, but it still has a few marks against it. We compare the good and the bad to help you make your decision.


  • Price point far below even other budget fly rods.
  • Performance meets or exceeds rods many times more expensive.
  • Durable and well-rounded for all fly fishers.


  • Heavy and inaccurate compared to more expensive rods.
  • Lower quality handle and reel seat than higher-end rods.

​Casting Our Verdict on the Echo Base Fly Rod

After considering all the other options, our final word on our Echo Base Fly Rod review is that for a beginner or cost-conscious sportsman, this rod is the way to go.

Compared to other rods of the same price, the Echo Base is far better. Despite inaccuracy when casting, this rod is significantly less expensive than other rods of similar quality. Rods in the same price range don’t quite add up.

If you’re going to pick up a fly rod for the first time, or need to pad out your selection, the Echo Base Fly Rod should be the rod you choose.

Are you thinking of buying the Echo Base? Already use it and have your own opinion? Let us know what you think in the comments!