Echo Shadow X
No question about it, euro nymphing has exploded onto the scene. It's a great technique to really increase your catch rate, and is relatively simple once you get the hang of it. Lots of rods on the market, and we've done tremendously well with the Echo Shadow II series. But just recently, Echo has revamped this popular rod series, and introduced the Echo Shadow X. Lighter, faster, stronger, and just plain better than the original Shadow, this rod has been a killer.
Coming in at 20% lighter than the previous model, the Shadow X has a sensitivity that's hard to beat. With euro nymphing, sensitivity is crucial, and will actually improve your catch rate. This concept is thrown around for all different techniques; dry flies, streamer fishing, indicator fishing, etc. Everyone wants more sensitivity. But most of this is just hype, and doesn't really increase your catch rate. Once you learn to present a dry fly or streamer properly, you can basically do it with any rod, and your catch rate will remain more or less then same.
Tight-line nymphing requires the use of small weighted flies, with very light tippet, in skinny water, and often times very soft eats. This is a situation where rod sensitivity plays a vital role in not only strike detection, but the actual presentation as well. In this case, a lightweight sensitive rod will drastically improve your fishing, since this method relies on such delicate feel when compared to other techniques.
Echo worked with several competition nymph fishermen, and designed this rod to be a featherweight. Using high modulus graphite, this rod is LIGHT. Noticeably lighter than most other euro rods on the market. When it's in your hand, it honestly feels like it's about to float away. Again, this all translates to sensitivity.
This rod is offered in an array of lengths and weights, but we've done best with either the 10' 6" 3wt, or the 11' 3wt. The shorter of the two is a better fit if you will be fishing on slightly smaller water and creeks. If you plan on targeting larger and broader water, the 11' is the obvious choice. The longer rod really helps with getting that vertical presentation that's critical to keeping your flies in the zone longer, but can be cumbersome in tight quarters.
One nice inclusion is an assortment of counterweight washers that screw into the handle of the rod. By removing the fighting butt and adding (or removing) these weights, you can dial in the balance of your outfit to best match the weight of whatever reel you pair it with. As a general rule, you want these systems to be a little heavier toward the back, so the rod tip will naturally want to rise. This eliminates the need for your wrist to constantly fight that weight, and keep the rod tip nice and high.
The Shadow X is a 4 pc, is considered a medium fast action rod, and is noticeably faster than the Shadow II. It features SIC stripping guides, and hard chrome snake guides farther up. The guides are built with a thin wire to reduce the overall weight, and coated in a black finish to minimize glare. Anodized aluminum reel seat, and covered by Echo's lifetime warranty. Also included is a fabric covered rod tube, and a rod sock.
If you've been curious about euro nymphing, and want to dive in with the best equipment available, this rod is a great option. This method has become wildly popular because it just simply works. Once you get the hang of it, you will see the light, with the Echo Shadow X.
Here's a quick video with more information on the Shadow X from Echo...