The Ultimate Hopper Stick

August 9, 2012

The Ultimate Hopper Stick

So for those gear junkies out there who can justify having a rod for every fishing situation, rejoice, here's another rod for you...

For the rest of you who are simply looking for a good all around rod for every situation, you might not put this rod on the very top of your \"All Around Rods\" list, but it should be on the short list of \"Must Have's\" for anybody who fishes Hoppers in Montana in the summertime or fishes streamers out of a boat anytime of the year.

What are we talking about? The Echo Edge 8'4\" 7wt.

A 7 weight for hoppers? Yep.

Why? Where do we begin... For starters this rod is compact making it ideal for wade fishing situations where you don't need 9 feet of graphite in your hands. The 8'4\" is really an ideal length for both the boat and for wade fishing situations where you might need to tuck in some tight casts. Out of the boat it allows you some run and gun capabilities where all you are doing is banging the banks with streamers or plopping hoppers into tight pocket water, which is where the big fish hang out anyways. The only drawback to this rod is that you aren’t going to be doing a ton of mending with it, nine foot and longer rods are better for reaching over the oars and mending, that’s why this is the ideal run and gun streamer and big dry fly rod because you aren’t mending streamers.

This little pocket cannon is ideal for small water big fish situations where you need to be able to punch a 40 foot plus cast in a stream that’s no wider than 20 feet into a pocket that’s about 2 feet by 2 feet. That’s not an easy feat to accomplish, but the Edge 8’4” 7wt has it in spades.  We’ve been out fishing some smaller bodies of water around Southwest Montana and we’ve absolutely fallen in love with this rod for its ability to handle big dries and streamers and yet it’s so much fun to play fish on with the shorter length. Accuracy is key, this rod is stiff enough to handle the long distance accuracy needs, but has enough give in the tip to lay it down soft if need be. Think of it as a short barreled sniper rifle for those situations where you need to be super accurate with big bugs.

In order to realize the full potential of this rod you really need to pair it up with the right fly line. We played around with a bunch of different lines and along with our Guide Rick Matney came up with four lines that just rocket off this little sniper rifle for different fishing situations and uses.

The first fly line that we recommend pairing up with this rod is the Airflo 40 Plus in a WF7. Pairing that line with this rod results in laser casts of up to 80 feet if need be, but is super accurate right down to 20-40 feet as well. On the downside, the 40 Plus lines don’t mend particularly well as they are basically a fused shooting head and running line.

So if you want a line for mending purposes (not necessarily what we recommend using this rod for anyhow) we offer the Rio Grand in a WF7 as an alternative line that can also mend if need be. The short compact taper of both of those lines helps load the rod in close, but also deliver the payload at distances if need be.

Finally for streamer fishing applications where you are wanting to use this strictly for tossing big uglies we have narrowed it down to the Rio Outbound Short and the Airflo Streamer Max. Both lines offer up compact tapers and sinking tips, however with the Airflo Streamer Max you’ll need to trim 5-10 feet of the sink tip off in order to cast properly. With the Rio Outbound Short you can simply line it up with the Intermediate Tip or go with a heavier sink if need be. We like the Streamer Max for deeper water fishing situations and the versatility of the Rio Outbound Short is nice if you want an all around streamer line that you can add a heavier sink tip to if need be.

So there you have it. Another rod to add to your quiver – the nice thing about this addition is it won’t kill your wallet – the Edge is offered up at $249.95 with a lifetime warranty. Give us a call or stop by the shop and grab one today.

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