A medium-power, fast-action rod is the AK-47 of the marsh, standing up to abuse and getting results. Here is one from Duce that has won my admiration.
Last year Duce came out with two lines of rods, the Element and Echo series.
I’ve been so impressed that Duce is the only brand I am using now, with the exception of a custom 6’2″ made strictly for slack-line fishing.
Now, I own both lines and have more than a few models, but the one I am reviewing is the Echo ECM69.
The ECM69 is a medium power, fast action, 6’9″ casting rod.
It uses a multi-modulus graphite blank, with insertless titanium guides and EVA split grips.
All Echo rods come in a black/white scheme that looks great with a black or white reel, which is what I mostly have on all of them.
These are the components and features that make the ECM69 a good rod for handling speckled trout, redfish and bass:
Most rods on the market use guides with an insert.
Now, these work just fine, the downside is they can pop out and, once they do, the rod is ruined.
When they break, instead of running through a smooth insert, your line is now running through the metal holding that insert.
This is how your line breaks on a cast, because the metal literally cuts through it!
But if you use a design that features one piece instead of two, then you will never have that problem! T
That is exactly what Duce put on their Echo line of rods, meaning the ECM69 can take a wee bit more abuse than its conventional cousins.
I don’t like cork.
I have no idea why inshore anglers are bonkers for cork, but I’m not a fan.
It gets dirty, disintegrates and just doesn’t last as long as EVA.
So I’m glad this rod uses EVA, I know I don’t have to baby it.
Y’all know I’m not big into rod brands so much as I am rod specifications, but I think this branding on the ECM69 (and every Echo rod) is pretty cool.
Duce put a reel seat featuring a locking hood on this rod.
This way, when I palm the reel, my fingers are wrapping around a comfortable, smooth surface, and not locking threads.
Plus, the blank is exposed in the bottom of the reel seat, so I can better feel the tinier vibrations in the line.
Duce is using my favorite hook keeper, the Kigan.
And it’s also placed in the right spot!
Being just above the reel seat ensures it can fit in a vertical rod holder (like on bay boats) but still stays out of the way of fluorocarbon during casts.
Recall that fluorocarbon is heavier than mono or braid, so it can fall over the side of the blank during casts, potentially getting hung up on anything there, like an out-of-place hook keeper.
Of course, there is Duce’s hallmark spiral wrapped guides, designed to eliminate rotational torque, making it easier to fight fish and reduce stress on the rod blank.
This also achieves better casting distance, since fishing line running through the guides isn’t falling on the rod blank.
I use this rod to throw spinnerbaits, jig Matrix Shad and pitch small jigs into light cover.
Occasionally I will use it for a shallow-running crankbait, like a Mann’s Baby 1 Minus, but I have found that a medium-heavy, moderate fast rod (the ECMH68) is better suited for that application.
This rod has caught speckled trout, redfish and largemouth bass inside the marsh, and I believe it is a great casting rod for general-purpose inshore fishing.
If I had to pick one rod to fish the marsh with, whether I’m jigging, throwing swimbaits at redfish or whatever, I would pick the Echo ECM69.
I wouldn’t have made the investment if I didn’t believe in them!
And I believe you will, too. That’s why I got LAFB fans a discount they can use on Duce’s site.
You can get 20% off by using LAFishBlog17 at checkout.Shop Echo Rods
The ECM69 has been changed to the ECM68
Comment below and I’ll get back to you next time I log in.
Tight lines, y’all!
Devin is the founder of Louisiana Fishing Blog and enjoys exploring new fishing spots on Louisiana's coast. He prefers using artificial lures and casting tackle, but won't hesitate to break out a popping cork when the time is right.
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