March 8, 2018

Duce Rods ECM69 Casting Rod Review

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 Rods that has won my admiration.

UPDATE: Duce Rods Is Out Of Business

Unfortunately, Duce was sold to a new owner then went out of business. The old and new owners never stayed in touch with me or informed me of what was going on, and that wasn't very nice given the amount of effort I put into their brand.

If I had known that, then I would have spent my time working on my actual business or simply enjoying being on the water fishing with these great rods, rather than making a bunch of content that wouldn't amount to anything (or be appreciated).

This is why I recommend not using brands, but learning technical specifications, in order to make good purchase decisions for you and your fishing needs.

Visit this guide to learn how to pick the best fishing rod for you and your needs.

In 2017 Duce Rods came out with two lines of rods, the Element and Echo series.

I've been so impressed that Duce Rods 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.

What is the 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 Duce Rods Echo models 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.

Features of Duce Rods ECM69

These are the components and features that make the ECM69 a good rod for handling speckled trout, redfish and bass:

Insertless Titanium Guides

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!

That is exactly what Duce Rods put on their Echo line of rods, meaning the ECM69 can take a wee bit more abuse than its conventional cousins.

Duce Echo Insertless Rod Guides

EVA Foam Split Grip

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.

Duce ECM69 EVA Foam Grips

Distinctly Duce Rods

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 Never Stay Inline

Locking Hood

Duce Rods 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 Rod Echo ECM69 Locking Hood

Kickass Hook Keeper

Duce Rods is using my favorite hook keeper, the Kigan.

Duce Echo Fishing Rod Kigan Hook Keeper

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.

Spiral Wrapped Tech

Of course, there is Duce Rod'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.

Duce Echo Spiral Wrapped Rods

What is Duce Rods ECM69 best used for?

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 on my fishing trips inside the marsh, and I believe it is a great casting rod for general-purpose inshore fishing.


Comment below and I'll get back to you next time I log in.

Tight lines, y'all!

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

  • Hey Tim, I’m sorry to tell you that I have no idea where you can buy Duce rods. I’m not affiliated with them anymore, and am pretty sure they went out of business. I just don’t know because they haven’t been in touch.

    I recommend you buy Daiwa. They’ve been around longer and have stood the test of time.

    Thank you.

  • Hi Devin! I like the rest are having problems ordering the Echo ECM68.When you click on list of dealers on their web sight, page not found. On your reply to AJ, you said you just ordered one. May I ask from whom did you order, and do they honor your discount?

  • Have you tried looking at their list of dealers?

    Duce Rods Dealer List

    No, I don’t have a second choice. I don’t know anyone else who uses spiral wraps.

    BUT, if you’ve taken time to understand how the qualities of power, action and length work in a rod to serve YOUR needs, then you’d be able to find and select one all on your own. Otherwise you’re doing you and your fishing trips a disservice if you’re buying a brand just because someone recommends it, even if it’s me.

    I appreciate your kind words and thank you for commenting, Dave!

  • I have searched high and low for the ECM68 and haven’t had any luck finding one. Do you have any ideas on places to look for one other than the DUCE website? I’ve already emailed their customer service.

    Or if I’m not able to find one, what would your second choice be for a good “all-around” DUCE rod? I’ll mostly be using topwater and soft plastics for trout.

    By the way, thank you for a GREAT blog! I’ve learned a TON from your site! I actually just caught my first trout on a topwater yesterday, using skills I learned almost exclusively from your site. Keep up the good work!

  • Good question.

    To answer this I must be clear that I own both lines, not just the Echo.

    I always choose rods based upon their specs, and the Echo rods match the specs I need for the kind of fishing I am doing.

    The lower price point is certainly nice, as I do not need nicer, high-end finishes like cork or even the resin coating that Element has.

    Yes, this makes for a stronger, more high-quality rod, but the difference has been negligible.

    Pretty much the only time I’ll use a moderate fast action is when I’m cranking.

  • Echo vs Element Series for Red/Trout…Top Water, Spinner Baits, Crank Baits, Jigging. Why do you choose the Echo vs Element series?

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