Organising your Spey Stuff

With all of the ECHO shooting heads, sink-tips and Polyleaders we use for chasing salmon and sea trout, the question of how to organise all of this stuff pops up on a regular basis. The guys at ECHO gave it a ton of thought when designing their current products and packaging.

To start off with, they made it very easy to distinguish the grain weight of all of their shooting heads; there are colour-coded loops (great for quick visual recognition) and if that was not enough they have clearly labeled them with the line type and grain on the front loop.  The rear loop (that’s the one which attaches to your running line) is black and provides a distinct visual break for easy load point identification.


Tim Rajeff and his crew took on the challenge of organising sink-tips and made it easy.  The ECHO Custom Cut Tips are available in a length of either 10ft or 18ft with grain weights of T-7 (white loop), T-10 (orange loop), T-14 (brown loop) and T-18 (black loop).  Each Custom Cut sink-tip comes with a colour-coded loop on one end; the darker the loop colour, the heavier the grains per foot.  So even if you have no idea what weight sink- tip you’re actually fishing, just change to a lighter or darker colour as you need to adjust to specific fishing conditions… It’s that simple.  You can fish these “as is” or cut them down to match specific fishing situations or casting preference.


Another useful tool for organising all your Spey gear is the Airflo Shooting Head Wallet.  It’s a simple soft-sided binder with zip- lock style bags and a Velcro enclosure. We use them when we go to fairs, but also when we go fishing; we have one for every rod we take with us, pre-loaded with the corresponding shooting heads and accessories. Each wallet easily contains your ECHO Skagit Compact or ECHO Skagit Switch and Custom Cut Tips for subsurface work and your ECHO Rage Compact or Scandi Compact and Polyleaders for surface and near surface work.  We also add extra leaders, tippet, flies and other terminal tackle.  That way you’ll never get to the river without the right tools.

HeadBagAll ECHO spey heads are now packaged in the same zip-lock style bags that fit right into the wallet.   Not only helping you stay organised, but it reduces unnecessary waste by eliminating the plastic spools. Plus, the wallet is small enough to fit into a hip-bag, rucksack or your waders.


It’s a great system for keeping all of your Spey gear organised.


Sssshhh Top Secret


We asked Dec Hogan what his secret is for casting a slow-ish deep loading 2-hander like the ECHO Dec Hogan series.  The preciseness of Dec’s answer took us by complete surprise:

“Slooooow down.

Not much rocket science in that … great stuff Dec 😀


Posted by BFF from WordPress for Android


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“I suppose it had to come” you will say – well not wanting to disappoint you here they are: The new ECHO CLASSIC SWITCH rods in 4 weights and two lengths from a 10’9″ / 328cm #5 weight to an 11’0″ / 335cm #8 weight. I bet these babies rip.

Watch this space.

The Myth about Skagit Rod/Line Length Ratios

We have often been asked for the “rules” surrounding rod length line length ratios for skagit casting. Well who better to talk about that than the man himself  …


… this is part of a thread written by Ed Ward on the skagitmaster forum.


” ….. Skagit Rod/Line length Ratios
– Maximum Line length (belly + tip) – 3.5 times rod length.
– Minimum Line length (belly + tip)  – 1.75 times rod length.
   These figures are often stated as “rules” and for beginning/novice casters, they should be thought of as such. The max length of 3.5 has been determined by the fact that lines longer than this ratio become increasingly difficult to position and sweep without breaking the arms away from the body. “Breaking away” is counter productive to the “effortless power” aspect of Skagit casting because that effortless power action is dependent on keeping the pivot point of the sweep movement as compact and tight-to-the-body as possible.
   The minimum length of 1.75 has been determined by the fact that line lengths less than this ratio are difficult to maintain sufficient anchoring of the line on the water during the forward casting stroke to conduct that forward casting stroke without prematurely blowing the line off of the water.
   My recommendation for general purpose casting/angling or entry-level casters is a ratio around 2.75 to 3. Longer ratios of 3 to 3.5 are used for achieving maximum distance as that follows the “longer line, longer casts” rule of flycasting in general. A less-than-2.5 ratio would be selected primarily for tight quarters casting as the shorter the line, the shorter the resulting D-loop. Also, shorter ratios will increase the capacity of any given rod/line system to cast heavier tips and/or flies because “compacting” the overall weight of the line into a shorter package increases the grains-per-foot status of the line.
   As stated earlier, these rod/line ratios are presented as “rules”, but for advanced/expert casters that have established an effective, efficient Skagit casting “core” (Sweep-Turnover-Casting Stroke sequence), these rules become guidelines that can be “breached” to accomodate specialized situations. Lines longer than 3.5 can be cast by “breaking away” during line positioning movements, but one must then “re-establish” – AFTER the line is “set” and BEFORE conducting the Sweep – a “tight, fixed, central” casting pivot point… not exactly an easy action for a novice or even intermediate caster to accomplish. Lines less than 1.75 times rod length can be cast by lowering the plane of the Sweep, increasing the speed of the Sweep (to keep the lower altitude line from hitting the water) and narrowing the separation-of-planes action of the Turnover to a measurement of inches… another not-so-conducive-to-novice-casters process. These are actions that demand constant, vigilant attention and as such are only employed for VERY specialized situations, even by expert casters. …”



Sneak Peek – ECHO GLASS

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Answering the growing call for that soulful action only fiberglass creates, Tim dived into his large sack of graphite tricks and applied them to 21st century glass and came up with the ECHO GLASS. These “soul” rods are all about giving you the feedback missing from stiff graphite actions, with deep loads and a smooth recovery that transmits from tip to hand so much so that you ask yourself  “Why didn’t I listen to my soul and come back to glass sooner?

The ECHO GLASS will be available in 4 weights from a 6’3″ / 190cm #2 weight weighing a meagre 2.3oz/65g to a 7’10” / 238cm #5 weight weighing 3.5oz/99g.

Cant wait to get my hands on these “soul” sticks, particularly the #2 weight, it will be perfect for our local trout stream.

Coming to your local ECHO dealer in early spring 2014.


Shadow II


Designed by Tim and Team USA’s Pete Erickson, these powerful, moderate- to faster-action “long-light” European-style nymphing rods deliver critical feel and line control with an added bonus: They’ll actually cast a dry fly when you’re feeling dirty.  An optional extra “competition package”  includes two 6″/15cm  extensions that add extra reeeeach without rethreading line, a screw-in fighting butt and counterweight washers that fine-tune balance. Cool

The SHADOW II is available as a 10’0″ / 3,0m #3 weight and a 10’6″ / 3.2m #4 weight, the SH-3100 weights in at appx 3.2oz/91g and the SH-4106 at 3.4oz /96g (excluding competition kit).

Let ’em come …

Available early Spring 2014.

They’ve done it again !!!

Last weekend saw the BFF casting team (Silja and Lasse and the apprentices Robyn and Louis) ) on the road to Gothenburg to cast in the Swedish Open Spey competition … and they came home with two first, a fourth and a sixth placings to their credit, plus a brace of personal bests and a new Danish Record!



The BFF-Team left home (Copenhagen) in the early hours of Saturday morning and arrived in Gothenburg at about 8am just in time to sign in. The weather started off fine, so that the 15ft competitions could be completed on schedule, BUT then a storm blew over and it was so windy that the 16ft (Womens platform) and 18ft (Mens platfom) had to be postponed by about two hours.


15’1″ Spey Distance – Women

1. Silja Longhurst 78m total, Denmark

2. Anna Hedman 53m total, (Swedish Womens Champion)

3. Anna-Karin Wiklund 52m total


15’1 Spey Distance – Men

1. Tellis Katsogiannos 87m total (Swedish Champion)

2. Joakim Tuovinen 86,5m total

3. Magnus Hedman 82,5m total

4. Lasse Karlsson


16’ Spey Distance – Women

1. Silja Longhurst 39m, Denmark

2. Anna Hedman 36m

3. Anna-Karin Wiklund 34m


18´Spey Distance – Men

1. Tellis Katsogiannos 59,5m – new Swedish record

2. Roger Håkansson 54m

3. Magnus Hedman 52,5m

6. Lasse Karlsson 44m


Well done everybody but in particular we would like to especially mention Silja and Lasse who put up a fantastic performance against all odds (two kids and no training time), but also to Anna Hedmann in becoming the new Swedish Womens Champion and Tellis Katsogiannos who didn’t just organise the event but also won the Mens Championships and cast a new Swedish 18ft record in doing so!

See you all next year.

Tuning In …

… to the ECHO Skagit Intermediate shooting head.

We get quite a few questions regarding which size (weight) of ECHO Skagit Intermediate to use, in particular compared with an ECHO Skagit Compact. We’ll try and put some light on the subject ….

… one of the first things you will notice when casting one of the ECHO Skagit Intermediates is that these heads loads your rod quicker than a standard Skagit Compact. Consequently, you actually feel you would like to fish a slightly lighter head. As a general rule of thumb, we have found out that you can load your rod with a head 30 grains lighter than you would with a Skagit Compact, perhaps even 60 grains lighter on medium or slow action rods. From a sink-tip perspective, you’ll notice you won’t need to fish such heavy tips as with a floating Skagit head; for runs where you used to use 12ft/3.6m of T-14 you may only now need 10ft/3m of T-10 to get into the “zone”.

Have fun.