Photos By: Justin Dobson
I’ve just returned from a two week fishing trip up the east coast. A few months prior to departing I evaluated the current condition of my gear and waffled over purchasing new fly line before this big trip. Because our plan was to fish for both warm water and cold water species in lakes, rivers and streams, we were packing several different lines, spare spools and reels. I had just purchased two new lines from one of the well-known line manufacturers (to remain nameless). I picked up the premium 7wt fast sink and 4wt floating. I’ve learned my lesson before on purchasing cheap lines and brought myself to pony up the $85.00 to get the good stuff this time.
Just before leaving, I convinced myself to bring my “albatross” rod with me. An Echo Ion, 9ft – 7wt. I always loved the matte grey finish and two-tone cork handle of this rod, but I was never impressed with the way it casted. It didn’t want to turn over big flies and could wear you out trying to make short casts. It was never happy unless it was double hauling lots of line. This rod made you do all the work. Rather than spend another $85.00 on new floating line that I wasn’t convinced could make me love this rod, I searched for an alternative.
I remembered reading some good things a few months back about a fairly new company producing rod blanks, reels and some snazzy two tone line. Blue Halo out of Orem, Utah. After a visit to their site I sealed the deal on some 7wt floating line in a slick two tone blue/teal color that was 1/3 the price of the big name guy’s premium stuff. $32.08 with shipping.
For two weeks I pretty much carried two rods, one casting the big name’s line and the other the Blue Halo line. Both lines performed well. Although, my Echo felt like a completely different rod. Unlike the mid-grade stuff I’ve owned, both lines laid flat and had no memory. Blue Halo’s coating even seemed to be holding up better to the dirty ponds and urban river fishing conditions.
But the thing that set’s Blue Halo aside from the other guys is that when I received it in the mail, it came with a hand written and signed note thanking me for the purchase. Cort at Blue Halo was even kind enough to include some decals which went right onto the canoe pre-road trip.
I’ve done some reading on Blue Halos custom rods and reels which have received excellent reviews as well. Check out http://bluehalogear.com/ and help out the little guy. When I finally decide to close the deal on a fiberglass rod, I know where I’ll head to.