EPIC DH CARBON REVIEW - Andy Cawthorn
(Reproduced with kind permission)
The team at Epic have given me a stellar opportunity to play with their DH Carbon spey rod. For those that took up Carl's offer, your in for a mind blowing treat!
I’m going to go straight into it, best and funnest rod I’ve ever cast! Usually spey rods these days are geared up for the ever increasing popularity of shooting heads, not a bad thing by any means, but throw in some marketing regarding their versatility with all lines, then there’s usually a wolf at the door. The Epic was truly progressive / responsive. This rod threw effortless tight loops, and accurately placed casts, even at 130 ft. thanks to the quick tip recovery! Even lazy casts, dead straight!
First impressions: this rod is a stand out. I own two epic rods and the cork is always stand out amazing. The DH is no exception. Probably the best cork on any rod period. Epic have gone with a natural blank finish, and it looks amazing. I like to call it, "nude carbon", the blank is truly sexy. The sanded ferrules was a nice touch also , qualty snake brand guides, and alignment dots for dead straight ferrule connections. The hand ferruled fibreglass rod tube is all class; pop the top off, no screwing a cap off, that’s just wasting fishing time. And its true, you can pour a beer in the lid!
The entire rod is sexy as hell!
The wiggle test: the rod comes in a six piece configuration, at 13 ft. It literally packs down to the length of my 8’6 rod tube, crazy. You can take this rod anywhere; in you car, in your stow away luggage, tramping bag, weddings take your pick! At first, I thought that this would make for an uber stiff rod, but its not. Its super light (infact, when I picked up the courier box at half past four, it felt like a box and nothing more) and had a progressive action to it.
360 grn Scandi
First in the casting was a 360 grn Scandi head at 38ft. The rod loaded in the sweet spot every time. The rod somehow knew there was a Scandi on the end of it. The rod tip loaded perfectly every time. Add an underhand cast, and the rods blank changed tempo and casts flew off the tip. Laser tight, every time!
425 grn Skagit
Next, the 23 ft. 425 grn Skagit. Bloody hell! The rod knew the difference straight away; there was a different line on the end. No need for me to adjust MY casting stroke, the rod did the work. The rod action changed completely and the rod loaded deeply into the mid to lower blank section, the sweet spot for Skagit lines. I’ve never owned a rod that could do that. Usually, its one or the other and YOU spend your time adjusting your casting stroke to the rods action based on the line your using at the time. The Epic did all the work for me, and that was truly amazing.
660 grn Long belly
Next the 70 ft. 660 grn Long belly. To be honest, it's the lightest long belly I own, and its geared up for 7/8 weight rods, so I was expecting the rod to struggle a bit, being well overloaded on the 5/6. Nup! The rod blank loaded the extra weight into the mid section of the blank. If you love physics, you can really appreciate the finer things of this. In fact, it made my day. I’m still smiling writing this. And this is where the ground ferrules shined. Spey Casting generates a lot of torque on rod ferrules, they often slip and you need to check them often. The ground ferrules did not budge, even after 10 hours on the water. Win!
Epic have put out a risky statement "the best spey rod you’ve ever cast, or your money back". Its a bold statement, but testament to how brilliant, fun and rewarding this rod is. I don’t think anyone, short of a mental breakdown, would ever return this rod. I’ve cast a lot of rods, and this is now my fav. On top of that, for those that have never dealt with the team at Epic, its truly top class. Not only do you get outstanding customer support (the rods are shipped with lots of extras, a hand written thank you note, a micro cloth for cleaning your rod, decals and other little things that you can tell they appreciate your business) but your buying NZ made craftsmanship that is developing a international cult following, because the rods and service are truly that good!
Anyway, I’m on the couch tonight. The Mrs hates it when I won’t stop talking about a rod....
Rod Action: True Progressive / responsive
Rod Demo: 5/6
Grain Window: 360 - 400 Scandi, 400 - 450 Skagit, Rio short head Spey 5/6 would be on the $
Length: 13 ft.
Price: $1400nzd, and that’s a bargain, you should be smiling all the way to the riverbank!
Super light, and sexy. The sanded ferrules are a Super smart idea. As is the rod tube. You can tell a lot of research has gone into this rod.
The cork is some of the best cork you'll ever see. The reel seat is nice.
Using the Skagit head, the rod loaded into the mid to butt section. Skagit lines flew out effortlessly and accurately thanks to the quick tip recovery.
10 hours on the water, snake rolls, doubles etc, the sanded rod ferrulles never budged. And they were super easy to remove end of day too.
By opening up the loop, the overloaded long belly sailed out. Impressed!