The Epic Studio Built 686, often imitated, never beaten
Studio Built™ Custom - Our premium fly rod offering. The pinnacle of craftsmanship and performance.
Regarded by industry pro's and glass aficionados worldwide as the best glass 6wt made, the Epic 686 presents beautifully but packs plenty of attitude. Perfect for tossing big flies, swinging streamers and light saltwater work. Exquisitely handcrafted to order and delivered directly to your door.
The ultimate 6wt fiberglass fly rod. The Epic 686 has gained cult status and we've seen many imitators try to replicate the magic of this fly rod. There is only one - and this is it!
Our Epic™ 686 is crafted from 8 micron FastGlass II. A unidirectional S-2 Glass, this material is stiffer and stronger than e-glass or standard s-glass. The 686 is as strong as an ox, super smooth and extremely versatile.
Experience the Epic® difference
Industry-leading fly rod blank specifically chosen & high graded for your fly rod build
Premium quality stripping guides (Titanium, or hard chrome depending on model)
Hard anodised reel seat ensuring a lifetime of service
Painstakingly handcrafted in our Wanaka workshop ensuring quality and durability
Superior service and ongoing customer support
Proudly handcrafted to order for you in New Zealand
Delivered direct to your door Once ordered it usually takes around four weeks to build your new fly rod, then we deliver priority tracked and insured courier direct to your door. We'll email you with tracking info as your rod leaves our studio workshop.
These are the smoothest, most beautiful fly rods you’ll ever cast. Purposefully designed and exquisitely handcrafted using only the very best components available. Premium quality stripping guides exquisitely finished in translucent Japanese silk wraps, each wrap incredibly strong and stunningly beautiful.
Every grip is of premium FLOR grade Portuguese cork traced from the source; a more perfect grip you will not find anywhere.
Each Studio Built Fly Rod is skilfully handcrafted for you our customer when you order it, no two are exactly alike.
Each fly rod is individually hand-crafted, balanced, inspected and tested here in our Wanaka workshop by one of our master rod builders. No aspect is overlooked, each fly rod is as perfect as we can make it and of heirloom quality. You’ll be passing this fly rod on to your kids.
Light in the hand and an absolute pleasure to cast; There is simply no better fly rod made - and your absolute delight is guaranteed.
"I really believe the EPIC 686 is by far the most popular GLASS streamer rod on the market. More often than not, I get requests for the 686 and most of the time in Salsa. Carl has created a wonderful, and powerful taper and folks love them!"
- Shane Gray Graywolf Rods.
"I will only touch on this for a second because everyone keeps hearing how phenomenal the 686 is. This is a phenomenal blank. The beauty is in the fact that the rod can lay out ten feet of line with the delicacy of a full flex cane, but when called upon fire 95' of line into a stiff breeze. It does all of this with a great deal of feel and composure that most rods will never achieve. It is quite possibly one of the best 6wts on the mark glass, graph, or grass." - Zeb TonkavichSnowman Custom Rod Works
"the Epic 686 is (f#$%'ing) magic in my hands. This fly rod is responsive, quick to load, and a powerhouse that lays out very long accurate casts with relative ease." - Cameron MortensonThe Fiberglass Manifesto
FastGlass II™ All Epic "Glass" rods are produced from industry-leading 8 micron Unidirectional S-2 Glass. This next-generation fiber is specifically engineered for fly rod production and features 8 micronfibers developed and produced in the USA. These fibres are almost half the diameter of other unidirectional materials, resulting in tighter, more precise and stronger fly rods.
Built Epic Tough Epic glass rods are incredibly tough. Our S2 FastGlass II has a far higher strength-to-weight ratio than Carbon fibre (graphite) rods. Epic FastGlass rods can endure more acute and severe bends than the equivalent Carbon fibre or even regular S2 glass, tip sections are stronger and far less susceptible to breakages due to high-sticking and problematic rod angles when pulling against load.
My 686 changed my mind about fiberglass fishing rods.
I like it very much both in appearance and operability.
This fishing rod is set for the big TaiwanMahseer.
Facts have proved that it is no problem.
I don’t think I have had more fun with a 6 wt. Thing plays fish like a dream casts like a champ and is absolutely too much fun. I fully understand the name Epic now because that’s what these things are. My “home” water is the Gunnison in Western Colorado and this 8’6” 6wt is by far the best rod I have ever fished out there. Plus the look is sure to grab some attention since, after all, fly fishing is a fashion contest.
Winter, and my new 686 FastGlass ros has arrived - Alice green, with titanium reel seat and Full Wells/Butt. Neatly packaged, with the rod sock and fibreglass tube.
Ready to practice. Beautifully made product, and very nice people to deal with.
Firstly I would like to commend the customer service and rod building staff. The service and build quality is first rate.
I have only used the rod on grass so far but its such a wonderful experience to cast and so different to ultra stiff, fast action rod - I am in heaven.
Casts effortlessly and is a joy to cast too.
Thank you swift for helping enrich my fly fishing experience, I look forward to adding more rods to my 686 & 888.