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The fiberglass movement has been gaining popularity in contemporary fly fishing... a revival of sorts. Rods like the Echo River Glass, Orvis Superfine Glass, TFO Finesse Glass, Scott F Series, and more have brought fiberglass back in style. Glass allows the angler to slow down, fish more delicately, and be more in tune with short presentations on smaller creeks. While larger glass rods for saltwater species exist, most anglers think of a 3wt or 4wt fly rod for trout when they hear the word 'fiberglass'.
This new Epic Fastglass II 7' 6" 4wt Fly Rod combines everything we love about Fiberglass with modern innovation and impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail. Add a lime green blank color, a nifty reel seat, and one of our favorite grips on the market, and it's easy to see why the Epic Fastglass II is so much fun to fish. Read on to find out what the rod does well and why we're big fans of Epic's short-range glass series.
Ahhhh, the good old-fashioned feel of fiberglass. This rod has componentry that oozes traditional fiberglass rod design with a few contemporary improvements. Starting from the bottom, the Fastglass II features a triangular Alps reel seat that's great for anchoring small trout reels. A Snub-Nose Half Wells grip fits the angler's hand well and is made with premium cork. The rod also features a lime green blank color, alignment dots, clear wraps, and beautiful aesthetics. Epic utilizes classic fiberglass stripping guides and small diameter snake guides to finish the rod with style and functionality.
The 7' 6" 4wt version of the Fastglass II weighs in at 3.39 ounces with a swing weight of 52.5 gm2. This is definitely on the heavy side, especially for a shorter 4wt rod, but fiberglass is notoriously heavier than graphite so this doesn't come as much of a surprise.
As we expected, this isn't a distance rod. In fact, Ben gave the Fastglass II 4wt a 3/10 in the distance category. The rod just doesn't have the power that many contemporary graphite rods have and it really falls apart past 45-feet. That being said, it's obviously not a rod designed to cast 60-feet so the fact that it fell apart at longer distances shouldn't dissuade you from considering the rod. The Fastglass II is a rod made for small water and delicate presentations... it's not an all-around 4wt. Think of it as a purpose-built rod.
The real measurement of this rod's performance comes at 30-feet. As a rod designed for shorter distances, a 30-foot cast should be the cast anglers are making most often with this 4wt. And, as expected, it's performance was marvelous at this small water trout distance. The rod was beautifully accurate with tight loops and tons of line control. We found that the rod did a lot of the work at this shorter distance and line speed/hauling wasn't necessary. Slow down your casting stroke and you've got a real gem at the short-range game.
As we moved back to 45-feet we felt the Epic retain versatility and accuracy. It's not a powerful rod by any means, however. You're not going to get a ton of line speed or reserve the ability to pick line up off of the water quickly with this rod at 45-feet. But, if you have patience and don't mind slowing down your casting stroke and carrying line in the air, the rod is certainly capable of landing a fly accurately beyond 30-feet. I really wouldn't use the shorter 4wt version of this rod beyond 45-feet.
The rod's accuracy really suffered at our final distance of 60-feet. We've talked a little bit about it in the 'Distance' section, but this rod just isn't made accuracy beyond 45-feet.
Feel, feedback, and flex are three major reasons anglers choose glass over graphite. Glass is known for providing a ton of feedback and feel to the angler and the Fastglass II certainly lives up to this notion. At shorter distances, the angler can really feel the rod load and unload. Because of the moderate action of this rod, it loads really well at close distances and you can quickly tell if your casting stroke is too quick or if you're applying too much forward power. Being in tune with a trout rod is important, especially when you're fishing dry flies at short distances, and the Fastglass II encourages an intimate connection between angler and rod at these shorter distances.
Because Epic has optimized this rod taper for short distances, feedback and feel decrease with distance. Feel diminishes and the rod falls apart as the angler tries to harness power from the butt section of the rod or tries to increase line speed with a double haul. The rod's full flex profile is easily loaded with light loads so the rod full flexes at 45-feet. Anything past that pushes the rod to flex more than it's meant to and decreases accuracy.
Epic Lifetime Warranty
This rod has a lot to be excited about. If you're a fan of small water, slow casting strokes, and delicate presentations, this is the rod for you. The Fastglass II boasts a ton of feedback and feel along with stellar componentry and an intricately designed blank. The rod taper is ideal for spring creek fishing where delicacy and finesse take precedence over line speed and power. Epically designed for the avid trout angler, this rod is sure to take you back to your roots and encourage a different approach to small water angling.
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