Recently I was asked if I’d like to try out the Epic 590 C.
Being somewhat of a fan the Epic fibreglass range for the past couple of years and having enjoyed the soulful experience they offer fly fishers I have to confess I wondered “why on earth is Carl of Epic bothering with Carbon”? Hell that is such a well catered and competitive market - right?
Most of us in the game reckon it’s REALLY hard to get a rubbish rod nowadays! Many are superb casting machines – some are even great fishing tools. Occasionally, those attributes come together and this baby, the Epic590 C, does it with all the panache and style of an Aston Martin!!
From the moment of undressing from the stylish black rod tube it is clear that there have been many hours of thought, research and downright passion that have gone into the making of this state of the art modern fly rod - from the high grade Portuguese cork handle, black alloy bar stock reel seat, black nickel guides, Japanese silk wraps all on a black unidirectional carbon fly rod blank. It clearly appears thinner and much lighter than other rods. Put simply – “ it oozes “slick””
In the past 30 years we have all witnessed the quest for a faster and faster rod action. As a guide I have seen far too many “bust offs” on “sets” and “fights”. However, some manufacturers really didn’t get caught up in all of that “testosterone, macho, greatest distance caster hype” Epic is such a rod maker and the 590 C is the quintessential example of what a fly rod should do. Its medium fast action allows for extremely long casts while being equally at home with the finest and shortest of presentations. Its recovery speeds are surprisingly incredibly fast and yet the rod performs with a classic silky smoothness and finesse rarely experienced. I have to admit for me “it was love at first cast”. I didn’t want to put it down! At all distances its performance was exemplary.
Testing on the water was even more of a thrill – funny that! Short tight casts under trees, delicate reach casts over glassy water to “spent” risers and even to the inevitable methodical “ripple working” it performed with absolute grace. Mending and presentation casts were a joy to execute. Oh yes and of course the “set” and “play” – not a problem the “cushion” was sensational even on the “testiest and angriest” of wild Upper Mataura browns. Thrusts and parries could be executed with absolute confidence - fish quickly succumbed. The classic “feel” comes right through to the handle – sensitivity with strength – sounds like the “perfect male”!!
It is clear that “passion and soul” have come to fore in the making of this exceptional fly rod and to think that it all happens in New Zealand and more particularly here in Wanaka is something quite unique.
Occasionally, through our fly fishing journey our passion gets “re invigorated” – most often through “people” - engaging with younger, blindly enthusiastic younger like minded people. In this instance, for me, that reinvigoration is ignited by discovering a phenomenal fly rod, the Epic 590 C.
Good on you Carl, Jeannie, Trevor and team for sharing your passion with the world. I for one just can’t wait to get “back out there” with the Epic 590 C!!
Ian Cole is the real deal. He has extensively guided over the lower half of the South Island since 1992. Starting fly fishing at the tender age of 13 he has amassed 45 years of fly-fishing experience.
Ian is a Certified IFFF Fly Casting Instructor and IFFF Guides Association Member.
Of particular note, Ian has made an outstanding contribution to New Zealand Fish and Game as a long standing council representative & active conservationist.
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Fly Fishing Emergers. A semi-sunk fly projects more visible stimulus than a high and dry pattern, so it makes a lot of sense to use a design that penetrates the surface film as a ‘searching pattern’, rather than the high-riding flies usually recommended for this job like the Royal Wulff, Humpy or Elk Hair Caddis. For me, the old dry hackle jobs have been moved well down the bench, even for fast broken water.