July 21st, 2014
Bill Lewis Outdoors Echo 1.75 Squarebill Crankbaitby Grant Pentiricci January 13, 2016
The Bill Lewis Outdoors Echo 1.75 squarebill crankbait was the brainchild of Pro Angler Andrew Upshaw and lure designer Brian Branum. The Echo balances between the traditional 1.5 and 2.0 sizes, hence the 1.75, that are typically seen throughout the bass fishing market.
This crank is a thick bodied, flat-sided squarebill and is designed to be cranked in all situations and not get hung up in cover. The Echo is reported to have some unique features that may give you the edge when cranking for fish.
During a recent trip, our team interviewed lure designer, Brian Branum, and we got some first hand information about the development of the Echo. Click on the video to check it out.
Squarebill Crankbait Features:
Made in the USA. The Echo 1.75 is the only squarebill introduced in 2015 that is being mass produced in the U.S.A.
Transparent Holographic XL Eyes. The Extra-Large eyes of the ECHO are not only big, but they are made up of a transparent, holographic material. The make-up of the eye allows it to take on the colors around it and then reflect those colors back. This provides for a naturalized look of the lure.
Full bodied sound with a low-knock & high-rattle. Most squarebills on the market today are either silent or have a weak, singular pitch. The Echo features dual chambered bio-acoustics. On a slow retrieve the Echo hits a low-pitch knock, but when you rip it free from grass or speed up the retrieve slightly the high-pitch rattle chamber prevails.
Flat-sided design. Most flat-sided crankbaits are skinny with a tight action. The Echo 1.75 is not. The Echo is very thick for a flat-sided crank. By design, the fat, flat-sided body kicks extremely hard in the water. It feels like a ChatterBait tied on your line.
- Strategic line-tie placement; better through grass
- Square lipped
- Mustad triple grip treble hooks
- Different sized rattles providing different frequencies depending on lure angle
- Length 2-1/2″, Weight 2/3-oz, Diving depth 2 to 3-ft
- 15 colors available
One of the things that our team really liked was the pedigree of this crank. It is developed by well known lure designer and engineer,Brian Branum, and it is from Bill Lewis Outdoors. Both are as American as it gets. When you buy this bait, you know you are getting a lure from a company that has really put some time and effort into getting it right. This lure has been in development for a long time and gone through countless redesigns which makes me a little more confident in it.
Right out of the box the Echo feels good and looks great. With 15 colors to choose from, the Echo is definitely not lacking in choices for anglers either. I liked the hooks and line tie on the crank as well. The quality is reminiscent of the Rat-L-Trap, and that’s a good thing.
I found the design intriguing and was really eager to get this bait out on the water. This flat-sided, square-lipped crank was just begging to be thrown into some laydowns! I feel like the rattles inside, although not unique, need to also be listed as a pro in this review. After interviewing the designer and getting a very detailed description of how the frequency changes in the Echo, I really think that it sets this crank apart from other similar baits.
Price is also a pro with the Echo. All models are a reasonable $6.49 USD and are available pretty much everywhere. Bill Lewis Outdoors has been around a long time, so their distribution is amazing. Finding the Echo at your local tackle shop should be easy. You can also check them out on Tacklewarehouse HERE. I have listed price as a pro because the Echo is really priced well and comes in at or below other manufactures price points for similar lures.
As with all baits, there has to be some give and take. The Echo is no exception to this rule. When inspecting all the Echos we had been sent by Bill Lewis Outdoors, we notice that the mold lines from production were still visible. Although this doesn’t affect the lure’s performance in any noticeable way, it did make the bait seem to be lower quality than it really is. The designers may have opted to cut the costs of cleaning up the bait during production in order to keep the price down.
The characteristics of the Echo do limit where anglers can throw it. Being a 3 to 5-ft diving squarebill, makes it almost a niche crank that will excel at very specific types of cover. This isn’t a crank you can tie on and throw all day regardless of where you are fishing. There are very specific areas where you can successfully throw this bait and they have to be sought out.
We couldn’t see any other areas of improvement for the Echo aside from maybe a hook upgrade.
On The Water
The Echo is a close quarters crank and does its best work with short, tight casts right into cover. It works best fished around hard targets such as pilings, rocks, laydowns etc. The squarebill properties of the Echo made it somewhat weedless, but any attempt at running it through weedbeds usually ended up with the bait getting bogged down.
A slow steady retrieve worked best with the Echo and it seems to just do its thing when left alone. There is no need for twitching or varying your retrieve. The Echo is really erratic and does it all on its own. If you try to burn it the Echo tends to turn over on its side and come out of the water. I used a 6.2:1 speed reel and found that I had to really go slowly. In FLW pro Brian Latimer’s how to video he recommends a slower reel than this such as a 5:1. I think that his recommendation is spot-on for how the Echo likes to be run.
With the Echo being so good at this type of close quarters cranking, I knew just the right stump field to go to! The Echo is just phenomenal at getting through hard targets and I really enjoyed watching it swim through cover. It really is a 4×4 crankbait as Brian Latimer described in his how to video. You can view his video below:
The Echo crank loves to get into the laydowns and bumping it on stumps seemed to entice strikes. I really think that the Echo has a place in everyone’s tackle box, especially if you fish anywhere with stumpfields. It is priced competitively, widely available and within reach of every angler who loves this technique.
Anglers of all levels who want to crank shallow hard targets should definitely consider adding the Echo 1.75 to their arsenal.
About AuthorMore info about author
Grant is the Founder of AnglingAuthority.com. While he primarily fishes for large mouth and small mouth bass, he’s passionate about sport fishing in general and an avid multispecies angler. Learning about new tactics, gear, species and conditions is all part of what makes the sport challenging and enjoyable. Grant also loves to travel, particularly to prime fishing destinations. Grant participates in regional tournaments and is a proud pro staff member of State Apparel, Power-Pole and Gambler Lures. Grant is a member of B.A.S.S, Canadian Bass Anglers Federation and Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters.More by Grant Pentiricci