This past spring, I was fortunate to receive two demo rods from the crew at Douglas Outdoors: a 5-weight DXF and a 7-weight from their new flagship SKY series. Spanning two years in development, Douglas' own rod designer Fred Contaoi took input from industry pros along with his own expertise and crafted this series from the ground up. SKY fly rods are not just another "premium" offering—a word that can often be loosely thrown around. This series utilizes the proprietary X-Matrix next generation carbon matrix material along with unique, yet smart features to truly deliver a premium and very special offering.
Upon first removing the SKY 7-weight from the tube, I noticed the gorgeous matte platinum finish. It's simple yet attractive and matches nicely to most any reel that's attached. After assembling the rod, the second thing I noticed was how light the rod felt! Douglas touts the strength-to-weight ratio of these sticks, and this model is indeed light-in-hand. Other unique aspects of this model include angled, tangle-free titanium-framed stripping guides with Torzite inserts, REC single-foot guides, anodized aluminum reel seat with dual uplocking rings (with nylon inserts), full wells grip with composite ends, and ferrule alignment dots.
The performance of the SKY 7-weight is awesome. SKY rods are different in the fact that each model has an action tailored to its size and intended usage. This particular model has excellent power down the blank for both distance and fighting fish, but best of all it has a very forgiving tip for short casting. It feels crisp, lightweight, and worked great for me at all distances. I was bummed I had only a limited time with the rod, and even more bummed I had to give it back. I want one!
All SKY rods include an aluminum rod tube with a unique mesh rod sock that wicks moisture. Models are all 4-pieces and range from 9'0"–11'0" in length and 2–12 weight. You'll find reverse western grips on the 2–6 weights, and full-wells grips on 7–12 sizes. All models are priced at $695.