Here is another rod that has done very well in our 5-weight Shootout, where we touted it as the best mid-priced rod. The DXF pulled this off again! There is no question that the DXF is the best mid-priced rod we’ve found and the best mid-priced rod in our 6-weight Shootout! Douglas is a relatively new company, just a few years old now and not yet well known, but they are giving us some wonderful rods. The DXF performance figures reflect the fact that this is a terrific rod for the price. In my hand this rod has a very nice fast action – not quite as fast and slightly heavier than the Sky, but it is only half the price! The action of the DXF is very similar to the Helios 2 but it is slightly heavier in swing weight. If you are on a budget, you cannot go wrong with this rod.
I especially like the looks of this rod with its flat, non-glare green finish and matching green wraps with a nice looking epoxy finish. The handle is a western style grip with a gorgeous burl wood spacer in a double ring, uplocking seat that is anodized green to match the blank. Guides are one SiC stripper with the rest hard chrome snake guides.
George’s casting notes: The perfect line- S.A. MPX in WF-6-F
Performance at 30 feet: 19 points out of 20
Feels great in close and a lot lighter in my hand than the Pro 4X. The accuracy is good also.
Performance at 50 feet: 19.5 points out of 20
I can form tighter, nicer loops than with the Sage X or the Recon. Almost as good at mid-range as the Sky.
Performance at 75 feet: 19 points out of 20
Starting to run out of gas here. Still good but out long the Sky is much better, as are both Loomis rods.
The Douglas DXF 9’ 6-weight turned out to be consistent with the DXF 9’ 5-weight model. Lightweight, powerful, and versatile, The DXF is a great all around fishing rod for western freestone rivers and tailwaters alike. It is on the lighter/softer side of the equation, so those who might appreciate more feel in close, or for those who might focus on fishing dries, will likely appreciate the DXF’s pleasant flex and feel the most. Those who are looking to cast the entire line might want to go with the BVK or Aetos instead.
The DXF fits the bill for someone who wants excellent performance but can’t justify spending more than $350 on a fly rod. For the price, it is most certainly the sweetest 6-weight rod on the market, hence our pick for the best mid-priced rod available. The only hard part will be finding one in stock, so act soon or prepare to be on a waiting list. Matched with a Galvan Rush-5, an MPX line, backing and a leader ready to fish, you are looking at roughly $680 – a price that comes in significantly under many high end fly rods!
Performance at 30 feet: 19.5 points out of 20
Great lightweight feel in hand. Nice, tight loops off the tip of the rod made the DXF an in-close master. It also felt slower than some of the other 6 weights, which gave it that classic older graphite feel but with lighter (and stronger) modern materials.
Performance at 50 feet: 19 points out of 20
Excellent match of power and feel, especially for an affordable rod. I’d be happy casting this all day long. Feels like a $750 rod.
Performance at 75 feet: 18.5 points out of 20
For a rod with great feel I was surprised how well it did out long. In windless conditions it would have scored a 19.5, however, in the wind the softer feel means not quite enough power to hang with the Douglas Sky.
The Douglas DXF is a good mid-priced six weight. I did like both the G. Loomis Pro4x and the Orvis Recon better for the money, but the DXF is still a great mid-priced six weight.
Logan’s Casting Notes:
Performance at 30 feet: 18 points out of 20
The Douglas DXF performed well at 30 feet. I was able to make accurate casts time and time again. I didn’t like it as much as the Orvis Recon at this distance.
Performance at 50 feet: 18 points out of 20
At 50 feet the DXF was still making accurate casts and hitting the plate consistently.
Performance at 75 feet: 17 points out of 20
Like a lot of the mid-priced rods, the Douglas DXF struggles at 75 feet. I was able to cast to 75 feet but with no accuracy whatsoever.
The DXF, another fine rod from Douglas Outdoors, has a beautiful green blank and a slightly slower action than the Sky, the other Douglas rod in our Shootout. At the price of the DXF ($349.00) there isn’t much on the market that casts as well.
30 Feet: 19 points out of 20
The DXF is good in close. The rod tracks really well and is very accurate and controllable. It feels comfortable and natural in my hand and does just what I ask it to. It delivers flies pretty well but the tip could be just a touch softer to aid in delicacy for short-range casts.
50 Feet: 20 points out of 20
I thought this rod was fantastic at our middle distance of fifty feet. I could really feel what the rod was doing, loading and unloading, which made it easy to time my cast and worry more about where my fly was going to land than actually getting it there. Accuracy was spot on, this is an easy fun rod to fish at this distance.
75 Feet: 18 points out of 20
The DXF doesn’t have the fastest action, it is great up to about 65 feet but our longest shot, 80ft, was a little much to ask of the DXF. I found that it wasn’t quite as accurate out at the long target and was affected a little more by the wind. It still got there fairly easily and was accurate enough for such a long cast.