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Douglas Sky
Douglas Sky best 6 weight fly rod

George’s Comments:

The new Douglas Sky was a pleasant surprise to all of us!  This rod just did everything well.  Once in a while in our Shootouts we’ll find a rod that feels and performs so much better than anything else, and this is why we gave the Sky a perfect score in the Perfect 6 category.

At 30 feet it had a terrific feel and the accuracy was superb.  But at mid and long distance it gave us the kind of performance that few other rods could touch.  It formed effortless tight loops and delivered great accuracy.  Nearly all of our testers felt the same way.  Douglas sure came up with a winner with the Sky. Douglas is an American Company based in New York, but the rods are manufactured in Korea, with design work done in the United States.

The Sky is a handsome rod too, with a flat gray, non-glare finish and black wraps.  Douglas is one of the first manufacturers to use the new Fuji Torzite stripping guide that has a slight angle forward to allow the line to shoot more smoothly and the slickest ring in the business.  The rest of the guides are single foot, flexible nickel titanium guides that are very light.  This is one reason the Sky feels so light in your hand in terms of swing weight.  

The Sky has a western style grip with very high quality cork and contrasting rings top and bottom.  It looks good and feels good.  On these six-weight rods, I prefer this Western style cigar style grip to the full wells that works best on larger rods.  The Western grip on the Sky gave me better feel, especially when casting at shorter distances.  The reel seat is good looking gray anodized skeleton seat with double locking rings and a dark wood insert.  The locking rings have a thin plastic ring on top of them that allows a more secure lock-up than most standard rings.  The new rod sock they have designed is one of the best I’ve seen and will allow a wet rod to dry out quickly, even if you have to put it away wet.     

George’s casting notes:    The perfect line-  S.A. MPX in WF-6-F

Performance at 30 feet:  19.5 points out of 20

Extremely good feel in my hand – nice light swing weight and great accuracy.  The only thing better at short range was the Winston Air.

Performance at 50 feet:   20 points out of 20

Just effortless tight loops and wonderful accuracy.   Marginally better than the Asquith or Radian.   A very impressive performance.

Performance at 75 feet:   20 points out of 20

Another perfect performance from the Sky at long range.  Only the Asquith felt as good out long. 

Douglas Sky 9'#6

James’ Comments:

Douglas has come a long way in fly-fishing world in a very short period of time, and the Sky epitomizes their accelerated success story. Rod designer Fred Contaoi took his time with the Sky series and didn’t rush into production like many companies are forced to do. In fact, the first time we cast the Sky rods we were not overly impressed.  We actually felt the DXF series was better.  Similar reviews sent Fred back to the drawing board and with George’s feedback (among others) he came up with the extraordinary “new and improved” Sky rods that we all love today.

The Sky utilizes materials and components that no other rod has ever featured.  The first is Douglas’ proprietary next generation nano-carbon matrix, which has an impressive strength to weight ratio.  Is it better than any other nano-resin out there?  Probably not, but from what we can tell it is just as good.  The Sky also is the first fly rod to utilize Fuji’s most advanced “Torzite” stripping guides, which are angled to improve shooting power.  They are also lighter and stronger than other stripping guides and are made with the thinnest ceramic insert available, which also helps with improved shooting capability.   The “look” of these tricked out stripping guides certainly takes a while to get used to, but after a while they seem normal.

The best thing about the Douglas Sky is that it is easy to cast at all three distances and requires the least amount of effort or concentration to perform well.  I had to pay more attention to other rods in order to adjust my stroke to match the rods action, but with the Douglas Sky casting felt like extension of my arm. 

There are only a few rods that I really love to cast and fish with, and the Douglas Sky 9’#6 has just earned it’s spot in my never-sell quiver.  My personal all-time favorites include: the Sage LL 389, Hardy Zenith 8’6”4-weight, Tom Morgan 8’6” 5-weight, Hardy Zenith 9’ 5-weight, Winston BIIx 9’7 weight, G. Loomis CrossCurrent 9’ 8-weight, Sage TCX 12’6” 7-weight (the Deathstar), and a G.Loomis NRX 15’#10/11 “Devastator.”  

Performance at 30 feet:  19 points out of 20

Lighter and crisper than almost every other rod, the Douglas Sky is exceptionally accurate and fun to cast.  Only the Winston Air and Scott Radian had more feel in close.   The Sky held its own however, and was insanely precise with just the flick of the wrist.  Its light swing weight and light overall-weight make it a joy to cast at all distances.  

Performance at 50 feet:  20 points out of 20

Extraordinary!  Wow… speechless.  This is exactly what I’m looking for in a 6-weight fly rod.  The Sky sets the bar for what an all around 6-weight rod should be, light yet powerful and easy to cast even during difficult conditions.  Truly effortless to cast, the Sky requires no concentration in order for it to perform.  I feel like I can’t make a bad cast with this rod.

Performance at 75 feet:  20 points out of 20

Flawless distance performance.  75 feet is a long way away, (not to mention trying to hit a pie plate that far), but the Sky makes it seem possible and even likely.  With other rods it’s a chore to even cast this far, but with the Sky I’m looking to dial in my aim and go for the plate. I’m blown away by how well this rod transfers energy.  It has astonishing power yet a smooth feel and application of that power.  The only other rods that felt as good were the G. Loomis Asquith and the Loop Cross SX, everything else got blown away at this distance.   We are talking Harvard, Princeton, Yale here folks – take your pick…

Douglas Sky 9'#6

Logan’s Comments:

If the G. Loomis Asquith is the rod you want, the Douglas Sky is the rod you can have.  The Sky is incredibly light in the hand and has a great feel.  I really like the looks of the Sky.  It has muted tones of gray accented by a nice looking reel seat.  It can’t beat the Asquith or the Winston in looks and craftsmanship, but based on performance this rod is a winner.

Logan’s Casting Notes: 

Performance at 30 feet: 19.5 points out of 20

Great feel for in close distances.  It’s a stiffer rod, but has a nice soft tip that helps it perform at close distances.  I was hitting the plate almost every time.  An extremely consistent rod at all distances but I liked it best at 30 feet.

Performance at 50 feet: 19 points out of 20

I was hitting the plate consistently with the Sky and the only rod that was better was the Asquith.

Performance at 75 feet: 19 points out of 20

The Sky was another rod that got it done for me at 75 feet.  Got the fly to the plate and actually hit it once!!

Douglas Sky fly rods

JG’s Comments:

When I picked up this rod for the first time I couldn’t help but notice how light it was.  That’s the norm in advertising, right?  Lighter, stronger, faster, whatever.  Most of the time I have to convince myself that I can feel the difference.  With the Sky By Douglas Outdoors I was surprised by how clearly different this rod felt right off the bat.  A nice grip ensures comfort and accuracy while the subtle but classy looks don’t spook fish and keep you looking good.

30 Feet:   20 points out of 20

My favorite thing about this Sky and one reason it got such high marks from me is that it’s very versatile, and that’s because it has a really progressive action.  It’s got a soft tip that gradually and steadily ramps up to a stiff butt section.  This means that casting at shorter distances is easy and pleasant.  The softer tip of the rod loads and unloads giving the angler a lot of feel and feedback making it extremely accurate at close distance.  It doesn’t overpower short casts which would cause them to slap the water but manages to put enough energy into the line to get the leader to straighten out every time.  

50 Feet:    20 points out of 20

At mid range the Sky performed flawlessly.  The MPX (1/2 size heavy) that we use for our shootouts fits it perfectly and makes the sweet spot large and apparent.  Hitting the bulls-eye takes little more effort than looking at where you want your fly and letting the rod do the rest.  Loop shape is easy to manipulate and it’s easy to change targets.  Tracking at a distance is spectacular again making this a really accurate rod.  This is one of the most fun rods I’ve had the pleasure to cast just because it’s so easy.  Tailing loops go away, accuracy goes up, and I’m able to think about the fishing more than the casting.  All good things!

75 Feet:   20 points out of 20

This is one of the few rods where hitting the farthest target is just as easy as hitting the mid range mark.  Again we see the progressive action come into its own, where the short casts were easy because of the soft tip, the long casts are equally easy because of the power reserves located in the butt section of the rod.  Just pick a target, let the rod load and smoothly add power and it’s harder not to hit your target than it is to hit it.

Douglas Sky best 6 weight fly rod
Douglas Sky best 6 weight fly rod
Douglas Sky best 6 weight fly rod
Douglas Sky best 6 weight fly rod
Douglas Sky best 6 weight fly rod
Douglas Sky best 6 weight fly rod