Douglas DXF      9’ 5-weight        $349.00

Douglas DXF

Douglas DXF

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George's Notes:

Here’s a rod that we have touted as our best mid-priced rod in our last two 5-weight Shootouts.   The Loop Opti Stream edged it out this year but only because the Opti Stream price dropped $103, down to $429 from $532.  That said, the DXF is certainly the best rod we’ve ever found for under $400.  So maybe we have two mid-price winners?  In our overall results, the DXF crushed ten other rods that range in price from $425 to $945!  And in Performance only, it was still ahead of eight of the more expensive rods, finishing a respectable 12th in our 26-rod Shootout.    

From the minute I picked up this rod a few years ago I’ve liked almost everything about it.  It’s nice and light in swing weight and has a smooth medium fast action.  It casts impressively, especially at short to medium distances, and it looks great too.  The cosmetics are a dark green blank but finished with a flat, non-glare epoxy.  Darker green wraps are used and everything is finished nicely.  The handle is a half wells, western style grip with very good quality cork and a dynamite double uplocking seat with a gorgeous piece of burl wood as the insert.  The guide set up is one SiC stripper with the rest silver hard chrome snake guides. 


The perfect line: S.A. Amplitude MPX in WF-5-F.

Performance at 25 feet:  19.1 points out of 20

Nice and light in hand with good feel and good accuracy in close.  Noticeably better than the Recon and even the Sage X and Legend Elite. 

Performance at 45 feet:  19.4 points out of 20

At mid-range it performed better than either the Orvis Helios 2 or the Recon.  A nice smooth stroke that produced tight loops and good accuracy.  Short to mid-range is the sweet spot for this rod.

Performance at 70 feet: 8.5 points out of 10

Ok, we’ll admit that the DXF is no long range cannon.

At this distance it got killed by the Wraith, Asquith, Avantt and many of the other more powerful rods.  




Douglas DXF

Douglas DXF

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James' Notes:

If you are on a budget but want the best 5-weight performance you can find, check out the Douglas DXF.  In the past, the DXF has been our pick as the best mid-priced rod.  It still is, with the excetion of the Opti Stream at its new lower price of $429.

The DXF has a great all-around action, is nice and light, and really feels like a rod that costs twice as much.


Performance at 25 feet:  19 points out of 20

Reminds me a lot of the Douglas Sky, just a little heavier.  Very accurate and also plenty of feel.

Performance at 45 feet:  19.4 points out of 20

Again, nearly as nice as the Douglas SKY, just heavier.  Perfectly formed loops with great accuracy, an incredible rod for the money!

Performance at 70 feet: 9.6 points out of 10 

Not bad at all, albeit with extra weight.  Not ot as much power as the Douglas Sky. I had more tailing loops when trying to push it.  Still better than many other rods at 70 feet. 



Douglas DXF

Douglas DXF

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Logan's Notes:

During the past year I have become much more familiar with the Douglas line-up.  The DXF is a great mid-priced rod that has been in their line-up for a few years now and still gets our vote as one of the very best mid-priced rods.  It is an attractive rod with a matte finish, glossy wraps, and good craftsmanship. The performance was also very good.


Logan’s Casting Notes:

Performance at 25 feet:  17.5 out of 20

At 25 feet the Douglas DXF was able to make consistently accurate casts, but it was better at mid-distance.

Performance at 45 feet:  18 out of 20

If the DXF has a sweet spot it would be at the mid-distances. I really enjoy how this rod performs at 35-45 feet.

Performance at 70 feet:  7 out of 10

Long distances were not the strong suit for the DXF.  It cast easily at this distance, but the accuracy suffered.



Douglas DXF

Douglas DXF

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JG's Notes:

For mid-priced performance it’s really tough to beat the DXF from Douglas Outdoors.  The rod has a beautiful green matte finished blank and a nice burled wood reel seat.  It’s got a nice action that is softer than many of the other rods, but it still managed to produce good power and accuracy in a lightweight, affordable package.


25 Feet -  19.5 points out of 20
The DXF’s action is not as fast as some and, as a result, it does great casting to short-range targets.  Both accuracy and feel were on par with the best rods.


45 Feet – 19.2 points out of 20
The DXF continues to be a great casting machine at 45 feet.  I really like how this rod loads and unloads. It’s very smooth and feels great at mid-distances.  I had great accuracy and felt in control of my fly line.


70 Feet – 18.4 points out of 20
70 feet is a little harder to hit with the DXF than with some of the other stiffer, rods.  It can make the distance but my accuracy was down a little bit.  Most anglers are rarely casting at 70 feet with a 5-weight rod, so I think the DXF is a fine choice since it is so good at short and mid-range, and does it at a fraction of the cost of most rods.