Here’s a mid-priced rod that put in a good performance across the board. In the 4, 5, and 6-weights, the DXF is a great casting rod.
One of the things that I liked was the light feel of this rod in my hand. The very light swing weight confirms this. The medium fast action seems just right and I’m getting both good feel and good accuracy at the shorter distances. The Douglas Sky was both heavier and stiffer, and didn’t perform as well, except out long at 60 feet.
The DXF has been one of our top mid-priced rods, but there was no denying the Hardy Shadow and Orvis Recon were better.
I love the appearance of the DXF, with the blank finished in a flat, non-glare dark green. The wraps are darker green and the epoxy coatings were nicely done. The handle is a half wells western style grip with contrasting dark composite cork rings at both the bottom and top. The quality of the standard size cork rings was very good. Douglas uses a dark green anodized double ring uplocking seat, with an attractive brown wood burl insert. For guides, there is a hook keeper just above the handle, and then one SiC stripping guide followed by hard chrome snake guides.
The perfect line: SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity in WF-4-F
George’s casting notes:
Performance at 25 feet: 19.0 points out of 20
Nice and light in hand with very good feel and accuracy in close. Better than the Sky but can’t match the Shadow.
Performance at 40 feet: 19.0 points out of 20
This is a very smooth rod to cast and I’m getting nice tight loops and good accuracy. Short to mid-range seem to be the best distances for the DXF.
Performance at 60 feet: 8.5 points out of 10
Here the lack of butt power hurts a bit but it was better than the Shadow out long and matched the Scott G-Series.
It’s rare that we score a rod company’s less expensive model over their top-of- the-line rod, but occasionally it happens. Not only does the DXF have a lighter swing weight than the SKY, (mostly due to the SKY’s 9 foot length), but it has also has a softer tip and more feel in close.
Choosing the best mid-priced rod was more difficult for me than choosing the Shootout winner or the best inexpensive 4-weight rod, mostly because the DXF is so good in close and at mid-distance!
Aside from the DXF’s solid performance, I’m impressed by its high-end looks. The attractive matte forest green blank looks great. The dark green anodized double uplocking seat complements the color of the rod. The burled wood insert looks high-end and the cork quality is very good. Douglas adds darker, composite cork rings top and bottom on the grip that also look great. I think this is a great rod for a nice price!
Metallic matte forest green blank, huge chrome snake guides. The softer butt and midsection give it a deeper flex than the SKY. Composite cork on both ends of the grip, with a very nice wood insert and a good double uplocking reel seat. Easy-to-see alignment dots. Feels lighter in hand than most.
Performance at 25 feet: 19.1 points out of 20
Surprisingly good! Lighter in hand, with more feel than the SKY (and many others). Nice blend of power and feel at 25 feet.
Performance at 40 feet: 19 points out of 20
Again this rod is smooth and throws some tight, accurate loops. I wish I had a little more power here but double hauling helps. I’m still not getting the zing that I get with the Shadow or Recon.
Performance at 60 feet: 7.9 points out of 10
Timing becomes critical when casting 60 feet. If you are able to apply power smoothly the rod performs well. But when I punch the power in too quickly, I was getting tailing loops and tangles. The SKY was way better here at our longest distance.
Logan’s Comments: 44 out of 50
The Douglas DXF was one of the better all around 4-weights at under $400. It wasn’t incredible at any one distance but was good at all three. It has the same fine craftsmanship and cosmetics we have come to expect from Douglas. As dealers, we always know that every Douglas rod will be well built with quality components and consistently good quality control.
Performance at 25 feet: 18 out of 20
The DXF was accurate at 25 feet, but the Winston Pure, with its softer tip, gave me more delicate presentations.
Performance at 40 feet: 18 out of 20
At 40 feet the DXF was forming tight loops but was lacking the accuracy I was looking for.
Performance at 60 feet: 8 out of 10
The DXF has the guts to cast to 60 feet, but isn’t as accurate or as smooth as other mid-priced rods like the Orvis Recon.
The Douglas DXF is a decent rod that fits nicely into the middle of the pack. I found it a little less accurate then some of the top ranked rods. But it did give me a good amount of feel along with light and delicate presentations, better than what I got with the SKY.
The craftsmanship was good, and I liked the appearance of this rod in its flat green color.
Performance at 25 feet: 18/20
A good rod at close range. Decent accuracy and delicate presentations.
Performance at 40 feet: 18.5/20
Accurate and smooth at this mid distance.
Performance at 60 feet: 8/10
The DXF didn’t have as much butt power as many of the other rods, and couldn’t handle the long distance as well.
Similar to the Hardy Shadow, the DXF excelled in giving me softer, delicate presentations at close range. This rod offers a medium fast action with a softer tip. This is a good rod for those days when you need something that will not overpower your light tippets.
Performance at 25 feet: 18.3 out of 20
The action of this rod made casting in close a breeze. I was getting nice presentations with good accuracy.
Performance at 40 feet: 17 out of 20
This rod, being on the softer side, I noticed a slight loss of power at mid to long distance. No problem at 40 feet though, it will still gets the job done.
Performance at 60 feet: 7 out of 10
60 feet is a tough one for softer rods, and the DXF suffered at long distance. The SKY was much better out long.