I don’t do diplomacy very well, so let me be straight up, right out of the chute: I. Like. This. Rod. A Lot. Honestly, I wasn’t prepared to like it as much as I did. When our friends at Douglas Outdoors asked us if we’d review it, I did my homework. The reviews I read were very positive. But sometimes I wonder about these sorts of things, and I was very ready to be very skeptical. Then it showed up on the front porch.
It arrived at a good time, actually. Spring in southeast Wyoming is not recognizable as spring to most of the rest of the country. We go from pre-runoff fishing to blown-out rivers the color of chocolate milk in a day or two. And the gear we use changes dramatically as the conditions change. We go from fishing big streamers to fishing tiny chironomids or maybe even dry flies overnight, depending on the conditions.
The first thing I noticed about this rod was the weight. It’s light, coming in at 2.7 oz. in a 5-weight. That’s not a lot different than plenty of other 5-weights, but you notice it right off. You also notice the action. It’s definitely a fast rod. When I rigged it and did a few practice casts with it, it became pretty obvious that this was a rod with some power. But how it loads and how fast it is and all the rest of the technical details are just details for me. I needed to know how it fishes.
The first day I fished it was brutal. The wind was howling at about 30 mph and the fish were after medium sized leech patterns weighted heavy. It was a chuck-and-duck kind of day. It took me a few casts to get my timing down, but the power —oh, the power — was impressive. This rod can handle big, weighted flies in big wind with no trouble. And once I got used to how deeply into the blank it loads, I found I could make long casts without double-hauling. It is a very powerful rod.
The next time I fished it was completely different. It was warm, and the water was glassy – a rare occurrence in our part of the world. There was a BWO hatch coming off, but the fish were more or less ignoring it, so I rigged a small midge dropper off the dry fly. Bingo. Again, I found that the SKY G would cast a much lighter rig a long way, but what was more impressive was how tight the loop was and how it helped even a sloppy dry fly caster like me land my fly gently and with precision. Again, I was impressed.
This is a very good rod that can compete with rods that cost more and generate a ton more hype. Again: I. Like. This. Rod. A Lot. Please note that Douglas does not sell direct to customers, so we gently suggest you check one of their rods out at your local TU Business Member fly shop.