Douglas Sky G Fly Rod Series: Model-By-Model Review
We get questions about specific rod models all the time. "How does the Douglas Sky G 9wt compare to the 10wt?" "When should I use this rod?" and "What line works best on this rod?". This article is designed to pass that info along to you. We started a model-by-model blog series to provide better information so you can make a more informed buying decision.
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The Douglas Sky-G Fly Rod series is packed with state-of-the-art technology to bring you an incredibly lightweight and accurate medium-fast action casting tool. You might have heard that the 5wt model won “Best Overall Rod” in the Yellowstone Anglers 5wt Shootout, but how much do you know about the other models? Here are our impressions of every rod in the lineup:
The 8-foot 6-inch Sky G is an incredibly lightweight rod. Designed for delicate trout presentations, this model is ideal for small stream dry fly or lightweight nymphing and streamer applications. When tippet protection is paramount, the 9-foot 4wt may be more prudent, but this is a superb option for small brushy creeks where a quick, nimble rod is necessary.
Best Uses: Small stream dry flies, light nymphing, light streamers
The 9-foot 4wt offers a bit more tippet protection and power than its 8’6” counterpart, making this an ideal tool for situations where delicacy is still required but with more room to cast. Think western spring creeks, smaller tailwaters, and high-alpine lakes for brookies. Casting a Rio Gold fly line with this rod is buttery smooth and will make you fall in love with trout fishing all over again.
Lines: Rio Gold
Best Uses: Dry flies, light nymphing, light streamers
Read the full review HERE.
With best-in-class swing weight and plenty of hype to boot, it makes sense why the 5wt Sky G is one of our top-selling rods. Accuracy at close range is unparalleled with this sensational stick. At medium and longer distances, it delivers flies accurately and delicately with a surprising amount of reserve power. Overall this rod gives anglers exceptional feel and performance for most trout fishing situations. If you haven’t cast the 5wt Sky G yet, you should put it on your to-do list right away!
Best Uses: Dry flies, nymphing, light streamers
The Sky G 6wt has a little more power than the 5wt, making this a quality choice for throwing big foamy dry flies, nymphing, and hucking streamers. With a lightweight feel in hand, this rod casts an SA MPX line exceptionally well. This is a solid option if you’re looking for a sturdy all-around 6wt that can do everything from throwing hoppers from a boat to stripping streamers for aggressive brown trout.
Best Uses: Big dries, nymphing, streamers
9' 6wt Salt
We found the salt version of the Sky G 6wt interesting because it's surprisingly a softer rod than the freshwater 6wt model. When we first cast this rod, we immediately noticed how soft the tip was. And while It maintains its lightweight and accurate casting persona, it favors technical finesse scenarios. If you’re the angler who revels in close-range shots at spooky bonefish on calm days, this could be a decent daily driver salty 6. That being said, heavier lines like the SA Mastery MPX are just too heavy for this rod. Lighter, bonefish-specific lines however will help this rod shine and put more gray ghosts to hand.
Best Uses: Light line bonefish, snook, redfish
The Sky G 7wt provides more raw power than the 6wt salt, making it a sweet all-around 7wt for bonefish, snook, redfish, bass, or even a robust streamer rod for trout. Given its faster nature than its 6wt cousin, bonefish-specific lines feel lacking with this rod. To get a more satisfying flex from the 7wt, go with an SA Grand Slam. If you fancy yourself an angling journeyman, bouncing around varying fisheries, this could be a great do-it-all 7wt for your quiver.
Lines: SA Grand Slam
Best Uses: Bonefish, snook, redfish, bass, trout, streamers!
Douglas nailed the taper on the 8wt Sky G. This rod casts an SA Grand Slam line impressively well, while still handling a lighter bonefish line like a RIO bonefish. This is certainly a fast 8wt, but not too fast. It reminded us of the Scott Sector or the G. Loomis Asquith. This model makes sense as a daily driver in your flats arsenal, especially in situations where accuracy and speed are key factors.
Best Uses: Bonefish, Permit, Snook, Redfish
The Sky G 9wt gives flats junkies more power than the 8wt while maintaining clean accuracy. As a permit tool first and foremost, it makes sense that the SA Grand Slam fits this rod’s personality the best. And while this wasn’t the best casting 9wt we’ve ever tested, it certainly boasts great accuracy and feel for a 9.
Lines: SA Grand Slam
Best Uses: Permit
The 10wt Sky G is a blistering fast stick that feels light in hand. It's so fast in fact, that this rod is probably too fast for quick short shots at tarpon. This poses a bit of a line dilemma, as there is a narrow window for finding the sweet spot on this rod. We tried casting an SA Titan line and found the rod to be severely overloaded. Even tarpon-specific lines were tricky to find the perfect casting rhythm. We’re not sure what Douglas was going for with the 10wt but it left us scratching our heads.
Lines: SA Amplitude Tarpon was the best, but we didn’t love it.
Best Uses: Tarpon
Sometimes a rod just feels “fishy”, and that's exactly what we thought when we cast the Sky G 11wt. Throwing an SA tarpon line gave the rod a softer feel but with pleasingly quick recovery. Accuracy with this stick was excellent, which bodes well for those moments when you need your first shot at the silver king to count! Overall, this 11wt does its job well when paired with a tarpon-specific line.
Best Uses: Tarpon
For euro-nymphing enthusiasts who are looking for a light-tippet tool, the 10’ 2wt Sky G is very soft. It's important to note that we didn’t get to euro nymph with this rod, but we did cast it to ascertain its action. On the spectrum of euro-specific rods, this rod is particularly noodly, which has both advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, a soft euro rod offers excellent tippet protection and bounces far fewer fish than stiffer rods. On the other hand, this rod is not designed for actually casting fly line, it's just way too soft. So, for the angler who sticks to euro techniques with long, thin (even micro-thin) leader formulas, this rod is a solid choice.
Best Uses: Euro Nymphing
The 9’ 6wt (freshwater) was our favorite of all the models we cast. It was tough to pick a clear winner, as we were impressed with several of the models. The 8’ 6” 4wt, in particular, was a joy to cast. But, as a medium-fast action rod that inherently favors “feel” over power, we felt that the 6wt struck a great balance between the two. For a trout angler who prioritizes accuracy and a lightweight smooth feel, but also needs some reserve punch, the Sky G 6wt is a phenomenal tool.
Least Favorite Rod:
The 9’ 10wt was our least favorite rod in the series, as we just couldn’t find the right line to make it dance. Perhaps for expert casters who truly prefer stiff, fast rods this could work. But we feel that for the majority of casters, there are 10wts on the market that cast better with a wide array of lines.
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