With a family heritage dating all the way back to 1806, it’s safe to say that New York’s famed Salmon River has been an integral part of the Barclay family’s life for over two centuries. After spending years growing up on the Salmon River, Douglas owner, David Barclay, set out with a two-part mission. The first part was straightforward–he wanted to start a company with deep roots seated on the banks of the Salmon River that focuses on manufacturing tackle that’s built with quality and performance. The second part of David’s mission was to supply the local community with long-lasting jobs while furthering the conservation efforts on the Salmon River and its tributaries, ensuring that this world-class fishery remained just that well into the future.
In the year 2014, David put his plan into action and started Douglas Outdoors. With a foundation of listening to angler’s gripes and praises about rods on the Salmon River for years–and facing the same dilemmas and success himself–coupled with David’s close work alongside leaders in rod design and engineering, it wasn’t long before Douglas began to make quite a splash in the industry. Winning several awards with their Sky G Series of Rods, David Barclay quickly exceeded his original mission of “manufacturing tackle that’s built with quality and performance,” and as Douglas continued to grow as a brand, David was able to check off the other half of his mission by continually employing those who have called central upstate New York home.
With solid success just a few short years into Douglas’ lifespan, David was able to continue pushing the envelope in rod design, but not without maintaining his original pledge to ensure proper conservation of the Salmon River and employ those around him. This statement from Douglas perfectly exemplifies their commitment to exceptionally building top-notch rods: “We bring our commitment to quality and excellence into every rod we design – from our high-end rods to entry-level. Each is designed to be the best rod in-class – backed by our incredible warranty,” and another seemingly simple statement showcases his commitment to conservation: “Conservation and excellence are the foundation upon which Douglas Outdoors was built.”
So where does Douglas Outdoors stand eight years after its inception? Well, exactly where it began in Phoenix, New York with the same professional integrity, top-tier customer service, and team of hardworking employees hailing from the surrounding area.
At the heart of Douglas is a commitment to building high-quality rods that can be used in any water where fish are being caught. A tall order? Absolutely. However, like everything else David Barclay has set out to do, he exceeds the expectations of those around him. To hold up Douglas’ commitment to every rod they make, they put each stick through a careful and meticulous design process that takes every part of the fishing equation into account. Need to throw massive flies at GTs for eight-hours straight? Douglas has you covered with a rod like their #12 Sky. Need to delicately place a dry fly in front of a rising fish on a skinny limestone stream? Douglas has you covered for that too with something like their 7’6” #3 Upstream model. Need to swing flies for steel…well, you get where this is going. Each of the rods designed by Douglas is purpose-driven to help anglers find success and ease of use, no matter what the day’s conditions look like, and through a combination of state-of-the-art materials and excellent componentry, Douglas makes finding success and joy on the water that much easier.
As of 2022, Douglas maintains a strong lineup of seven core fly rods spanning more than seventy different models. And whether you’re looking for a saltwater-ready rod or something for freshwater, a single-handed rod or a double-handed rod, Douglas has a rod that fits the bill.
Sky G - Ahh, the Sky G, the very rod that helped put Douglass Outdoors on the map. The Sky G is a series of rods built for almost every fishing scenario you’ll come across. Ranging in line weights that begin with a #4 and end with a #11, the Sky G encompasses versatility, and it’s built with top-tier components to deliver a rod that’s quick to adapt and downright fun to fish. Made with a moderate-fast action and built with a focus on being lightweight, offering fast recovery, and maintaining durability, the Sky G is a rod that you can rely on for years to come. And with its componentry like an AAAA flor-grade cork, G-Tec platelet construction on a glare-resistant blank, and REC Titanium Cerecoil stripper guides/REC Titanium Recoil guides, you can fish with confidence knowing that the rod you’ve got in your hand utilizes materials that are second to none, with craftsmanship that never goes out of style. Whether it’s a fresh coho on the Salmon River that’s peeling drag or a solid slab of butter from a freestone stream, the Sky G has a rod in its series that will tame them all.
Sky - The Sky is another rod from Douglas that delivers excellent performance and the versatility needed to pursue a wide variety of species in a wide range of conditions. From situation-specific options like their specialty Euro Nymphing rods to do-it-all workhorses like their salt-ready 9’ 9 weight, the Sky was made for fishing. Built with a fast action with quick recovery and a super-strong-but-also-super-lightweight feel, the Sky is an excellent option whether you’re stalking permit on a flat all day long or covering miles on your favorite blue line. Built with high-quality components like a nano-carbon XMatrix material, an AAAA flor-grade cork, Fuji Torzite titanium stripper guides and REC Titanium recoil guides, and packaged in a classy aluminum tube, the Sky is a series of rods that you can fish everywhere the journey takes you with confidence
DXF - Implementing traditional freshwater approaches like nymphing and throwing dry flies, two-hand casting a switch rod on, well, nothing’s more appropriate than the Salmon River, Euro nymphing a series of pockets, or double-hauling your butt off on a saltwater flat, it doesn’t matter what sort of technical fishing situation you find yourself in because Douglas has a rod that covers all of these situations in their DXF series. A high-modulus blank equipped with XMatrix carbon materials meets a fast-action rod that’s light in hand while maintaining ample power to pull on those tough fish. High-quality components like AAA-grade cork and SIC hard chrome guides also add convenience and longstanding durability. Built-in line weight ranging from 2 through 12–with various options for a specific purpose, like the 11’ 4 weight Euro nymphing rod or the 11’6” switch rod–the DXF lets you dial in the exact setup you need to fish the situation at hand. A mid-priced rod with excessive versatility, the DXF is ready for it all.
Upstream - Made with small-to-medium-sized waterways in mind, the Upstream from Douglas is the perfect tool whether you’re exploring a high-altitude brook trout stream or a lowland limestone creek with gin-clear water. The Upstream is designed to be light in hand and deliver precise accuracy, while also maintaining enough backbone to punch into gusty conditions or wrangle that bruiser of a trout out from an undercut bank. Made from a high-modulus blank with a medium-slow action, the Upstream is a rod that you’ll be able to feel the flex of in every degree of your cast, further enhancing the fun that this rod provides while also adding a bit more finesse when using light tippets. Douglas’ Upstream is made in light line weights beginning with a #2 and bumping up to a #4, and all of these rods have a rich Natural Tonkin Bamboo color with clear thread wraps, making it the perfect complement to those lush systems rich with pine trees, moss, and fast-flowing water.
Upstream Plus - Taking design inspiration from their Upstream series of rods and adding a bit more power and a slightly faster action, the Upstream Plus is a great choice when fishing larger waters or whenever you run the chance of hooking into a behemoth. Built in line weights 4 through 6, the Upstream Plus gives you an option whether you’re looking to use traditional nymphing tactics, toss dry flies, or even sling some chunky streamers. The Upstream Plus is a rod that you can rely on whether you’re casting up close at the 20-foot range or bombing casts 60 feet across the streams’ width. Like their Upstream, the Upstream Plus also boasts a clean appearance with that classic Natural Tonkin Bamboo color, adding aesthetic appeal that’s backed by performance. A versatile series of rods, you can count on the Upstream Plus whether you’re fishing the first March brown spinner fall of the year or casting a Gurgler downstream and popping it back upstream in search of hungry bronzebacks.
LRS - With their LRS series, Douglas set out to create a high-performing series of rods that carries an affordable price tag. Designed with versatility and the ability to cover nearly any water and species you’ll encounter, the LRS has a range of different rod lengths and line weights in its family. Douglas’ LRS offers everything from a 7’6” 4 weight for fishing tight trout streams to a 9’ 10 weight that’s ready for albies, tarpon, and more, and it even has a 13’8” 8/9 weight Spey rod that’s ready to swing your favorite river. And just because this rod was made with affordability in mind, doesn’t mean that its componentry is compromised–Douglas hooks this series of rods up with solid components like a carbon fiber reel insert and dual dura-resin construction. A series of rods that fits most angling journeys, the LRS is a great option whenever you’re looking to add something to your arsenal that doesn’t break the bank or force you to compromise performance.
ERA - The latest rod in Douglas’ family, their ERA is a super-affordable option that doesn’t sacrifice quality for price. The ERA is built to be cost-effective and provide an easy entry to fly fishing for newer anglers or a solid backup rod for the more seasoned fly fisher. The ERA was built with a fast action that gives solid casting power, accuracy, and line control. Made in a 5-weight and 8-weight model, the ERA is ready for anything from delicately dropping a dry fly, throwing an indicator rig, or even stripping streamers back to your feet. A solid series of rods that keeps costs at a minimum, you can turn to the ERA whether you’re chasing lighter gamefish like trout and bass or heavier hitters like steelhead, pike, and even striped bass.