Expert Review: Douglas SKY G Fly Rod

Published on 07/13/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the fly rod which I purchased with my own money in September of 2021.
Danny Salinas, Fly Fishing Expert
By Fly Fishing Expert Danny Salinas

Photo courtesy of Danny Salinas

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the rod which I purchased with my own money in September of 2021.

My take

The Douglas SKY G 590-4 fly fishing rod is a great all-around trout rod for those looking to upgrade from their first or second rod.

About this rod

  • Model: Douglas SKY G 590-4
  • Rod Length: 9ft
  • Rod Weight: 5f
  • Rod Pieces: 4 piece
  • Rod Material: Graphite

About me

  • Preferred fishing styles: Nymphing, Dry Flies, Streamers
  • Experience: 10 years of fly fishing

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: September 2021
  • Reel Paired with Rod: Ross Evolution LTX
  • Line Paired Rod: Scientific Anglers Infinity Fly Line
  • Days tested: 25
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Rivers
  • Species targeted with rod: Trout, Bass, Panfish

How it performs

Casting Ease

What I was looking for

I was looking to upgrade my current mid-tier trout rod. I wanted an all-around high-performing lightweight 5wt fly rod that could handle nymphing, dry flies, and small streamers.

Why I chose this gear

I have several other 5wt fly rods that are mid-level fly rods. They worked great but I wanted a high-end performance rod. After talking to friends and reading several reviews, I settled on the Douglas SKY G 590-4 because it was a high-performing, ultra-lightweight rod that would be a great all-around rod that could handle nymphing, dry flies, terrestrials, and streamers.

Photo courtesy of Danny Salinas

What I love about it

  • Quality: The quality of these rods is awesome! The cork is beautiful, the rod is made utilizing graphene, and users can tell how light it is as soon as they pick it up. The quality of the components and attention to detail is great.
  • Versatility: I’ve been using this rod mainly in rivers here in Texas chasing trout and bass. It has performed great whether I’m wading or fishing out of a kayak.
  • Use Case: This is a 5wt that I have only used for freshwater fishing and it has been able to handle dry flies, nymphing, and streamer fishing with ease. I’ve liked it so much that I picked up an 8wt for the coast here recently.
  • Action:
    • Ease of casting: This is a fast-action rod with a light swing weight.
    • Recover rate: There is very minimal bounce back after casting, which helps with the accuracy.
    • Power: Being a fast-action rod, I’ve yet to feel like I need more power to cut through the wind.
    • Line speed: This rod can generate plenty of line speed when needed.
    • Ideal casting distance: It can handle most trout casting distances and can handle casts up to 60ft with ease.
    • Accuracy: This is the most accurate rod I have fished. I can hit my intended target time after time.
    • Delicacy of presentation: This rod has a special blend of power and finesse that can lay down a dry fly down with ease and not slap the water.
  • Weight: This is a 5wt 9ft rod that should be lined with a 5wt line that is ½ size heavier. This is a great rod for all trout, panfish, bass, and other similar-sized freshwater fish.
  • Literal Weight: At 2.7oz, this is one of the lightest 5wts on the market that helps prevent fatigue after a long day of fishing.
  • Length: The SKY G only comes in a 9ft configuration which is a great all-around length for the type of fishing I do.
  • Sensitivity: While this is a fast-action rod, it is still sensitive enough to detect strikes when nymphing.
  • Grip: This comes with a very nice reverse half wells grip that is comfortable for a full day of fishing.
  • Aesthetics: This rod has a beautiful black blank with black wraps and one of the most beautiful reel seat inserts I’ve seen.
  • Warranty: Douglas has an original owner lifetime warranty on all of their fly rods. This warranty covers damage to the rod from any cause but excludes normal wear and tear or lost sections. Douglas will fix or replace the rod for a $35 handling fee.
  • Other: In addition to the beautiful rod, it comes with a premium aluminum rod tube.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Length: Currently, the SKY G is only available in a 9ft configuration. Those looking for a shorter or a longer rod will not find it available.
  • Build: Douglas rods are made in Korea, but this is one of the finest fly rods I have fished and I was able to save a few hundred dollars since it was made overseas. Those who want a made-in-the-USA rod will have to look elsewhere.
  • Other: Some may shy away due to its $800+ price point.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment so far with this rod was this past fall 2021 sight fishing for a monster trout on the Guadalupe River. I was able to catch him on the second drift, and the rod was able to handle the fish and protect my tippet easily.

Value for the money vs. other options

I own several rods in the $300-$500 range and this SKY G is just no comparison to those. It's just a world of difference between them. I have gotten to test several rods in the $800-$1200 price range and it handles its own and beats most of them.

Final verdict

After seeing this Douglas SKY G win the Yellowstone Angler 5wt Shootout, I had to get one for myself to see what the hype was all about. Now, I’m a true believer. This has been the best rod I have owned and it deserves a spot in any angler's arsenal of rods!

  • We price match
  • Returnable

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

Shop Fishing on Curated

Douglas SKY G Fly Rod
Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod
Orvis Helios™ 3D Fly Rod

Browse more Douglas Fishing

Temple Fork Outfitters Blue Ribbon Fly Rod
Redington Behemoth Series Fly Reel
Temple Fork Outfitters Pro 2 Fly Rod
Lamson Liquid Fly Reel
Redington Rise Series Fly Reels
Orvis Hydros Fly Reels
Redington Path Collection Combo

Browse more Douglas Fishing

Read next

New and Noteworthy