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Douglas Outdoors Sky 11' #3 Euro Nymphing Rod Review by Torrey

From the first time I picked up a Douglas Sky 11' #3 rod and flexed it in the store, I was immediately impressed. Rods for European nymphing are by nature long & limber, and typically bounce a bit when you cast them. The Douglas Sky rod recovered much faster than anything I had tried before, with noticeably quicker tip dampening after it was flexed. I like single foot guides on this type of rod, I find that the long leaders I normally use go through them better than snake guides, plus it also minimizes the amount of thread wraps & epoxy. This keeps the weight of the tip down, giving you improved recovery and a lower swing weight. Not only did the rod have single foot guides, but even better they were titanium Recoil guides. For those who don't know, Recoil guides can be flattened against the blank and pop right back up, are almost unbreakable, and are the lightest you can get. All of this helps give the rod a very light feel in the hand. I also noticed it had a hook keeper, a feature I like but that is omitted on some Euro rods. Placement on the bottom of the rod means you can place your forefinger on the top or sides of the rod for extra sensitivity. I spent two days on the stream with the 11' #3, and it did not disappoint. I immediately noticed how unusually accurate it was, giving me the ability to sidearm my flies under low tree limbs, something that is hard to consistently do with all other Euro rods I've fished. I also found it very easy to throw a pair of modestly weighted nymphs long distances on a long leader. The sensitivity during the drift was excellent, enabling me to detect subtle hits and tell the difference between rocks and bites from the trout. The Hendrickson hatch on the Farmington River in CT had big trout on the lookout for nymphs, and I was able to hook & land several unusually large browns on the Sky. When hooked into a big trout, the rod flexes well down into the midsection, beautifully cushioning your tippet, and the supple tip absorbs the head shakes and keeps the hook in the fish's mouth. At the first day's end, I was able to back-to-back two 20" plus browns and put them both in my landing net in 3 minutes or less.

While an 11' rod would not be my first choice for dry fly fishing, you can toss them with this rod no problem if you find yourself in the midst of a hatch while nymphing. The action and length would also make this a sweet wet fly/soft-hackle rod- the extra length gives you tremendous line control, and the supple tip both animates the flies and protects the tippet against hard strikes. I would feel comfortable fishing tippet down to 7x with this rod.I've fished most of the other Euro oriented rods on the market, and I can tell you that this rod impressed the hell out of me. The sensitivity and accuracy are truly unmatched, and the build quality and components are top drawer. There's a new Euro Nymphing Sheriff in town, and it's name is the Douglas Sky 311-4. I think I see one in my near future...

Torrey Collins

Store Manager

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