The new SKY G ($795, douglasoutdoors.com) by rod designer Fred Contaoi uses what Douglas Outdoors is calling G-Tec Platelets. These are graphene particles mixed into the resin of the rod to help strengthen the structure without adding weight, and the technology has allowed Douglas Outdoors to produce a 9-foot 5-weight fly rod that weighs in at 2.69 ounces. More important, the rod feels lighter while casting, with more concise tracking and a faster recovery period. It has a low swing weight, it can generate high line speeds and power, yet you can dial it back to present dry flies softly and precisely. It excels in the 15- to 50-foot casting range.
The SKY G is easy on the eyes with REC titanium shape memory CERecoil stripper guides with zirconia inserts, REC titanium Recoil guides, a skeletonized aluminum reel seat, double uplocking rings with nylon bushings, and burled blackwood inserts to complement the matte gray blank finish.
I’ve field-tested a 9-foot 5-weight SKY G on Pennsylvania’s Cumberland Valley spring creeks and limestone rivers like the Letort Spring Run, Yellow Breeches, and Big Spring, and although it’s versatile in many situations, the accuracy of this rod is what I find the most appealing. Picking up line and delivering a dry fly takes minimal effort, with fewer false casts and better presentations to wary spring creek trout than with many other rods.
When nymphing, the light SKY G offers increased sensitivity so you can feel the difference between the slight ticking or grinding of a nymph on the streambed versus the sharper take of a trout. Small to medium streamers fish well, but large or heavily weighted streamers warrant a 6- or 7-weight. When hooked up, the SKY G morphs from a moderate fast-action rod to one with backbone deep down to handle hard-fighting trout and a flexible tip to protect light tippets.
The SKY G is currently available only as a 9-foot 5-weight, but there are with 4- and 8-weight versions coming soon.