Dave McKenna from Douglas Outdoors spends an evening fishing with a 4-weight Upstream Plus rod.


Rod Series Description:

The Upstream Plus series is an upgrade to the Upstream series which were and are still a set of excellent rods. Each part of the rod has been carefully designed and crafted. The build design and construction is great for casting and landing larger fish and working in tough conditions, day in and day out.

The Upstream Plus is a kind of fly fishing special rod. It has an excellent fly casting action. Some rods are too fast and don’t flex into the cork, this series has arguably one of the best casting actions of any fly rod. If you need to protect light tippet, if you know you don’t need to cast the whole line, if you’re fishing to spooky trout where delicacy is a must, you’ll also need a rod that helps you out with those things, not a rod that you will be cursing at constantly.


Series Specs:

Item No. Rod Length Line Weight Pieces MSRP
21044 Upstream PLUS 4904 9’0″ #4 2.7 oz 4 $495.00
21045 Upstream Plus 5904 9’0″ #5 2.7 oz 4 $495.00
21046 Upstream PLUS 6904 9’0″ #6 2.8 oz 4 $495.00


Picking a rod

Choosing a rod to meet your fly fishing needs can be difficult. It is important to have a rod that has both great performance and great strength, durability and reliability. It is also important that whatever you choose is affordable.

What Makes the Best Fly Rod

A rod is not just a rod. There are many different parts to the rod and each has a different function. Lets go through the different parts and point out what to look for in each.


Fly rod action is how flexible or stuff it is. Action is important as it changes how difficult the rod is to use (or learn to use). Stiffer rods are faster and more difficult to use. Conversely more flexible rods are easier to use and learn on. There are also rods that are in between (medium) the  Douglas Upstream Plus rod series above is a medium type rod. This is great for all types (both those just learning and seasoned pros). Is can provide great presentation of the fly as well as being easy to control on the back cast.


Fly rods are usually made from about 6 feet to about 10 feet long. Short rods are better for casting short distances (small streams & at fish that are closer) and long rods better for longer casts. The Upsteam plus series are 9 feet in length and are suitable for a wide range of casting situations.


Fly rods are usually constructed from bamboo, fiberglass, or graphite. Each has their advantages.

Bamboo fly rods are great for experienced anglers but they are heavy and require a lot of care & maintenance. However, bamboo rods are thought to be better looking and have a rustic feel.

Fiberglass fly rods are durable and lighter weight than bamboo. They are also considerably cheaper than bamboo or graphite rods.
Graphite fly rods are the newest type of rods. They are also considered the most “sensitive” of the three rods.

Fly Line Weight

The line weight that you use should match the weight of the rod and also the weight of the fish that are catching. The heavier the weight of the rod, the bigger the fish you can catch. Small rods are suitable for stream fish like trout, while a larger rod are better for larger fish like big bass or even large saltwater fish.