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Freshwater Rods

Douglas Era 9-foot 5-weight Fly Rod

An inexpensive fly rod that is far from “cheap.”
Kirk Deeter author.
Kirk Deeter
February 13, 2024
Douglas | Era 9-foot 5-weight Fly Rod
product description
“A fast action fly rod that provides exceptional accuracy, control and casting power. The ERA is a fantastic all-around fly rod that can be used for a variety of applications. From presenting dry flies, tossing streamers, or indicator fishing–the ERA rod can handle it all. ” – Douglas Outdoors
company ethos
“Douglas Outdoors is dedicated to building a better fishing experience. Through innovation in rod engineering, adaptation of the latest materials, technology and design, every Douglas product is built to enhance the time you spend on the water. We are guided by family values and a commitment to only produce the best equipment we possibly can.” – Douglas Outdoors

I once took a break from fishing on the Salmon River in upstate New York to visit with the Barclay family, owners of Douglas Outdoors, and they told me they were setting out to change the world, specifically regarding fishing rods. And, a few years later, after the Douglas Sky G premium fly rod took top prize in the Yellowstone Angler’s 5-Weight Shootout, I figured, “well, they did it…”

As impressive as that was, I think Douglas is really doing a good–if not better–job with lower-priced rods, and the best model of all might be the newest and least expensive–the Era. 

Product story

Simplicity is the operative word for Era.   

You only have four options for sizes: an 8-foot 8-inch 4-weight, a 9-foot 5-weight, a 9-foot 6-weight and a 9-foot 8-weight. The 4 and 5-weight cost $149; the 6 and 8-weight cost $169. I’ve fished the 5-weight.

It’s a good fly rod for beginners for several reasons. First, though the company says the action is fast in some of its promotional materials, I’d call it a medium-action fly rod. Which is better for beginners, because they feel the rod load better as they develop the casting stroke.


I think the rod tracks pretty well. It’s not a world-beater by way of accuracy, but it generally drops flies where it’s pointed. 

It’s also a versatile rod for making different casts–from the standard overhead cast to roll casts, mends, etc.  

Components are good; the cork grip is well-sized and shaped. Construction is solid; everything lines up and fits nicely. 

When I think of something that’s “cheap,” I think of something that will fall apart–you usually get what you pay for. Not the case with Era. 

I’ve fished it, or at least had it as the loaner rod for people in my boat, or for teaching kids on the lawn, and Era has more than held its own.


Versatile rod action, great for newbies and anglers with different casting styles and abilities.

A great backup or loaner rod.

A good, durable boat rod.


You shouldn’t easily outgrow this fly rod, but you will.

Some people don’t dig the lighter color and finish.


For $150? It comes with a tube and warranty? I’ll stack this rod against any $150 fly rod in the world.


Not high-end components or design by any means, but perfectly adequate and built with durability in mind.

  • Price: $149
  • Dimensions: 9-foot 5-weight, 4-piece fly rod
  • Weight: 3.14 ounces / a low swing weight
  • Construction/Materials: Relatively stiff graphite blank
  • Guides: High-quality rod components for the price point
  • Rod action: Medium-fast
  • Rod tracking: Fair 
  • Rod recovery: Fast
  • Warranty information: Douglas warranty

More about the Era fly rod series from Douglas Outdoors:

Douglas warranty.

“All Douglas fly rods are backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty to the original owner. The Douglas Outdoors Fly Rod Warranty is a no-fault, full replacement warranty program. The fee is $45 per damaged section, plus $20 shipping and handling fee within the contiguous United States (Please use a physical address, no PO Boxes).

For international warranties, there is a $45 fee, plus additional shipping, duties and international handling fees. Please contact our customer service prior to filing a claim as there may be a distributor in your area that can handle the claim.”

Likely buyers

Newbies, people getting into the sport of fly fishing, who aren’t sure they’re going to like it enough to warrant buying a rod for several hundred dollars. It’s a good rod to gift someone whom you want to introduce to fly fishing. 

It’s a good choice as a backup rod, a boat rod, a class/teaching rod and other situations where you, the owner, might not worry too much if the rod gets broken. Even so, Douglas provides a respectable warranty. 


It’s the kind of fly rod that the person who has a bunch of rods already, will be surprised how often they end up fishing or sharing this one.

Find the Douglas Era with our trusted partner:

Douglas Fly Rods - Era product shot
Douglas Fly Rods - Era product shot
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