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Rod Review


A Serious Exterior with a Lively Personality, the Douglas XMatrix Swimbait Rod


Date: 4/11/21
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Douglas Outdoors
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.30 - GREAT

Introduction: Douglas Outdoors, a company known for their fly rods, has branched out into conventional spin and casting rods designed to address the complete spectrum of bass fishing techniques. The company's flagship conventional line is the XMatrix Series which features a proprietary carbon construction and comes armed with Fuji components. We take a look at the brand's 7'11" swimbait rod to see how well this purpose-built rod handles big baits.

Douglas Outdoors DXC XMatrix DXC7116F Casting Rod Specifications

Material Proprietary Carbon Matrix construction
Length 7'11"
Line Wt. 17-30lb
Lure Wt. 2-6oz
Pieces One
Guides 9+tip (Fuji Alconite)
Rear Handle Length 14"
Power Rating Heavy
Taper Rating Fast
Rod Weight 7.3oz
MSRP $319.99


Meet the Douglas DXC7116F casting rod, the company's high-end swimbait stick


Impressions: Have you ever heard of Douglas rods before? If you have then chances are you first learned about them from their large fly-rod portfolio. While the company launched their fly rods first building a complete line of conventional spin and casting rods was in the brand's plans from day one. We learned from Fred Contaoi, Pro Angler and head of the Douglas rod design team, that the approach to all of the company's rods is to address each rod individually, to create specific tapers and actions to match techniques rather than a multi-purpose one size, or action, fits all process. For this reason there are no duplicated blank designs in any of the company's rods, and not only are they all unique but the team basically starts with a clean slate each time they design a rod.


Douglas currently offers two lines of conventional rods, the LRS rods which are designed to be value oriented workhorse rods and feature Webo seats and Fuji Fazlite guides, and the premium XMatrix rods which make use of higher-end carbon matrix blanks and Fuji seats and aconite guides. The latter of which represents the premium halo series for the young brand.


Douglas X-Matrix rods feature a clean greenish-grey blank and minimal graphics. These rods look clean and straightforward


Style-wise the XMatrix rods feature the same clean and refined styling of the brand's own fly rods and makes use of a matte blank with an attractive greenish-grey finish. There are not a lot of extra cosmetic highlights on these rods, no fancy machined reel seat hoods or blinged out threadwork. With black high density EVA grips with aluminum fittings the best way to describe these rods is that they look clean. Even the graphics are kept to a respectable minimum.


One of the first things you will notice about this rod is the massive EVA foregrip


While many of the Douglas XMatrix rods make use of a split grip layout the 7'11" DXC7116F stands out as one of the more unique looking rods with an extended solid rear grip and a large tapered fore-grip that reminds us of some inshore or saltwater rods designed for handling bigger baits, and bigger fish.


The XMatrix rods come with Fuji Alconite guides


Real World Tests: I've been fishing the Douglas DXC7116F rod over the last four months targeting largemouth with a variety of different swimbaits depending on the weather and water temperature. Douglas sent the rod to us in December so for the first sixty days I primarily fished soft-bodied swimbaits, targeting fish at the bottom of the water column. As time went on and we transitioned into spring I've been able to employ a much wider range of baits, including hardbodied glidebaits, wakebaits, and even a few rats. I primarily fished the Douglas rod with Daiwa Tatula 300 and Shimano Curado 300K spooled with straight mono, or Sunline braided lines, and sometimes with braid and Seaguar fluorocarbon leaders.


Time to tie on some big baits and start casting

Next: Time to bend and send with the Douglas rod









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