Thomas & Thomas Exocett SS

Exocett SS

The successful Thomas & Thomas Exocett saltwater series turned heads when it hit the market two years ago, and showed it has more that just technology and slick components. The series hits an appetizing balance between weight and power, where the casting is so tactile and rewarding, it's almost surprising to feel the power in the rod when it's time to do the dirty work of lifting and pullingperhaps part of the reason the Exocett has become a common fixture at some of Earth's most challenging saltwater locations. But an interesting thing happened with this "saltwater" series. I started to also see it in the hands of fishermen in Africa with tigerfish, cradled under the bellies of golden dorado in the freshwater streams of Bolivia, and in my own hands fishing for taimen in Mongolia. The Exocett, it seems, isn't just for salt water.

With that in mind, rod designers at T&T came up with the newest iterations called Exocett SS ($825, thomasandthomas.com), two 8'8" rods with steep taper at the tip end, so they have extra lifting power for sinking-tip lines, and for casting heavier short-head floating lines. I used the 350-grain Exocett SS at the annual Cheeky Schoolie Tournament, and throughout the day used increasingly larger flies (to keep small stripers off my fly) and heavier sinking tips (to sink below small stripers) and while I never did find bigger stripers, I did find there was almost nothing this rod couldn't handle.

For heavy lifting, carrying short lengths of heavy heads, and for drilling large flies into a headwind, the Exocett SS (also available in a 250-grain version) is also perfect for muskie and pike fishing; largemouth bass in heavy cover; for snook under the lights, docks, and other structure; and for baby tarpon snacking within the mangroves. On a recent trip to the Rio Marié in Brazil, I also found the slightly shorter 8'8" Exocett SS to be the best rod in my arsenal for peacock bass. It was a powerful tool for fighting fish near the boat, slinging line low under overhanging branches, and for lifting sinking-tip lines near the boat for the next cast. For long days of casting with heavy lines and big flies, it was less fatiguing than other rods because it loaded with less effort. To find out more about the best new rods, reels, lines, and other tackle for 2018, pick up the FLY FISHERMAN Gear Guide on sale at newsstand nationwide or at osgnewsstand.com.


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

The Kamikaze Sculpin is easy to tie, versatile, and smartly designed to get the job done. Fly Tying

Tying the Kamikaze Sculpin

Charlie Craven

The Kamikaze Sculpin is easy to tie, versatile, and smartly designed to get the job done.

These dense, indestructible nymphs will improve your subsurface game. Fly Tying

Perdigon Nymph

Charlie Craven - January 15, 2019

These dense, indestructible nymphs will improve your subsurface game.

American Rivers today released its annual list of America's Most Endangered Rivers, identifying ten rivers facing imminent threats. News

2019 Most Endangered Rivers

Fly Fisherman - April 16, 2019

American Rivers today released its annual list of America's Most Endangered Rivers,...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Casting Backhand in Tight Quarters

Casting Backhand in Tight Quarters

A backhand cast is when you use your backcast to deliver the fly.

Black Beauty

Black Beauty

Master fly tier Charlie Craven discuss the tools and materials needed to tie the Black Beauty.

Bahamas - Bonefish

Bahamas - Bonefish

Conway casts for his personal best bonefish while fishing the Grand Bahama islands.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Fly-Fisherman Editor Ross Purnell shares his top five best trout fishing destinations in the world. Worldwide

5 Best Trout Fishing Spots in the World

Ross Purnell, Editor

Fly-Fisherman Editor Ross Purnell shares his top five best trout fishing destinations in the...

Best Panfish Flies Fly Tying

Best Panfish Flies

Skip Morris - October 17, 2016

Best Panfish Flies

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that occurred on what appeared to be a routine guide trip on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in a shallow lagoon near San Pedro, Brazil. Industry

Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...

See More Stories

More Rods

What Winston has done with the new Winston Boron III LS series is use 10+ years of boron experience to create a light, accurate dry-fly rod with the best modern technology and hardware behind it. Rods

Winston Boron III LS

Ross Purnell, Editor - October 23, 2013

What Winston has done with the new Winston Boron III LS series is use 10+ years of boron...

Proper rod angles while fly fishing, varying from fish size to situation. Rods

Rod Angles for Fly Fishing

Ross Purnell, Editor - May 15, 2014

Proper rod angles while fly fishing, varying from fish size to situation.

Here's a list of the best new fly rods of 2018. Rods

7 New Fly Rods for 2018

Ross Purnell, Editor - November 03, 2017

Here's a list of the best new fly rods of 2018.

See More Rods

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.