September 20, 2021
By Fly Fisherman
The design team at Thomas & Thomas took advantage of a new carbon fiber material (and resin) to build its new flagship saltwater series, but when I talked to VP of Business Development John Wolstenholme about the new Sextant family, he was more excited about how the rods were put together, rather than what went into them.
“We try to let the rods speak for themselves, rather than bombard our customers with technology talk.” said Wolstenholme. “It’s the recipe that’s important. It’s like when a chef prepares a fine meal—all the best chefs have access to essentially the same ingredients, but it’s how they put them together that makes the difference. It’s the same with rod design—it’s the tweaking, and the knowledge, and the fishing experience that you pour into it.”
Just days after the Sextant series was released, I fished with Capt. Joel Dickey, one of the sous chefs who helped “tweak” Sextant prototypes for performance on the flats of the Florida Keys. We fished for bonefish, permit, and tarpon using 8-, 10-, and 11-weight Sextants, and one thing that stood out to me was the continuity throughout the series. All three rods shared a recognizable smooth, transitionless loading, and powerful, precise delivery to overcome wind and the complexities of moving tides, targets, and the boat. In flats fishing, the fly has to be in the right spot—often very quickly—and the Sextant does that in spades at typical flats ranges of 40 to 80 feet.
Tournament-winning Florida Capt. Justin Rea, Seychelles guru Keith Rose-Innes, and Dubai outfitter Capt. Nick Bowles were also influential in developing this complete saltwater series in rod weights 6 through 12 to be capable of taking on any tropical species in any ocean around the world.
The Sextant has a deep blue gloss finish with teal trim wraps, durable cork composite on the butt and foregrip, an uplocking machined, anodized aluminum reel seat with a matte titanium finish, titanium frame stripping guides with slick silicon nitride inserts, and nickel-titanium RECoil snake guides. $975-$995, thomasandthomas.com