Al Keller is a T&T pro, so we fished his new Exocett rods, both 11-weight and 8-weight, as we fished for tarpon and snook, respectively. www.thomasandthomas.com
Angling Trade editors have already gone on record to say many nice things about T&T and the Exocett series. We love the rod. But after fishing it for a few more days, we love it more. What struck me was how consistent the casting action was as I switched from 11-weight to 8-weight and back again. I never altered my stroke, even when I was throwing heavier flies and a heavier line. It was like using a 7-iron and a pitching wedge from the same set of forged irons. If you keep your swing consistent, you get similar, straight results. I think Exocett is a very low-impact rod, meaning, it doesn’t wear you out. It doesn’t make you work too hard. It’s very honest, very intuitive in terms of action. It’s accurate (if you are accurate). It can handle wind (if you can handle wind). And it’s beautiful. I love the matte-blue finish and components. It’s a pick-it-up-and-set it-down rod that minimizes false casting and shoot (if you know how to load a rod and generate line speed). It has a lifetime warranty and is worth its price. The bottom line is that it is hands-down one of the three best fly rods for saltwater fishing, and you’ll have to guess what I think the other two are. The genius: absolute rebirth of a brand that straddles the line between classic tradition and tech-driven performance. The downside: still scratching my head on that one.