Most versatile anglers will have an entire quiver of rods for different fishing occasions. Each rod will vary in size, power, and weight, which are all factors that depend on whether you're fishing in saltwater or freshwater; inshore or offshore.
The Thomas and Thomas Exocett was created as the company's flagship saltwater rod series. Since the series entered the market, the Exocett has become a must-have rod for most anglers—despite its hefty price tag. Many agree that the Exocett series fishing rods are worth their weight in gold. In their short time on the ever-changing market, these fishing rods have been put to the test, and they have not disappointed.
Here's what we think.
About Thomas & Thomas Exocett
The two legendary rod builders of their time, Tom Dorsey and Tom Maxwell came together to establish Thomas & Thomas in 1969. The success of their collaboration has much to do with their exemplary craftsmanship. Combine that craftsmanship with their expertise during an era of technological change, and you have an evolutionary piece of fishing equipment. This was also a time when fly fishing was growing and changing, as was society and American culture.
Today, Thomas & Thomas is a company revered for its high-end componentry and incredible craftsmanship. Thomas and Thomas' need for innovation and supreme quality is what attracted the company's current owner and fly fishing enthusiast, Neville Orsmond. Tom Dorsey and Neville Orsmond share a vision for the company as well as a passion for creating fly fishing rods of superior quality.
The Exocett fishing rod series was created in 2017 to breathe new life into the already exceptional brand. The Exocett is an eight weight (8wt) series that remains in line with the Thomas & Thomas traditions of superior craftsmanship and design. Each rod has an appropriate-sized fighting butt, an anodized aluminum reel seat, and a practical Full Wells grip. The rods are also finished with a blue matte blank to minimize sun reflection, which speaks to the company's attention to detail.
The Exocett is an extremely lightweight rod, weighing in at around 3.78 ounces. It also has one of the lowest saltwater swing weights compared to most rods of its caliber. It's most noteworthy characteristic is its short-distance performance and unparalleled accuracy. Accuracy is crucial when it comes to fishing flats, and from 35 to 100 feet, the Exocett remains superbly accurate. From 80-100 feet, the accuracy is still superb; however, the power begins to wane.
When it comes to the feel-in-the-hands, the Exocett is notably softer than other short to middle-distance saltwater rods on the market. Thomas & Thomas use a Strato-Thermo resin for added strength and vibration dampening, making it perhaps the smoothest saltwater casting rod you'll ever get your hands on. Overall, the design and craftsmanship of this 8wt fishing rod series are second to none.
What We Like Best
The Thomas & Thomas Exocett is genuinely a remarkable fishing rod—made right here in the United States. There's a reason why it's referred to as the "rod that you will eventually own," and that's because of its lightweight feel, and superb accuracy that calls to all saltwater anglers.
We also like the attention to detail that went into crafting this fly rod. Not only is it comfortable in hand for all-day fly fishing, but we appreciate the matte blue blank that minimizes the glare of the sun.
Plus, it's made right here in the USA and backed up by a lifetime warranty. Sometimes, it's the little things that make the most significant difference. Besides, if you’re tough on your rods, the warranty may come in handy.
What We Don't Like
The starting price of the Thomas & Thomas Exocett rod is $895. While some feel this is a staple rod to have in your collection, others would disagree. There will always be those who don't believe that any fishing rod is worth that much. However, that hasn't stopped the Exocett from holding its rank above the competition. If you have the funds to invest in one, you probably won’t regret the purchase.
Keeping the price in mind, though, we felt that the Exocett fell a little short, distance-wise. Compared to other 8wt saltwater rods, the Exocett doesn't have the necessary supercharged strength to push any long-distance boundaries. Having said that, we still think that its accuracy at 80 feet is quite impressive, as is its performance from short to mid-distances.
Since its 2017 release, there's no doubt that the Thomas & Thomas Exocett series has set a new standard in the saltwater fly fishing market. From the accuracy and performance to the insanely smooth feel of this lightweight rod in your hand, it's no wonder that many anglers strive to add this rod to their quiver.
Overall, the Exocett is an impressive saltwater fly fishing rod. Its design, craftsmanship, and performance are so precise that it's sure to remain the top-ranking contender to beat for years to come.