No compromise. When it comes to saltwater gear, there is absolutely no room for shortcomings — especially if you travel thousands of miles for shots at fish. And for experienced saltwater anglers, it’s easy to recognize what gear is going to work and what won’t.
When I am asked if I want to review saltwater gear, I often cringe then reluctantly accept the invitation. There’s just too much out there that won’t cut it. In fact, we often receive gear that simply doesn’t make it to the site. So when saltwater gear gets praise on The Venturing Angler, you can trust it is legit.
Last year I took the Thomas & Thomas Solar to the flats of the Everglades as well as offshore for big, gear-busting bluewater critters. The Solar was phenomenal and even got away with vertical lifts on tuna that were running from dusky sharks. Badass. And when I raved to Jako Lucas, John Carpenter, Joe Goodspeed, and Neville Orsmond at Thomas & Thomas, they seemed more interested in wanting to talk about the new Exocett than accepting praise for the Solar. And after having fished and cast the Exocett for several months, I can now understand why.
The Thomas & Thomas Exocett is the real deal. I tested this rod on the tropical flats of Ascension Bay, Mexico, the striper waters of Maryland, and the beaches and bluewater of Jupiter, Florida. In every regard, the Exocett exceled. Frankly, publishing this review is bittersweet because the conclusion of this process means I will need to ship it back.
So why is this a great rod? Of course, to be a great rod it needs to cast well. Often saltwater sticks are too stiff and can be hard to cast. In this case, this rod casts like a dream. Plenty of feel while being able to cast everything from perfectly matched presentation lines for permit to shooting heads for the surf.
And while this may sound bizarre, when I enjoy casting a saltwater rod, I immediately see red flags. Often, the best casting rods are terrible with heavier lines and lack the fighting strength necessary for larger fish or bluewater species. The Exocett is one of the finest casting rods out there and is a rod that will give anglers piece of mind when going deep offshore or when on the bow for tarpon. And when you see Jako bringing in giant trevally in the Seychelles with this rod, you know it is ready for everything.
Unquestionably, the Thomas & Thomas Exocett is a top tier saltwater rod, and I would be comfortable traveling to the ends of the earth with a quiver filled with this rod family. Strong recommendations for a strong rod.
All Exocett rods are 4 pieces and 9-feet in length. They feature high end cork and either titanium-frame ceramic stripping guides or RECoil strippers, and they all have RECoil snake guides. Line weights available are 6 though 12 weight, and the Exocett price range is $895 to $925.
– Tim Harden
Disclosure: Thomas & Thomas is in a professional relationship with the Fly Fishing Guide Directory and the Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.