The Guides Choice
By Lars Schuster
Since 1969 Thomas and Thomas has hand produced top of the line fly rods out of their factory in Greenfield, MA. What makes T&T different is their aptitude for experimenting with different resins and rod shapes to find the perfect fit for an anglers needs, and their insatiable drive to push the envelope each year. Over the years, us at Kismet Outfitters have gotten to know the T&T team and it is filled with some of the kindest, most loyal, and fishiest people in the industry.
“the tool is only as good as the user”
The Exocett series has become a stable in our rod quiver, as it truly is a rod that can do it all. These rods can handle every fly, condition, or fish you might encounter when fishing the East Coast. The Exocett series consists of three rods: the Exocett SS, Exocett Predator, and the Exocett Surf. In this article I will be highlighting the SS. When packing for a boat trip there are many shifting variables depending on the season and conditions, however, the one piece of gear that we are always sure to bring is the Exocett SS.
The bottom line is the boat never leaves the dock without the SS on board. Upon first feel of this rod, its featherlight weight shocked me. Looking at its stocky 8’8 build it appears to be a chunky rod, but when in hand its feel does not match its appearance. I continue to be amazed by T&T’s ability to make such a lightweight rod that at the same time has an incredibly powerful backbone. This rod's abilities are epitomized during Albie season. Oftentimes when casting to Albies by the time your line hits the water they are busting somewhere else. The SS’s powerful tip allows the angler to peel up their sinking line with ease and its energetic flex pattern helps the rod load quickly so the angler can shoot out another cast. I’ve always been a believer in “the tool is only as good as the user” philosophy, but this rod changed the way I fish for albies.
Last season we started bringing the SS on trips to Martha’s Vineyard’s flats. Sight casting to stripers on the flats is our crown and jewel, and something we take very seriously. During a day on the flats you might only have a handful of shots at trophy fish, and we have found that the SS is the right rod for this high pressure job. It’s ability to shoot weighted flies with precision is unmatched. We typically throw weighted crab patterns and clousers for two reasons. First the weight allows the fly to sink to the bottom fast to look like a crab or sand eel in the grass or sand, and second because the slash of the fly hitting engages the fish. When fishing the flats there may only be a small window where you can put your fly in front of a fish and the SS’s ability to load quickly, minimizes the amount of false casts an angler must make. The Exocett SS is an amazing rod made by an amazing company and I could not recommend it enough to any east coast angler. Last season, I had the privilege to cast a prototype of T&T’s brand new rod the Sextant and I was blown away. I am looking forward to seeing what this rod can do in the 2021 season! We will be carrying both the SS and the Sextant this season. Stop by the shop at 204 Upper Main to check it out!