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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Blue Ridge, Rappahanock, Potomac and Fingerlakes Region
    Posts
    47

    Default Thomas and Thomas Rods

    As many of you folks know I'm very new to fly fishing. That said I do my research, both online and in the real world. Obviously, first I figure out what species I'm after, where they are that I am reasonably likely to get to water wise, what they eat and therefore what size flies I will need to cast. Then I figure out what is regarded as top of the line in terms of rod weight from reviews, what people are actually using out as they go after that species on that water and then try and find whatever sits in the sweet spot between all of that and look for the top three, either as discounted old, but still NIB inventory or lightly used. In looking at 8wt rods, I have narrowed things down to a couple of candidates, Scott Meridien, Loomis NRX, Orvis Helios 3F and the Thomas and Thomas Exocet. While all did well in many reviews and the most recent shootout for the class, the Thomas and Thomas Exocet caught my eye. It did well in the most recent class shootout and the folks at the company seem nice but I can't find much about them currently other than an odd reference in some of their press materials to a new owner who was taking over to "revitalize" the brand." I searched here and there is information about the company just doesn't seem to be centralized in any way. That said it may be just be operator error in my search engine technique. What can any one tell me about the company, their experience with their rods and customer service, etc. The "vibe " that I get is that it looks like an old established rod house, like Winston, but I can't really get a definitive feel for them so turning to you folks for your collective wisdom. Thanks.

    P.S. Fear not, once I get this all whittled down to a reasonable number, as I did with my 3wt and 5wt rods, there is a local to me fly shop that deals in all of the above brands and I will go in , cast them all and see what feels right in my hand. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Thomas and Thomas Rods

    Quote Originally Posted by City Rat View Post
    What can any one tell me about the company, their experience with their rods and customer service, etc.
    Thomas & Thomas Rods has a long history, started by Tom Dorsey and Tom Maxwell in the cane days which continues today in the cane shop under rod craftsman Troy Jacques. If you ever visit the shop this is a must see. In modern graphite there were several series that were highly regarded and remain so today. Perhaps most notable the Horizon , Horizon II , the LPS & Helix series. Their DH (Spey rods) dominated the 2 hand market and still enjoy a solid reputation. I have 3 Horizon II series that remain active in my quiver today. The "revitalization" you are reading about refers to a period when the company was in not so good shape. Some will say this was due to management, lack of innovation or lack of marketing. All companies have their high and low marks, what is more important is T&T has come thru the experience stronger & back on top of the game.

    The company was purchased a few years back by Neiville Orsmond, a successful bussiness man out of South Africa. Since taking the helm , he has invested considerable amounts of money , time and energy in the company. This is a small company located in the foothills of central Massachusetts their craftsmanship has always been the standard by which all others are compared and now under the guidence of Mr. Orsmond they are once again a leader in rod technology.

    Service is top notch and a call to the company will put you in touch with probably Joe Godspeed, John Carpenter or Neville and they will be sure to answer any question you might have. Service A+

    Cheers,
    Paul
    Last edited by eastfly66; 03-07-2019 at 06:42 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Blue Ridge, Rappahanock, Potomac and Fingerlakes Region
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Thomas and Thomas Rods

    Excellent to hear that they are putting out quality products backed by great customer service. I look forward to trying them out. Thanks!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Thomas and Thomas Rods

    Wait for it...........

    This post sounds like an FBI sting operation to catch S&S.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Thomas and Thomas Rods

    I won't try to improve upon what eastfly said above, but I will echo what he said. I've purchased two T&T rods in the last year and during my research/pre-buy diligence I found the company officers very accessible (by both phone and email) and very willing to answer my questions. I'm not familiar with the company's older rods, but I've had the opportunity to cast several of the current offerings and they are all great. This company has come back from the brink and is on a roll IMO. This is the exactly the type of company I want to support and see succeed. Be interested to hear your thoughts on the Exocett and how it compares to others after your test casting.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Thomas and Thomas Rods

    You can't go wrong with a T&T. Really, all you have to do hold one in your hand to tell what kind of company they are. To be fair, I haven't heard of bad service from any of the big fly rod outfits.

    I don't know what your 8wt application will be, but you should also look at the Exocett SS 250 grain. If you are throwing sink tip lines or compact heads, especially from a boat, its a great option.

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  8. #7

    Default Re: Thomas and Thomas Rods

    Do I have to testify behind closed doors in Congress? It's true, I've been a T&T client since my 1974 7 1/2'/#5 Hendrickson cane beauty. During the darker days I still thought Dorsey's NS5 was a powerhouse. Orsmond is doing a brilliant job and T&T is back. He test rods like the Exocett in the Bahamas and Seychelles.

    I have cast or fished all four rods you are looking at (except H3F, the D is far better). NRX#8 is a benchmark rod all others are trying to live up to and Exocett is different but very good indeed. Add Sage X and especially Igniter to your list and ignore what prejudiced YA wrote about them. Search under Reviews, I wrote about excellent Exocett #7. However, east, T8 is going with me to FL in a bit over a week.

    Leaving $$$$ Asquith aside in its own category, were I comparing new current 9'/#8's my list (in no particular order) would include; NRX, Exocett, Igniter and X, Winston Salt AIR, Taylor Truth, Stickman T8 and Meridian. Which one intrigues me most that I don't already own? Igniter.

  9. Thanks City Rat thanked for this post
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  10. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Blue Ridge, Rappahanock, Potomac and Fingerlakes Region
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Thomas and Thomas Rods

    You guys are funny, no FBI sting here, just a newbie who legitimately is trying to get the scoop on this company. On the issue of customer service I guess I was prejudiced early on by Winston, they were so helpful, informative and patient with my incessant questions, all before I owned any of their products, that to me they set a high benchmark. Afterward I purchased a couple of used Winston rods, Boron III X's 3 wt and 5 wt, they were great in helping me with a number of questions that I had about each rod. A couple of the companies that I mentioned don't give out customer service numbers. Yeah they have online chat thingies, but not a human to speak to unless you are a dealer. So after whittling the list down to the rods mentioned above, the fact that T and T gave out a lot of ways for you to reach out and connect with them got my attention right away. At last night's TU chapter meeting I got some invites to go out onto the wide rivers around here to fish for shad and largemouth bass with the guys and they are all using 8 wt outfits. My daughter lives up near the Finger Lakes and steel head, Atlantic salmon and other game fish up there the guides are all recommending between 8 and 9 wt rigs. So this all got me thinking about a rod that can handle those admittedly different applications.

    Sweetandsalt,
    Thanks, I will take a hard look at the Sage, and will cast it against the rest of the pack. So in terms of my application I am looking ahead, this is not an immediate purchase. Much appreciated.

  11. #9

    Default Re: Thomas and Thomas Rods

    Quote Originally Posted by City Rat View Post
    You guys are funny, no FBI sting here, just a newbie who legitimately is trying to get the scoop on this company. On the issue of customer service I guess I was prejudiced early on by Winston, they were so helpful, informative and patient with my incessant questions, all before I owned any of their products, that to me they set a high benchmark. Afterward I purchased a couple of used Winston rods, Boron III X's 3 wt and 5 wt, they were great in helping me with a number of questions that I had about each rod. A couple of the companies that I mentioned don't give out customer service numbers. Yeah they have online chat thingies, but not a human to speak to unless you are a dealer. So after whittling the list down to the rods mentioned above, the fact that T and T gave out a lot of ways for you to reach out and connect with them got my attention right away. At last night's TU chapter meeting I got some invites to go out onto the wide rivers around here to fish for shad and largemouth bass with the guys and they are all using 8 wt outfits. My daughter lives up near the Finger Lakes and steel head, Atlantic salmon and other game fish up there the guides are all recommending between 8 and 9 wt rigs. So this all got me thinking about a rod that can handle those admittedly different applications.

    Sweetandsalt,
    Thanks, I will take a hard look at the Sage, and will cast it against the rest of the pack. So in terms of my application I am looking ahead, this is not an immediate purchase. Much appreciated.
    If CS with a personal touch is a priority, you will find your best bet with smaller rod companies like T&T, Scott and Stickman Rods. Since you mentioned the GL Steelhead & Salmon you may want to do some additional research here before you pull the trigger. A high performance rod like those mentioned by S&S are ideal for the flats but really not needed for chuck n duck or bobber fishing a creek. If your going to drop that kind of money for up there , check out a 2 hander or better , go visit the daughter around July 22 and come to Spey Nation....otherwise , check out a 10' 7 wt. zone by T&T and save yourself a few bucks.

    Just my opinion YMMV....Full disclosure , I'm biased , I would rather put my nuts in a garlic press than drive up there to fish a bobber.

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  13. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Blue Ridge, Rappahanock, Potomac and Fingerlakes Region
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Thomas and Thomas Rods

    Much appreciated. I do hope that I didn't confuse anyone on my projected application for the rod. Just want to make sure that there isn't a misunderstanding regarding locations. The parts of the Potomac and Rappahanock where they are talking about fishing are hardly creeks. It is right where each river starts to widen out beyond a 1/4 mile across each and casting will get done from a boat due to depth. In terms of Steel head and Salmon, I may not have been clear about location but we are talking about the Finger Lakes Region of NY State, not the Great Lakes. So Lake Ontario, Lake Onondaga and some of the others, etc and Salmon River. I hope that helps. I am always up for additional research and anything that saves money is always a good thing. That said I learned from hunting the hard way, buy once cry once. Get the best tool that you can, which will take care of the job and then some. Especially as you grow in the sport, I'd rather grow into a rod than grow out of one and have to go through this hunt for the holy grail all over again in a year or two, just rather spend the time outdoors, hunting, hiking or fishing. Oh and Spey Nation looks like great time, may have to head up for that,thanks for the heads up.

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