The Thomas & Thomas Exocett SS series of rods garners a lot of questions when customers are shuffling through the rod rack. Designated by grain weight rather than a traditional line weight, these rods are designed to throw dense sinking lines and heavier, compact-headed floating lines like Rio’s Outbound Short and typical redfish and bonefish lines.

As far as the technical specifications, all of the Exocett SS series rods are 8′ 8″ long. This strange length is fantastic – these rods feel lighter in the hand, the first stripping guide is closer to the hand to provide a better angle for quick line retrieval, and the shorter length is ideal in tight-quarters situations. A stiff tip assists with picking up heavy lines out of the water and with a jerk-strip retrieve typical of river streamer fishing. A split composite rubberized-cork grip provides more friction for thin running lines. The rod wrapping and components are top notch, as is to be expected to from Thomas & Thomas. These rods can
also be purchased with or without ultra-durable recoil stripping guides.  With plenty of fish-fighting power,  these rods will put the wood to any species. In the hands of a decent caster, the SS rods are pinpoint-accurate.

The 250 and 350 grain rods have been our workhorses locally. Think of the 250 as a 7/8 weight and the 350 as a 9/10 weight. The 250 is the jack of all trades: an excellent bass, lake and schoolie-sized striped bass, redfish, bonefish, and trout streamer stick. When flies and fish get bigger and heavier, reach for the 350 grain rod – our favorite river striper stick, the 350 can handle mangrove tarpon and snook, rooster fish, bull redfish, and musky/pike.

Newer to the line-up are the 160, 200, and 450 grain rods. The 160 would make an excellent popper rod for drilling casts into a plate-sized hole through overhang as well as an awesome small streamer or wading streamer stick. If river bass and trout streamer fishing is the name of the game, the 200 grain is perfectly suited and would also make a great rod for light saltwater work. The 450 is a beast: exotic destinations, tarpon, and jungle fish with countless other applications.

Since these rods are designated by grain weight instead of line weight, finding fly line for this series requires a little more thought – do some homework and look at different manufacturers and beyond the line weight rating of a series. A couple of our favorites have been Scientific Angler’s Sink 30 series both warm and cold, Rio’s Outbound Short, Airflo Streamer Max Short, Scientific Angler’s Amplitude Smooth Grand Slam, and Rio’s Bonefish Quickshooter. We keep a wide range of rods from Thomas & Thomas fly rods in stock in both locations. If you have any questions about line pairing or anything regarding these rods, feel free to give us a shout at the shop and come by and cast one!

Jacob Milholland

Cartersville: (770) 606-1100

Blue Ridge: (706) 946-3044