Gear from Belize – The TNT from T&T

t and t

I knew this wasn’t going to be a fish-till-you-drop kind of trip. It was my honeymoon and the fishing would be largely incidental. It might not have been the ideal trip for a gear review. That said, I was excited to get my hands on a new rod from Thomas & Thomas for the trip. T&T, as a company, kind of dropped off my radar for a few years.  My go-to #5 is actually a T&T I picked up at a retail show about a decade ago, so I actually own a T&T rod. I hadn’t heard much from that camp in ages, so hearing that they were coming out with a new saltwater rod, the TNT, and that folks were pretty excited about it, well, I was intrigued.

I got the rod a bit early for the trip… like, July, for a September trip. It gave me some time to admire the thing. It is clearly a well made rod.  The components appear to be high end and it screams “made with care.”

I finally couldn’t wait any longer and took it out on the grass. I liked what I saw.

In Belize, I think this is pretty much an ideal bonefish rod. I got to cast it a bit both on my one day of bonefish hunting and a few times off the dock. It is a sweet stick, responsive and easy to cast.

I don’t know if I’m the guy to break down exactly what made the rod cast well. I know what I like and I liked it. It was smooth and light and it did all I asked of it. The presentations were light, the casts accurate, but then, I’d bet Joan Wulff could make a good presentation with a broomstick (I still think the caster makes the lion’s share of the difference).

It is at a tough price point, about $800, making it one of the most expensive rods out there for bones ($50 more than the NRX from G. Loomis, $70 more than the Sage One, $25 less than an Orvis Helios, $75 less than the Scott S4S, $35 less than the R.L. Winston Boron III-SX). That would probably put it out of range for me, since I’m a cheap bastard, but it’s a nice rod and if you are looking at the top end of the market, I’d include the TNT in the test pool.

Yup. That’s it.



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  1. I really can’t describe my experience with that rod. To me, at least, there is little WOW factor on the rod but there are no faults to it either. It disappears in the experience of fly fishing, only appreciated when consciously paying attention to the dynamics of the rod or on hindsight. You can say it is plain vanilla or strawberry ice-cream, but it’s really good ice-cream. Saying it has no feel is wrong. There is simply little WOW factor when casting the rod, even when excelling with the rod. Does this make any scene to you?

  2. I had a chance to cast the 12wt, a lot better rod for Tarpon on windy days in the Keys than the Horizon II in my opinion. Light, plenty of power and extra fast to punch threw the 20 knot + gails …. And yes, it is a handsome devil.

  3. I’ve been lucky enough to throw many rods during my time as a guide, lodge manager and now flyshop owner and the T &T by Thomas and Thomas is my favorite rod by far of any that I’ve cast in a long time. The price is a factor but if you fish a lot, do yourself a favor and give it a try so you’ll have a goal. If you let it, the rod will set you free! Just kidding but it’s so smooth to throw and it’s effortless if you relax and let the rod do the work. I prefer the 9wt but the 8 is a dreamboat too.

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