Oct 12

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.



Aug 12

TNT from T&T and an old Sage RPL

When I head to Belize for the honeymoon I’ll have a few rods along. One of those rods will be the new TNT from Thomas & Thomas. I wanted to see how the rod stacked up against one of the oldies-but-goodies, the Sage RPL. So, I headed out to the park with a camera and did a little casting.

The TNT and the RPL, New meets Old.


First up was the RPL.

I was actually a bit surprised at how nice this rod cast. I was hitting 50′ pretty well and into a little wind. The rod didn’t feel as fast as I remember it being.  It is a two piece rod so it won’t be making any salty journeys with me, but it is a solid rod and a good choice for carp and Lower Sacramento trout fishing, maybe even some steelhead if I ever find the time to chase the steel again.

Next up was the TNT.

This was a pretty nice rod. I liked it. I probably had another 5′ of control and maybe 15% more accuracy.

In short, I like the rod. It is a modern, saltwater rod in the same vein as the other top rods out in the market. If you like Thomas & Thomas, I’d look at this rod. My go-to 5 wt. is actually an old T&T Emerger (my second choice 5 is actually an old Sage RPL+, so it is funny that I got to do this comparison of 7 wt. rods).

A 7 wt. is a legit rod selection for bonefish, especially Belize Bones.  I tend to think of an 8 as the ideal, but I forget that my first bonefish was caught on a 7 and it was fun. I’m looking forward to chasing bones with this rod. Sadly, I’ll have to return it when done.