Thomas & Thomas Sextant Fly Rod Review
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The fly fishing industry has seen several high-profile, saltwater-specific rod releases these past few years. There is a hint of irony here, considering destination travel has been severely limited due to Covid-19. Nevertheless, Thomas & Thomas is the latest major rod manufacturer to get in on the action with their latest saltwater rod, the Sextant. T&T has a penchant for designing excellent saltwater rods, and the Sextant is generating a ton of buzz. If you are interested in seeing how the Sextant stacks up against the cream-of-the-crop, you will not want to miss this review.
Fit & Finish
It is not an exaggeration to say the Sextant is one of the most attractive rods on the market. The rod is simply striking, which should not surprise anyone familiar with T&T rods. T&T uses heirloom-quality components, and the build quality is nearly flawless. The fighting butt is slightly taller than standard butt sections, which comes in handy when fighting fish. T&T opted to go with a double-uplocking reel seat made from durable anodized aluminum to ensure the reel stays secure. A reversed half-wells grip features some of the nicest cork around and is comfortable in hand. Sticking with the T&T tradition, the Sextant features a gorgeous blue blank that contrasts nicely with the sterling silver components. The heavy-duty reversed titanium stripping and recoil snake guides prove the Sextant can stand up to the rigorous abuse of saltwater fishing.
With a swing weight of 88.2 gm2, the Sextant is hardly lightweight. This is partially due to the burly, high-end componentry T&T uses. While the Sextant's weight is not a deal-breaker for us, it is noticeable after a long day of casting. Oddly, it has a sub-4 ounce total weight, making us wonder how the weight is distributed.
The Sextant is not a distance champion but is capable of making long-distance shots when called on. We were pretty impressed with the Sextant's ability to carry a significant amount of line through the air.
- 40-Feet: The Sextant is very accurate at distances under 40 feet and is one of the highest performing rods at this range. The wading bonefish angler is going to fall in love with the Sextant.
- 60-Feet: The Sextant is bread and butter at 60 feet. Expect to be able to deliver a Crazy Charly to spooky bones on a silver platter.
- 80-Feet: The Sextant loses accuracy the further we push it, but it does well enough. Remember, the majority of flats fishing is done at a distance under 60 feet.
Flex & Feel
In an era defined by ultra-fast action fly rods, the Sextant helps buck this trend. The rod features a smooth and refined taper and has a buttery soft tip. This allows the experienced angler to present flies delicately to finicky bones and other flats species. However, The Sextant's slightly stiffer mid and butt section helps generate faster line speeds. The rod possesses enough backbone to handle wind and other variables.
The expectations for the Sextant were high, and it is safe to say the rod has lived up to the hype. T&T succeeded in designing a rod with a happy medium between too fast and too slow. Any angler in the market for a high-performance flats rod should consider the Sextant.
Watch Our Review
- Premium components and build quality
- Excellent short and mid-range performance
- Heavier than other high-end saltwater 8wts
- Struggles at longer distances