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We get questions about specific rod models all the time. "How does the 9wt compare to the 10wt?" "When should I use this rod?" and "What line works best on this rod?". This article is designed to pass that info along to you. We started a model-by-model blog series to provide better information so you can make a more informed buying decision. 

We recently had the opportunity to cast every model of Thomas & Thomas Sextant series during a Thomas & Thomas event at their headquarters in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Of course, like our shootouts and other casting commentaries, these mini-reviews are based on our casting style and preferences. Your mileage may vary. 

Series Overview

Thomas & Thomas has long been known for building some of the finest saltwater fly rods in the world, and the Sextant series continues this tradition. Typical of T&T, the Sextant features high-end components and a build quality that few other production rods can match. While we appreciate the sharp looks, these are high-performance tools for the discerning destination flats angler, providing a nice balance between feel and power.


The six-weight is among the most versatile rod weights an angler can have in their quiver, and we see more geared for the salt like the Sextant 6wt. While you will probably not want to take this rod to the local trout stream except in specific situations, its stout butt section makes it the perfect rod for bonefishing when conditions allow. When paired with the Scientific Anglers Amplitude Bonefish, it’s ideal for making delicate presentations with standard-sized bonefish flies. 

Lines: Scientific Anglers Amplitude Bonefish, RIO Elite Bonefish, Scientific Anglers Amplitude Salt Infinity

Best Use: Light salt applications ranging from bonefish on the flats to redfish in the marsh.


In many saltwater-specific series, the 7wt seems overlooked and sandwiched between the more popular six and eight weights. Salt-driven seven weights tend to be too stiff for freshwater, aren’t as versatile in the salt as an eight, nor as sporty as the six. T&T did a nice job of striking this balance with the Sextant 7wt. It has a stout enough butt section to wrestle big fish away from break-off points and feels very light in hand too. The rod handled a Bonefish line and Titan Taper equally well for those looking for a 7wt to double-duty in salt and freshwater. 

Lines: Scientific Anglers Amplitude Bonefish, Scientific Anglers Sonar Titan, RIO Streamer Tip

Best Uses: We were impressed with the 7wt’s versatility, and it’s one rod we think can hold its own on a bonefish flat, schoolie stripers in the northeast, and streamers for trout out west.


The Sextant 8wt felt a little heavy in hand compared to others in its class. Still, the rod is a worthy option for anyone looking for a daily saltwater driver. It’s a great representation of the series, with it being neither too fast nor slow. The Sextant’s predecessor, the Exocett, was noticeably softer and lacked the guts to really push it. This isn’t the case here, and the Sextant eight can generate higher line speeds while maintaining a sweet touch for close shots to tailing fish. 

You can find the full blog review HERE

Lines: Scientific Anglers Amplitude Bonefish, RIO Elite Bonefish, Scientific Anglers Amplitude Grand Slam, Scientific Anglers Amplitude Redfish, RIO Bonefish Quickshooter

Best Use: A do-everything 8wt equally capable of dropping a size 6 Bitters in a teacup, as it is making quick shops to a pushing wake in the marsh.


If we had to take one rod to Belize or Mexico for permit, the 9wt Sextant might be the one. It might be the standout of the series, which is very high praise! The rod’s blazing quick line speed was noticeably faster than the 8wt and perfect for delivering Merkins to tailing fish at a distance. While I mentioned the eight being a little heavy, this wasn’t the case here, and it felt pretty light in hand. However, while the 8wt is soft enough to cast a bonefish line, the nine’s stiffer tip means you want to fish a heavier line like Scientific Anglers Amplitude Grand Slam. That’s ok since the line seems to fit like a glove. We fancy this rod to hold its own just fine in the surf for the New England striper angler.

Lines: Scientific Anglers Amplitude Grand Slam, RIO Bonefish Quickshooter, RIO Outbound Short, RIO Striper, Scientific Anglers Sonar Titan

Best Use: The 9wt Sextant is the perfect travel rod for any flats fishing destination but doubles as a solid rod for stripers in the northeast or big snook in Florida. 


The 10wt is an absolute cannon that can effortlessly launch a fly to the farthest targets. While the lighter lines in the Sextant series possess the innate ability to show restraint when needed, this is a rod that wants to run at full throttle. This is a perfect rod for resident tarpon in the mangroves or any salt environment where you’ll be casting massive poppers and streamers. If you plan on targeting punishing jack crevalle, striper off the rocks, or bull reds and black drum in the Louisiana marsh, the 10wt Sextant is a fine choice.

Lines: Scientific Anglers Amplitude Grand Slam, RIO Elite Flats Pro, RIO Outbound Short, Scientific Anglers Tropical Titan Long

Best Use: For casting entire lengths of fly line to powerful fish.


While we consider the ten a bruiser made for overweighted lines and gaudy flies, the eleven is the consummate tarpon rod. Think of the 10wt as a stock car built for bumping and grinding, whereas the eleven is a well-oiled F1 car that needs a steady set of hands to steer it in the right direction. The Scientific Anglers Amplitude Tarpon Taper proved to be a perfect pairing. If you plan on seriously pursuing migratory tarpon, strongly consider picking this setup for precise casts to rolling leviathans. 

Lines: Scientific Anglers Amplitude Tarpon, RIO Elite Tarpon 

Best Use: The 11wt is the perfect rod for migratory tarpon on the flats. It feels light in hand, and we were able to make accurate casts at extended distances.


If the 10wt is a canon and the 11wt a long-distance precision weapon, the twelve is a full-blown heat-seeking missile. The 12wt is stiffer, faster, and more at home in the Seychelles, targeting giant trevally or billfish than Maraton for tarpon. Also, this rod is HEAVY and feels like a completely different rod than the 11wt! All but the most experienced anglers will find the rod hard to cast. Still, it could work for the right person looking to target GTs and other pelagic species.

Lines: RIO Elite GT, Scientific Anglers Amplitude Big Water Taper, RIO Elite Tropical Outbound Short, RIO Elite Leviathan

Best Use: GT, billfish, and similar pelagic species

Favorite Rod

The 9wt stands out in the series and is one of the best we’ve ever cast. The rod is everything you could ask for in a 9wt: The perfect combination of power, lightness, feel, and line speed. If you are looking for a high-end nine-weight, look no further than here.

Least Favorite Rod

The 12wt. For those looking for a tarpon rod, go for the 11wt instead. The 12wt lacks versatility, is overly heavy, and will be too difficult for most anglers to cast.