Thomas and Thomas AVANTT 8’6”#4 $845.00

 

T&T Avant fly rod

Thomas & Thomas AVANTT 8'6"#4

 

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George's Comments:


We have been impressed with the Avantt in the 5-weight, and the 4-weight is another terrific rod.  This is a fast action rod, a tiny bit stiffer and a tad slower in action than the Helios 3F, but still a very good casting rod.  The stiffness hurt in close but this is one of the very best performing rods at long range. 

 

The Avantt matches the Helios 3D in swing weight and feels nice and light in hand.  This rod is a pleasure to cast, and it has tons of reserve power at long range.  If you find yourself fishing more hoppers and larger dries, you will like this rod as it will really fire them in there with authority.  Unlike some of the stiffer 4-weights, this rod performs well at the shorter distances too. 

 

This is one of the best looking rods in our Shootout.  Craftsmanship is second to none, and is what we have now come to expect from T&T.  The Avantt tied the Pure for the only perfect scores in Craftsmanship.    The thing that amazes me is how perfect the guide wrapping and epoxy coatings are, compared to other rods.  T&T uses multiple coats to produce a finish that is simply beautiful.  No other mass rod producer does this better.

 

The blank is an attractive dark blue, with a matte non-glare finish. The wraps are a slightly lighter blue, trimmed with white on the butt section.  One thing I like is that there is a serial number on each rod section.  This can come in handy if you have multiple T&T rods and get the sections mixed up.  The cork handle is a western style grip with a flare on the lower end to accept the uplocking seat, and a nice taper forward providing a very comfortable grip.  T&T also uses a stack of thinner cork rings and the quality of the cork is as close to perfect as you can get.  The uplocking skeleton seat is anodized in a dark gray to complement the blank with a beautiful piece of black ash burl for the insert.  A sliding band and one easy to grip locking ring are used.

 

A hook keeper is used just above the handle, and the one black SiC style stripping guide is followed with silver hard chrome snake guides, that are small and light out on the tip.  In all, this is an extremely attractive rod.   

   

The perfect line:  SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity in WF-4-F

George’s casting notes:

Performance at 25 feet:  19.0 points out of 20

Light in hand but the stiffness in the tip is not giving me as much feel in close as the Zephrus, and the accuracy is not as good as the best rods.

Performance at 40 feet:  19.2 points out of 20

I love the way this rod tracks and the accuracy is good too.  I still had to give the edge to the Zephrus and Pure.  The Helios 3F and G Series Scott were also slighty better at mid-distance.   

Performance at 60 feet:  9.5 points out of 10

This is one of the best rods at long range.  Tracks beautifully with nice tight loops that are giving me great accuracy.

 

Thomas & Thomas AVANTT 8'6"#4

Thomas & Thomas AVANTT 8'6"#4

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James' Comments:


The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives synonyms for Avant as cutting-edge, advanced, and progressive.  I’d say T&T hit the nail on the head with both the name and the rod, albeit with extra T.

  
The Avantt is a powerful rod, and proved to be one of the best when casting into the wind or when casting 60 feet and beyond.  It was also one of the more dominant rods for fishing small, (size 8-10) streamers or leeches.   But even with all this power, it was still one of the better rods for me at mid-distance.


Along with the Winston Pure, the T&T Avantt is one of the most attractive rods in the Shootout.  The distinctive “T&T Blue” is easy on the eyes, as is the smooth functioning black ash burl, uplocking reel seat, complete with an engraved T&T logo on the slide ring.  Even more impressive is the attention to detail on the guide wraps, and their epoxy coatings, with handwritten serial numbers on each section.  A perfectionist will appreciate the job T&T has done with this rod. It is really a functional work of art. 


If I were to tweak the 4-weight Avantt at all, it would be to give it a slightly softer tip.  This would enable the rod to make delicate presentations in close with better feel and accuracy.  It would also improve the swing weight slightly.   

1st impressions:

Feels powerful.  Classy matte cobalt blank with matching thread and white trim looks sharp, making the Avantt a very attractive rod.  While the cork quality is excellent, the length of the cork grip is an inch shorter than most others, yet very comfortable. The interesting stripping guide looks like it is mounted backwards, however it is not.  Large chrome snake guides could be smaller. Hand written serial numbers on each section are a nice touch. Quality reel seat hardware utilizes a single lock ring and an attractive wood insert.

Performance at 25 feet: 17.8 points out of 20

Very stiff, with little feel in close despite being very accurate.

Performance at 40 feet:  19 points out of 20

Now I’m getting much more feel out of the rod.  Laser tight loops and accuracy to match.  This rod is fun to cast as the line tracks exceptionally well, even in the wind!

Performance at 60 feet:  9.6 points out of 10

Even nicer out long!  This rod is an absolute rocket and one of my favorites at 60 feet.  Only the Orvis H3F and Douglas SKY, and G. Loomis Asquith were its equal or better.

 

 

Thomas & Thomas AVANTT 8'6"#4

Thomas & Thomas AVANTT 8'6"#4

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Logan's Comments:  47 out of 50


The Avantt continues to be one of my favorite rods in our Shootouts.  It performs well at all distances, but its sweet spot seems to be mid to long distance.  The Avantt is one of my favorite looking rods in the Shootout.  I love the matte blue finish, accented by glossy blue thread wraps.  From top to bottom you can tell Thomas & Thomas took time building each rod.  It does have a slightly shorter grip than the other rods, which did feel a little different but was still very comfortable.

Performance at 25 feet: 18.5 out of 20

The stiffness of the Avantt hurt its performance score at 25 feet.  I was pretty accurate with it though, and was consistently hitting near the center of the plate.

Performance at 40 feet: 19 out of 20

The more line I got out, the better the Avantt performed.  It tracks beautifully and was also extremely accurate.

Performance at 60 feet: 9.5 out of 10

My two favorite rods at 60 feet were the Thomas & Thomas Avantt and the G. Loomis Asquith.  I was accurate with other rods, but these two were the most effortless to cast at the longer distances, giving me great accuracy.

 

Thomas & Thomas AVANTT 8'6"#4

Thomas & Thomas AVANTT 8'6"#4

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Francis' Comments:

The Thomas and Thomas Avant is a great example of form meeting function. This rod jumps out at you both on the rod rack as well as out on the water.

Aesthetically, the Avantt was one of my favorite rods in the Shootout.  Thomas and Thomas spared no expense when constructing the Avantt.

Light and incredibly powerful, the Avantt can throw anything from small dries to small streamers with pinpoint accuracy. It has a smaller cork handle than most in the Shootout but after a few minutes I was comfortable with the smaller grip.

 

 

 

Performance at 25 feet: 19/20

 

The T&T Avantt is slightly less sensitive and had less feel than the top contenders, but was still a very nice, accurate rod in close.

 

Performance at 40 feet: 19.5/20

 

To me, the Avantt felt great at the mid-range distances. Smooth and reactive, this rod would put my cast exactly where it needed to go.

 

Performance at 60 feet: 9.5/10

 

The T&T Avantt is an incredibly powerful rod, that can quickly generate the line speed needed to reach out to longest distances with ease.  I was getting tight, accurate loops.

 

 

 

T&T Avantt

Thomas & Thomas AVANTT 8'6"#4

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Chloe's Comments:

Elegance and power without loss of touch. That’s the best way to describe the Thomas and Thomas Avantt. The Avantt is an excellent rod with the finest in craftsmanship, that brings confidence to the stream with a crisp, smooth action.

Performance at 25 feet: 18.5 out of 20

 

         Though a little on the stiffer side, I wouldn’t think twice about fishing this rod in close and using it in tight, stealthy situations.  It was able to cast accurately and did not feel overpowered.

 

Performance at 40 feet: 18.5 out of 20

 

         This rod has a lot of reserve power that I’m feeling at 40 feet. It has the ability to form tight loops and cut through the wind, as well as maintain good accuracy without losing any feel.

 

Performance at 60 feet: 8 out of 10

 

         At 60 feet, you get to feel the full power of this rod.  It will power casts to long distances easily.