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Thomas & Thomas Contact Euro Nymphing Rod Review by Torrey

2016 has in many ways been the Year of the Fly Rod, with some impressive technology creating some truly groundbreaking rods from many of the major rodmakers. Thomas & Thomas not only joins them, but one ups them all with their new "Contact" series of tight-line nymphing rods. As a veteran Euro Nympher with well over a decade devoted to the method, this rod blew me away. Even at 3" longer than any of their American competitors, the11'3" 3wt rod clocks in at 3.1 ounces, an exceptionally light weight and nearly 1/2 ounce lighter than any of the premium or mid-priced 11 footers currently available. This is important when you are holding a long rod up in the air all day long. Along with the light weight comes the T&T Contact's superior sensitivity & accuracy. I was able to detect very, very subtle takes, and also put my flies consistently right where I wanted them.

By design the T&T Contact employs a fast action but a soft tip to enable casting longer leaders with light flies, and to cushion the hookset with the lighter tippets we often use. The tip dampens very quickly after being flexed, which really helps with the casting. These new rods not only perform at the highest level, but they are damn hard to break. Joe Goodspeed of T&T told us that so far in testing, not a single one had broken yet. Their propriety StratoTherm resin gives the rods amazing durability, light weight, fast recovery, and extreme sensitivity. Now no fly rod is unbreakable, car doors will do even the strongest rod in, but these rods are quite strong considering the thin blank and light weight. Though it's only rated a #3, this rod has plenty of backbone in the lower half to land truly large trout.

In addition to the superb build quality I have come to expect from T&T several features help this rod to stand out from the pack: a fighting butt to help balance the rod and battle big fish, large single foot black REC Recoil guides for uninhibited casts, and an unpainted, unsanded blank which aids lightness and strength. Some Euro rods omit the hook-keeper, but this rod has one (placement under the blank still allows me to put my finger of top of or on the side of the blank for extra senstivity). The REC single foot guides reduce the amount of wraps & epoxy needed, keeping the physical weight of the rod down as well as reducing the swing weight, which makes the rod feel lighter in the hand and more pleasant to cast.The guides are made of nickel titanium alloy, which makes them virtually unbreakable; if you flatten them against the blank they pop right back up.

The T&T Contact series of nymphing rods has a combination of features that no other rod on the market has. Cutting edge materials and technology make it perform better than it's competitors. Casting is effortless and accurate even with a long leaders and light flies. The sensitivity is superb, and despite the light tip there is ample power in the rod for casting and landing large fish. I really cannot find a single fault with this rod.



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