Nymphing - Permanent developments in this area and technical articles in magazines and books have ensured that this method has become increasingly popular in recent years. Some rod manufacturers have reacted quickly to the increased interest and launched special rods for the so-called "Euro Nymphing". One of the first premium manufacturers to take up this challenge is the traditional company Thomas & Thomas from the USA. With the Contact Series, a rod of the latest generation has been developed especially for tight line nymphing. Friedrich Flach about his first impressions with the Thomas & Thomas Contact.
Already the first impression is convincing! The noble blue rod tube made of aluminium as well as a cleanly processed fabric case meet the expectations of a rod from this price segment. On the first visual inspection of the rod two highlights already catch the eye: The cork shows a tightness and evenness that is far above what one is used to from other high-priced nymph rods. An experience which, by the way, can also be transferred to other Thomas & Thomas rod series. Furthermore the rod comes with a natural and unpolished blank. Many fly fishermen will smile at the sight of this rod. Bull's eye! The rest of the features are also in the usual high Thomas & Thomas quality. Rings, reel seat, windings leave nothing to be desired. But what about the performance of this fly rod?
As with every new fly rod, the first casts are still a bit unusual. But after a few minutes the nymph lands exactly where it should. Maybe you expect a typical nymph rod to have a pure tip action paired with a rather rigid backbone. Not the Contact! The blank has a sensitive area in the tip on the one hand, in the middle part of the rod on the other hand a rather semi-parabolic action that quickly recovers. This helps enormously when casting small and light nymphs. The effortless acceleration after a short time is a great feature that you don't want to miss anymore. Other nymph rods often appear more ponderous and slower. Very sensitive and exact presentations are easy to make and even the smallest vibrations are transmitted directly to the wrist. Gentle bites are immediately recognized and a gentle impulse in the wrist is enough to set the hook safely. Even the smallest movements are exactly converted and processed by the rod. The power transmission is simply impressive. No effort is required to move this rod and place the nymph. The less force is used, the better.
In the drill of larger fish the rod is initially somewhat unconventional, as the action feels softer than known from other nymph rods. Those who know older, stiffer nymph rods will be surprised at first. Because the Contact rod series offers much more feeling during the fight and every headbutt is clearly perceptible - and is buffered cleanly. A big plus for fishing with fine leader tips. Escape and sudden changes of direction are masterfully parried. And don't be afraid: the lower part of the blank has reserves of power that can be called up very specifically after a short period of getting used to it and thus quickly fatigues the fish. It is impressive to see how the Contact behaves under load. The bottom line is that the rod feels a bit finer/lighter than the typical AFTMA classification. If you can regularly expect larger trout (50cm +) in your water, you can confidently choose the Contact in class 4.
Overall the Thomas & Thomas Contact impresses with a flawless finish and convincing fishability. The high-quality components in combination with a huge portion of sensitivity and power make this rod series a great choice for all nymph fishermen who do not want to do without a premium rod even with this special technique. With its action and sensitivity, the Contact stands out from other nymph rods on the market and proves that Thomas & Thomas can do more than just "dry".