Over the last decade, European-style nymphing tactics have proven to be extremely effective at pulling in trout. The explosion in popularity of Euro Nymphing in the fly fishing world cannot be understated, and rod manufacturers have taken notice of the growing niche. Rod makers have taken a close look at the demands that Euro-nymphing asks of their rods and have tailored the components for those demands.
Every component of the T&T Contact II was designed to put the angler as in-tune and connected to the fly as possible. The unsanded blank prevents line from sticking to the rod, single-foot guides which keep your line from sagging when high-sticking, high-density cork gives sensitive feel to the tip of the rod, down-locking reel seat to balance the length of the rod, and a strong backbone for lifting hook sets.
The ReelFlyRod Pro Staff had a chance to take some of the Thomas & Thomas rods out on a trip into Northern Michigan and we were extremely impressed by the performance of the sticks when we put them into the scenarios where they are intended to thrive. One of the rods that we grabbed was the T&T Contact II 10'9" 3wt which we used on a smaller creek located off of the Manistee River to chase some small browns and brook trout.
The first thing that we noticed about the Contact II was the superior craftsmanship that Thomas & Thomas puts into their rods. One of the most eye-catching features of the rod is the back end which is highlighted with the downlocking reel seat punctuated with a handsome Black Ash Burl reel seat insert.
The handle is crafted from high-quality Flor Grade cork. This high-density cork gives the angler ultimate feedback as it keeps you directly connected to the fly and allows you to feel subtle subsurface strikes.
Black guide hardware that features T&T's "low-rider" profile keeps your line from sagging too much which allows you to strip set and work your fly much easier.
An unsanded blank which prevents your wet line from sticking to the rod.
Every Thomas & Thomas rod is proudly made in Greenfield, Massachusetts and while T&T recognizes that it may be cheaper and in some cases easier to source materials from abroad they recognize that and stand by American craftsmanship, innovation and quality.
We used the Contact II 10'9" with a RIO FIPS Euro Line to a RIO Euro Leader. We mainly fished the Contact II using Umpqua Blowtorches, Perdigon patterns, and Egan's Frenchies.
Here's what the ReelFlyRod crew had to say about our time using the T&T Contact II:
"The rod was ultra-responsive and extremely sensitive; I swear I could feel every little pebble as my nymph bounced around the bottom of the creek" - Thomas
"Surprised at how accurate the rod was at a variety of ranges. I had no problem dropping my nymph exactly where I wanted it" - Kyle
"Fighting fish was easier than expected considering some of the monsters that we caught. The rod has the backbone to keep fish from darting into cover but the tip was soft enough to protect very light tippets against big fish" - Ryan
"It was so exciting to see that rod bend nearly backwards but having the faith and confidence in the stick to land big fish" - Seth
While you may see the Thomas & Thomas slogan "The Rod You Will Eventually Own" as just another marketing scheme, get one of these rods in your hands and you will see that it is one of the most well-crafted tools in the industry for Euro Nymphing tactics.
- Optimized guide spacing with lowered stripping guides to decrease line sag between the hand and first guide
- Increased backbone power to improve hook sets and assist landing larger fish
- Extra dense premium Flor grade cork grips increases feel and bite transmission
- Black RECoil single foot snake guides
- Black hook keeper and winding check
- Black “Low Rider” style stripping guide keeps line tighter to blank for improved strike transmission and accuracy
- New low-profile rounded fighting butt for balance and comfort
- Stealthy brown and olive thread wraps.
- Downlocking reel seat standard on 2wt to 4wt models
Models: 10'0" 2wt, 10'0" 3wt, 10'9" 2wt, 10'9" 3wt, 10'9" 4wt, 11'2" 3wt, 10'8" 6wt
- Thomas & Thomas Contact II Fly Rods
- Thomas & Thomas Contact II Fly Rod Outfits
- Best Euro Nymph Fly Lines