You've finally picked up your new T&T Contact series nymphing rod. You're excited, you can't wait to hit the water, but you're still trying to figure out what line to use... Joe Goodspeed, our product development manager, has extensive experience with rod design and coming from a background in fly line he's our number one resource for dishing out the absolute best line recommendation possible. You could say Joe is our in-house line guru.
Here is Joe's line explanation and recommendations for what to use with the Thomas & Thomas Contact.
Having the right line makes a big difference with specialty products like the Contact nymph rod. There are a number of thin line options designed for European style nymphing, made with both braid and with monofilament cores. Lines made with a thin braid core are very supple, and allow for an angler to cast lightweight flies. These lines have a “drape” effect between rod guides due to the supple nature of the braid, creating little sagging areas between all the guides that must be pulled tight before the angler can feel anything happen on the terminal end.
These lines are effective for nymping techniques where a strike indicator or sighter visually indicates the bites, but prevent the angler from feeling very much. In contrast, nymphing lines built with a thin mono core have a little more stiffness, sag less between the guides, and transmit subtle bites by feel much more effectively than braid lines.
On a nymph rod with a quick recovering tip and good sensitivity like the Contact series, I suggest the use of a Mono Core Nymph line like this one from Cortland:
In addition to being designed to fish Euro style by feel, the Contact rods are also effective for covering rivers with long roll casts and mends to fish swing nymphs or to cast and mend line with a suspension indicator rig. Although they are somewhat difficult to find these days, a double taper line gives you the extended body to make those long single hand roll casts and for mending at distance. If you were to set up two spools for that 1133 Contact rod, my best suggestions are a mono core nymph line on one, and a DT3F on the other.