This issue: TCFF tests the new Thomas & Thomas Zone fly rod.
Thomas & Thomas’s latest offering arrived at our offices in a sturdy aluminium tube with the T&T Zone label on the cap, and we couldn’t wait to see what was inside. Following our tests of the Exocett and Avantt (TCFF issues 254 and 256 – Ed) and the glowing reviews that these two rods generated, we had high expectations of the new kid on the block. On the back of that was the fact that we knew that the Zone (albeit in the salt water configuration) had won Best of Show at the IFTD in 2018 and, as such, its fresh water sibling had a lot to live up to.
The Zone series includes rods from 3- to 10-wt and in the fresh water models, the 3- and 4-wt are classified as medium-fast action, with rods from 5-wt and up designated as fast action. Our test rod was in a 5-wt 9’ four-piece configuration. Zone rods are hand-rolled in the T&T USA factory using the same StratoThermresin developed for their flagship models mentioned above. The Zone is marketed by T&T as a new rod series aimed at producing rods that have top performance at a competitive price, while still offering the qualities that T&T is known for.
T&T has built its reputation on producing rods of exceptional quality, so we were keen to see how its midpriced rod series would stack up. Out of the tube, the first thing that stood out was the matte or “natural” finish on the blank. The butt has a blue section with silver trim up to about halfway and features a titanium frame stripping guide with zirconium insert, and a hook keeper. On the other sections, the thread wrappings are blue with no trim and the guides chrome, single foot. A dot on the butt section and the serial number on the others help line up the sections quickly for assembly. Hardware on the reel seat (blue carbon fibre) is aluminium and the grip Western-style (reversed half wells) in composite reinforced high-grade cork with a hardened tip section. All in all, very neat and well done as one would expect of a T&T.
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