ZONE Fly Rods: The new ZONE series from T&T offers freshwater and saltwater anglers a more price-conscious alternative to flagship models. While these may be cheaper in price, T&T states that they are still hand-built in Massachusetts and even use the same advanced StratoTherm resin that's found in the Exocett and Avantt rods. During my brief visit at the T&T booth, the quality of these rods was certainly evident—they are stunners!
ZONE blanks are a low-key natural finish and come equipped with titanium stripping guides (featuring zirconium inserts) fastened to each blank with incredibly precise blue wraps. Saltwater rods also come with Snake Brand E-Coating Universal Snake Guides, while freshwater rods get single-foot guides. Handles are premium cork with composite near the top for grip and durability, while reel seats are silver anodized aluminum with a blue fiberglass insert.
The 9 rods in the series are all 4-pieces and start at a 7'6" 3-weight and go up to the heaviest model which is a 9'0" 10-weight. Most models cast with a fast action, but the smaller 3 and 4-weight sticks are a more forgiving medium-fast action. Expect a price of $495 for any rod up to the 10'0 7-weight, and $545 for any line weight past that. Availability of the ZONE rods is slated for October 1.
*The ZONE 9-weight took home the "Best of Show Fly Rod - Saltwater" award!
In other news.....
The Contact nymphing series adds two new models: a 10'2" 2-weight along with a 10'8" 6-weight. Both are 4-piece.
In addition, the Exocett SS lineup brings aboard three new models rated for 160-grain, 200-grain, or 450-grain lines. Every rod in this series measures 8'8" long and is 4-pieces.