The Thomas & Thomas Zone rod series fills a significant niche in fly fishing: The all-purpose rod trout. During extensive field testing of the 9-foot, 5-wt Zone, we found a lot to love about the rods.
The medium-fast action of the Zone proves ideally suited for both gentle dry fly placement, and delivery of heavy weighted nymphs and streamer rigs. Thomas & Thomas designed the Zone to be a strong all-around performer at a reasonable price. The Zone features the same StratoTherm resin as the Avantt series (see review here), and sports anodized aluminum reel mounting hardware and titanium stripping guides – both elements help keep weight down without adding significantly to the price. In short, the T&T engineers designed the Zone to have a high-performance body with utilitarian components, making a workhorse of a rod.
In casting the Zone, we found the rod loads easily and quickly for a med/fast rod. The rod features a smooth mid-flex feel that provides power and accuracy that’s very similar to what I experienced in casting the higher-end Avantt. That’s understandable, given that both rod series start with the same composite elements at their core.
I found the 5-weight Zone to be a perfectly suited for covering water in the 20- to 60-foot range, with great dry fly presentations achievable (i.e. gentle placements with good accuracy) out to 45- to 50-feet.
With fish on, the rod proved adept at controlling big trout, and even bigger carp when we tied into them. There’s enough power in the butt to yard-in big depth-charging carp, but enough finesse throughout to protect delicate tippets when playing aerobic rainbows hooked on tiny dry flies. To further test the Zone’s versatility, we cast everything from #22 midge dries to #2 Pat’s Stones under big plastic indicators. We fished streamers and three-fly nymph rigs. Through it all the Zone kept our lines straight and headed where we wanted them.
Like the Avantt series, the T&T Zone 5-wt earned its place as the ideal jack-of-all-trades, quiver-of-one rod. Unlike the Avantt, the Zone is moderately priced at $495. Buy Now.
- Medium/fast action (up to 5-wt. For lines above 5-wt, the rod is rated as “fast action”).
- Natural finish carbon appearance.
- Clear anodized premium aluminum hardware.
- Blue fiber reel seat hand rolled at T&T.
- Composite reinforced premium-quality cork grips.
- Titanium frame stripping guides with Zirconium inserts.
- T&T Blue thread with silver accent wraps.
- Includes aluminum rod tube with Thomas & Thomas Zone logo.
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