I had a chance recently to play with zone heads. Very interesting head !!!!!
First, I noticed that that 475, 525 or 580 gr, for example, differ only by the length of rear leveled section. The rest, length, OD etc. are essentially the same, so one one can make any a lighter head by simply pruning the head form the back.
First I tried 475 gr with both 85 gr, 10' tip or 120 gr 14-15' tip and the set-up works very well as a pure multi-tip Scandi on Burkheimer 9135-4 ( a light wt.9 rod, which is more progressive and generate a high line speed). Once I put on 580 gr it felt like a very light Skagit , with Scandi feel, but far smoother then ordinary Skagit, and with a slower tempo it was easy to cast even roll snake or Single Spey.
CFB 9135-4 likes heads like Guideline triple density around 570-600 gr. Although Guidline heads ( triangle taper) may feel slightly smoother over longer distance, due to somewhat less weight in the back, the Zone 475 gr with tips can be cast a mile ( often not needed for Steelhead) with little effort and has very powerful turnover, a big asset in windy weather.. Ease of casting is rally impressive. For me, when fishing in BC non stop for 5-6 weeks, getting tired driving boat, dealing with bad weather, relaxing casting and enjoying fishing is very important.
BTW, CFB 9135-4 likes 630-660 gr Skagit. I am sure 610 gr Zone would feel more like smooth casting Skagit.
Even 475 gr with 10-12' tip was turning over 3 inch Rhea Intruder ( lightly weighted , total weight 1.2 g; 18 gr) quite nicely.
If you are not sure which wight to buy, get one which weight is in lower range of Skagit head you use, and if needed you can always prune it form the back.
The premise is sound- last fish I caught was on a F/S1 powertaper with a fastsink poly. What a sweeeeeeet swing that gives. It's not a fuss for casting either, and can carry a 4" leadeye bunny with an underhand stroke, no sweat.
I think I'd be more inclined to go with a longer head though, less stripping is more fishing.
Forst of all it it is only head which is Floater + Intermediate and it has to be combined with 10-12' tip, preferable in 80-120 gr. max
On swingy you should expect a bit, but no to much, higher speed due to 14-18' rear floating section, what can be an asset when swatting for an aggressive fish with temps 45F+. Easier to lift too, although with a combo which is 34-38' ( tip included) it is not an issue at all, even if it was S2/S3 or higher sink rate.
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