I’m the proud owner of Hot Torpedo Competition #5 serial number 15. Owning this rod has always been very special to me, not just because it’s a great rod, but because of the way I acquired it – I won it at the first Sexyloops gathering that I attended in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. When I say ‘won’ I actually finished in second place in the casting competition, but Paul wasn’t going to give the rod to himself for coming first!
The format of the competition was simple; 4 outfits were placed in four casting lanes and you cast each one for two minutes, recorded the best distance and then moved on to the next lane until you’d cast all the outfits. Once everyone had cast in the morning the outfits were changed (after a lunch break) for new ones in the afternoon and the process repeated, thus everyone had eight scores to compare.
The fun thing about this type of competition is that you don’t know what you’re picking up and you don’t get time to practice – 2 minutes of casting is all you get during which you have to figure out how to get the best from the outfit you’ve just been given. To make it even more interesting there were some ‘peculiar’ (or so I thought at the time) tackle choices, the #4 line on the rod marked #10 was particularly memorable. I must say I was astonished at how well this cast and was very pleased to record a distance of over 40 yards with it.
I also distinctly remember thinking I’d blown my whole competition when faced with a 55g salmon shooting head outfit in the afternoon. This was the first time I’d ever cast one, and by that I mean a double handed fly rod – I’d never felt the need to use one previously (I’ve still never actually been fishing with one). As such, having my first ever experience of wielding a 15ft fly rod in a 2 minute distance competition, with no prior instruction, meant that I didn’t do that great. However my performances with the single handed rods compensated and I scraped into second place overall.
Since winning it, the HT #5 has become my go-to rod for reservoir trout fishing and summer carping. It’s with one such carp that I’m basing my entry into this competition, a monster of a fish caught towards the end of the summer. I don’t know how much it weighed (although some experienced carp anglers have given me their estimates), but I’d be interested to know if anyone thinks they’ve caught something bigger on the HT #5.
Used correctly, the Hot Torpedo #5 has more than sufficient low-down stiffness to bully big fish away from snags and overhanging trees, plus a very responsive casting performance that makes it a pleasure to sight cast with all day. I should note that I’ve also won a number of BFCC #5 casting competitions with this rod, recording many casts over 120 feet in doing so.
So there you have it, I’m using a rod I won to try and win another one, with a big fish and some long casts thrown in for good measure.