In the past four years this is the rod that I’ve spent most of my time fishing and casting. But let’s talk about it not as a 10WT fishing rod, for Saltwater and the jungle, but as a 5WT competition distance rod. It would certainly be one of the most used rods in the World Championships 5WT Trout Distance event. Bart de Zwaan is throwing some huge casts with it, breaking my BFCC record with it… twice. I suppose that if you are going to have your record broken then it’s best that it’s a friend using one of your rods 😀
It’s been an interesting shift from how we started 5WT distance, which as most of you will know, goes back to around 2004 – for me anyway – being inspired by “The Best of the West” casting competition in the USA. Back then “the rod to have” was the Sage TCR905. And what a controversial rod this turned out to be; even I found it too stiff for fishing a 5WT line, preferring to line it with a 6WT line for fishing!
When the World Championship events were created, almost exactly 12 years ago, the rod class was left open – because what is a 5WT rod anyway? – but the line was restricted to a Mastery Expert Distance 5WT in the competition length of 120ft.
I’ve attended every competition; for the first three competitions I used the HT6. In fact for the first competition in Norway I actually took along a couple of the first HT6 prototypes! I reached the finals in two of those competitions but in the first finals Stefan and I made my line so slick that I couldn’t keep hold of it while hauling and in the other the wind did some really strange things to everyone. Something else happened however, and I felt that I was convincingly beaten by Tor the Giant, the Norwegian Javelin thrower. Bart was in that final too, as I’m sure he will remember well!
A bit of research later, led me to the conclusion that I should be trying stiffer rods for this competition. At the Sexyloops Scottish Meet, what was then the British Fly Casting Team had a “shootout” with International rules, using the HT6, an 8WT and two 10WTs. Or it might have been two 8WTs and one 10WT – I can’t be expected to remember everything! What I do remember however, is that everyone involved threw the 8 further than the 6 and the 10 further than the 8. My personal result was throwing the 5MED two metres further on the 10WT compared to the HT6. Yes it’s probably something I should have tried earlier! 😀
When the HT10 blank arrived – the current production one, not the prototype I took fishing on both coasts of Australia, nor the one I chased Snakehead with out of a kayak in Malaysia – the first thing we did was to fit it with Torzite Titanium rings, as an experiment, and after two weeks of practise I took it to Estonia, where I actually managed to get a Bronze Medal in the Trout Distance.
It’s funny how all these years later, that I now find rods that I once found stiff for the 5WT distance, such as the TCR5, to be soft noodles without backbone. My stroke has changed too, I use pull-back to set the loops on the backcast, my arc is slightly narrower… but that fly casting feeling like no other, namely carrying and false casting a MED5 to 90’… that remarkable feeling… I find even better with this rod, particularly watching the chiselled shapes into which the loops morph.
You don’t need to spend $1000 to get that feeling, and you can get a similar experience lining up a MED5 on any 9 or 10WT rod. I think where our rod particularly excels, is that we have more feeling in the lower sections (certainly compared to most Saltwater 10WTs out there which can be pretty lifeless), we have incredible tip recovery which you can see in the bottom/fly leg of the loop and of course we use these remarkable Titanium Torzite rings. After all it is a Hot Torpedo!
Here is some loop morphing…
On the other hand, and I’m sure it’s one reason why this is one of our top selling rods: this is the rod I use in the World Championships. So if you buy this rod and line it with a MED5 then you will not go far wrong. It will take practise – lots of practise – to get the very best out of it. But it does come with a Video User Manual! https://www.sexyloops.com/flycast/competition-distance-cast/ and I’m always on hand to answer any questions you may have or even analyse video of you casting. I actually do this regularly.
You can find out a little bit more here: https://www.sexyloops.com/index.php/webshop/item/546/ht-pro-9ft-10wt or simply email me on email@example.com to ask any questions you may have.