There is a lot of fishing going into these. The first prototype I used on Snakehead before passing it on to Tim. Tim used it in Australia and Florida before passing it on to a guide in Mexico for a few months, where it passed through many clients’ hands – he wanted to buy it but we haven’t finished testing! It then was bashed around Australia and is now back in Florida, this time with Gary of the Tuesday FPs. We are two years into development now. Comprehensive is not fast!
To speed things up I’ve had another HT12 made – back to Tim who’s taking it to Exmouth, WA for GTs with Jono soon. This is one of those rods that I need expert advice on. A 12WT is not exactly a Snakehead rod!! It’s a big GT/ Tarpon/ Sailfish/ Marlin rod. I do plan to spin one around on Sailfish later this year – we have some excellent Sailfish fly fishing in Rompin, Malaysia and a good friend of mine guides for them – Juan Wei (“Juan” not pronounced as you would expect).
Yes it has two butts! This is something I’ve learned from the Finnish guys and particularly Sakari who gave me an eye-opening test of his fibreglass butt rods in the 2018 World Fly Casting Championships. This is the Bluewater option and possibly for sharks off the beach. You can lift 10 kilo weights set up this way, with what would otherwise be impossible rod angles for a purely graphite rod; more in fact if you are Hercules or Popeye Cummings.
The first prototype was a cut down Ugly Stik, with the handle chopped down with a carving knife – this is a true story. It wasn’t the perfect length and didn’t fit in the tube. Whereas, as you can see from these photos, we’ve since had a fibreglass butt specifically made to fit – I was reasonably happy with the Ugly Stik option but we couldn’t get trade prices on just the blank and Lee didn’t want to strip back every single rod before rebuilding it as a fly rod. I can’t think why.
Another change with this latest build is that, on the recommendation of Tim, we’ve fitted the butts with far longer grips. I’m very grateful to our cork grip manufacturer in Portugal for speeding these through for us.
I really can’t tell you when the rod going to be released. It’s quite possible that we redesign the blank; I’m waiting to hear back from Gary, both his first impressions but also what he thinks months from now. So it could be a while – big changes will restart the process. There is no hurry however; it’s only finished when it’s right.
Got any questions? You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂