It has been one mean tough negotiation; at times it looked like it wasn't happening, at others we both knew it would never happen, and then finally, when both sides had given up all hope of even agreeing upon who we were, the deal was concluded. Sexyloops, or at least my part in it (and at times it's difficult to distinguish which is which: I'm starting to think that sexyloops has a consciousness of its own by the way, especially as I've come to realise that I have absolutely no control over it) is now sponsored by G Loomis.
Yes, I'd been hanging in on out there for a little while, borrowing rods ever since my last one broke (Loomis IMX) and although it looked for a while at least that I was going to have to actually buy one (and I have had to do this twice before with Loomis), I was saved this piece of conscience-battling when they said, “Sure we'll sponsor you Paul. What do you want?”
This brilliant stroke of luck has come not a minute too soon, since I am off today (at the time of this going live) to Spain, for a bit of flycasting instruction and demonstrations. And arriving without a rod would have been a bit of a bummer. I mean, as it is they are going to struggle with me.
Fishtec import Loomis into the UK and I happen to know quite a few of these guys rather well, especially since they also happen to be one of our main suppliers. I have been saying so for years that Loomis are the finest flyrod manufacturer in the world. The GLX is second to none. Indeed no other rod comes close. Just to demonstrate my integrity (as if you didn't already trust me by now) Scott come in number two, and we don't even sell Scott.
Although Loomis do not offer a lifetime guarantee, if you break one Fishtec will replace the rod at a cost of ten percent of the current retail price. This is a damn good deal. I personally do not believe in the lifetime guarantee business, think it is a con, and believe that we are beginning to see the results of it now with the Sage SLT and the Scott S3.
Anyway I'm taking a 4-piece 9ft 6weight GLX to Spain with me. So the 595-pound question is: would I spend this much on a rod and is it worth it? Especially when you consider that I gave a demonstration last weekend with a 60-quid rod…
This from Pete Sutton:
Very many thanks for what you did at the weekend.
The casting demo was a great success and the members haven't stopped talking about it since. They all agree it was a great demo and you are a very good teacher. John Skillen, you gave him a short lesson I understand, was especially pleased. He must have taken your advice seriously as he has now swapped that ghastly pole of a Sage (SP 10' 7 weight, I told him it wasn't doing him any favours 3 or 4 years ago!) for a Loomis GLX, I think 9', 6 weight.
Anyway I'm going to see him this weekend so he can try some lines, I told him it wasn't a good idea to use a Triangle taper 7/8 weight on the new rod!!!
Thanks again, have a good time in Spain, I'll keep in touch and I look forward to that casting lesson when you get back.
Well they seemed happy enough and I was using a rod retailing for one tenth the price of a GLX. Would the casting have been ten times better with a GLX? Certainly not. Would it have been noticeably better? Honestly… yes. The loops would have been tighter, crisper and faster. The casting would have been further and I would have had greater control at all distances. Would that have made it more impressive? Probably not, since someone would have said, “Well, it's all in the rod of course” :-)
But none of this matters; what really matters is happiness: call me a sensualist if you will but there is no question in my mind that I get far greater pleasure from casting and fishing with a GLX over any other rod. You can't put a price on happiness (although they have, of course). I know that most of you will understand me when I say that fishing is the best thing in my life, it's seems in some way to justify all the other things I do in my life: it is what I do. And when I do it well, I feel more alive and here and a part of this world than at any other time.
Yeah, it's worth it.
The Front Page
I was going to write some other stuff too, about the Internet and this site and how it's changed the way I think. For one thing at times I think in HTML. This site is done by hand; both Steve and I use text editors to write the pages. We don't use Dreamweaver or Frontpage; it's like the difference between driving a real car with a manual gearbox on real tarmac and playing with a Sony Playstation. Steve is actually quite snobby about it and says, “It's actually a lot like sex, Paul”
Steve also understands Flash and various programming languages that no one has ever heard of or is remotely interested in. I mention this because, while I am in Spain, Steve will be responsible for the front page. That Steve also happens to be into Shamanism, Zen and (no doubt) Voodoo should be cause for concern, but I am not worried… this is Sexyloops; it has a consciousness of its own.
While I'm off in this little world that is in fact another reality, the Internet, a friend of Sean's who is a regular visitor complained that there is “so much activity that he doesn't know what's new!”
Basically this leads me into the “how does one use Sexyloops?” question. It's quite a large site now. 1200 files, 800 non-cgi pages, 80 movie clips in one form or another, about 1,600+ images and we change 7 days a week. “Hell, it's alive!” And we are only just getting into gear.
The front page reflects the previous seven days. You can actually find the last seven days by using the MO, TU, WE… boxes. Of course now I have written this, Steve will no doubt do something completely different.
If you are looking for specific info use the Search Page. I use it myself for cross-referencing the site and it works very well. Saturday's page was a good example of this: Chasers/Takers.
But of course the best option is to drop by every day :-)
I have often been asked why I do it; well obviously we like the money, but that's never been one of my motivations in life. The simple answer is I'm not sure really, I thought I did know. But now I think I'm just doing it because I enjoy it; I mean sure we like to do it well and be professional about it, but if I wasn't getting the Sexyloops buzz, it probably wouldn't be worth reading.
There are a few other good sites out there, trying to do what we are doing. Globalflyfisher for example is an excellent site; they have the stated goal of becoming the best flyfishing site in the world. Period. We don't have that aim, or indeed perhaps any aim; it's only by letting go that you really find your true self. Maybe that is what this is all about. Still it only bothers me when I think about it, and so I don't.
Instead I think about how to make this website better, for a start it is a website; it is not a magazine. The magazine format works well in print, it is a linear progression, the Internet is anything but: it's like
having another dimension to play with. On the one hand we are trying to give great flyfishing advice delivered in an entertaining way and on the other hand we are trying to see of what we can do with the Internet. In our own small way we are probing boundaries. Sexyloops really does “exist” in some senses.
Some things work, some things don't, and it's interesting finding out which is which. There are many plagiarists out there ripping us off, imitating us, repackaging our content… well, good luck! (You may not want to follow us all the way, especially once Steve has hit the frontpage with his Voodoo)
The question of course is how will it work in Spain? This is something I have been wondering about myself. Naturally I'll be online daily. That kinda goes with out saying really. I have laptop, mobile phone, digi-camera, sunglasses, an AAPGAI hat, one high-speed datacard, various ISP's… hell it's exactly the same as in the UK.
Pic of the Day will obviously reflect my trip around Spain, newsletters, the Flow, and various reviews will continue as normal. In fact we are lifting the pace again since I have decided to use my Trade connections to bring you some great content as well as expand upon the competition ideas.
Let's talk about the AAPGAI hat: “a necessary evil”. If you remember in NZ Jim Curry introduced me to the very latest in fashion accessories and informed me that although the hat in question undoubtedly made one more attractive to the womenfolk, it was also cursed. Realising that such a thing was just what I required for my Spanish trip, I wrote to Tony Deacon and Michael Evans asking for one.
Tony quickly got one off to me. Michael on the other hand wrote: “If you spent a little less time sampling worldwide crumpet the world would be a safer place”. He didn't actually write that the world would be a safer place, in fact we were talking about something else entirely different, but the remark regards worldwide crumpet, he did make.
I replied: “FYI I've been off the women for the last ten months and my playboy existence is all but an illusion to divert attention from my real plan and that is to become Prime Minister. The porn-site is off.” None of which is true of course.
Fishing, trees and the mysterious tinsel effect
This week I went fishing to several different places. On Tuesday I fished with Karate Mark who demonstrated some marvellous Karate casts. He also took great pains to point out that Karate could not be used to chop down trees, for that one requires an axe or chainsaw. Karate as it happened also happened to be completely ineffective on the pike and so we retired to the local pub so we could talk about ladies and ladybirds. (Mark has a women and his job is to recommend whether or not one should release ladybirds into greenhouses. Apparently he gets paid quite well for this. It's interesting the jobs some people have)
On Thursday Sean and I visited Rutland. There were several reasons for us wishing to go. The first was the necessity of finding an attractive girl who would kindly draw the names out of the hat for the “Fly Fishing” book competition. This was Steve's idea. Remember (Michael) that I am studiously avoiding the womenfolk at the moment and will continue to do so until such times as I reach Spain. Here are the results...
The other reason we went there was to go fishing, which we did. In fact we had rather a good day. It cost precisely half the trip to Hanningfield, we caught mainly browns, which was interesting, Sean got angry about half way through and stayed angry for about one hour, although why he could not say exactly, he arrived covered in little pieces of tinsel, although why precisely he would not tell me either (although at various times throughout the day he hinted that it was something to do with a wild and perverted sex act).
Sean also taught me some Spanish. He taught me two words, one of which I have already completely forgotten and seeing as how that one was “beer” and the one I remember was “turtle” – “tourtoogel” (the spelling might be a bit out, in case you were wondering); he's not a very good teacher.
Still one word is better than none, and I had promised Chris Rownes (who is meeting me in Spain) that I would learn some Spanish. And I have now fulfilled that promise; in fact I had already fulfilled the promise before Sean's inept teaching and had learned the word “Olé”.
Birgit, an ex-girlfriend of mine (the only one who actually stays in touch nowadays) wrote: “I'm sure you'll love Spain - sun sand and lots of women!!! And you might even pick up a word or two of Spanish. All I remember is "how are you?" and I can't even tell you how to spell it. But there is always the trusted OLÉ!! Don't think Spanish woman are quite what you're looking for, but English ones are all over the place ;) And then there are always the Germans...” (She is German, although she pretends not to be)
I replied: “Yes Spanish women... actually they might be right up my street” and “Olé will of course be sufficient for my linguistic purposes.” (I didn't know then that I was also to learn the Spanish for “turtle”)
To which she replied: “Thought so - don't forgot I know your intellectual background....;)”
My intellectual background, how positively rude! She tried to teach me German for five years and I still can't speak the lingo. My first German words incidentally were: “I will now brush my teeth” (erm, sung) and “where is the bumble bee” – notice that these are considerably more useful than that of “turtle” (Sean).
Have a great week,
Oh and BTW, Bugman Mark has insisted that I release this video... (but of course you probably don't want to) :-)