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17/11/03 - The best toys

It's mostly about feel. That's what you buy when you spend your dosh. And let's face it, whether or not you're catching fish – and let's hope you are! – you're always casting. I want my casts to feel good because sexy isn't just about looks. And it's the rod itself that gives that “flycasting feeling”. When you pick up a rod and sling the line about, you feel the difference. Of course if you don't get it then it doesn't matter, but if you can, then that feeling suddenly becomes the most important thing in the world, and an intrinsic part to the whole flyfishing experience. It's one of the things that elevates our passion to the sublime. (Yeah, really, he says)

I've always believed in buying the best I can afford. And in terms of rods and lines that means the best there is, and for well over a decade. In fact it's slowly becoming the best there is in every other department as well. I suppose it helps that I put no true value on money – it's just something that comes along and disappears pretty fast. That and I can live dead cheap when I have to. There's not very many “things” in my world; some tackle, a laptop, a couple of cameras. I don't have a house full of consumables; there's no video, TV or kettle for example… in fact there's no house.

I own quite literally two pairs of trousers, one pair of shorts, about 5 T-shirts, some running stuff, a couple of fleece jackets and a camouflage raincoat. I've been travelling so long now that I simply don't collect anything. And no, I haven't just made that bit up, and so when tha AAPGAI told me that we'd be “dressing up” on the Saturday night, I thought, “yeah right”.

Anyway it's the “no house” bit that really makes the difference. Without the house I don't have all the bills that go alongside. Most people probably don't realise just how cheap it is to live on the road. Sure, every once in a while it's nice to “borrow” a house, or stay with friends, but by and large I like it best this way. That and there's less washing. I hate washing.

If I don't like something, anything, then I move on, change the picture, change the country even. It seems like a smart thing to do if you ask me.

One day that all may change of course, and I'm open to that too, but right now this is what I want. Anyway, between you and me, I've noticed that people who worry about tomorrow always seem to worry about tomorrow, no matter how old they are, and consequently never get to do anything exciting or interesting or spontaneous with their lives. I reckon worrying about the future, or anything, is just a state of mind. Which is fine, only why worry? Isn't it all a matter of choice? There's always another perspective. Even, in fact especially, when it comes to fishing. Freedom comes from being able to shift perspective and it's an ability we all have within.

Saltfly is an excellent example of when a sexy rod can come in handy, as well as an alternative point of view. If you're going to spend three years between takes then you may as well have something pleasurable to fling around. Mind you, one could argue that since saltfly involves big ugly flies, shooting heads and a good imagination, then maybe it's not quite so important after all. In that case half an ounce of Seal's Fur is probably your best tactic. Or do what the experts do and drink the scenery.

But where it really counts is 6-weights and under. There isn't a mean 5-weight in this world that hasn't been developed by a full-time rod-designer and then field tested by the pros. I've often wondered whether you can actually feel what the rod designer feels through his work. I'd like to think so; after all it is a craft. And it takes years to do the thing properly.

Gary Coxon from Sage told me last week that it takes five years for a range of Sage flyrods to be developed.

I'm putting Sexyloops behind the world's leading flytackle manufacturers, because that's what I believe in, and always have. I can see the other perspective, that cheap is cheerful but that's not enough for me. Mediocrity has no place in my world. I want to do this thing properly and have all the best toys.

Scientific Anglers have now joined Sage and William Joseph in our sponsorship program. I've been using the XXD lines for the last year when it immediately became my line of choice. That's probably not surprising since 3M's Bruce Richards is the world's leading flyline designer, a craftsman in his own right and, in my opinion, the flycasting technician.

What a great team I'm putting together :)

This week should see a shift in Sexyloops as my life returns to revolve around flyfishing once again. After all that's why Im here.

Have a great week,

Essential Bush Skills

The start of any flytying good flytying sequence involves squirting The Light of Apgai on your polyprops
Both alarm and curiousity set in when the polyprops start melting
Putting the lid back on the jar to stop *that* happening again
The flytying proper is underway
Notice the composure, that's true class that is
A difficult bit, you can tell that from the vacant expression
Essential bush skills: the third hand
Notice my hat here, it's quite daring
Snip, snip
I'm not quite sure what I'm doing here, but it's cool
Trimming an oversize hackle that appears to have become trapped in the whip finnish manoevre
Delicate precision work, the hallmark of any good flytyer
A sexy catch...

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