Well this is the make or break month for Sexyloops. A couple of months ago I wrote that I was broke and things were going to get tighter. And in the last month I've run right up to the limit, and even had to borrow money from friends so I can eat. Borrowing money from the bank is one thing; borrowing money from friends is entirely another – the main difference being you feel obliged to pay it back! Years ago when I started Sexyloops I made the decision that I would never compromise my integrity for anything, anyone and especially not money. That decision almost cost me this site, but it was the right decision and I would do exactly the same even if it meant giving it all up and robbing banks.
The sponsorship programme has secured this site. I could have taken the easy route and accepted a whole host of lesser sponsors. I would undoubtedly earn more money; many sites do, which is fine, but it's not for me. I don't wish to put the Sexyloops' name behind inferior product, that's not why I'm doing this – I need manufacturers I can stand behind, and say, with hand on heart, “I reckon you should use this stuff because it's the best.”
Of course you can buy cheaper – you can always buy cheaper – and maybe you have to buy cheap because, like me at the moment, you're broke. I still use a Rimfly reel for example; I have always used a Rimfly reel, for over twenty years now and I've been using my current Rimfly reel for the last nine. I never oil it either; I just sort of dunk it in the water. I would like a sexy reel of course, but I'll be buggered if I'm going to pay for one. I've caught 9lb imaginary kahawai on a Rimfly, 30 lb pike – not that that's much of a test – huge fighting fit rainbows, and at least two codling, so if you want to save money buy a cheap reel. And yes I'll still be telling you that even after finding a sexy reel sponsor.
3M (Scientific Anglers) agreed to sponsor Sexyloops a while back but the final clearance has only just been given. I've been hanging out for them from the start and they were in fact the first company to give me the go-ahead. Scientific Anglers in my opinion are the world leaders in flyline manufacturing and for one reason: Bruce Richards.
I know most of the other manufacturers quite well of course, and have some good friends in several of them, most noticeably Simon Gawesworth but I'm sure Simon will understand and won't be pissed off with me. After all he does live in a Mormon town and needs all the drinking buddies he can get.
But it really was Bruce that swung my decision and most importantly the flylines he creates. Bruce is known throughout the world as the authority on flylines, hell he's even written a book on the subject. That he also happens to be one of, if not the, leading authority on flycasting, means that he jolly well should be turning out the world's best flylines.
The XXD line is the first flyline taper that Bruce designed specifically for his own distance needs. I'll be doing a proper review of this line shortly. All the longest casters I personally know love this line. It really is the line of choice for the 5-weight distance; hell it is the line for the 5-weight distance. I use it for all my floating line fishing – have done so exclusively for the last year – and used it to comprehensively pass all the EFFF Masters distances. This line and its creator are the reason Sexyloops is now sponsored by 3M.
This sponsorship programme is very exciting for me. Sage, Scientific Anglers, William Joseph… I wonder who will be next? Finally, the guys who count are backing us. We haven't relented or weakened our position, if anything we are further “out there” than ever before, we've just turned being “out there” into an established position. How many other flyfishing sites have God as one of their leading line-ups? Or Ben Spinks for that matter.
So, as well as all the hard work I've so obviously been doing, I've also been finding time to go fishing. And I've been lake fishing, mainly because all the rivers are high and dirty following four weeks of solid rainfall. Instead of stalking fish around the margins, like I usually do, I've been fishing from a rubber boat with a couple of friends: Lionel and Camo-Guy.
It's an interesting boat; bits have been falling off it all week. In an alarming and decidedly suicidal manner all the glue seems to have given up and anything important which was originally stuck on, such as the rollocks for example, is now lying in the bottom of the boat, sloshing around with what one could fairly describe as a large and very obvious quantity of water. This is Guy's rubber duck, the one we came close to sinking on Dunstan together twelve years ago. How lucky for me that we didn't.
Even so, it hasn't been the outstanding success I expected; I expected veritable bucket loads of fish. I would have been more successful of course had Guy's outboard not packed up – I suspect he fiddled with it when I wasn't looking; Guy's a bit like that, he likes to tinker with things – he's the sort of chap who'd take his watch apart just to make it tick faster.
I don't need outboard hassles in my life, I had them before when I used to live in Noosa and owned a small tinnie. Outboard hassles are even more frustrating than computer hassles and so I'm on my way down to Invercargill to hang out with Guy for a couple of days, give the damn thing back and buy a cheap kayak. I don't know if it's possible to fish loch style over the front of a kayak but I'm going to find out.
I'm thinking of staying here in New Zealand until May. April can be a pretty good month to fish, although the nights are rapidly closing in and it can be decidedly chilly in the early hours. I haven't spent April here since my very first trip over a decade ago. If it gets too cold I'll head back that bit earlier, after all April is also a good month to fish the Northern Hemisphere.
Lots of new content lined up for you as well as the most exciting section to hit Sexyloops. Carlos has been driving the serious content forward and I'm about to join him. Steve Parton has just finished an outstanding series, which I'll begin after next week's final instalment in the Stillwater Revolution. Soon we'll have articles on imaginary Coalfish from Jan the Man, as well as two variations on the Roll Cast from Dana Sturn and Herb Spannagl. Viking Lars has been inundated with tips. Sean is writing about leeches. Loopy Lisa is writing about her latest flyfishing adventure and life with my socks. And Ben has been tying size 32 Humpies and has discovered a new use for the dubbing twister.
This has the makings of being one hell of a month. Welcome to Sexyloops – not just your everyday fishporn site.