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Testing Hot Torpedo Instructor Rod


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Ronan's report

Wednesday 23 January, 2013

I have been reading quite a lot of test reports about testing fly rods and comparing them with other fly rods. Reading all those reports resulted in a question about which categories are the ones that most fly fishermen focus on when aiming for a new fly rod? Some answers might be discussed on the board.

My personal most important categories are:

1. Rod length

2. How much does the rod bend during the typical range of force application in my kind of fishing (casting and playing fish)? = Stiffness profile

3. Where does the rod bend during the full range from low to high force application? = Rod action profile

4. How does it feel to rotate the rod and to stop it? = Mass distribution (Swing weight/MOI)

5. Does ring size and strength match for the purpose?

6. Warranty

7. The form of the grip

8. The overall finish and the quality of all components (like cork quality etc.)

9. Price in relation to the rest

10. The overall weight

11. The rod case

The first six categories are the most important ones to me. So in regard of the Hot Torpedo Instructor rod let me first of all offer some datas I measured:

Rod Length: 275,5cm ; ERN (Effective Rod Number): 7,0 (about rod stiffness) ; AA (Action Angle): 70 (about rod action) ; MOI (Moment Of Inertia): 76 (about mass distribution & swing weight) ; Overall Weight: 100,8 gramm

I have tried the Hot Torpedo 9 feet 6 weight rod on a few different lines. Those were for example the Scientific Anglers Mastery Expert Distance 5wt. and 6wt. as well as the Barrio GT125 5, 6 & 7 wt. lines. For the full range of distances (short to highest possible) the GT125 6wt. matches very well on the HT. That simply is my favorite combination for an "overall" floating line on the HT 6wt. Instructor rod! I should add the 6wt. GT125 weight 11,4 gramm on 30 feet = AFTMA 6 (almost 7).

I compared the Hot Torpedo with the Sage SP+ 9 feet in 5 & 6wt. and with the Loomis Streamdance HLS 9 feet in 6wt. (all three custom made). You may find some datas about comparing those rods on the GT125 6wt. in the pic of the day area ;).

Unlike many other reports I have been reading I will not tell you which rod is the best one. It always depends on the fly line you use and on your purpose. But just to give you my impression about the Hot Torpedo on the GT125 6wt. Barrio fly line: It showed the best overall performance of all 4 rods in the test. Especially in the section of medium (average) length of line carry it offered me best overall feeling for controlling the key elements in fly casting. Since the SP+ rods are stiffer they offered me little tighter loops. No doubt for me tigthest loops always come by the stiffest rods. Also the longest carry came with the stiffest rod: SP+ 6wt.. It was around +1 meter compared to the Hot Torpedo.

All in all I don't want the longest possible line carry in most of my lessons but the best feeling on throwing medium (average) length of line both above and below the rod tip (i.e. Spey casting). For this purpose the Hot Torpedo indeed is very hot. Casting short to medium length of line feels exceptional smooth and effortless to me. I love that rod! Great rod, great teaching colour and somehow this rod is a must have for us Sexyloopers anyway, isn't it?

All components are well put together and the workmanship is excellent. The rings have a diameter that simply matches perfect for the lines I want to use on that rod. The cork quality is great and the grip has my personal favorite form. Measuring the distance between the cork end and the tip, the HT has quite a long "effective lever" compared to other 9 feet rods on the market!

If I should think of a possible improvement on the Hot Torpedo, it would be: a small figthing butt!

More reports about the Hot Torpedo are welcome on the board.

One last comment to those who prefer such long rod test reports like this one:

Comparing a whole bunch of fly rods (having different stiffnesses) with just one specific line weight does not make much sense to me. Every rod stiffness and rod action askes for the perfect (matching) line weight either! That should always be taken into account when scoring the rods in a final sheet. Otherwise all the report mainly points out to me, is which rod worked best for the one line which had been used. Changing the line weight and one may have a complete different feeling for or against the rod.

All my best and enjoy testing your new rods for 2013 (hopefully with a full range of different fly lines)!


Pic Of Day



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