Round 3 – Entry 24 – Graeme Hird

The white HT6 is my magic wand.

I’m no wizard, that’s for sure, but I seem to be able to perform magic with that rod. With it in my hand, I can sometimes turn a casting toad into a Prince of the Line.

I first cast a Hot Torpedo when Paul made a visit to Perth. I helped him organise a casting weekend and he stayed with me – when he wasn’t fishing – that week. While he was here, I ordered a 6wt blank from him. Pretty soon I also had an 8 weight one too.

So, of course, when I decided I should attempt my CCI exam, it was only natural I also buy the famed HT6 Instructor blank, since there is nothing that inspires a student more than seeing his or her instructor produce tight loops with little apparent effort (or inspires an examiner, for that matter). The HT6 is far and away the best rod I’ve ever used for making such great aerial – though transient – sculptures.

My “build” is far from conventional. I use guides with SiC inserts to avoid haul lock. I use Maniform grips to avoid RSI. I build every rod with a fighting butt, regardless of its line weight. (I consider the fighting butt to be my “back-cast stabiliser”, another gift from Paul’s visit.) In any case, the unique action of the HT6 blank helps me produce loops I never thought I’d be throwing just a few years earlier.

In the Harry Potter series, it was said “The wizard does not choose the wand; the wand chooses the wizard.” It think the same is true for my White Wand. Through a very convoluted route, it seems I was always destined to be using this rod. We’ve already been through a lot together, but the best is yet to come, with many years of teaching ahead of me and a gruelling lead-up to my MCI test about a year from now. Will I pass that test? I don’t know yet, but I know if I fail, it won’t be due to my rod.

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