How I got there – Steve Henderson

“How I ended up with Sexyloops HT pro

My name is Steve and I was born in Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom. I spent most of my childhood getting up to the usual mischief like most kids but at the age of 14 we moved to another part of Tyne and Wear where my passion for fishing began.

One day when I was collecting conkers at nearby woodland close to the river Tyne, I met an old local fisherman who was a tall guy with a shock of grey-white hair. He was a bit of a loner that spoke to everyone politely but never seemed to get involved with anyone personally. The locals called him the “big white hunter”.

He was fishing and I always remember he was killing a fish as I walked up to him, I was intrigued and I began a lengthy questioning session that he was very obliged to answer. He told me that if I wanted to see all his fishing gear I could go to his home and see it. (I know this day and age the poor bloke would have been arrested for suggesting that) I went to his home that very night and learnt that his name was really Bob and he was an ex joiner living with his wife in a quaint little bungalow.

He showed me numerous rods and reels and explained about their uses and how he fished with them. Then he opened a cupboard in his kitchen. He produced this beautiful split cane fly rod along with some more modern fibre glass fly rods, Bob told me he could sell me a set up very cheap to get me started fishing and I could pay a little each week, so I quickly ran home and asked if I could buy a set up from Bob, At that time money was tight with my family but with lots of moaning and manipulative words I was told at home, yes you can have the fishing gear but, I had to pay for it myself with my paper round money.

I was over the moon as it felt like all my Christmas’s had come at once, so I quickly told Bob that all systems were go and he said he would pop round, meet my family and bring some gear. About a day or two later I was the proud owner of a spinning rod and reel along with a fibre glass fly rod and reel.

I took every opportunity to go fishing I could and fished alongside Bob when I was off school using the spinning rod for float fishing and ledgering as well. By this time I was hooked with fishing and the better I became the more I needed to be out on the water, with my addiction for fishing grew my schooling began to suffer. At this stage, I would rather go out by myself fishing than go to school. I did not see much of Bob at this time as he was ill and could not get out, but when I went to visit he always used to tell me “go to school, the fish will be there at the weekend” but I couldn’t help it, I had to catch more fish!

Things took a turn for the worst when the school caught me after they notified my mother I was hardly attending. At that point, I suppose I went off the rails and mistakenly I prioritised fishing above education. I was nearly 16 and counting the days down so I could be free of school and get on with my passion that was fishing. At this time I had been fishing regularly for 2 years and began a job delivering milk so I had an income to fund my fishing needs as I started acquiring more tackle.

I must admit by sitting and watching waters in different conditions I learned a lot about fish and their habits and I began to be able to fish confidently and lost the unsurety of methods and the right tackle to use. I could get good bags of fish on most outings. 

Since leaving school, I have had numerous jobs and a lot of them have been self-employed ventures from buying and selling second hand goods to pest control. In the 80’s, I met the love of my life that is Tracie, my wife, who stands by me and is supportive regarding my fishing.

In my early 20’s began to concentrate more on fly fishing and started fishing a lot of reservoirs and still waters for trout as opposed to spinning and bait fishing on Rivers. I soon learned what waters produced good fishing and the waters that could produce a blank or the odd fish on the best of days. I have dabbled with other types of fishing in my time ranging from sea, boat and shore also coarse fishing but catching trout on the fly is my favourite method that still has me hooked.

My main interest always has – and I suspect always will – be fly fishing, I still learn and gain knowledge on every fishing trip I encounter, although every day still feels as exciting as my first trip out all them years ago.

Recently I met a great bloke called Bryan due to social media and he also works in a tackle shop I visit, his knowledge excelled me but made perfect sense. We will keep Bryan anonymous but then in his ultimate wisdom he showed me a rod one night when I was visiting him at home. It said Sexyloops on the tube and blank which made no difference to me than a Shakespeare rod or a Hardy. I did however need to listen to this man as he is no fool when it comes to fly fishing.

He explained the ability of all the sexyloops brands in full and told me of the advantages and disadvantages they could make in the situations I fish.

Now then I must say at this stage in my life I fish small still waters and large reservoirs so I wanted an all round rod, My normal choice was a 10ft 7 weight made by another leading rod maker which I thought was impossible to beat in its class.

Bryan told me to try a Hot Torpedo Pro in a 9ft 6weight, Now normally I would have declined on a rod maker I have never heard of but Bryan is no mug and he knows the best from the so called best.

He put me in contact with Paul who by the way is a nice down to earth man who all the way through the transaction kept me well informed and I got one, personalised with a hook keeper and my name clearly written on the rod, built in the UK by a great man who builds rods for Paul called “Lee”.

Now then I broke all the rules in the book next and I suspect Paul and Bryan will hate this bit, I test casted it with a 7 weight line, but mind you on the grass it flew out. On the same day of delivery I went to a shop where Bryan works and also took the advice of Paul and went for a Rio Gold line in a 6 weight. LOL.

I was thinking ”I am used to a heavy line so this will be crap” .
I loaded a reel and tried the rod the next day. All I can say Is WOW, after all these years I have learned a big thing: LINE MUST MEET AFTMA! This rod with the correct line on it casts and preforms as good and if not better than all the others I have.

I went out the following day on a local reservoir and produced over 20 fish and some nice whoppers.
One thing Bryan and Paul never told me was that this rod comes into its own with a decent fish on it. They are a pleasure to use and nice in the hand.

I am now 54 years old and this has been one of the biggest learning curves in my life. I can now honestly say your never too old to learn and take advice. Sexyloops where were you when I needed you in my teens?  haha

I can conclude this by saying it is great to get out there and catch that trout BUT beware to all newcomers to this game, it can get a hold on you and become so addictive it may well rule your life as it has mine. But please buy the right tackle and especially a rod and line this is the difference between pleasure and pain.


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