Comp5 V2 to New York

In the past four years this is the rod that I’ve spent most of my time fishing and casting. But let’s talk about it not as a 10WT fishing rod, for Saltwater and the jungle, but as a 5WT competition distance rod. It would certainly be one of the most used rods in the World Championships 5WT Trout Distance event. Bart de Zwaan is throwing some huge casts with it, breaking my BFCC record with it… twice. I suppose that if you are going to have your record broken then it’s best that it’s a friend using one of your rods 😀

It’s been an interesting shift from how we started 5WT distance, which as most of you will know, goes back to around 2004 – for me anyway – being inspired by “The Best of the West” casting competition in the USA. Back then “the rod to have” was the Sage TCR905. And what a controversial rod this turned out to be; even I found it too stiff for fishing a 5WT line, preferring to line it with a 6WT line for fishing!

When the World Championship events were created, almost exactly 12 years ago, the rod class was left open – because what is a 5WT rod anyway? – but the line was restricted to a Mastery Expert Distance 5WT in the competition length of 120ft.

I’ve attended every competition; for the first three competitions I used the HT6. In fact for the first competition in Norway I actually took along a couple of the first HT6 prototypes! I reached the finals in two of those competitions but in the first finals Stefan and I made my line so slick that I couldn’t keep hold of it while hauling and in the other the wind did some really strange things to everyone. Something else happened however, and I felt that I was convincingly beaten by Tor the Giant, the Norwegian Javelin thrower. Bart was in that final too, as I’m sure he will remember well!

A bit of research later, led me to the conclusion that I should be trying stiffer rods for this competition. At the Sexyloops Scottish Meet, what was then the British Fly Casting Team had a “shootout” with International rules, using the HT6, an 8WT and two 10WTs. Or it might have been two 8WTs and one 10WT – I can’t be expected to remember everything! What I do remember however, is that everyone involved threw the 8 further than the 6 and the 10 further than the 8. My personal result was throwing the 5MED two metres further on the 10WT compared to the HT6. Yes it’s probably something I should have tried earlier! 😀

When the HT10 blank arrived – the current production one, not the prototype I took fishing on both coasts of Australia, nor the one I chased Snakehead with out of a kayak in Malaysia – the first thing we did was to fit it with Torzite Titanium rings, as an experiment, and after two weeks of practise I took it to Estonia, where I actually managed to get a Bronze Medal in the Trout Distance.

It’s funny how all these years later, that I now find rods that I once found stiff for the 5WT distance, such as the TCR5, to be soft noodles without backbone. My stroke has changed too, I use pull-back to set the loops on the backcast, my arc is slightly narrower… but that fly casting feeling like no other, namely carrying and false casting a MED5 to 90’… that remarkable feeling… I find even better with this rod, particularly watching the chiselled shapes into which the loops morph.

You don’t need to spend $1000 to get that feeling, and you can get a similar experience lining up a MED5 on any 9 or 10WT rod. I think where our rod particularly excels, is that we have more feeling in the lower sections (certainly compared to most Saltwater 10WTs out there which can be pretty lifeless), we have incredible tip recovery which you can see in the bottom/fly leg of the loop and of course we use these remarkable Titanium Torzite rings. After all it is a Hot Torpedo!

Here is some loop morphing…

On the other hand, and I’m sure it’s one reason why this is one of our top selling rods: this is the rod I use in the World Championships. So if you buy this rod and line it with a MED5 then you will not go far wrong. It will take practise – lots of practise – to get the very best out of it. But it does come with a Video User Manual! and I’m always on hand to answer any questions you may have or even analyse video of you casting. I actually do this regularly.

You can find out a little bit more here: or simply email me on to ask any questions you may have.

Cheers, Paul

The first HT7

Always exciting to have a new rod come out and see Serial Number 1 delivered! Serial no1 is owned by Bart’s father, Ruud and has Torzite Titanium rings. In fact our first three HT7 orders are all being fitted with these rings. I’m a huge fan of them and if Fuji ever make them in lighter weights I would gladly fit them to our 3 and 4WT models.

This is a very interesting rod for me. It was specifically designed with the FFI MCI test in mind. I’ve been asked multiple times for such a rod. And it was tested on Snakehead. Normally I use a 10WT outfit for Snakehead and occasionally an 8WT. But I thought it would be a good test for the seven weight and I’ve been throwing it at Snakehead for about 7 months.

As with all of our rods, it is designed using AFFTA conforming fly lines. In my opinion it is a “true” seven weight. A lot of flylines nowadays are in the middle of line weights.

Generally speaking with lines that are half-way between the AFFTA number I recommend using the lighter one. For example on the HT6 if the line is 1/2 heavy I would use the 5.5WT. Same with the HT10, preferring 9.5WT as opposed to 10.5WT. Ditto the HT4, ie 3.5WT instead of 4.5WT. The HT8 is different and with that rod I would choose to use the 8.5WT.

Now you may not think that there is a great deal of difference with regards one line number, after all it wasn’t so very long ago that rods had a range of recommended line numbers. And it is true that a good caster can make anything work, I’m merely talking about what I think is optimal.

If in doubt stick to the AFFTA table, using the true line weight of the line and not the number that is printed on the manufacturer’s box. Many flyline manufacturers are intentionally making fly lines heavier than the AFFTA table. We don’t design rods around overweight lines, we use lines that are AFFTA conforming.

The HT7 rods are not currently listed in the shop because I’m fulfilling existing orders. What I don’t like is a long waiting list – that just creates unnecessary work! However you can email me on for more information or to order one of the early rod numbers. They are $945 with Recoil rings and $1045 with Torzites.

Cheers, Paul


YUPPI YUPPI- Remember me?
Ciao ciao people, yes it is me again HT10, the sexiest fly rod in the World. I appreciate you liked my bunch of complaints and my whingy story, but this time is different. This time is about quality and awesomest (with a twist😜)

You must know that Michael grew up big time. Now he does less, but the results are more. QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY is a motto of 2020 in Mike’s fly rod harem that I am a proud member of.

There is a place and time for everybody now, not like before, every casting session with 3-5 different rods, each dressed differently shouting “pick me, pick me”. It looked like a Mardi Gras parade on the grass. He played 5-10min with each, then never get satisfied, and then kick us back in the corner – bad, bad Mike, but not any more… the play time is more structured now, and everybody gets their time, less time, but huge improvement on a final satisfaction. 
 …on a side story, Mike still has an issue with the Norwegian guy, as it is very stubborn rod and doesn’t give Mike what he wants – but this is not my problem 😌

For instance my older brother HT COMP5 had an awesome carp fishing trip, you can see him in action here…

…fair enough, I’m happy for him. 

…Hey between me and you, I heard that Mike wants to replace my brother with some younger, fresher, lighter (3wt) rod. It even has a bad message to my brother on its butt. It says TFO, I am not sure, but I think it stands for TOO FUCKING OLD – wait till HT COMP 5 finds out – its going to be a “girls fight” yuppi.
….ok shush bitches-back to me, I am the queen of the story.

 You remember I told you about all the cracks  on my body from  Mike treating me badly?
Well it healed a bit and I am cool now, Mike is a very careful now (I think I know why – WC in Sweden are around the corner), no seriously he is so nice to me now that I wanted to show him some appreciation, so in some nice conditions I helped him to throw 5wt line almost 45m – you should see him then, dancing, jumping, celebrating, I said to him “I told you, be nice to me- I’ll be nice to you), but for this guy its never enough. He is worry that I will break under pressure and make him look like a fool in Sweden.

–  ” Are you ready for a big, final test?” he said
– “O for fuck sake, what now?- I replied
– “We are going to mate you with a Tuna, and see how your butt can handle it!” – he yelled exitedly 
   Oh well – I thought – did many weird things during my existence, so I can as well give up my butt to Tuna.

  ….few days after…

     Holy shit guys, what an action, I had no idea my butt and rest of my body are capable to handle this stuff. Mike kept me in different angles and I felt pleasure of Tuna in every position. Forget the cracks, I can do this and I want more. See for yourself!
  YUPPI YUPPI it is….😂😂😂

I’m starting to wonder about Mike! 😂 I shall close this HTOC competition on April 1st and then we shall pick a winner. If you are an HT owner then be sure to send us a story in time. There is a custom HT rod up for grabs!

Incidentally, in the unlikely event that an HT10/Comp5 V2 explodes in the World Championships in Sweden this year, we will have a spare rod ready for any HT owner/competitor to use. It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s certainly not an impossibility! See you there! Cheers, Paul

COMP5 (V1)

I’m not sure that “Old Skool” really fits the description, but it sure is still a great 5WT! This is a build that went out last week with a Full Wells handle.

Originally, when we initially brought out the HT6, we made a competition 5 version using the same blank. The 5WT distance competition involves carrying around 90′ of 5WT Mastery Expert Distance line and then trying to knock 7 bells out of it. It’s great fun! And of course a stiffer rod helps for this.

This particular configuration HT6 blank and MED5 saw me into two 5WT distance finals in the World Championships in Norway. But then something changed and we figured out that even stiffer rods threw the line further (despite, perhaps, being less fun to cast – and much less fun to fish!). Consequently, nowadays, as you’ll probably know, the HT10 blank is our Competition 5 (V2).

Be that as it may, I still use the HT6 (or Comp5 V1) with the MED5 in the accuracy contest. I personally enjoy casting this combination, although for fishing I line the rod with a (true-to-AFFTA) 6WT line.

This “Freestyle” casting video above – which is an advanced bat-fishing technique – was cast using the HT6 blank with MED5 and Thunderbolt5 fly lines. ie underlined by 1 AFTTA rating. You will need an HT rod and a beard to be able to do this.

Read our customer reviews here. Or visit our shop here. For special orders, information about our instructor program, more information, or indeed just general fly fishing chit-chat, feel free to write to me on

Cheers, Paul

A Few Rods

A couple of rods that have gone out recently. Will’s first rod, an HT4, which he liked so much that he has ordered the HT6, which we are building for him at the moment. Incidentally once you purchase a rod from us we always try to make sure that we have a name decal ready for your next purchase. So when you buy the first rod we get two name decals. And then when you buy your second rod we order up two more name decals. This can save about a week or even ten days when it comes to build time – assuming that you want your name on your rod of course.

And Nick’s Instructor 6 rod, which we’ve just posted to him and should be arriving today! Notice the different handle shape – any handle shape is no problem, you just need to tell us what you want. Lee shaped this from Nick’s sketch!

That’s it for now. We are expecting HT907 blanks to arrive very soon and we will start building these as soon as they arrive. We also have 7’6 3/4WTs – drop me an email if you are interested in this rod. Serial no1 is available!

You can see most (not all) of our rods here

We also have a couple of three piece 9’6″ T38 (or very stiff T27) blanks that we can sell if anyone is interested. This is the rod I use for the T27; originally it is Alejandro’s T38 and it’s a blank we call The Rampage! I have one that I sometimes use here in the jungle; in fact it’s the rod that Stefan used to catch his Giant Snakehead last year!

Cheers, Paul