Tim Testing the HT12

There are currently two HT12s in existence. One is with Tim in Brisbane, Australia and the other is with Gary in Florida. It’s currently more of a Bluewater Beast than a Flats’ rod, although it’s certainly caught a few Tarpon! The current configuration comes with two butts. This is thanks to Sakari and the Finns testing some fibreglass ideas. The force that can be applied while fighting with the hybrid is really quite extraordinary.

I’m still not sure what to think. Gary finds the rod too powerful for his Tarpon fishery, particularly for dredging. Tim is happy with the stiffness/casting but would like another butt configuration for Bluewater…

Testing and development has been hampered due to travel restrictions of course, but it’s great to see Tim getting a work out! I really need to get my hands back on one of them again, but I suspect this will only happen when borders reopen and I have USA guests visiting. There is still more work to do, and I think what I will try next is a slightly softer action and compare results side by side. I have some other ideas as well…

Superb Black Marlin!

As always, if you have any questions about this, or any of the Sexyloops rods, you can write to me on paul@sexyloops.com

Cheers, Paul

Nick’s Comp 5

Minimalist and clean looking COMP5 (V2) build for Nick, who’s looking to build his championship stroke and has been working hard on his competition distance cast 🙂

If you are curious about competition distance techniques there is a page and some helpful videos in the Sexyloops Masterclass: https://www.sexyloops.com/flycast/competition-distance-cast/

Comp distance is actually a great way of working on casting technique in general, irrespective of whether you compete or not. In particular, it involves using the body effectively, straight tracking, high line speed, late (properly timed) force application and excellent timing. What I’ve always liked about it, is that the improvements are clearly measurable.

In this regards it’s not unlike cycling sport! Yesterday I took a FTP test here on the boat (Functional Threshold Power) and was pleased to find that my FTP has risen from 200 (last checked) to 244. It’s not exactly trained athlete status – and it was 6 months since I last checked (should do so every 6 weeks!) – but it’s a good improvement and puts me up a Zwift racing category. Casting down the tape measure does exactly the same thing for me, and tells me if my technique is improving. Also it’s fun and most of the people involved are actually a little bit mad.

Anyway I digress :p This was actually our last HT10 blank in stock. We have a new shipment of blanks arriving in the next two days. Which is excellent because this happens to be a very popular rod at the moment 🙂

As a comp 5 distance tool, what I like about it is that it is both light and fast, yet has feel even with the light line (obviously it’s a different sort of feel to having a 10WT line through the rings!). I believe it’s because it has this feel, that it is quite easy to adjust the stroke on the pickup cast, keeping the loop under control. This is important because if you can’t set the first backcast properly, then you are always going to struggle to control the later casts. I always use pull-back to set up this first back loop. Ok… here’s a page on Pull-Back https://www.sexyloops.com/flycast/pull-back/ (This is not a comp technique, but it is slightly advanced and well worth learning once your stroke is consistently good!).

I always go on “three” by the way. Pickup, forward cast, backcast, forward, backcast, Launch! This is the machine-gun approach I favour and I breathe around it. In – hold – out – in – hold – out! That way I’m exhaling on the Launch and not hyperventilating (or for that matter not breathing at all) during the casting sequence.

I can’t wait to see how Nick finds his new rod! I’m very curious to see how quickly he develops his stroke around it and it will be great to cast together at the World Championships 🙂

I’m on the lake full-time now but you can always get hold of me on paul@sexyloops.com

Cheers, Paul

First order of the New Year!

An HT10 that’s just left for Japan. One we actually had in stock! Nick’s just ordered one for himself too and maybe I’m about to sell two more. It’s been a while since we’ve sold four HT10s in one week, not since the Italian Team placed an order!

While the HT10 is really a go-to true-to-AFFTA line class 10WT bells and whistles fishing rod, it’s also a really classy 5WT distance comp rod. A significant number of the HT10s that we’ve sold have been for competition, including this one.

This is me casting one off a log

It’s a fun rod I have to say, particularly nice for fishing a 10 line. I spent one year fishing the prototypes on both coasts of Australia and chasing Snakehead first off a kayak and then with my small aluminium jungle boat/home. If you’re going to do something then you might as well do it properly!

If you are going to fish it, and I certainly recommend you do, then you want to go for a 10WT flyline that is actually a ten weight. If the line is “one line weight heavy for today’s fast action rods” then buy a 9WT line (which is really a 10 of course). If you are dealing with a line that is 1/2 line class heavier then I personally would use a 9 1/2 particularly for fast shots*. A good example is the SA Infinity Salt, or SA Redfish Line. Back when I was developing this rod I used a Technical Tarpon Taper long belly from RÍO that was bang on a 10. Sorry it’s a bit of a flyline minefield I know.

*there is a common misconception that you should upline for fast shots but this obviously incorrect. You wouldn’t for example recommend a softer rod for speed shots? Anyway you really should try it for yourself. 🙂

As always, feel free to write to me asking any questions you may have on paul@sexyloops.com I’m around most days at the moment. Sometimes I’m further down the lake fishing and I might take a couple of days to reply. it all depends on where the fish are most active! Sunday through Wednesday currently sees me anchored in Internet coverage.

Cheers, Paul