After something like eight years of development we have finally completed the long-anticipated HT905. Now of course some of you will say “of course it took eight years, Paul fishes all the time!” But actually the real reason was that I just wasn’t happy either with the prototypes nor indeed the direction we were going.
However, last June I believe I may have heard the sound of angels singing when I fitted together HT5 prototype number 3056. It wasn’t actually number 3056, only felt like it, it might have been number 10. Anyway… the angels were singing, the Mahseer were biting and I was finally almost happy.
If you are going to release a HT5 then it had better be the best you can make it! I really wanted something that fitted bang-on midway between the HT6 and the HT4. So that was what I was looking for, but it needed something else. A wow-factor of its own. That’s the bit that took a lot of work and I can only think now that to get it takes some degree of luck, or a hell of a lot of prototypes.
I’ll tell you something though – I’m damned pleased I didn’t release an earlier version. Having done the HT4 I knew that eventually we could make a 5 that would thrill me. Of course we could have released an earlier version and then released an upgraded and improved version but I don’t want to do that. It might make more sense business-wise but I think it’s also slightly dishonest and we can do better.
The HT6 has been out for 10 years now and to me it’s still everything I want in a six weight. Personally I think this is a positive thing. Instead of having this feeling that your rod is out of date because there is a new model out every 3 or 4 years, you can know in certainty, that you can learn and grow into the rod, without having to reinvent your cast every time a new rod comes out. After all, the technology hasn’t changed much, despite what marketing departments may want us to believe. The only thing that changes is the design and I have no need to redesign something that takes me 2-4 years to get exactly what I want, or in this case 8 years!!!
When I say I was “almost happy” when I heard angels singing, this is because I need to be sure to be sure to be sure (as Ronan wouldn’t say). Love at first sight is lust and I’m looking at a marriage here. I did a lot of fishing, a lot of casting over the next six months. The final stamp of approval for me, because I needed some final test, was target accuracy.
Now this is not to say that “some rods are more accurate than others, because of the way we lay the carbon” but how does the rod feel while throwing at target after target. Some rods are far too stiff for this sort of casting and will cramp your hands after 10 minutes. As you’ll probably have realised from my videos, I like a real turn of speed in my fishing cast too, but Target Accuracy is not about speed, it’s about consistent hovering. It was through this process that I finally decided that I have the HT905 that I want in my hands. It’s an awesome and fun rod (for me).
And it has to be since the 905 in the US is the number one selling rod! We have a lot of US readers and customers. However serial no1, first through the door, was for Gavin Hicks in Tasmania. Gavin has HT4, 6, 7 and 8. Nice to put the 5 in there on that list too!
Something I think that’s really important is the flyline of course. We make HT rods for AFFTA complying lines. So go by the true line weight and not what is written on the box. Some 5WT rods are stiffer than the HT5 for sure and no doubt this is one reason that the flyline situation is in the mess that it is today. The line I used to develop this rod was the SA MED5. Fishing-wise I can recommend the SA Trout 5 as an excellent match. If you have any questions about other flylines then feel free to ask.
OK that’s it! Quite a few of these shipping at the moment 🙂
More details about this rod can be found here.