“Got the rod yesterday. Since it was pissing down I didn’t get the chance to take it fishing or even cast it, but it looks super sweet and the grip fits my hand like a glove. Top notch! And I’m really glad that I got the camo rod sock, it really makes all the difference! ”
I can’t wait to hear back the results! Between us it’s my favourite! 🙂
Hey Paul! Fished the rod for some days now. I am very pleased! Not just the casting but playing fish on it is something new – so smooth and crisp! I cast the rod back to back with a One and a Radian last days and the HT is lighter in swing and crisper. Paul, If you continue to market these rods you will probably end up with a full time job haha!
A few years ago, after cycling half way around Australia, I ended up fly fishing in Exmouth for a month. This is a very exciting destination and I used a TCX10 for all of that time… and it gave me Tennis Elbow! It took three months for the pain to eventually leave…
Now the reason the rod gave me Tennis Elbow is because it had an almost completely rigid butt section, this meant that my body (elbow) had to stop considerably more of the lever in the first instant. So I learned from this and developed a rod with a more forgiving butt section, allowing the flycaster to initially stop less of the rod.
The first prototype, while good, and considerably more gentle in this regards, I felt just a little too slow. So we sped it up. The resulting blank is light, fast and smooth, with an incredibly positive tip. The tip damps perfectly making it possible to throw 5-line on the rod and still see no vibration – indeed this is also our COMPETITION V2 blank – the one that gave me a Bronze Medal in this year’s World Championships in Estonia!
But really it’s a ten-weight. I personally like fishing RIO’s Technical Tarpon Taper but I’ve always preferred fishing these longer heads!
For the World Championships I had Titanium Torzite rings fitted to the rod. This was an experiment – they are supposed to be slicker than SICs and of course Titanium is not only lightweight it is also Saltwater proof. We’ve taken the (rather expensive!) decision to fit them as standard on all HT10 rods. Of course we also fit Snake rings or indeed anything that you’d prefer, but I would take the Titanium Torzite option – they are fantastic rings and IMO the best.
Holger asked me yesterday for more details on the build and appearance of the latest HT8 model. This is the flag ship model that we stock.
Sexyloops has its own cork grips made in Portugal using the slightly thicker Full Wells grip that we like with a small fighting butt. The cork quality is immaculate. The reel seat is machined by REC in the USA – the best – black anodised and the insert (spacer) is machined and black anodised in the UK.
Stripping guides are Titanium framed SICs, there are seven Recoil rings and the Tip Top is Hopkins & Holloway. Whippings are blue/grey thread with orange tips. Epoxy is applied in 3-4 very thin layers built up over time to give the perfect Sexyloops finish.
The most common custom builds for the HT8 are for Snake Rings and/or your name on the rod. The blank itself has four types of carbon, but the rest is a secret!
I think that sums up what the HT8 delivers. A beast of a rod, with an incredibly stable tip and plenty of that all-important factor; feel. It’s no surprise that it took us 9 attempts to get it right. One thing that I found very interesting was that three of the prototypes, that all behaved differently, were separated only by having different sanding options.
The HT8 has become one of my all-round go-to rods. This is probably no surprise either since I’ve been predominantly jungle fishing in Malaysia for the past three years! The HT8 has been my Snakehead rod for all of this time. For Snakehead you need to be lightning fast and deadly accurate. These are without doubt the hardest fly fishing shots you’ll ever make. For fast delivery you need a fast rod. And for Snakehead – well the fights are simply brutal.
As well as numerous Snakehead, I’ve used mine for Bonefish in the Maldives as well as catching my largest Brown Trout, 11.5lbs in the Kola Peninsular. So this is a hell of a rod, that has magic properties too. I’ve compared it side by side against many other 9ft 8weight rods and none has the tip that all the HT rods exhibit – i.e. little or no vibration after unloading. Does that matter? Well it certainly does to me!