There is a lot of fishing going into these. The first prototype I used on Snakehead before passing it on to Tim. Tim used it in Australia and Florida before passing it on to a guide in Mexico for a few months, where it passed through many clients’ hands – he wanted to buy it but we haven’t finished testing! It then was bashed around Australia and is now back in Florida, this time with Gary of the Tuesday FPs. We are two years into development now. Comprehensive is not fast!
To speed things up I’ve had another HT12 made – back to Tim who’s taking it to Exmouth, WA for GTs with Jono soon. This is one of those rods that I need expert advice on. A 12WT is not exactly a Snakehead rod!! It’s a big GT/ Tarpon/ Sailfish/ Marlin rod. I do plan to spin one around on Sailfish later this year – we have some excellent Sailfish fly fishing in Rompin, Malaysia and a good friend of mine guides for them – Juan Wei (“Juan” not pronounced as you would expect).
Yes it has two butts! This is something I’ve learned from the Finnish guys and particularly Sakari who gave me an eye-opening test of his fibreglass butt rods in the 2018 World Fly Casting Championships. This is the Bluewater option and possibly for sharks off the beach. You can lift 10 kilo weights set up this way, with what would otherwise be impossible rod angles for a purely graphite rod; more in fact if you are Hercules or Popeye Cummings.
The first prototype was a cut down Ugly Stik, with the handle chopped down with a carving knife – this is a true story. It wasn’t the perfect length and didn’t fit in the tube. Whereas, as you can see from these photos, we’ve since had a fibreglass butt specifically made to fit – I was reasonably happy with the Ugly Stik option but we couldn’t get trade prices on just the blank and Lee didn’t want to strip back every single rod before rebuilding it as a fly rod. I can’t think why.
Another change with this latest build is that, on the recommendation of Tim, we’ve fitted the butts with far longer grips. I’m very grateful to our cork grip manufacturer in Portugal for speeding these through for us.
I really can’t tell you when the rod going to be released. It’s quite possible that we redesign the blank; I’m waiting to hear back from Gary, both his first impressions but also what he thinks months from now. So it could be a while – big changes will restart the process. There is no hurry however; it’s only finished when it’s right.
While we have rather a few of the original Sexyloops cordura tubes for 7’6 four-piece rods, due to “an order error in our favour”, I thought it best if we had some aluminium tubes as well! Interestingly, despite what many people think, the cordura tubes are actually the more expensive!
We also have some new cork – apparently this is around 2/3rds of our current cork supply – if there is any cork left in Portugal then I would be surprised!
The more observant amongst you will notice the long grips; these are for the HT12 that is still undergoing rigorous testing! In fact the working model is currently heading to Gary in Florida having been “tested” by Tim in Australia (and all around the world) so far. Tim will get a new one with the new longer grips, since this is what he asked for!
The HT12 is very interesting and I have Sakari and his Finnish friends to thank for the “two butt” concept. It’s been a big part of our testing, ever since Sakari tried to pull my arms off at the last world championships!
An HT6 Pro off to Gavan in California 🙂 Gavan already has the Instructor 6. You’ll notice this one has Full Wells grip. Probably about 20% of HT6 rods are fitted with Full Wells grips.
It’s mostly a question of taste perhaps? Where the Full Wells is no doubt an advantage, is for cradling the rod butt against the forearm on the backcast (this is in fact why Gavan requested it). For those who like to grip with the “finger pointing” grip, the cigar shape we more commonly fit to 6 and 4WTs is perhaps more comfortable.
We have fitted Full Wells to the HT4 In the past, but interestingly we have never had a request for a cigar shape grip on rods heavier than 6WT! 😀
You can see our standard 6WT grip here. If you have a special grip that you would like then just let us know. We can sand any shape you desire!
What a beautiful looking rod! I’m really liking the hot orange whippings that many are choosing for the instructor rods. Douglas’ first instructor rod – the “Goose” – had Racing Green whippings, so this will be an excellent contrast.
As you can see this is our new HT7 rod, Instructor version with Torzite Titanium rings. The Torzites add an extra 100USD to the finished price but I think are most certainly worth fitting on the HT7 and above.
I’m excited to hear new of the Goose II landing in Canada. 🙂
I had a very nice email from Andy last night on his recently acquired HT4. I don’t normally publish these emails, Ashly asked me why not, and I couldn’t think of a good reason, so here is what Andy wrote:
Mate, I just got back from the water casting and fishing the HT4 for the first time. And, well, how do I say this. Let’s see: Whatever wicked and absolute unreal magic it is, that you put into making this rod, keep doing it.
It’s amazing, it’s beautiful, it’s perfect.
I am far from being an expert when it comes to the huge variety of rods on the market these days. But I have cast and fished quite a few and I can say without any doubt, that this is the best I have ever had my hands on. And it’s mine! I own several other rods. They’re all shit now. So thanks for that!
It feels lovely. Light but strong. Smooth without any stiffness. Sensitive without being wobbly. Powerful with, at any moment, just the exact right amount of feeling. And the precision this thing allows me in my casting is insane. I lack the right terminology to describe it all. But Paul, it’s simple: I love the HT4. It’s already, my new favourite rod. By a long haul.
🙂 🙂 🙂 That’s awesome and always makes me really happy to get emails like this. Thank you Andy!!!
Just before lockdown, or in fact technically during the start of lockdown (because we were in the jungle and never heard of it!), Richard joined me for some Trophy Snakehead fishing and caught a fantastic free-riser on my HT10.
Not a bad fish at all, particularly since it was a free-riser and not a parenting fish. I believe I’m right in saying it has since qualified as a line-class world record fish!
Richard liked the Sexyloops rods so much that he ordered both the HT8 and HT10. He’s currently hunkered down in Thailand!
Lots of Instructor rods being ordered this week! It’s great to see that many of you are coming out of lockdown and can go fishing again. Here in Malaysia we are still under home curfew!
If you have any questions about the HT rods then please drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m liking this font! This is the HT4, which is off to Germany.
If you thought of a 4WT as a spineless noodle then think again! A remarkable rod – can throw a team of three 90 feet across a reservoir to reach a windlane and fish with unsurpassed (?) sensitivity 🙂 Can throw a weighted streamer down and across for BIG Kola Trout. Can topple over 5KG Giant Gourami. And finally, does exactly what it was designed for: will fish 7X or .10mm tippet and tiny flies with both skill and precision.
This is, almost certainly, the first wooden insert on an HT. Actually there are prototypes with wooden inserts, but I don’t count those! I’ve always liked the aluminium inserts that we have specially cut and anodised for us, however this the wooden insert on Nick’s new Instructor rod looks awesome!!
Tremendous build quality from our master rod builder Lee Martell – and I love the removable fighting butt. You too can have a rod like this. We love custom builds! Email me on email@example.com to discuss your dream rod.
Last week we had a shipment of HT blanks arrive and we are building rods fast! The HT7 Pro and HT7 Instructor blanks are in stock and ready to assemble. True, we have various rods stuck with couriers but at our end at least, things are smooth and we are building.
This is Troy’a second HT. The first is expected to arrive with him tomorrow! Yay!