THE HOT TORPEDO COMPETITION 5

Baffling to many people as it might be, we took the HT6 blank and relabelled it a #5 for competition use. Now there are some pretty sound reasons for this, the main one being in the UK for BFCC usage in the 5WT distance game the rod has to be labelled a 5WT. For very long carries – the sort of carry that one might use for distance casting – i.e. 90ft measured fly line end to hauling hand – you need a relatively stiff rod to handle this. And so the COMP5 was created.

I took two prototypes to the very first World Championships in Norway, with the blank that we ultimately finished with, one with Recoils and the other with single leg H&H rings and cast them side by side for about one hour. That little experiment saw us fitting single leg H&H rings to our finalised rod, because in competition I believe that they shoot slightly further. I love Recoils on my fishing rods, but any small advantage in competition distance will see me ring accordingly. It’s a small advantage, smaller than the wind that’s for sure! But it’s there just the same.

This was several years ago and the World Fly Casting Championships with Fly Fishing Tackle has moved on, and this small jump in rod stiffness is now behind the times, and we – or many of us at least – now use far stiffer rods. The COMP version 2 for example actually has the stiffness of a 10WT rod, and I know that because it is our HT10 blank! This is the rod that (finally) gave me a Bronze medal this year. Not your everyday comfortable fishing tool.

However the COMP5 blank (i.e. HT6 blank) is the one I use for accuracy competition too. For many accuracy casters this is too stiff, and a soft (not fast) AFFTA 5 rod is often preferred. Ashly for example prefers the HT4 up-lined for her accuracy work. But she is a girl. Me on the other hand, this is what I use. Mind you I always have the fastest accuracy rounds of any championship competitor – not the most accurate this is true – but I’m fast!

Even “under” lined with a 5-line it is an awesome fishing rod, and has caught me many fish. 49.5cm Grayling in Bosnia, 7lb trout in Russia and has been a great casting tool for me too, putting me into the finals in the World Championships twice in distance and once in accuracy. I wouldn’t recommend it for your 5WT fishing – not unless you like to be very fast! – but as a means of tuning your casting to enter the World Championships then I would thoroughly recommend it before jumping to the poker that we now sell.

A great rod and it resulted in the current whippings colour scheme that we currently have on all our PRO series. Incidentally if you ever come across HT COMP5 with serial no.4 then it is mine – some Barstool stole it from my boat!

THE HOT TORPEDO INSTRUCTOR

When we decided to shoot the Sexyloops App it was apparent that we were going to need a white rod. I’ve seen white rods used for this task in the past, namely with Bill Gammel’s 5 Essentials video – Bill used plumber’s tape wound up the rod. Instead of doing this we had a HT6 blank painted white. Since then I’ve used this rod for all my teaching and demos.

It’s also put me into two World Championships 5wt distance finals and one accuracy final. So it’s quite comfortable casting a 5-weight line too! But for me it’s really a six weight tool.

Casting the HT Instructor in Estonia
Casting the HT Instructor in Estonia

It’s beyond me why an instructor would use a rod that students cannot see! Something I notice with the Sexyloops Instructor rod is a longer student attention span. Also it makes teaching far clearer. And of course for shooting video it is a must.

Casting the HT Instructor in Norway
Casting the HT Instructor in Norway

There are some other white rods on the market, particularly now, but none compare to the HT INSTRUCTOR. Not only is at a great casting tool, but it’s also very comfortable for beginner casters to use. This is important!

We have around 90 Casting Instructors using the HT INSTRUCTOR. I shall be giving them all a free listing very shortly. We have an Instructor/PRO programme. If you think you qualify then please get in touch!

Teaching in Switzerland
Teaching in Switzerland

THE HOT TORPEDO 6

The HT6 was the first HT blank to go into production. I’d been looking to produce a rod series for quite some time and approached various blank manufacturers, but couldn’t find what I was after. On the third attempt I made contact with my good friend Alejandro who designs rods for the Maxia factory in Spain. This connection saw me travelling to Spain for a weekend with the Maxia owner, Alejandro and Aitor (who helped translate). A few early prototypes were made, none of which I was very excited about!

My main trout fishing rod for the last 25 years has been a 9ft 6-weight, so I knew exactly what I was looking for in this regards; I need something that is fast, has a strong but flexible butt and a completely stable tip. Numerous prototypes and 9 months later I got what I was looking for and took it to the Sexyloops Scottish Meet where Stefan Siikavaara broke it after beating the hell out of it for two hours in a snow storm! The rod went back to the factory and the entire second section was strengthened. This had a remarkable affect on the rod and transformed it into (in my opinion) a quite amazing rod. Now we had the rod I was looking for.

The last thing I want is a problem with breakages, so this rod (like all the Sexyloops rods) went into distance casting competitions and passed through some 500 anglers’ hands, including many top distance casters who like to hit the rod as hard as they can. I took it to the World Championships, I took it to Malaysia. Basically we beat the crap out of it! And then I placed an order…

And that’s when I had to look for a rod builder, because the finish didn’t live up to the blank’s performance. The rods were stripped and rebuilt by a Hungarian rod builder. The Hot Torpedo rods were finished in Hungary for some two years, before we moved the rod building to the UK with Trevor. Trevor was (and still is!) a fantastic rod builder, but he had to leave to go live in New Zealand after a year, passing on the Sexyloops rod building mantle to his great friend Lee Martell. Lee is an awesome rod builder, all rods starting with serial number 100 and up have been built by Lee, on the 4, 6 and 8 series. And on the 10 WT they start with number 1.

The sort of fishing the HT6 is designed for is New Zealand style fishing, large heavy nymph combos, medium-sized tungsten streamers, sinking lines when necessary, big fish, tight loops and everything has to be done with finesse. It’s a wonderful all-round fishing tool, our best seller and if it wasn’t for the HT4 would be my most used trout rod!

The reviews on this rod speak volumes, I think.

4 IS THE NEW 5

Of all the rods in the HT series, the HT4 is my favourite. This might be because it’s my primary dry fly rod of course, but also it is perhaps the most versatile. Originally it was developed for river fishing in Bosnia and Croatia. In Bosnia, the most used tippet is .10mm or 7X, fishing flies #16-20 so a light-line rod with a sensitive tip is a must. However I really wanted to keep the Hot Torpedo feel and action and the result has been surprising…

Most 4WT rods on the market have rather soft butt sections, the HT4 has a powerful flexible butt. This allows for distance casts on Stillwaters, in other words it can comfortably throw a team of buzzers 90ft across the wind. Since a 4WT flyline is 40% lighter than a 6WT line this gives us far greater sensitivity. Side by side, you might feel the pluck of a take on the 6 – and miss it – with the 4 you get to hit these delicate takes. The fish appear to mouth the fly for longer.

Even more surprising is that the HT4 is quite at home throwing medium-sized streamers. Being able to throw a streamer as well as fish small dries on delicate tippets is very handy if you don’t want to carry two rods around! It will French nymph too, but in this regards it is a compromise and another foot of length would be preferable.

So here we have a superb all-round trout and grayling rod, that gives considerable advantages over heavier lined rods. This is a really great rod for trout fishing on the flats of NZ or Tasmania, fantastic on rivers and a joy to cast. The powerful butt section allows for a strong fight too, which is particularly useful for me, because it’s also my Giant Gourami rod in Malaysia!

I fish this rod with a DT4 line. It should be exactly AFFTA conforming. Fast and furious and with finesse. If you’re a 5-weight man then try the HT4. 4 is the new 5!

It catches big fish too…

 

 

 

SEXYLOOPS HT vs SAGE X

A few people have asked me what is the difference between the Sexyloops Hot Torpedo series and the Sage X since they cost the same USD price and have the same lifetime guarantee. That’s really where the comparison ends. This is not a price war, this is a quality war.

1. The Sexyloops Hot Torpedo blanks are better by design.

Blank feel may be subjective, tip recovery is not. Sexyloops blanks have the best tip recovery by far. HT blanks are fast but delicate, have both finesse and power. The HT blank is a smooth fast progressive action designed as for all-round mastery of both short and long distance presentation shots. Loop control is impeccable. There has never been such a finely tuned blank delivering so much power with finesse.

*Tip recovery is how the rod tip behaves as the rod unloads. An unstable tip will put waves in the rod leg of the loop. HT rods are designed to minimise this and in many hands will completely remove it.

Paul Arden leads the design, working with top casters and anglers all over the world, having his blanks produced in Spain. These blanks are not available anywhere else.

2. The Sexyloops Hot Torpedo finish is both immaculate and stealthy.

Sexyloops rods are built in the UK by our extremely talented rod builder who builds each rod to perfection. HT rods are built the long way, three micro-thin coats of epoxy for each whipping. This results in a thinner more-even finish. Only perfectly finished rods leave our workshop. If it is not perfect it is stripped and rebuilt until it is. This is no easy task and no factory in the world is going to pay such attention to detail.

Sexyloops fly fishing rods have a matt non-scaring finish. If you want to buy a glossy rod then buy the Instructor Rod. Glossy rods scare fish.

3. Sexyloops uses higher quality components.

We use the best cork money can buy. Stripping guides have titanium frames. We machine and anodise our own spacers. Big businesses cut costs at the bottom end to increase their profit margins. At Sexyloops we don’t do that and use the best fittings available, whatever the cost. On our HT10 for example we use Torzite Titanium rings throughout. A world first.

4. There is no 4.

5. Sexyloops has the same great Sage Warranty.

We know this a big selling point for many fly fishers, so we offer it too. However we offer a small but important difference; we will always rebuild your rod the way you want it and not replace it with different model.

But it doesn’t stop there, we also offer more…

  • All Sexyloops prices include free priority shipping, anywhere in the world. That’s right, if you live in Timbuktu we will deliver your rod to you for free.
  • We give a 7-day money back no-quibble guarantee. If you are not completely enthralled with your HT rod, then return it in 7 days and we will give you a complete refund. (This has never happened!)
  • We offer a bespoke rod service at no extra charge. Don’t like recoil rings and prefer snakes? We will fit snakes. Prefer a Full Wells grip or a wooden insert? No problems – we have you covered.
  • And finally, through Sexyloops, we give you unlimited lifetime support. Need travel advice? Need help in fixing an irritating casting problem? Want to know how to tie your flies upside-down? Any question, mainstream or obscure, we will do our best to help. After all we’re not just selling you a rod; we’re coming fishing with you!

Free Global Shipping!

We’ve had a price restructuring this week, since as you’ll all know, the GBP has experienced a small collapse which has seriously affected us, since we buy our blanks in Euros and most of our components are manufactured in the USA. The only thing that originates from the UK is our rod builder, Lee Martell!

So we’ve switched to USD which is a currency that everyone is familiar with and makes life simpler for our US customers.

For most of you it won’t affect your pricing, indeed when the Pound was strong i.e. pre-BREXIT the HT range was slightly higher than the current price in USD. For those in much of Europe it’s also come down slightly in real terms.

However with the new restructuring we can now give free global shipping on all orders. So happy days!

Keeping you informed

Four years ago, after a lot of work, we launched the Hot Torpedo fly rods. Initially launching with the HT6 which came in three models, the PRO6, the Instructor 6 and (confusingly for many people, as it turned out!) the COMP5.

About one year and 9 prototypes later, Sexyloops came out with the HT8 and shortly after the HT4. In about one week we will have the first HT10 on the market.

There are five other rod blanks in development.

I thought it would be a great idea to start a new section on Sexyloops keeping you up to date on the these and other tackle developments, Hot Torpedo Owners’ successes, where and how they are being used, as well as a way of bringing you the latest news from the Sexyloops Mancave.

It’s all about to happen…

Cheers, Paul

Fishing the HT4 in Romania
Fishing the HT4 in Romania