Paul Arden | Wednesday, 5 September 2018
This is a quick FP from me today covering for Bernd who is busy teaching. I'm currently testing a new batch of Thunderbolt Lines that arrived this week. The Thunderbolt Taper, if you didn't know, is the old TCR taper from many years ago, that Jerry designed for Sage - it's basically a long belly WF line with a long rear taper. I've always liked this line, it didn't go quite as far as the MED in Shootouts, 15 years ago, but was certainly up there. All I've done is stiffen them up (and change the colours).
This line is slightly more fishable than the MED, in my opinion, because the MED has a compound front taper, with an increase in mass just behind the forward taper - Bruce tells me that this is to delay turnover at distance. I've fished the MED and XXD for years (same head - MED has longer running line). Spey-wise they work fine, but obviously the compound front taper is not the perfect shape when the weight is at the bottom of the D/V-loop. These two lines between them, however, have been a mainstay for me, for many years, and I used both extensively when testing both the HT6 and HT8.
Something that is very important to me is that fly lines should be AFTM/AFFTA conforming, ie the first thirty feet should be centred around a certain weight. Nowadays this is getting harder and harder to find. And this becomes a problem, in fact it's becoming a major problem because often lines are one or even two or more line weights too heavy. It's not the rod that determines the class of tackle that you are fishing; it is the line.
Remember tackle choice starts from the fly - size and weight - then you choose the correct line to carry the fly to the fish, finally you choose the correct rod to cast the line. If your line says eight on the box, but really weighs a ten then the correct rod to cast - in Sexyloops World at least - is the HT10, not the HT8. Outbound Short - case in point.
Anyway, back to the Thunderbolt Lines and the latest shipment. These are Instructor lines - of course many people like to fish with orange coloured lines - I don't anymore, not because they spook fish - all fly line colours spook fish! - but simply because it's not pleasing to my eye on the stream.
The purpose of these particular lines is to offer something to Instructors to put on their HT Instructor rods, to make teaching nice and visible and keep the casting fun.
It's currently 17C in Essex, dropping to 8C tonight. I'm very much looking forward to casting them in Malaysia where it's 34! It's almost impossible to find long belly lines that work well in the tropics in these lighter line weights. I don't think they will need a stretch down there!
Have a great day