Paul Arden | Monday, 27 March 2017

If I had to pick my favourite Sexyloops rod it would be the HT4. This is my"go-to" trout rod, dry fly rod, grayling with ultra-fine tippet, stillwater buzzers at distance, stumping Giant Gourami, weighted streamers, and a whole lot more besides... it's the rod I pick up just about any time there's fishing to be done! But it wasn't intended that way, it was originally designed simply for river fishing in the Balkans where a 6WT feels overgunned for fishing size 16 flies and smaller, particularly with the .10 tippets (7X) that are necessary there.

Now I know you're probably thinking you need a new rod, and I would agree with you - this is it!

It took over three years to develop this HT4 and if I'm completely honest, I was very close to giving up on the project believing it an impossible task to keep the Hot Torpedo action in a 9ft 4WT. For a long time we couldn't get the tip to damp properly. Various other prototypes had the wrong sort of feel. Consequently I'm pretty sure this is the material limit - for example I very much doubt we can make a 4WT rod in 10ft, or a 3WT in 9ft retaining the Hot Torpedo feel - at least not until something else comes along that's better than carbon fibre.

If you haven't cast the HT4, then you are in for a surprise when you do. It has power in the butt section, allowing you to throw a line a long way. Truly, if you are a good caster then throwing flies 100ft as a fishing cast is quite practical. Now this alone makes life very interesting. Bank fishing from stillwaters with a 3 buzzer 20ft leader, throwing flies across the wind becomes very much more effective when combined with the feel that a DT4 gives, for you not only can feel many more plucks but you actually get to hit them. I've done this at both Rutland and Grafham (large English reservoirs) and have compared the HT4 to HT6 side by side with the same leader set up. The HT4 outperforms the HT6 by three fish to one in this regards, it's also very much more fun to fish

This powerful butt section also gives your cast speed which is great for penetrating strong winds or for taking quick shots at moving fish. This is unlike any other four weight I know, which always seem to have slow lazy butt sections - you can't take quick shots with such a rod because your stroke has to be slowed to accommodate the time it takes the rod to bend and unbend.

But the remarkable thing about this rod is that it still has a forgiving tip, forgiving enough to fish 7X and positively set the hook without break-offs. Admittedly I'm using a monofilament that is surprisingly strong at .10mm. It is a material called "Samurai", it genuinely is .10mm (I know because I measured it!), which claims to give over 2KG breaking strain but I'm sceptical about that part, although it's certainly very strong for its diameter and the best I've used. In different diameters I now use it for all my European fishing. Unfortunately I can only find it in the smallest fly shop in the world, in Bosnia, so whenever I'm down there I always stock up.

With the HT4 not only do I now need a 5WT rod (although we're developing one of course) but I rarely fish my HT6 nowadays. So if you are looking for an all-round floating-line trout rod then this is most probably it. If you're fishing sinking lines then you will probably still want the 6 - not because the HT4 won't cast sinking lines, only that they are not widely available in this weight. In NZ however with the big heavy fly rigs we use out there, I would still pick up the HT6 for the backcountry, but undoubtedly the HT4 for the flats and lowland rivers.

Finally the HT4 is also completely Saltwater proof; all reel fittings are anodised and the stripping guides have titanium frames and the other rings are recoils. Please feel free to drop me a line with regards any of the above... 

You can find the HT4 in the Sexyloops shop. This is our Lifetime Guarantee.


I have a new outboard for the boat which I'm still running in. For the next four days Ashly and I are heading South to play with the Snakehead. I also have a couple of videos for SLTV which I'm working on, including one of Chuan's fish. I'll upload them on Thursday!