Paul Arden | Monday, 10 September 2018
I had an interesting experience last week. I took delivery of 50 Thunderbolt lines in a HOT orange colour. I know the taper very well - it's the old TCR taper from back in the days when fly line development wasn't "brick on a string". Back then (fifteen years ago) there were only two long carry WF lines available. One was the XXD or MED as we call them - as in Bruce's personal flyline taper, that he originally didn't put out to market because he didn't think "anyone else was good enough to cast them" - and yes I can kind of see why. The other was the TCR line which Jerry designed as a long (not quite as long) WF line with a very long rear taper. Another awesome caster, another awesome line.
Side by side, then as now, MED goes further down the tape, TCR is more fishable - less susceptible to differences in overhang and more Spey friendly. Another line came out a few years ago, based very much on the back of Sexyloops Shootouts and that is the Barrio 125. And also there is the RIO Comp Gold, which I had an input in as well, although unfortunately my input came in too late. Hey what can I say? I need to be sure to be sure to be sure.
Anyway a few years back when I was looking for flylines to fit the Hot Torpedos (great name for a rod by the way), I had a chat to Sage and asked if I could have the TCR taper for Thunderbolt lines. Yes no problems - they love me. And this is how I work too; always work together - and never burn bridges. The secret to this market is to make it bigger. Babies are poking out everywhere and they are all potential fly fishos.
Erm, took the line, spooled it up and was SHOCKED!!! Now I am Mr Sexyloops - I gave myself this name, purely by accident of course. And yes, originally, 20 years ago, Sexyloops was a piss-take. "If I eat one grain of rice per day, meditating on top of a mountain, will my be loops be sexy, Mr Caster Master?" "No of course not Grasshopper" sort of thing. But I became Mr Sexyloops because that's how the Universe works. It's a sort of irony.
Anyway I was completely SHOCKED because my loops weren't pornographic at all (not unless you have a fetish for wobbles). And I immediately took the lines out the shop. I can't sell something that I'm not 100% behind - this is very important because you're only as good as your worst product. I know that, which is why it takes me years to be sure about a rod...
However, Graeme, down in Perth Australia, who had two lines arrive simultaneously, raved about them. Hmmm.
And that's the great thing about life; there is always something more, some additional secret fact that is eluding you, and you have to discover what it is. It's like the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is hiding behind the toast rack.
"What temp was it?"
Dammit. That's what it is here too.
"Did you eat toast?"
"Have you tried stretching it?"
"I aways stretch my fly lines, in fact the tree I stretch upon leans north."
Of course it leans north, he's in the Southern Hemisphere FFS. So to keep it short, BIG stretch - very important - otherwise you won't like it. And if you do stretch then it's awesome. I haven't stretched mine in a week and it's still perfect.
PS Thunderbolt Line.
PPS Why did the Irishman wear three condoms?
PPPS 44 left, 20 going to Malaysia. It's not our core business. OK: limited edition.