What’s it all about? And the HT5

What’s it all about? And the HT5

Paul Arden | Tuesday, 4 January 2022

There are two questions that many people ponder over. The first is what is the meaning of life? And the second is who they are? The answers to both, I think, lead to choices. The meaning of life is of course whatever we want it to be. Similarly, who we are, is whoever we want to be. The number of people who are “searching for themselves”… For goodness sake! And as for the meaning of life, it can be “fly fishing”.

The great thing about life, is that not only do we get to choose who we are, as well as what it’s all about, but we can also change one, or even both, at any time. I’ve always fly fished but I’ve certainly changed some major things about my personality in my life. For example, about 20 years ago I chose to become an optimist. This is turn paved the way forward to allow me to become a Snakehead fly fisherman. It would have been completely impossible otherwise.

Why only last week I was writing about how I had solved both chasers into takers AND turned eats into hook-ups. I talked of 100% success rates. It was heady stuff. However that space rocket came crashing back down to Earth this week, when I failed to hook three fish in succession. 100% success rate last week. Zero this week. Do I allow this small set-back to destroy my carefully-designed happy-go-lucky outlook on life? No of course not. After only 15 minutes of throwing myself on the floor of the boat, while shouting obscenities, I picked myself up and thought “what technique I should try next, Paul?” I think I shall now try waiting an even longer amount of time and then make a strip set. I will catch these fuckers.


I’ve been doing a bit of the style of fishing recently that most Malaysian flyfishers do, namely throwing stuff at the banks, around flooded vegetation, searching for fish that are hiding there. Such as Jungle Perch and Toman. It’s rather odd perhaps, but I find it mind-numbingly boring! When a fish does eat, a Snakehead for example, I don’t get anything like the same satisfaction that I do as when sight-fishing for them. I think that I just love sight-fishing. However I’ll do it some more, especially later this month when the sight-fishing is traditionally slow. Who knows? Maybe I'll stop frothing at the mouth and get excited about it.


So the big news this month, is that we are launching the long-awaited HT5. It’s taken an incredibly long time to produce this rod. I knew it was possible because we made the HT4. By this, I mean that there is a length and weight where the HT feel and performance I want is impossible. At 9ft I believe 4WT is as light a line weight as we can go. At 10ft it may be around a 6WT (I don’t know yet) below which there will simply be too much weight at the tip and it will bounce unpleasantly. 

It’s important to me that each and every HT is the very best we can possibly make them. I don’t want to be “remaking” them in 5 or 10 years because they could have been better. It’s far too much work! I expect that these rods will still be “perfect” for me in 30 or 40 years time. That is certainly the goal.

Anyway the HT5 is an interesting one. Particularly when compared to many other 5WTs currently out there. Judging by many of these rods you would get the impression that a 5WT was for fishing predominantly at distances in excess of 100’! Now I don’t know about you, but a 5WT for me has to truly excel at the short-range game. Ie just leader-only casts and up to 30-40’ casts. That’s where you want to have plenty of feel, because that’s mostly the sort of distances where we fish when casting a 5WT line.

Yes of course it should be able to feel good at 70-80’ fishing distance casts too, and every once in a while I’m sure that 100’ plus casts can be handy. But that is not where we spend most of our time fishing with such a line weight. And I think most people would agree with that, because it’s very common to find anglers using overweight fly lines on their 5WT rods… why? Mostly because they’ve bought the wrong rod! (One that is too stiff). The problem with overlining of course, is that it makes fishing small flies on fine tippets almost impossible — and that’s mostly what a 5WT is all about!

So in other words, the HT5 is designed for fishing a 5WT line that is actually a 5WT line and it feels comfortable at short range casting (as well as long). Of course I shouldn’t have to write any of that because it should be a given, however since most rods appear to be designed with a completely different concept, I thought I should explain it.

If you have bought an overweight fly line and you like it... a 5WT line that’s really a 6WT for example, then buy the HT6! On the other hand if you like fishing a 5WT line then the HT5 is for you. What a bizarre world we live in!

So back to the rod! We are in the process of manufacturing the blanks and we will start assembling them shortly. Come March/April we will undoubtedly have a long waiting list. We always do at this time of the year anyway. So we are taking advanced orders now. If you order your HT5 now, you will get to the front of the queue and have your new HT5 in time for the new (northern hemisphere) trout season. Perfect!

Come April there will be a price increase this year. Sorry - inflation, however we promise to make each rod with more love! For pre-orders we are holding the 2021 price of 945USD for the HT5. So if you want the very latest 9’ 5WT, one that will give you two and more decades of service, excels at the short range game as well as the long, and is made for actual 5WT flylines, allowing you to fish small flies and skinny tippets then….

Please email me on paul@sexyloops.com

Or you can order here: https://www.sexyloops.com/index.php/webshop/item/562/ht-pro-9-5wt

Incidentally for EU customers we now have an additional rod builder in the EU for the obvious reason!

Many thanks!!!!!


Ok my plan is to fish every day this year. So I’m heading out now for a spot of evening/night fishing. Have a great week and a very happy new year!!

Cheers, Paul