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Paul Arden | Monday, 8 July 2019

Today I'm working on the Sexyloops 'datatables' which will be a reader's database of fly line weights and a rebuild of the CCS rod database that is on Sexyloops. Both of these will be available and live sometime in the week. I'm also working on the Sexyloops Newsletter Snapcast. I've been upgrading the software that operates behind the newsletter... and I'm also having my truck rebuilt! Yes this is clearly a time of rebuilding and upgrading all things in Sexyloops world. When I've accomplished these last few tasks then I'll be free to relocate back to the lake and retire. I've missed the place but Sexyloops needs a little bit of extra attention sometimes.

Now I would like to talk a little bit about The Board. The very first Sexyloops discussion forum appeared back in 1999. We've actually have had four discussion boards. The first one lasted only about a month or so and involved me uploading replies that came in via email! Lasse will remember that one because he wrote on it. Then we installed some forum software. Following a necessary web-hosting move, the backup file for that Board failed to rebuild and was stored away safely on a hard drive for future poking around. I still have that hard drive (in Hungary) and when I'm back again next, I'll dig it out and see if we can restore it knowing what we do now. On Sexyloops you can find the two most recent boards, an archived from 2004-2013 one and the current live one. (You can find the archived Board from the Quick Links menu).

I've always been a strong believer in Forums. If I want advice on fixing my car, when I do a Google search I almost always end up in forums. Not just fixing cars in fact, but Internet coding advice, sailing, triathlon - basically the information that is most useful to me is usually found in forums. Never once do I end up on Facebook. Occasionally YouTube yes, but to be honest, I'd much rather read basic information, than have to watch through an entire video to see if it tells me what I want to know. So Forums is really where it's at, certainly when it comes to information and talking to real people who are knowledgable about the given subject.

Forums also create communities. You'll meet people you don't know, and would probably never have had the chance to meet in real life, with a common interest. And in the Sexyloops world, mostly we are really interesting and friendly people. Over the years we've met too - we've had Sexyloops Meetings in Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Spain. I'm actually planning a Sexyloops Meet next year in Bosnia to celebrate Sexyloops turning 22 years old. I plan to make this a really great event, probably no more than 40 people but lots of friends!

One of the greater achievements of the Board, in my opinion, is that it has brought specialist sub-communities from within the fly fishing world together. In particularly one sub-community of guys who are interested in "how it works". Within the fly casting world there are engineers and physicists who have come together on the Board, over the years, to solve many of the mysteries and misunderstandings that have existed - and sometimes still exist - in the physics of flycasting. That started to happen right from the very outset back in 1999. It was actually Ian Walker, who first wrote on the earliest database driven board that he felt that the primary purpose of rod bend was to convert rotation at the rod butt into a straight line at the rod tip (as opposed to the rod loading and unloading like a catapult). Back then this was a pretty radical idea. We had a fascinating community in those early days too, but as people's worlds change they come and go.

As I see it we have had four, maybe even five, distinct communities on the Sexyloops Board. A few people. such as myself, Lars and Lasse have been members right through the 20 years of Board discussions. I think a community like this operates for about 4-5 years and then it needs a change. Change has always been a fixture of Sexyloops. The Front Page team changes, the Board Community changes - Sexyloops is a little bit like a living organism; it takes on new forms and directions. It has to, otherwise it becomes dull, boring and withers and dies. I change too; I don't get any older, but boy do I get smarter as my beard grows.

And life changes. Hell I've changed as a fly fisherman! I used to fish NZ for six months every year and did so for close on 20 years. Currently I'm fishing the hell out of Malaysia. I've been here for most of the past 7 years, I'll be here for about 7 more and then we'll move to Saltwater. Change is the actually the most important thing we have and in the 20 years span of Sexyloops there has been many.

So this is a call to you. I want you to join the Board, tell us who you are and start a discussion. You are going to have to email me first to login. Logins are not automated - that just leads to lots of work, with people selling sports shoes, sunglasses and their arse. So you need to email me, tell me the username that you want and I'll set you up with a temporary password that you can change after logging in. We are on some funky new forum software which is extremely powerful; it's certainly the best yet and if you need any help figuring out how to post then just let me know.

Occasionally, very rarely, we get troublemakers and we just kick them out. Job done - because we want your experience to be a great one here. Yes, every once in while, you might come across a physics conversation that no one understands, least of all those who actually post in them. But when it comes to fly casting at any level, from complete beginner through to world championship competitor, fishing, anywhere in the world for anything with fins, fly tying (my personal favourite of course) then this is the place to be. So please - drop me an email, join up, get involved. If you've been a member in the past, then come back and tell us what you've been up to. I want to hear from you. We all do.

We have seen a couple of groundbreaking things in the fly casting physics sides of things recently. One is videos of fly lines with the fly leg speeding up as the loop unrolls and not simply slow down. Yes we knew in theory that it might happen and it's interesting from the physics side of things - it has to do with Conservation of Energy. We also have an instance of a reversed TT style taper beating a normal TT style taper when cast on the same rod. No one knows why or how it's unrolling faster. And then we have some conversations about loop lift - I'm a little bit out to lunch on that one, but it's early days. All that stuff is happening right now in the Flycasting Physics forum. Enter at your own risk.

Back in the real world that is the rest of the Board:

Semi-Automatic reels. Does anyone know any that can be used in the Salt?

The Weedless Frog - following from Andy's page yesterday. Includes a fly that I tied. If you can tie flies this good then we definitely need to hear from you.

Teaching - the various qualifications for becoming an instructor. This is a new thread and it will develop...

Fly of the Month - what it says on the tin. Who hasn't got a fly of the month?

But none of that is as important as you joining and starting a thread of your own. If you are not sure where to start you can simply say hello and introduce yourself here:

We look forward to hearing from you! My email address is - drop me an email with your username and I'll log you in.


PS Well done Piffen for winning last month's competition!