I've lost count of the number of prototype 4-weights we produced. And those are only the ones I've seen. I've been told by the blank manufacturers that for every rod I get to see, they produce three or four. I suspect that's only for the first few cases, but there can be no doubt I must be their most challenging customer! However I do know exactly what I want, and if it's possible then it's only a question of time before we get it right.
Sometimes I suspect it's simply not possible. We have a number of on-going projects, longer rods being one example, and we are struggling to replicate the 9ft versions into 10ft. Trying to get the same HT tip recovery with the increased length is becoming a minor headache. In the case of the HT4 I started to think that it simply wasn't possible to make a HT in 9ft and 4wt. Well I was wrong, but I'm (almost) absolutely sure it's not possible to make the HT in a 3weight!
So what do we have here? My original intention was to produce a rod suitable for the grayling and trout fishing in Croatia and Bosnia. Certainly these are "home waters" to me and excellent testing venues. In these places we typically fish dries and nymphs with accurate casts and very fine (.10) tippets. So it needs to be on the fast side, with a stable tip, good progressive feel throughout the blank, and a tip that doesn't break off light tippets. A formidable challenge I'm sure you'll agree!
Anyway that's what we have. I still think we got lucky!
Have a great day - I'm off to Thailand tomorrow to renew my Malaysian VISA and then I'm thinking about where I want to be fishing in April. I'm seriously considering the Anglian Waters in the UK and stillwater trouting. It's been a while. Incidentally if you haven't yet discovered all of Sexyloops, we do have a major section on stillwater trouting... http://www.sexyloops.com/stillwater/