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Optix Sunglasses HLT20G
These are a "wrap-round" design, which is
both fashionable, and far more importantly from an angling
point-of-view, very practical. They let very little light in from around
the sides, which aids visibility when trying to spot fish in the water.
The tops of the frames are also designed to sit against the forehead,
which also cuts down light "leakage". The ones I have are amber lenses,
for improved visibility in low light conditions, and I believe that they
are also available in grey. I've found the amber lenses to be very good
both in reducing eyestrain in bright conditions, and for fish-spotting
in all practical light conditions. They are very comfortable too, and
have rubber fittings so that they do not slip down your nose, which I've
found other glasses are prone to do. Comes with a lens cloth and a
detachable strap so that you can leave them hanging round your neck when
not in use. Only minor complaint is that they don't come with a hard
case (a soft plastic one is supplied), and the wrap-round design means
they don't fit into a standard glasses case. Price about £40 - not
cheap, but well worth it.
Highly recommended. 4.5/5
Nash Lounge Lizard
Chair (reviewed 25/06/03)
This is a quality chair that is very
practical and full of useful features. The mobile or short/day session
angler would find this a very good piece of kit. It is padded
throughout, for comfort, and has a sturdy frame, yet is quite
lightweight. It comes with a shoulder strap that makes the chair easy to
carry, though it is also quite easy to carry by hand. The strap can be
tucked into it's own zipped pouch when not required. Velcro straps
enable the seat to be fastened to the back when being transported,
making it even easier to carry, as the chair won't suddenly open up when
you least want it to. All four legs are easily adjustable for height,
and are also permanently fitted with pivoting mud feet. Being only a
lightweight person myself, I can't vouch for the chair's robustness in
dealing with the larger angler, but I believe the chair is rated up to
18 stones. I think it's very good value, priced around £50.
Highly recommended. 5/5
Fed up with the nylon lightweight
"waterproof" coats that continually seem to need re-proofing, I was
looking around for something else when I noticed my local tackle shop
had a range of Advantage Timber clothing. I had a look at the coats, and
made some enquiries about their capabilities. Unlike nylon type
waterproofs, these coats are designed to be permanently and 100%
waterproof, without ever needing re-proofing. They are also well-lined
for winter wear.
I've worn it now on several occasions, and can verify that it is both
very warm and very waterproof. I've found that even on a very cold day's
grayling fishing, the coat kept me so warm that I had to remove a sweat
shirt I'd been wearing under it. It's been worn during two sessions of
steady rain, and there's been no sign of water getting through. The
(detachable) hood is also lined and has a slight, stiffened, peak that
keeps water from dripping into your face. Fortunately, given how warm it
is, the materials the coat is made of are breathable.
The coat is finished in the Advantage Timber camouflage pattern. It is
very flexible, making movement easy. There are two roomy outside pockets
with popper fasteners that can hold plenty of small tackle items (and
your bait as well!) if you're into roving, plus two small outside and
one internal zippered pockets. The large pockets also have hand warmer
pockets behind them.
The lining of the coat is not detachable, so it can only be used as an
autumn/winter coat, which at the price of £161.95 is likely to be
off-putting for many anglers. However, its qualities as a winter coat
are so good that, for anyone who does a lot of fishing in the colder
months, it is well worth considering.
Double T Hooks
Available in sizes 2-8, these hooks are
lighter than any other pattern of similar strength that Iíve used. They
are ideal for use with big meat baits, with a slightly longer than
average shank aiding the baiting process. They come with an offset,
in-turned point, which means that they very rarely pull out of a fish.
They are only available in a barbed pattern. Price £2.58 for a pack of
Double T Glider
These cleverly designed items have a low
resistance ring through which the reel line is passed, and this is
attached to a link incorporating a small plastic crook to which the
ledger/swimfeeder is attached. A silicon sleeve is pulled down over the
crook to hold the lead in place. If the lead is caught in a snag,
moderate pressure will cause the crook to open, releasing the lead. This
system is ideal when using small to medium leads at close range, however
with heavier leads or long range casting, there is always the chance
that the lead will fly off in mid-air. I've also found them a bit fiddly
for changing of leads in the dark. Despite the niggles, I'd say they are
a must-have for fishing running leads on small to medium rivers in
normal conditions. These are also marketed under the "Enterprise" and
"Insight" brands. Price £1.75 for pack of five.
Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon
I tried this line as a hook-length over a
two-day visit to the Teme, when the river was very low and clear. While
it certainly seems to be nigh on invisible in the water, I found it to
be very unreliable. Too often, it broke under relatively light pressure.
I was using 8lb B.S., and with my usual equivalent nylon and braid
lines, I would expect to be able to apply quite considerable pressure.
Twice I had it break when the fish was taking line against the clutch,
which I never expect. Also it parted too easily when snagged. I tried a
variety of knots (palomar, grinner etc.) and all suffered the same
weakness. This is the only fluorocarbon Iíve tried so far, and after
this experience I will not be in too much of a hurry to try again. Price
- canít remember, but too bloody expensive whatever it was.
Rating 1/5 (for invisibility only)
Insight Bait Pouch
Leslies of Luton have recently introduced a
full range of luggage and tackle items aimed at the Barbel angler, under
the Insight banner. It looks to be an extensive and imaginative
selection of products. The only one Iíve used so far is the bait pouch.
This comes with two internal, removable, bait holders. Each is easily
capable of holding a large tin of meat or 16 oz lump of paste, and they
can be closed with Velcro. This is ideal if, like me, you like to carry
two differently flavoured meat baits when roving the river. It also has
six small compartments on the outside which are designed to hold items
such as forceps, disgorgers, baiting needles etc. Both the main bait
section, and the outer compartments are fitted with Velcro flaps to help
protect the contents from the elements. I do have one niggle - why does
it not come with a shoulder strap, or at least a couple of loops to
which a strap can be attached? These can easily be added yourself if you
need them, but this does seem to be an oversight rather than an Insight.