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Product Reviews

0 10980

I recently took my new 10ft #7 Hardy Zenith Sintrix on its first trip to Ireland. I was fishing my annual July week on the Owenduff River,  a classic small spate river on the North West Coast of Ireland. As always, on these magical little spate rivers, we could have had much more water for our week but we still managed to catch our share of Salmon and Sea Trout.

Early one evening I was lucky enough to find myself attached to a decent fish that had taken my size 12 Speyworks Cats Cade with a thump.  The fish bored deep, ran straight upstream past me, and passed under a submerged branch.  Then it suddenly turned and ran straight down again, tangling the fly line even tighter in the sunken branches. I jumped into the river and started to pull the fly line back through the branches by hand just as the fish charged off again. My rod tip at this stage bent into the most frightening hoop and I am convinced that if I had been using any other rod than the Hardy Zenith Sintrix my rod tip would have broken.  (Sintrix material provides rods that are up to 60% stronger and 30% lighter than conventional carbon fibre rods).

The fish was a 12lb bar of silver!

0 3694

Patagonia’s flagship waders certainly look the business but do they cut the mustard on the river bank? Allan Shephard finds out.

If I’m perfectly honest waders are not my favourite bit of kit, that said today’s lightweight breathable fabrics are a quantum leap on from the sweaty PVC waders and weighty neoprenes of yesteryear.  Sooner or later all waders will leak – you try your best to put this moment off for as long as possible but barbed wire, thorns and extended use will probably be their downfall. One option is to treat them as a disposable item and buy a cheap pair. The problem with this they are really never as comfortable and you loose out on clever design features and breathability of the fabric. Leaky waders can be repaired easily provided you don’t have a large tear – these are best left to the experts to deal with.

So it was with great interest that I put on these new Patagonia waders, the promise being that they would provide comfort and durability at an upper mid range price.

0 4720

This was my first chance to try out my new carp rods  – 12ft 3.5lb Nash NR-XD’s. A trip was planned to Linear Fisheries Manor Farm Lake, to try and catch one of the many 30lb carp that flourish in this great carp fishery.

Swim chosen, clear spots sorted, I dispatched 3kg of Nash Monster Squid to the area. It was now time to find out the casting capabilities of the new rods. I was fishing at about 90 yards range to a clear area within the weed so decided to cast pva bags and balanced bottom baits into the swim. Casting this heavy payload was effortless, the 50mm sic butt rings really did make a difference whilst fishing at range, and the rod felt very light in the hand. Tip recovery was very quick even when casting a 3oz lead.

0 5052

When it comes to choosing a Salmon rod I am in an enviable position as I have access to the worlds finest fly rods, having said that, this makes the choice even more difficult!

I fish for the elusive silver tourist on the River Wye on a weekly basis. The Wye is not a big river, with the exception of a few beats, so I wanted a smaller rod but with the capability of casting a reasonably large tube fly if needed.

When choosing a rod my criteria are simple. I wanted something that I could cast with ease and with the minimum of effort. I am no casting instructor, or casting guru, I am a fisherman. Sounds simple, but I had been searching for a while!!

Until……. the day Lief Stavmo, Guideline’s rod designer, introduced the Guideline Reaction series.

The first time I picked up the Guideline Reaction 13ft 7in # 9/10 it was a wow! The balance was perfect and the rod was very light in the hand. You could feel how the best American and Japanese graphite cloths, together with the most advanced guides and reel seat components, achieve this balance and lightness.

The Reaction is put through it’s paces on the Tyne