THIS MONTH: Banana Rods, New Direction Tackle, Wychwood, Rod Hutchinson, Fox, Korda, Solar Tackle, Gardner Tackle, Cotswold Aquarius, Powapacs, Fortis and ESP
This month’s Tackleworld is a monster, with news of new products from New Direction Tackle, Fortis, Solar Tackle, Rod Hutchinson, Cotswold Aquarius, Fox International,
ESP, Korda, Gardner Tackle, Powapacs, Wychwood, and Banana Rods
Yet another all-new product, the 2¾lb TC T-48 is the latest offering from the French manufacturer and one that completes the line-up for this remarkable model range. The T-48’s slim blank is built using a whole host of clever technology, to provide the ultimate player’s rod, without sacrificing any amount of distance. The carbon is rolled at a 45-degree angle, giving a certain stiffness that aids super-accurate casting, whilst the softer side of its action remains unaffected.
As ever, the build options are virtually limitless, so your best bet is to go onto their website and have a look for yourself.
Whilst perhaps they’re not as well-known as brands such as Delkim, Fox or Neville, New Direction have been producing alarms for a while now and these, the range-topping K9s, have as many features as you could possibly wish for in their clever heads.
First and foremost, they operate via Bluetooth technology, meaning they are adjustable from the confines of your bed chair, using an app on your phone! They have an enviable specification too, with removable and illuminating snag bars, automatic night lights, a very handy mute function, backlit roller wheel, an illuminated halo around the speaker, 2.5mm jack socket for external output and the obvious volume, tone and sensitivity controls.
Available separately, or in case as a 3-rod presentation set, complete with a receiver. They are well worth a look for those operating on a budget.
With the same, sleek modern finish as the 9ft model we looked at last month, the 12ft Riot is ideal for those looking for a set of rods that won’t break the bank. Available in both 3lb and 3¼lb test curves, they will cater with all but the most extreme distances. As we stated in the previous issue, the matte-finish, black DPS reel seat and double-legged guides really help set them apart from other rods at this price point and with the buy two, get one free deal still in place, it’d be silly not to have a look if you’re in the market. What’s more, there is even a matching ‘utility’ rod that can double-up between spod and markering duties.
This new and improved dual-purpose weigh sling can also be used as a short term retainer. Featuring a quick drain, fish-friendly material throughout and reinforced carry handles, it has four reflective floats to ensure it is ultra-buoyant and a pocket containing its 5M retention cord.
The quick drain construction makes for accurate weighing of fish, while a double zip sees that your prize is secure while it is in there.
It is supplied in an oversized, roll-top stink bag, which will hide all but the worst smells when driving home after a successful session.
This is a wonderful bit of kit. Although not as light and manoeuvrable as some – due in part to its double thickness handle, containing the built-in 1M extension, it bears all the hallmarks of quality.
Constructed from S-3K 40T carbon throughout – including the net arms – and with a number of useful features like carry handles in the base of the mesh, a dedicated net-float with elasticated fittings, a net clip and ring and, of course, that handle.
It is 5ft 6in when closed and 8ft 9in when extended, very handy when either in confined spaces, or if you’re a zig angler, or someone fishing from any great height, or over bankside obstructions.
The pole and arms are very stiff, obviously, while the net itself has an ultra-soft, durable mesh; and to round it all off, there is a shrink-wrapped handle, laser-etched butt cap and a unique, machined carbon spreader block. Cosmetically it matches the rods of the same name, with a nice matte finish to the carbon and green accents around the collar and handle.
This brand-new inflatable unhooking mat from Fox is designed to give the ultimate level of protection for fish. Featuring two changeable heavy-duty air chambers and a removable 50mm thick high-density foam base, it can be used like a conventional cradle, or turned upside down for the largest of carp, so that they lie in it similarly to how you would in a hammock, allowing you to slide your arms under them with ease.
Unlike other inflatable mats, the valves are situated on the end of the Fox mat, allowing air to escape easily when rolling the mat up after use.
It is manufactured from 210D polyester fabric in the company’s unique camo pattern and has a heavy duty PVC base and tube protection. There are a number of pegging points to secure it to the floor, as well as carry handles and an elasticated and Velcro safety flap on the top.
It comes supplied in its own carry bag and with a foot pump. Available in two sizes – Standard at 100cm x 50cm and XL at 125cm x 70cm (these being the internal measurements). Another brand-new product from Fox, the R Series Brolly has an attractive price point considering its specification. Packed full of features that are similar to its more expensive stablemate, the Ultra, it is sure to prove very popular with anyone looking for something with a fast set-up time.
The outer is constructed from a conventional, olive nylon instead of the Ven-tec material found on the Ultra, albeit with a very impressive 10,000mm hydrostatic head, while it still utilises the same short-ribbed space saving mechanism for increased headroom inside, with four of the ribs on the main frame in contact with the ground, for greater stability.
The design of the outer retains a gutter at the front to prevent rain ingress through the door. There is a full-length zip running right across the front, and it is supplied with a zip-in, full width infill panel that has three door options: solid, clear, or mozzy. There are two optional extras available, in the shape of a full width mozzy panel, or a porch/extension.
Although the extension isn’t an industry first, it is without doubt the largest to have been fitted to a brolly-style shelter, giving a whopping one metre of additional cover at the front, perfect for those who make an annual pilgrimage across the channel, do longer sessions, or who occasionally take the wife or a child with them.
It already has a large footprint for a brolly, with dimensions of 262cm x 178cm x 128cm, so with the add-on, it will swallow two bedchairs with ease!
The brolly is supplied with a lightweight, full-sized groundsheet and two 24-inch storm poles and two at
36-inches. The weight is 9kg.
There is a whole host of fresh new clothing available from Korda at the moment. Ranging from lightweight footwear to protective body wear – there is something for everyone.
Their burgundy hoody is a lightweight piece. It has a snug-fitting, flexible body which is made from a cotton/polyester/spandex mix and features subtle Korda detailing.
There ia also the launch of the new Kool range, which includes caps and long and short sleeved T shirts. This ultra-breathable T shirt is so thin it can almost be worn as an undergarment. It has been designed to act as an almost ‘invisible’ layer, protecting your skin from harmful UV rays whilst out on the bank. It is available in both long and short sleeve options.
As with any item sold from the Kool range, Korda will be donating all profits to the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund!
Billed as one of the comfiest bedchairs around, the Solar SP is available just as a bed but we are taking a look at the full sleep system. It comes complete with a 5-season sleeping bag and a Rip-stop bedchair cover.
It features the highest quality materials throughout, including the exclusive 3D Dura-dore air-pocketed mattress, high-tensile aluminium frame, unique Spring-loc leg adjustment and a twin-pivot hinge system.
In keeping with current trends, it has a taut canvas panel underneath that will prevent any sagging in the mid-section. The standard frame is 205cm x 80cm, with the wide version gaining an extra 15cm. The standard bed weighs in at 12kg.
A giant amongst (air-dry) bags, this offering from Solar is capable of holding up to 10kg at once. Benefitting from a durable, rubberised mesh, extra-strength seams and strong carry handles, it should last a long time – providing it is kept out of reach of our furry friends...
On that note, Solar have also thought to supply it with a zipped, waterproof cover that can shield your boilies with once they are dry enough, to prevent them cracking and drying out, as well as keeping the surrounding area of your car or boat clean while transporting them. It does obviously serve a third purpose, that being as a rudimentary second layer of protection from thieving magpies and rodents while it’s hanging from the branches of a tree at the back of your swim!
Gardner recently rolled out an improved version of their incredibly popular sleeping bag. There have been two key changes, notably the adjustment to its dimensions. They have reduced the overall length by 30cm and widened it by 5cm. This means that the bag will now fit far better on most bedchairs. They have also redesigned the supplied carry bag, so that if you choose not to leave the bag in place when packing away, it will now go comfortably inside without the need for a wrestling match.
Aside from that, the Carp Duvet Plus is still an awesome piece of kit. The oversized, multi-layered bag is perfect for year-round use – the breathable outer is also water repellent. The removable centre section means you can switch between a comfy 4-season rating, to a 5-season at the switch of some toggles.
All the inner surfaces are lined using super-smooth 190D Rip Stop Taffeta, giving uninhibited movement. It also has full shoulder and zip baffles, plus a draw cord which all help to eliminate draughts and keep you warm whilst on the bank.
In terms of features, it has two ‘stash pockets’ for the storage of wallets, phones, etc., a retaining flap at either end and an adjustable strap in the middle to ensure it stays in place on your bed. There is also a high quality ¾ length crash zip that allows for an easy exit, while making doubly sure that there isn’t a chill around the occupant’s feet. The compact version does what it says on the tin! Essentially identical to its bigger brother in all but dimensions. It has been sized specifically to fit on standard-sized bedchairs.
Featuring the same layering system within the bag, incorporating a double layer of ‘hollow fill’ fibre, it offers excellent thermal insulation and comfort all year-round. From one extreme to the other – the Crash Bag is perfect for those that like to travel light, as it only weighs 2kg. It is finished in the same DPM material as their other offerings and also has the same 190D Taffeta interior but with a 3-season rating. It is better suited to spring and summer, unless you couple it with Gardner’s bed chair cover when the temperatures start to drop.
The utility system is quite something. It is an amalgamation of ideas that have resulted in a multifunctional, bivvy-tidy, small carryall, laptop bag/ worktop, or even a general shoulder bag rolled into one. It features a rigid, hinged and zipped lid. There is also a fully padded and lined interior, with a reinforced external base, in addition to various pockets – suitable for magazines, mobile phones and chargers, etc. – as well as a fold-out netting flap with zipped pockets. On the outside there is a handle and two D-rings for the adjustable shoulder strap.
As with all the Cotswold products, it is available in olive green or their distinctive ‘woodland camouflage’.
The largest of a three-bag range from Cotswold, this one will accept either, three mini coolbags, or a medium plus one small one, inside the cavernous main compartment.
It is fully insulated, with a wipe-clean lining and has sufficient space to hold food for all but the longest of long-stay anglers.
There is a flap pocket inside the lid to hold ice packs or other sundry items, a padded carry handle and shoulder strap, and finally, an easy clean base panel for the journey home.
Equipped with Sunpower solar cells, which are amongst the most efficient on the market, this is the second most powerful foldable solar unit that Powapacs supply. Rated at 40W, it is capable of generating 100-200Wh daily via the output interface.
This can then be used to charge smartphones (approx. 10 times), tablets, ipads, USB cameras, USB lamps, or any other device with USB connectivity via a 5V output.
In addition to the USB outputs, there is also an 18V DC output, especially handy for charging additional power banks, or any item with a 3-pin plug.
It is important to remember that the power produced by a solar panel is DC, or direct current, so if the item you are intending to charge would normally run off a 3-pin power supply at home, it will now need to be run through a Voltz inverter/or your Powapac base unit.
To that end, we recommend that you don’t just buy the Powapac itself, nor the solar panel, but choose to have both. In doing so, you can allow the energy gained from the panel to ‘soak’ into the Powapac through the course of a day, keeping that charged and negating the need to use the panel for anything else.
The solar panel is large (4ft) when fully extended but folds away into a nice compact package of approximately
1ft. It is finished in a heavy duty, waterproof PVC600D fabric sleeve and comes supplied with a 2.1mm DC cable to allow remote charging.
As we enter the back end of the year, it will soon be time to start thinking about digging out a few extra layers to pack on the barrow just in case... Unless that is, you have something like this. Fortis’ Elements outfit is a lightweight, technical piece, designed to insulate you, regulating your temperature during periods of high/low activity. They are designed to be worn directly against the skin and feature high-wicking moisture control to draw sweat away from the body.
Neither item has any seams for additional comfort when worn tight to the body, with the top featuring thumbholes at the end of the sleeves and the bottoms, a tight, elasticated cuff at the ankle to prevent them riding up as undergarments.
These polarised sunglasses from ESP have a stylish new wrap-around frame to help reduce light getting behind the lenses, thereby improving your fish-spotting ability. They are only available with an CE category 3 amber lens but in our opinion that’s the best all-round colour for any conditions around a lake anyway. They come complete with a woven lanyard so you can keep them safely on you at all times and a cleaning cloth/bag.
more than skin deep!
Banana Rods T-48, 12ft, 2¾lb TC Rod RRP: £TBCOnline: www.bananarods.com
New Direction Tackle Bluetooth Bite Alarm Set RRP: £66.20 each or £256.79 3-rod presentation set Online: www.newdirectiontackle.co.uk
bluetooth that bites
Wychwood Riot Cork 12ft 3lb TC Rods RRP: £64.99 eachOnline: www.wychwoodcarp.co.uk
Wychwood Floating Weigh Sling RRP: £44.99Online: www.wychwoodcarp.co.uk
Rod Hutchinson Dream Maker 42-inch Adjustable Landing Net RRP: £129.99Online: New website currently under construction
Fox Carpmaster Air MatsRRP: £139.99 Standard – £169.99 XL Online: www.foxint.com
Fox R Series Brolly System RRP: £220.00Online: www.foxint.com
Korda ClothingRRP: £VariousOnline: www.korda.co.uk
Solar Tackle SP Air-dry Bag RRP: £14.99Online: www.solartackle.co.uk
Solar Tackle SP C-tech Sleep System RRP: £399.99 Standard – £449.99 Wide Online: www.solartackle.co.uk
Gardner Tackle Carp Duvet Compact RRP: £115.00Online: www.gardnertackle.co.uk
Gardner Tackle Carp Duvet Plus RRP: £125.00Online: www.gardnertackle.co.uk
Gardner Tackle Crash BagRRP: £59.99Online: www.gardnertackle.co.uk
Powapacs Solar PanelRRP: £150 – SP £114.99 while stocks last Online: www.powapacs.co.uk
Cotswold Aquarius Utility System RRP: £104.99Online: www.cotswoldaquarius.co.uk
Cotswold Aquarius Maxi Cool Bag RRP: £62.50Online: www.cotswoldaquarius.co.uk
ESP Insight Polarised Sunglasses RRP: £14.95Online: www.esp-carpgear.com
Fortis Elements Base LayersRRP: £36.99 Bottoms – RRP £49.99 Top Online: www.fortiseyewear.co.uk