Friday, 24 February 2012

Charlies - Total control stripping tray review!

Regardless of whether I’m on my boat, wading, fishing from river banks or from elevated rocks you won’t find me without a stripping tray strapped around my waist. I’m really surprised that more fly fisherman don’t use them especially when they complain that there lines barely last a couple of seasons……if that. I still have several fly lines that were bought over 5 yrs ago that have been fished hard, that are still in perfect condition which I put down to the religious use of a stripping tray. There is nothing worse than having your line catch around, reed buds, grass blades, butterfly clasps, boot clips hindering your cast, purely because you think you look like a knob with a plastic basket hanging by your side. All these jams between objects contribute to your fly lines degradation quicker than you think.

Anyway Easyfly sent me out the “Charlie’s - Total control stripping tray” to try out this summer and although I prefer a more solid/rigid basket, I’ve been very impressed with this compact, light weight, multi purpose, space saving model.

It stores in its own pouch which I’ve found rather handy for doubling up as another compartment for holding spare leaders, and a few extra flies.

This you can have either hanging inside and open while fishing, or my preferred method of flipping it over and having it on the outside pressed between the outer wall and my body.

Although probably not needed, one can also use this stripping tray as a makeshift net as well as a weighing bag. Just take the handle on the outer side of the basket with the waist strap and it can be hung from a set of weight scales.

If you’re fishing from the shore, lake/river bank, off elevated rocks or from a boat, then having the stripping tray in this position is at its most practical. Take the waist strap and clip it to your shorts/trousers/belt then take the other strap around your leg and clip together and tighten. Having the basket at this level offers a more natural downward stripping motion thus allowing you to regulate the lengths and speed of your retrieve far better than a higher waist mounted basket that I’ve become accustomed to using, and as its has such a wide opening one doesn’t need to worry whether the line is not going in. Line comes out of it with each back cast with ease, which in turn allows you to cast further and more accurately.

If you decide to wade up to your knees then unclip the strap around your leg and wrap it around your waist & clip back up again. However if you decide to wade around waist deep one can then wrap the strap around your chest. Personally this is just too uncomfortable a position for me. The only real down side to this stripping tray which a cheap plastic washing basket offers, is that once you become too submerged, water flows freely through it and turns your fly line over hindering your next cast.

Due to the amount of wading I do, I use the “My Ghillie” for holding my rod when having to change leaders or a fly, but if you don’t have one of these handy bits of equipment all you need to do is place your rod into the bottom of the basket and fold the outer side inwards so it presses up against your hip. This holds the rod firmly in place while you do all the necessary adjustments.

Lastly, If moving from one fishing spot to another along the beach, a lake or rivers shoreline, then all you need to do is push the sides together and press the opposite strips of Velcro together. This is particularly handy when moving around a boat or through long reeds or shrubbery. Overall, if it wasn’t for the water that engulfs it when wading waist deep constantly flipping your line over I’d give “Charlies total control stripping tray” a 10 out of 10.

If your interested in getting one of these stripping trays retailing at €59,00, then drop by Easyfly's shop to order one


Jeff said...
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Johan"Djuza" Lindqvist said...

I´m not use to wade much but finding it hard to get along without a basket in boat.I use an Orvis model,working fine but the price....Bought it when I didn´t knew better :)