Posted 07:10, 27 February 2015
- I don’t know how many of you here are aware that there’s a “new line so thin and strong that it could replace braid” (not my words, see here for a few details on this new mainline), but it’s called Gliss, and if the prices are anything to go by that I saw on the Southside Angling stand at the recent Dublin fishing show, then this is potentially some pretty interesting stuff - around 20 Euros/£15 for a 150m spool, for a line that if you believe the claims might well have plenty of applications for lure fishing especially. Got to be worth a look, surely - and it’s a big thanks to Southside Angling for kindly giving me some Gliss to try out.
Very much not my photo
- The most recent mainline I am aware of that tried to muscle in on braid sales was Nanofil, and whilst I never had any problems with knotting or casting it, during my relatively brief fishing with it period I could not shake off the feeling that it was (marginally) cutting my distance down in the wind (see here). It’s a fairly wiry kind of mainline that I am sure works great for many anglers, but I couldn’t fathom how it was going to do anything more for me than braid so I stopped using it. Don’t get me wrong, if a mainline comes along that I feel does more for me than braid then I would quite happily change over to it, but I haven’t seen one yet.
- I’m not sure how to describe how Gliss feels - less wiry and smoother than Nanofil, not like a limp, high-end “cottony” 8-strand, but not the “slightly rough” feeling that most 4-strands have. Kinda like a braid mono perhaps? I have the 8kg/0.14mm (about 17.5lbs) and 11kg/0.18mm (about 24lbs) here, and whilst I have no way of verifying those diameter claims, the lines feel thin. I have the bright yellow colour here, and I did notice that there was no dye left behind when I spooled up (or whatever it is that gets left on your fingertips when you load braid up between your fingertips). Does this Gliss hold its colour better than braid? Perhaps, but time will tell.
- On Monday morning I loaded up the 8kg Gliss onto the Daiwa Exceler 3000-HA (perfect line lay, some bit of kit), tied on a 15lb fluoro leader with that FC/GT knot which seemed to tighten down fine, strapped the reel to the Major Craft 9’6’’ 10-30g lure rod (review here), clipped on an IMA Hound 125F Glide, and went for a dog walk. The wind was pumping at least a force 6 NW, gusting 7 I reckon, and where I went for a few chucks was right into the teeth of it. Bear in mind I wasn’t fishing, rather I was using the excuse of a dog walk to have a quick play with this new line - there is nothing remotely scientific about any of this, but say twenty or thirty full blooded casts into and across a horrible wind and no casting related issues, in fact the line really seemed to fly out and cut through the wind well. No feeling of “hanging” if that makes sense.
- Now it’s highly unlikely that I would use this line without a leader of some sort, but I did try my usual connection knot (a variation on a four turn Uni knot) to tie the 8kg and 11kg Gliss to a lure clip, and it slipped very easily. I upped the turns in the Uni knot to eight I think it was, and it seemed to hold better, but still slipped with more pressure. What does this prove? Squat really, save for the fact that it’s obviously a line which needs particular knots to properly secure it (perhaps twice through the eye of the link?), as indeed they give examples of inside the packaging. There is also a suggested leader knot in there as well, but with how strong I know the FC knot to be, I must say that if I run into any problems at all with Gliss and the FC knot then I will walk away from the line however good it might be - I can’t be going back to other leader knots that aren’t as strong or slim-profiled. Time will tell again.
- So what does any of this tell you? Not much!! A few casts in horrible conditions is the only experience I have of Gliss so far, but it was interesting how well it seemed to go out. It does look as though the last few feet to the leader now want to almost twist up after my brief casting session, but all seems to be fine. I wonder what the abrasion resistance will be like with Gliss, but tight lines, decent fish and sharp rocks tend to put paid to most lines anyway. Is a single strand of line better around rocks than something with multiple strands such as braid? I can’t speculate because I don’t know.
- That’s about all I can tell you so far. If we take a 150m spool of a good quality 4-strand braid as being around the £20 mark, then the price of Gliss does seem pretty good, although with how quickly and cheaply the company claims to be able to make this stuff, I will be interested to see if they start selling at much lower prices to really try and have a decent go at these kinds of braids. Is this stuff going to become a serious braid replacement for loads of anglers? Time will tell again, but nobody that I know myself uses Nanofil over braid for their fishing, and I can’t help but wonder what kind of impact Gliss might or might not make on the fishing world. I have no issues with braid and whilst this Gliss is an interesting line and of course I need to fish with it for a decent period of time, I still have to ask myself what a new line at not far off good quality 4-strand prices might actually do for me over braid. I will keep you posted as I find out more………….
- And my apologies for what went on this week in the comments section of the blog, indeed for the first time ever I went and removed a blog post. You all have a good weekend, and here’s to trampling the Ireland rugby team into the dust come 3pm Sunday afternoon!! Awesome country and all that, but rugby is rugby, and I think it might be a cracker of a match that of course goes the right way.
Posted 09:32, 23 February 2015
- If you don’t go to Ireland but read the papers and listen to the news about how the country is in such financial strife (and how many countries aren’t?), you might be forgiven for then thinking that with all those troubles, the country is beset with negativity and a general down in the dumps feeling because times have and been and continue to be very tough for a lot of people - but you couldn’t be further from the truth, and over the years I have come to so admire the Irish spirit if you like, and the almost relentless good nature and happy go lucky attitude.
- Take a a weekend like I have just had at the fishing show - you can’t help but spend the entire time all buzzed up and excited. It was just the most fantastic show, and I just absolutely love getting the chance to spend time talking with Irish anglers about the fishing in their country. There is so much I want to do over there, so many places I want to see, so many coastlines I want to wander, and so many remote islands I want to visit. Nowhere is perfect of course, but why oh why haven’t we got a fishing show like that here in the UK?
- Sure, I go to Ireland because of the fishing, but my love for the country runs far deeper than merely chucking a bunch of lures around. Nope, to me that relentless positivity just gets me every time I go over, and I so admire it. I love the fact that the Irish could perhaps be within their rights to spend the entire time moaning and complaining, but go and spend some time over there and I bet you hear almost nothing about how the country is in such financial strife. I don’t believe it’s to do with burying heads in the sand and hoping that the bad stuff goes away, rather I think it’s the way the Irish people are made - I call it the “f$%k it attitude”. Sure, thing’s ain’t easy, but f$%k it, let’s get on with living and enjoying life. Why spend your life moaning? Their attitude is infectious.
- I understood from the early days of working in fishing that if you stick your head above the parapet, a small percentage of anglers are not going to like it. You grow a thick skin pretty damn fast, put it that way!! I accept that my guiding work with John Quinlan down in Kerry is going to raise a few hackles, and I accept that some local anglers don’t want to see any other anglers on “their marks” (whatever that actually means). And as for somebody in Wexford blaming me for the apparent decline in their bass fishing? It still makes me laugh whenever I think about that particular angle of attack!! I can’t to anything about this though, because the Irish are mostly such a welcoming and friendly bunch of people. I love fishing over there and I love fishing and spending time with Irish people. I am extremely lucky to count a number of Irish people as my friends, and spending time in Ireland to me is just an absolute joy - and I have really come to admire their attitude to life.
- But as much as I have come to love spending time over there, don’t for one second make the mistake of thinking that I wish the Irish any goodwill for next Sunday when we play them in the Six Nations - no bloody way!! Nope, I am English to the core and I want the England rugby team to head to Dublin and snatch the rug of confidence from underneath their feet and come away from that magnificent country with a great big win!! And how about the cricket? I can’t believe that I am celebrating a win over Scotland!!!
- And a big thanks to the Southside Angling people who were at the Dublin show - they have very kindly given me some of this brand new Gliss line to try out (search Gliss fishing line online). Give me a bit of time and I will get out and give it a go, but initial impressions are that it feels very interesting, it’s very thin, and I can’t help but love the fact that a 150m spool was just under 20 Euros at the show (about £15). The Southside Angling lot said that Gliss was flying off the shelves all weekend. My profound thanks for being so kind, but again, it changes nothing about the rugby on Sunday……….
Posted 05:48, 20 February 2015
- I first saw the Stormr Fusion waterproof jacket when I was at the ICAST fishing trade show over in the US last summer, and I got hold of one to try out about a month before Xmas 2014 - so it’s had a load of use in all kinds of UK winter conditions, both with fishing and walking my sheepdog. It’s an impressive bit of kit to look at, and a lot about this Stormr Fusion waterproof jacket is very well designed for anglers. I like how it’s pretty light and folds away into not too much when I tuck it into my rucksack, but it is not an uber-light shell, and it isn’t meant to be. This Fusion jacket seems to “breathe” just fine, and it behaves impeccably as a waterproof outer layer - which one would expect of course.
- The zips are working perfectly via saltwater use, indeed I have deliberately not washed my Fusion jacket down in freshwater after various bouts of deep wading where a fair bit of the jacket was submerged in saltwater, plus getting regularly splashed by the sea etc. No issues that I can find on that front. I like the various pockets and I even like the hood and how it can tighten down around the face. Hoods on waterproof jackets often drive me loopy, but this one is pretty good. I love that there are zips under the armpits as well. This is not a heavy thermal jacket, in that you will need to layer up underneath in cold weather, but as a specialist waterproof fishing jacket I reckon this Stormr Fusion is pretty damn good. Bear in mind it comes from the US striped bass fishing market, and at certain times of the year that is some pretty serious fishing to say the least, both fish and weather wise.
- I really like it, but I don’t love it. I want to love it because it’s one hell of a waterproof jacket, but there are a few issues I have come across that I know could cause problems for anglers buying one, and it revolves mainly around the sizing of the Fusion. I will tell you why - I take an XL in most things. Any waterproof jackets and waders I have tried or bought over I don’t know how many years have fitted me in an XL size (save for the Greys G-Series waders), indeed I have a neoprene Stormr Strykr jacket here in an XL size that fits me absolutely perfectly. Luckily I tried on a Fusion jacket in an XL size when I was at the iCast show last year, and it was too small for me. I therefore went for the XXL size in the Stormr Fusion jacket, and although it’s a much better fit, a few things about the cut of the jacket leave me a little confused.
- Why for example are the sleeves too short? I am pretty sure I don’t have gorilla arms, and although the rubber inner sleeve is the right length and remains up around my wrists when I’m casting, the fastener part of the sleeve that goes over this inner sleeve spends most of its life riding up my forearm. If there is a technical reason for this then I apologise, but surely that upper bit of the sleeve should be plenty long enough so that you can tighten down over the top of the rubber inner sleeve without it then riding up all the time? It’s not doing any harm as such, but I wonder why on the Strykr jacket for example, the arms of the jacket are plenty long enough.
- That rubber inner sleeve on the Fusion does do a good job of keeping most of the water from coming in down your wrists when you are fishing (rain and splashing waves), and you could be forgiven in thinking that it looks such a good fit around your wrist that no water is ever going to get in. Well let me save you the hassle of trying this feature out. This is not a criticism by the way, because I haven’t personally come across any waterproof jacket that doesn’t let at least some water in via the seal around your wrists, but because of how that rubber seal looks on this Fusion jacket, I was kinda hoping that this might be “the one” - but it isn’t. I stuck both forearms underwater, pretending say to hold a bass prior to release, and almost instantly a load of cold seawater came in the sleeves and up my forearms. Great with rain and splashing waves then, but not for putting your hands and forearms under the water - is this the domain of a drysuit?
- This XXL Fusion is a pretty good fit on me, and whilst I like the fact that it’s around a generous kind of wading jacket length down my body, in truth I feel the jacket overall could have a tiny bit more freedom in it. It’s an easy jacket to cast in and move around, and those stretchy, lightweight neoprene panels seem to be doing a really good job, but overall I just feel the jacket needs a tiny bit more room - bearing in mind here that I am already wearing one size more than what I would usually wear with garments from other manufacturers. I am hardly on the slim side, but I have to compare sizings to other stuff I have worn.
- I can’t say much more really. I really like this jacket, indeed I nearly love it to bits. It’s a very impressive bit of kit that I see Bass Lures are now starting to offer on a pre-order basis on their website (not quite sure what that means to be honest), but if you are tempted by one of these Fusion jackets, please bear in mind that I went for one size larger than I usually take. I have every confidence that my Fusion jacket is going to last me well, but I just wish that I could alter those aspects I have mentioned to make it into a fishing jacket that was as close to perfect as I have come across. Stormr make some serious gear for us anglers and I can only hope that their gear becomes more easily available here in the UK in due course.
- I am flying over to Dublin later on today for the Ireland Angling Show (Swords as I know it), so I hope to see a bunch of you over the weekend. It always feels a little bit weird heading over to Ireland and not going fishing, but it’s always a huge buzz to spend time in my favourite country in the world. Have to say that I’m glad England v Ireland is next weekend, because I was at a fishing show once over there when that particular Six Nations match was on, and from memory I was the only English person in the bar, and we lost as well. Talk about copping some (very good natured) flak!!!! Have a good weekend all, catch up next week.
- 21.02.2015 addition - Stormr have emailed me from the US to tell me that the Fusion jacket I have is older stock, and that these older versions were indeed on the small size - they have told me that all new Fusion jackets are now “properly” sized. Stormr says that Fusion jackets are now in line with their Strykr jackets as regards sizing, so this means that an XL should fit me just fine.