Via my increasing interest in lure fishing for bass at night, I have been on the lookout for a headlamp that would do a few specific things for me - I want it to be lightweight, I want it to run off AAA batteries (I always have plenty of them lying around), I don’t want it to be very expensive, and above all, I want a red light on the headlamp that doesn’t require me to recycle through a hundred and fifty different white light variations to get to it. I can’t tell you whether bass really do run for cover if they see a bright white light come on when you’re fishing, but the general consensus seems to be that if you need a bit of light to change lures etc., you’re better off using a dimmer red light to do so.
Go looking for a headlamp like this though and it’s not easy. Sure, you can find any number of them that have little red lights, but now find one that has its own dedicated switch to turn that red light on and off - am I the only person who wants this facility? I asked around on Facebook for some help with this, and I ended up buying a couple of different lightweight headlamps and then returning them because they didn’t have the red light switch and having to go through god knows how many lighthouse-like white light options to get there drove me mad from the off. And then somebody recommended that I take a look at the Coast HL44 Dual Colour LED headlamp - my profound thanks.
Any of you who here who have been shore fishing for many years now will I am sure remember those old headlamps we used to use that had those great big, heavy battery packs we had to wear on belts around the waist, plus of course the expensive halogen bulbs that would blow at any time. LED headlamps have been a godsend if you ask me, and whilst this pretty cheap Coast HL44 Dual Colour LED headlamp doesn’t feel quite as well put together as say my very impressive (and more expensive) LED Lenser one, it’s doing me just fine. It’s pretty lightweight for a headlamp with a 3xAAA battery pack on the back of the strap, and I have used it in some serious rain without any hassle so far. Gone are my days of shining a headlamp on reflective rod tips for hours on end, and for the most part I can easily get where to I need to be on the dimmer white light setting (and the brighter setting is very bright). I haven’t changed batteries yet although I always keep a spare set of three in my camera rucksack.
The clickable switch for the red LED sits underneath the actual light part of the headlamp - with the white light switch sitting on top - and for close up work and moving around a bit over rocks etc., that red LED is doing me just fine. So simple to turn on and off and I love not having to cycle through the various white light options to get there. I can’t think of anything I don’t like about this Coast HL44 Dual Colour LED headlamp, and for the price it won’t bother me hugely if it does end up failing on me. So good so far, and for under £30 delivered I reckon it’s good value for money - I bought mine here if that is any help.
I have put a gallery together of a bunch of photos from those two co-guided Ireland trips I did over the last couple of weeks. When I look at these photographs I am reminded of just how much fun these trips are, and I hope that comes across.
Below is a look at my features in the new issue of Sea Angler which is out this week.