Wading through Sea Bass

Chris Ogborne Fishtec Fly Fishing

A LONG TIME AGO, ON A SANDBAR FAR, FAR AWAY………

I was browsing photos yesterday and decided to use this one as my screensaver. It’s not a particularly brilliant or notable picture in itself, but for me it just sums up what fishing is all about these days. Saltwater Bass hunting is now just a few weeks away, and counting!

The shot was taken last summer, miles from anywhere, on one of my favourite Bass marks. It’s a remote place, somewhere that you can just get lost in the fishing, excluding the world so that nothing else matters except watching the water for the slightest sign of a fish. You can wet-wade or use chest waders, depending on the time of year. You can fish with total concentration, or you can tuck the rod under your arm and just watch the tide go by. It matters not. It’s about freedom. Out there on a sand bar with only Terns, Gannets and Gulls for company – oh, and a few Bass hunting the early sand eels.

The 2014 saltwater season is coming, and I’m ticking down the days!

5 tips for looking after your Fishing Waders

Looking after your waders

The guys at Simms have produced a comprehensive guide to looking after your fishing waders. See how the pro’s look after and repair their waders with information on pinholes, scrapes and tears, inner leg abrasion and how to repair small leaks yourself. These 5 useful tips will save you time and money when it comes to your thing or chest waders.

  • Pinholes, scrapes & tears

The most common problem that will occur in Gore-Tex® or other breathable garments is pinholes (we use the term “pinhole” to identify any small violation of the breathable fabric that allows moisture to penetrate into the interior of your garment), scrapes or tears. Pinholes, scrapes & tears are usually caused by thistles & thorns, but hooks, sharp rocks etc. will also damage the garment. The vast majority of the thistles & thorns will be deflected by the fabric, but sooner or later some of them will find a way through the weave and cause leaks. To avoid these damages just think twice when walking the banks; walk around the thorn bushes or other potential harmful objects instead right through them, and don’t sit down on any rough or sharp surfaces. There’s some great tips on repairing pin holes here.

  • Inner leg abrasion (on waders)

Inner leg abrasions are often related to wrong sizing or heavy wear. This is caused by abrasion when the fabric inside the legs rubs against each other when walking. Finding the right size on the wader when doing your purchase is extremely important to prolong the lifetime of the wader. Please note that long days of walking and wading in a pair of waders may result in fabric abrasions along the back edge of the seam. This is easily repairable and a common wear and tear issue.

  • Proper care & storage

After each fishing session make sure to allow the product to dry properly before you store it. Waders, jackets & packs etc. should hang in a vented, warm and dry place. Boots should also be properly dried before put away. If clothes or boots/shoes are stored wet or damp over time mildew will start to grow on them and cause severe damage. On waders & jackets mildew will cause problems like seam tape lifting (seam tape on neoprene feet’s & Gore-Tex® seam tape inside the garment will come off), and sometimes delaminating of the fabrics. Common for all products is that mildew will start a general material breakdown. The microorganisms (mildew is living organisms) produceenzymes that breakdown the cellulose or protein in the fabric to compounds which they use as food. Easily said; the mildew will break down all the components in the garment and eat it.

After the products are properly dried they should be stored in a cool, dry environment with adequate ventilation. If a product is infested by mildew it should be isolated by sealing it in polyethylene bag and it should be disposed immediately or sent to trained professionals for decontamination.

  • Self repairs

If you are getting leaks along any seams in a waterproof, breathable garment, please do not do a self repair to these areas. Most reported seam leaks are in fact pinholes along the seam tape and not a true seam leak. Aquaseal or other adhesives does not come off and any self repair that is done along a seam may potentially void your warranty as we cannot remove and correct the problem without destroying the seam. We understand why a self repair may need to be done in the field, but please realize that we may not be able to correct the problem if the seam has been altered or covered in some sort of glue/adhesive.

  • ReviveX® application and upkeep

Over time and exposure to rushing water, long days in the rain, dirt & other factors your Gore-Tex® garment may begin to” wet out” and will no longer be repelling water on the surface fabric. More times than not, this is a result of the DWR (Durable Water Repellency) wearing off. Though water isn’t leaking all the way through the garment, it may feel and look like it is. This is because “wet out” reduces breath ability and creates excess interior condensation making you damp and cold. It is easily addressed with the use of ReviveX®. Please follow the instructions of use carefully when restoring the DWR.

Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary

Well, here I am back from my holidays and for the first time I can ever remember I stepped off the plane at Stansted to find it was just as hot at home.

You know that feeling you get when you arrive on your holidays and walk out on the metal staircase into a wall of super-heated air, well that’s what it was like in Essex!

I was fully expecting the lake to have changed a bit over my two week absence but, the next Monday, I was still amazed to see just how much. The weed had gone ballistic in the summer sun and, what were lightly sprouted gravel bars before my departure, now resembled privet hedges running in solid green lines across the lake.

Unfortunately this meant that most of the decent shallow water spots were now unfishable and the only clean bottom to present a bait on would be the deeper marks, not ideal in nearly thirty degrees.

By sneaking about in chest waders though I did manage to ambush a small group of carp that were milling about on top of a plateau, it obviously was made of something too hard for the weed to take root but at least it offered me somewhere shallow to place a single bait.

Before I cast I pulled out my Galaxy phone and snapped off a few pictures as the fish cruised about only a couple of rod lengths away.

Fish found but it was one of these I hooked and lost

It was exciting stuff being so close to them as they milled about next to the hook-bait and then I saw one upend and suddenly shoot off across the plateau as he realised his mistake.

At such close quarters the fight was electric but, unfortunately, very short lived as he managed to wrap the line around a small snag and pull the hook. There was a huge bow-wave as he sped off through the weed taking the rest of the fish with him.

This was to be the pattern over the next twenty four hours, hours walking for a few brief moments when I had a chance of a bite.

I did manage to hook two more fish but the weed was so savage that they both came adrift during the fight.

I hate losing fish, absolutely detest it and, if I think that I have more chance of losing than landing them, and then it’s time to move on in my book. I see no point in just getting bites for the sake of it and it’s not fair on the carp so I packed up and headed for home.

That’s the thing about some of the big gravel pits I like to fish, they are ok up until the middle of summer but, once the weed gets up and the algae cuts down your visibility they can become unrealistic places to fish. With this in mind I started to make plans for where to fish next, maybe a return to the North Met lakes in the Lea Valley?

Airflo Airtex Chest Waders Trout Fisherman

“Tackle Testers Choice”

Airflo Airtex Waders - Trout Fisherman Tackle Testers Choice

The Airtex waders, which replace the old Delta designs, come in standard chest and also zip-front versions. They do away with the secondary outer layer of material running down the leg and also have a more snug fit around the legs and the ankle with a contoured cut and articulated legs. They are made from a three-layer Finetex material that is not only waterproof but very breathable so keeps body moisture to a minimum even when you are on the move.

All the inside seams are fully taped. These chest waders have built-in stretchable gravel guards made from a very tough and abrasion-resistant fabric. The guards have a rubber grip strip on the inside edge and a metal lace hook for a secure fitting to the boot. The neoprene feet have a contoured fit so are very comfortable and again they are fully taped throughout. There are three integral belt loops to accommodate an adjustable and detachable 1.5-inch wide webbing belt with a quick release bayonet fitting.

At the top of the waders is a set of elasticated, adjustable and detachable braces with male and female buckle at the front so you can’t get them crossed over or twisted. The waders are a two-tone color with a less spooky brown from the waist down and a tan colour on the top half.

On the standard Airtex chest waders there is a large front pocket that is accessed by a water-resistant YKK zip. On the zip-fronted model there is a RIRI waterproof zip, which runs from the crotch to the top and two smaller chest pockets with zip access. The zip front waders come in sizes M-XXL while the standard waders come in these sizes plus medium and large king. The standard chest waders cost £179.99 and the zip front waders are £229.99 and these prices include a pair of the Airtex wading boots.

The Airtex Wading Boots are incredibly light – the pair of sizes 10’s I had for review weigh in at just 2lb 7oz – But they don’t compromise on build quality. An important consideration when buying wading boots is how rigid and effective the toe box is, and on these boots it’s stiff enough to withstand a good amount of water pressure. This reinforced toe section is also ideal for kicking about on the lake or river bed.

Airtex Wading Boots - Trout Fisherman Tackle Testers Choice

I have quite a wide foot but didn’t feel restricted in these boots and could wiggle my toes in relative comfort. The synthetic uppers are hard-wearing and quick drying and there is a protective rubberised section around the rand, toe section and heel for extra durability. There is also a definite increase in padding around the angle that not only offers good comfort but great support as well. There are four sets of metal eyelets plus two sets of quick release hooks for the laces.

The boots are available with either a felt or Vibram sole and I had the Vibram one to review. Although it is not a heavily cleated pattern it gives excellent grip over a wide range of terrains encountered on stillwaters such as mud, grass, shingle and dam walls. You could use Airflo’s wader stud kit (£9.99 for 30 studs) to increase grip for river fishing conditions.

These Airtex wading boots come in sizes 7-12 with felt sole and 8-12 in a Vibram sole. I think these are Airflo’s most comfortable waders and boots setup to date and offer excellent value.

Written by Robbie Winram.

How to Repair Leaking Waders

waders

Repair minor damage to your waders at home with a few simple tips.
Image source: Simms

There’s nothing worse than your chest waders leaking. That moment you feel the cool, slight trickle of water seeping in you’re instantly put off your game. All you can think about is how cold you’re getting and the amount of water that’s quietly filling your waders at a rate of knots.

Here at Fishtec we have created the best wader repair kits for permanent fixes or for a temporary fix on the side of the river.

How do I fix my leaking waders?

First of all, if you can’t find an obvious rip or tear you’ll need to need to find the source of the leak. Airflo Bloc-it leak detector will help you locate the smallest of pin holes in your breathable waders.  This spray should be applied to the inside of a dry pair of waders to reveal any pin hole leaks. Once the leak or leaks have been detected they can be patched with our Block-It wader repair.

Airflo block it leak detector

The Airflo Bloc-IT Wader Repair glue has been formulated to provide a permanent and flexible repair to nylon, neoprene, rubber, nylon and breathable waders. This glue can be applied with ease to any material using a pair brush or flat edge to perform a fix to ripped or leaking waders. Also great for repairing torn fishing jackets, this wader repair glue is the ideal remedy to seal a leaking foot, seam or hood!

How to make a temporary fix

Airflo Block It Wader Repair

If you find a leak in your waders, it usually means you’re already out on the water and you’ll need to wait for your waders to dry out before a permanent fix can be made. Airflo’s Bloc-it emergency repair patches have been designed to create a temporary fix to any leak that may spring up. These emergency repair wader patches are the ideal remedy to block out water until a more permanent fix can be applied. We recommend the Bloc-It wader repair for a solid, waterproof bond.

Airflo Block It Patches

Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary July

Well the weather seems to have stabilised a bit now but everyone must have been affected in some way by the recent floods.

As anglers all that extra water has a far greater effect on us than most sports because, ultimately, it ends up in our rivers and lakes.

On a recent trip to the big Northants gravel pit I arrived to find that the level had risen over three feet in just a few days. On a sixty five acre pit that one hell of a lot of water.

Rather than be put off by the fact that all the swims had swans gliding around in them and the paths resembled babbling brooks, I was instantly excited at the prospects that lay ahead.

Any phenomenon like this, anything out of the ordinary, will affect the fish and make them behave in an unusual manner and often that is to our advantage.

The first thing I wanted to know was where was the water coming in as influxes, inlet pipes, burst river banks etc have always been a magnet for carp as they love the taste and feel of new water. Usually the muddier the inflowing water the better and I also think that the oxygen level must rise around the source of the inlet as well; this combined with the chance of some fresh food being unearthed by the power of the water as it floods in, nearly always creates an instant feeding area.

I donned a set of waders and went for a paddle around the lake, amazed at just how high the level had risen in such a short time. Within a few minutes I had located the inlet, a pipe about fourteen inches in diameter that was buried into the bank and connected to the two small ponds in the field behind. The river must have burst into the ponds and the water was now being transferred through the pipe into the lake. The flow was absolutely charging through creating big peaks and troughs as it hit the wind generated waves coming in the other direction. The surface of the water near the pipe was a mass of swirling eddies and pools and I just knew that the fish had to be down there in the flow, how could they resist?

Because of the effect of the currents it was impossible to slack line and very difficult even to set up a standard arrangement with the tips near the water. The drifting weed and the attendant flocks of swans feeding on it meant that I had to fish my tips up high, over the reeds and straight down into the flow, more akin to a barbell set up than a normal carp one.

Straight away I started getting knocks and pulls on the tip, far too strong to be just the power of the flow against the braided mainline and, due to the fact I was using four and a half ounce leads, I was pretty sure the rigs were not trundling along the bottom either so they must be line bites.

It felt strange as I sat in my low chair behind two jacked up rods just watching the tips tapping away but within half an hour all doubts about my methods were dispelled as the right hand tip buried itself in the reeds and the clutch ripped into life.

Although not a big fish it still went crazy in the flowing water and started the ball rolling for what was to be an incredible session. To catch one or two fish in forty eight hours from this lake is a mega result and a lot of people go months between takes but this was to be something else. Over the next two days I hooked and landed six fish, all from within a few feet of the bank and all in the flow of the inlet pipe. It seemed as if they drifted in to the swim in packs because all six were caught in pairs a very short while apart. Every time the fish would arrive, the tips would start bouncing as they bumped into the lines and, within an hour, I’d get a couple of bites before they disappeared again.

The carp were varying sizes but the star of the show was a long lean mirror of thirty two pounds that actually picked up the bait whilst I was playing a twenty pound common right next to him. Because I was otherwise occupied he managed to strip sixty yards of line and bury himself in a huge weed-bed before I had a chance to deal with him. Luckily I had a set of chest waders as I had to make my way around the flooded margins and land him from the other side of the bay.

It just goes to show though, how much the fish can be affected by a simple phenomenon like a bit of flood water and, by picking the right approach, it can turn a good session into a great one.

River Fly Fishing International 2012

River Tay,  Scotland June 2012

Wales were convincing winners on a high and coloured River Tay.

The Tay catchment area had missed the worst of the rain that caused flooding in many parts of the UK but overnight on Thursday it rained constantly. By Friday morning the Tay was up 18 inches and had taken on a fair bit of colour. The rain continued through Friday but the level did not rise further.

Wales took the lead in session one and went on to win sessions two and three and were joint top in session four with Ireland.

The fishing was tough and proved to be a test for all anglers, the high and coloured water stopped all anglers getting to parts of the river which was previously fishable. Wading was tough when it was low due to the sheer force of the river, but with the extra few inches it was almost impossible with anglers wading close to the top of their chest waders to reach at least some fishy looking water.

They had 43 place points by the end of the day, well clear of England with 64. Scotland took third with 66 points and Ireland fourth with 67.

The top four individuals were only separated by one place point and the dominance of the Welsh team was shown here where they took first, third, fourth, fifth and eighth spots.

Top rod was Allen Hughes of Wales with 12 fish and seven place points, which included a haul of seven fish in session four. Phil Dixon of Englan was second with seven fish and either place points and Paul Jenkins of Wales was third with six fish and eight place points.

Pictured above, Allen Hughes, top rod and Kieron Jenkins Welsh team Captain.

The full results can be found here – www.iffa.net

Produced by Trout Fisherman Magazine

Chest Waders – Safety first


Whilst out on the water your safety is always the highest point on your priority list, other than catching fish, right? But when accidents occur your waders may only be your only chance of surviving! Keeping safe and catching fish, right?

There is much speculation over the safety of chest waders, fishermen have many different theories to what happens to them when they fall in the water whilst wearing them. I for one think waders are your best friend when out on the bank or after an accidental slip!

One important thing to know is that if you fall unexpectedly into a river or lake, your waders will fill with water but will not drag you down. Your weight in waders, even when full of water will be the same of the water around you. Water isn’t heavier than water. The only thing that may add to your weight is wearing several layers of clothing.

Your goal is to get out of the water safely without any injury. If falling into running water is your main  worry, just lay on your back and assume the armchair position with your feet facing downstream, this will prevent any injury from rocks or trees and keep the air inside your waders. This way you can also see where your heading and if there’s any slacks or exit points ahead.

Still-water would seem easier to negotiate if the dreaded happens, swimming is easier as there is no flow to compete against and the shore or boat won’t be too far away. Hopefully other anglers will come to your assistance, but keep your cool and gently make your way back to your the pontoon.

Secondly, anglers think if you were to unexpectedly fall into a lake, your waders will fill up with air instead of water and flip you upside down, legs in the air and head down. Kind of like a swan searching for food!  This, however, has been tested in pools from jumping head first off a platform and even though waders do fill up with air, the person is quickly righted and lies flat on the water. Again, keep your legs up and lay on your back and the excess air will push out relieving itself.

One great addition to your waders would be a wading belt, not only does it make you look a lot better but prevents water from rushing down your legs if you fall in. It also traps air to help float. A Wading staff is also a great help when crossing a fast or deep pool, coloured water can impair an anglers vision and that one rock may cause a slip! That may swing you next time you visit your local fishing tackle shop.

Waders, however, should never be even contemplated as a  replacement for a lifevest or inflatable jacket.