Tackle Testers Choice – Airflo Hydrotec Softshell Fleece

The Airflo Hydrotec Softshell Fleece has been vote ‘Tackle Tester’s Choice‘ by Trout Fisherman Magazine.

This lightweight softshell is the ideal compromise between a waterproof jacket and a traditional fleece. It is made from a 95% polyester and 5% spandex mix so there is plenty of stretch in the fabric, Ideal when you are casting. The fabric is smooth with a very tight weave so can withstand all but the heaviest of downpours (water beads on the surface) and is also totally windproof. The fabric breaths really well so build up of moisture from sweat is kept to a minimum. On the inside the material has a brushed micro fleece texture which helps trap all the warm air.

Whilst this jacket alone will not keep you as warm as conventional fleeces in low temperatures, if you wear the right base layers it will provide a good level of warmth and comfort all day long. It is not a ‘body hugging’ design so there is plenty of room for layers of clothing underneath.

I really liked the integral cord and toggle lock adjuster at the back of the head. This ensures a really good fit and when you turn your head the hood turns with you. It is also really warm. The main front zip tucks neatly into a soft chinguard, again ensures a snug feel. I also liked the cuff fastenings – the Velcro stretches all the way to the end of the tab so it lies completely flat against the sleeve and does not stick up to snag your fly line.

This jacket has a very simple design with just two external zipped pockets and an elasticated cord and double toggle locks around the hem. I would liked to have seen a ‘D’ ring at the back of the collar, but other than this small point I think the jacket is outstanding, especially at £50.

Sizes Available – Medium – Large – X-Large – XX-Large

Available from – Fishtec – Airflo Hydrotec Softshell fleece

Post courtesy of Trout Fisherman magazine

TF Gear Thermo -Tex Extreme Jacket

We all know the importance of being warm and comfortable on the bank in the winter and know that that can be the difference between a good days fishing or a bad. Thanks to TFGear that problem is no more.

On receiving the Thermo-Tex Extreme Jacket my first impressions where that there’s no way this was going to keep me warm, it’s to light and thin, how wrong I was. Now the first thing to remember when trying to keep warm on the bank is to layer your clothing, first you have the base-layer, second skin top and bottoms, next you have the mid-layer a fleece top and/or fleece trouser, then there’s the outer-layer and that’s where this jacket comes in.

So with all the layers on I decided to go fishing for a couple of hours for perch. I didn’t catch anything but the jacket was fantastic, moving around was a breeze and as for the warmth the temperature was a cool 5 degrees C with a chilling wind, was I bothered, not one bit. I was extremely comfortable and couldn’t feel the wind at all which was great.

On the jacket itself there are to external pockets which keep your hand lovely and warm and a hood to protect your head against driving winds and rain, inside there’s a small pocket on the left hand side, good enough to keep your mobile, keys, cash, etc and two large mesh pockets for any bits of fishing tackle, bait, even a book.

So in conclusion looks can be deceiving would be the way to describe this jacket, it’s extremely light weight, incredibly warm and 100% water proof, and you can also buy a pair of matching trousers to go with it. Without a shadow of a doubt this is the jacket for you if you want to be warm and comfortable on the banks this winter, 110% faith in it.

Jacket available here – Thermo – Tex Jacket  – Reviewer – Scott Cordingley


TF Gear Force8 Heavy duty carryall

I keep all of my fishing gear in a single carryall which gets stowed in the corner of my bivvy and dipped into whenever necessary – and that’s where it all goes wrong. I can never find what I am looking for within the folds of material and the mess that is my tackle. I end up with various bags and items of kit all strewn about my swim and its a mess.

I decided to find a better bag but which one? Rucksacks are too deep, soft bags will cause the same problems as before and many are just too small. Then I stumbled on the TF Gear Force 8 Heavy Duty Carryall/Barrow Bagat last, just what I’ve been looking for.

TF Gear force8 Heavy Duty Carryall

TF Gear force8 Heavy Duty Carryall

This bag suits me down to the ground. The main recess at 65cm long by 30cm wide and about the same deep (my measurements),is big enough to take all of your weekend or session needs. Around the main body are zip-up pockets to the front and sides as well as mesh zip-up pockets outside of them. The pocket theme continues inside the bag with numerous places to store individual items around the bag.

The general build standard is excellent. The bag is free standing with rigid strips to keep its shape which in turn helps to protect the contents and will make finding items within it much easier – a Godsend in my book. The zips are rugged and look made to last as is the heavily padded shoulder strap and the metal connecters at each end.

Nowadays many companies are producing their luggage with moulded bases for protection and rigidity, well TF Gear has gone one better and also put a protective lid on this carryall which makes it a very sturdy unit that can even be used as a makeshift bivvy table. All in all I cannot praise the construction of this bag highly enough and I can see me getting years of quality use from it.

Reviewed by Dave Burr