Saturday, 9 March 2013

Sports Direct Dusk till Dawn Lamp Review and more relaxing on the Dee

A warm welcome to this week’s angling blog, a few weeks ago I was approached by Sports Direct to see if I was interested in reviewing some of their products on the list was a whole host of products to review but I decided to go with the product that I thought I could get the most use out of and also therefore write a relevant review about.  The product I decided to go with was the Dusk till Dawn Lamp.  I would just like to add here I receive no affiliation money from people purchasing this product from this review.

Dusk Till Dawn Bivvy Lamp Review

Product info:
The 18 LED Bivvy Lamp is ideal for all types of fishing. The Bivvy Lamp has a built in compass. Included are carrying handles that will fold down for storage. 

Fishing Bivvy Lamp 
> Low glo sleep feature 
> Dimmer switch 
> Takes 3 D batteries (not supplied) 
> 100,000 hours LED life 

Price:  £6.99

Check lamp out here:  fishing gear online

My Review

I purchase a lot of my fishing tackle online and have had my fair share of products arriving broken and late so one thing I find really important since this is how much care a company takes in making sure the item you have purchased reaches you in a perfect condition and in a quick as time as possible, I have to say the product was issued on a Wednesday and reached me on the Thursday afternoon and was very well packaged indeed. 

Once I opened the lamp the first thing that stood out to me was the look of the lamp, it looked really stylish with a nice metallic green smooth feel to the outside of the lamp.  The base of the lamp had a wide circumference which made sure the produce was sturdy when left on its base and this was only added too when the batteries where installed, all that was left was to test it out on the bank.

I gave myself 3 weeks to properly field test the product and the use I had it in mind for it was to walk the river bank when we normally arrive an hour or so before sunrise and also to use it to provide light for me to safely set up my peg and the ultimate test for it was to see if I could use it to thread up my rod in the dark in preparation for the day ahead.   I have to say the lamp surpassed my expectations on its highest setting it was great for looking at the pegs in the pitch dark both on the River Dee and River Ribble.  

The lamps handles fold up for carrying the lamp in hand where sturdy and for setting up my peg before sunrise.  When I put the lamp in the empty boot of my car it provided more than enough light for me to tie my hook lengths which I have to say at size 20 hook and 1lb 2oz mainline it was some feat for a product of this price and it also provided enough light for me to thread my 17ft rod up. The lamp does come with a compass on top of the lamp, for my fishing I did not find much use for this but I am sure anglers that take wind direction into account with their fishing will see this as a great feature to have.

In review, for the price it is a fantastic product that I wouldn’t be without now on the bank of a morning and it has saved me so much time setting up and as a result has meant me spending more time with a float in the river.

A link to what other fishing tackle Sports Direct have to offer is here : fishing gear online

On to this weeks fishing:

Stress Relieving Time On The Bank………..
Recently work has really been getting on top of me the enclosed artificial feel of an office was stifling and I could feel myself dragging my heels as I tried to make the short walk to work from my car as long as possible as to make the most of the sights and sounds of the birds going about their morning rituals, always the highlight of my day.  The remedy to this sickness was clear; I needed a day away from it all, a day on the bank, just me, the river and the wildlife so no sooner had my boss’s feet touched the maroon carpet of our office I was there making the arrangements for the following day, Friday, off work. 
A quick prayer to the angling gods and all I could do was wait for my reply, in my head I was there already trotting a small stick float down a clear river with its crystal clear reflections standing clear and proud uninterrupted by any unwelcome breeze, my day dream slumber came to an abrupt end as I received the email I had waited for, the answer was yes and with that a big thank you to the angling gods and with the found enthusiasm that comes with the countdown to a fishing trip I got about my work.
Its been a long time since I did two trips out in one week and I knew two full days trotting on the river would be too much and also I now had a family to think of so I limited my Friday session to just the early morning with a view to packing in around 1pm, just in time to pick my fiancé up from work. 

The drive to the river had a weird eerie feeling to is as for two years now the seat next to me has always been occupied by either my Dad or my uncle, it was really weird trundling along the same roads with no one to chew the fat with or discuss what our expectations or tactics would be for the session ahead, it is not until you are in this situation you really realise how long it has been.
Waiting for first light I ditched the Smooth Fm radio station in favour of the dawn chorus and what a chorus it was with all the birds in full voice all playing their part in natures very own daily opera.  Lost in the moment I failed to notice the increasing light levels and I was soon rushing around getting ready for the mornings fishing ahead.  My 17ft float rod, 10 number 4 Dave Harrell stick float and my trust Abu 706 reel where all put into action as I settled into a swim that was alive with fish on the top, not exactly what I was hoping to see as my plan was to catch the fish on the bottom, I had a plan and it involved getting these fish where I wanted them.

In fishing you really do need to learn from your mistakes and a year ago I was presented with the same scenario as this, the fish where boiling on the top at the maggots as soon as they touched the water’s surface so I knew not to feed maggot at all and what I decided to do was to just feed hemp seed for the first hour.

This tactic saw a few bars of silver grace my palm but it was hardly prolific and the fish continued to gorge themselves on the delicacy’s being washed down to them by the flow.  I decided to have a change to a stick float and this gave me more control than the stick float and saw my catch rate increase considerably and I began to put quite a respectable net together.

As with all the times we go fishing my peace and tranquillity was soon broken by the sound of my phone alarm alerting me to the fact it was time to think about packing in and heading off to pick my partner up from work.  After far too many last casts I only had time to take a quick picture of the net and load the car before it was time to leave the tranquillity of the river behind for the fast paced world of a British motorway.  All in all it was a relaxing session on the bank and the perfect tonic to release the build-up of stress in work.

Session Two: Time to Explore a little but always know when to quit

Saturday morning came along and it was time to explore, on the river Dee the hot spots in winter are well known and because of this they are very busy, loud and frantic places and to be honest I can only fish them for one or two weeks at a time before I have to just get away from there as my soul craves the quietness and escapism that comes with being at the bottom of a frost laden farmers field with only the noise of the wildlife as a back drop.

Now it is very easy to keep going to these prolific stretches every week and bag up but as me and my uncle found last year you can just drop on an area that holds fish away from these areas and if you can locate these needles in the haystack they can be worth their weight in gold.  The plan for the day was ideally to catch fish in this location and stay there all day but we did have a contingency that had we now had a bight in the first 3 hours we would move to a more well-known area for the afternoon, just to get a bend in the rod.

Saturday  confirmed one thing to me, I need to start taking my better camera with me to the river bank, my iphone is great for taking point and shoot pictures but when it comes to anything that requires a bit of zoom I am lacking in a big way.  On Saturday I could hear a pair of woodpeckers in my area, one in front and one behind, whilst re-baiting my hook I saw a small movement across the river on the side of the tree, a quick second glance and it was my first ever sighting of a woodpecker in the wild!! Forget the fishing I thought as I laid the rod down on its rest and just watched this amazing creature go about its work, what a special moment and a moment that will live with me for a long time, if only I had a decent camera on me!!

In truth the fishing at this location was a none starter but I am so glad we went, the area just had a great feel to it and it has been a while since I have just downed tools and headed of for a walk with just me and my phone and I thoroughly enjoyed it from a nice sunrise to the first buds on the trees.

After returning to my peg and giving it a good couple of three hours without so much as a knock we decided to call it a day and spent the afternoon on a more prolific venue.  Arriving late we had only a handful of the less fancied swims to choose from and I was left with a swim that was not the best for trotting due to the fact it shallows up half way down the run.  This is where all the time spent throughout the year with the same make of float becomes important as any bites below the point where the river shallows up would not see the float go under but see the float act differently when I had a bite, it is hard to explain on paper but by knowing the float I could tell when I had fish on or not over the shallow ground.

In the short afternoon session I estimate I had around 6lb of dace from the swim which given the short amount of time fishing the swim and fact when we arrived the other anglers had a good 4 hours of baiting up ahead of us I was more than happy with my net.

I hope you enjoyed this update and the variety the product review brings to the table, it is not going to be an every week thing but I am sure it will add some variety to my blog.

Till next time I wish you all

Tight line


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