Sunday, 8 May 2016

G-CELL Solar Backpack Review and Method Feeder Madness...

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update i hope i find you all well and your nets wet.  Well we finally approach what is the final weekend of double overtime and i can not wait for Saturday and Sunday to be done and get out on bank holiday monday and hit the bank.  Location may be a b it of a conundrum as i imagine the boat traffic on the canal will be very high and with warm weather around the local pools will have their fair share of idiots polluting the banks and the serene quiet i will be craving.

I guess till Sunday evening arrives i will not know what to do, a few pints of maggots, bag of ground bait and a bag of micros will keep all my options open.  Sweetcorn of late has been a bait i have been doing really well on all over both for carp and silvers and it will be interesting to see if the fish continue to take this bait or move over to more fat filled products like meat as the temperatures continue to rise.

This weeks blog update see's me reviewing a fantastic product in the G-Cell Solar backpack.  This was sent over to me around a month ago and with such a busy schedule of reviews and work i was honest in the time scales we were looking at for this review to go live.  The great thing about this has been using such a fantastic product for so long i have been able to get to grips and put together the in depth review below.  The fishing this week is an evening session after over time where i meet up with my mate dave and i have a few hours using the method feeder.  Unorganized and over gunned with heavy line i doubted i would get a bite, lets see how i got on.

Onto the update:

G-Cell Solar Backpack Review

Product info:

link to Product:
Price: £80.00

Nylon 1680D durable fabric
21 Litre Capacity
12 Individual compartments in total
Secure 15" Laptop Compartment
Airmesh padded back and straps
Sturdy Handle and hook for hanging
Foam lined throughout
Adjustable chest strap
Iron Grey Colour

DSSC Specification
Poer (Pmax) 0.5W minimum
Operating Current 100mA
Operating Voltage 5.5V

Power Bank
Output Current 1.1A max
Output voltage 5V

Product Description:
The Gratzel Solar Backpack 2 is a collect-able all weather bag that is durable, rugged and lightweight.  This innovative design includes a Dye Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSC) that will power your mobile phone, GPS, IPod or small electronic device.  The solar cell harvests energy from the sun and sores it in the power battery bank battery (provided) for continuous access to power.

My Review

First impressions -
Upon opening the box with the bag in my initial thoughts where how light the backpack was, it literally felt like you had nothing in your hands.  The material felt really good quality and i was really shocked how well they had incorporated the solar panel into the design of the bag itself so that it was not completely obvious at first you where wearing a solar backpack.  Having a quick look through the bag it seemed to have plenty of storage and again the internal parts of the bag again seemed to be of a good quality.  My first use of the backpack came that night when i loaded my laptop to nip out to write that weeks angling blog.  Overall i was very pleased with all aspects of the product.

Day to Day use....
With so much going on with the blog when i accepted to do this review i mentioned that the time scales for it to be wrote would be a few weeks and this gave me plenty of time to get to grips with this product.  My initial use for this product was for my day to day trips to work and found it to have ample space to carry my laptop, lunch and small jacket with room in the front for the leads.  Stylish in design and comfortable to wear with its adjustable straps it was a joy to use.  Working in a office with indoor lighting the only down side i found was for indoor use the solar panel would not give you enough juice for a change when left for a few hours.

This backpack in general day to day use came into its own on a family trip to Manchester.  I forgot to charge my phone over night and after using the sat nav extensively to find the location i found myself with a dead phone.  A nice warm spring day i walked round for a hour or so seeing the sights and then managed to get a 50% charge on my phone.  Capturing this special moment below would not have been possible without the Solar backpack, lifesaver.

Fishing with the Solar Backpack
So it was time to hit the bank with this backpack and put it through its paces.  Ideally i would have liked to had filled the backpack full of fishing tackle, food and grabbed a rod and headed for a long walk along the banks of a river out into the wilderness.  I am sure this backpack would be perfect for that scenario and will certainly be how i will be using this product come the start of the new season.

With that not an option for a review i decided to spend a day walking the banks of the canal lure fishing for pike.  Starting at first light i hit the bank with a lure rod, landing net and the rest of the gear was in the backpack.  I was genuinely shocked a the amount of storage this backpack offered. As you can see from the picture below if easily fit in four lure boxes and all my tools to unhook the pike with plenty of room in the front compartment for a nice bottle of water.

In the later afternoon i had walked a fair few miles and i guess the warm weather meant the pike where spawning so my phone did not see much action from fish capture shots but i decided to see what energy had built up on the power bank during the day and sure enough upon connecting my charger to the power bank the phone began to charge up.  I know some anglers who like to listen to music while walking the bank pike fishing and do put more of a drain on their devices than i do when i am out so this product would also be great for anyone who like to take small electrical devices with them when fishing.

All in all the month or so i have spent with this product has been fantastic it has slotted in nicely to all aspects of my lifestyle form a secure and padded back pack for transporting my laptop i blog from, my commutes to work, family day trips out and of course long sun drenched days walking the banks of my local canal.  It has been a product that has genuinely impressed me in all its aspects with a superb sleek stylish look and excellent build quality its been a pleasure to review this piece of kit and i highly recommend it to all anglers looking for a lightweight back pack to store a day trips worth of gear in whilst having the added peace of mind you can charge you devices when needed.

Method Feeder Madness...

So with overtime taking over my whole weekend i found myself in work daydreaming about being on the bank.  The hours in work seemed to take an age and out of the window the sun was beating down hard.  I just had to get out.  The extra hour had been added to the clock a few weeks previous and i meant i would get till around 8pm before i lost the light.

Overtime complete i raced out of work at 4pm and in no time found myself on my way to a pool with the car loaded with a few bits a pieces.  I honestly did not care if i caught a fish or not and to be honest i didn't give myself much hope as with no live baits like maggots in i had literally grabbed a tin of corn and a packet of micro pellets. Tackle wise i had my carp rod, landing net and box a plan to chuck out a method feeder and fish on the bite alarms.

The truth be told i invested a lot of money a few seasons ago in a pair of carp rods, reels and delkim alarms with the hope of catching some carp.  These plans never developed as i found carp fishing was not for me at all, i just didn't enjoy anything about it and least of all the noisy banks i found myself on.  The rods and bite alarms as such have seen more action from pike than carp, my hope was to change the scores a little.  Reels loaded with 15lb line i did think i was heading for a big blank.

I was joined on the bank by dave, a mate i had done some piking with over winter, but also a seasoned commercial angler and i must say roles reversed a little as he described how well this tactic would work.  I had set up a float rod on a centre pin to fish the margin but it soon became impossible to fish as line bites started registering on the method feeder rod.

Tactics where simplicity itself method feeder free running on the line down to a korum quickstop bead with a 4 inch section of line to a quick stop hook.  Squeezing a hand full off dampened micro pellets around the feed, add a hook with two pieces of hair rigged corn on and then a top layer of pellets.  All this then cast out it was a case of waiting for a carp to find the pile of pellets and the bright corn hook bait.  My type of fishing,  simple tactics and relying on watercraft to place the bait where i thought i would get results.

It took a while for the first signs of fish in the area to develop into a run but when it did it was electric!  The rod tip hooped over and with line ripping of the bait runner and the delkin screaming it was a far shot from the usual lazy single beeps of a pike pick up.  Lifting the rod i was a bit flustered with what to do and it took me a few moments to get the drag set proper once the bait runner was disabled.  With this method it seemed like once the fish took its fate was sealed as despite my messing around and slack line the fish was still on.

A nice carp and a start to the session.

Returning the carp back i loaded up the feeder again and cast it back out.  Almost instantly the line bites started to come and it was like the beeps where building over time till again the rod hooped over and the alarm was again screaming as another carp fell to the hair rigged corn.

This carp turned out to be the biggest carp if the session at 7.6lb and certainly put up a good account of itself during the fight.  I was still in amazement that this robust set up was working.  I am an angler that fishes as light as i possibly can and even on the rivers hook lengths of 1lb7oz are common, yet here i was fishing with 15lb line.

The third carp was no far in coming and boy was it exciting stuff, only small carp but each one was causing the alarm to scream.

There was a bit of a pattern beginning to show.  I would cast in and for around 10 minutes i would get the odd line bite but then for the next 5 minutes tugs on the line would get more violent till eventually the line would scream out and a one tone buzz would come from the alarms.  Sitting on your hands was a hard lesson to learn but once i did i was rewarded with two stunning carp in a ghosty and complete linear common that is certainly the most beautiful carp i have caught.

With work the next morning i had to drag myself away as dusk approached, i knew had i stayed bites would have continued.  Stories where reaching me of a number of doubles coming from here and i felt certain that if i put the time in my PB of 10lb 4oz would be broken.

what am i saying, of course i had one more cast!! :-)

Till next time i wish you all tight lines