Dave Coster looks at six umbrellas, perfect for match fishing...
Map Light Layback 50 in.
Super-light flat-back design weighing just 3.5 lb and supplied in a protective sleeve. The ‘Ripstop’ blue cover is made from a lighter material than the other brollies featured here, having a fibreglass frame and two anchoring tabs. The telescopic centre pole extends slightly less far than normal and ends in a long, slim point. The squared-off shape of this brolly offers extra head height, but the screw tilt mechanism on my sample refused to work, which looked like a production fault and cost it points.
Shakespeare Nubrolly 45 in.
Made from blue, nylon-coated, double PU cloth, incorporating a strong rib frame that’s securely anchored to it. Weighs just over 6 lb and comes in a protective storage sleeve. Features a tilt system where the centre pole can be unscrewed and relocated into the apex section, creating more space under this lightweight umbrella, also angling it over to act as a windbreak. The long, telescopic centre pole offers a great span of adjustment, although the ground spike is rather blunt nosed!
Brollnet's Classic 50 in.
Manufactured from olive green PU coated nylon, this 50 in. lightweight umbrella has sealed seams and is fitted with two storm caps. It features a multi-tilt mechanism, which allows the centre pole to tilt on a swivelling hinge, or the pole can be unscrewed and relocated underneath the canopy to create even more space. Weighing a fraction under 6 lb, this is a nicely made piece of kit. The support ribs are very sturdy and well anchored, while the telescopic centre pole extends a good distance.
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Preston Innovations 50 in. Zipped Pole
Extra stable flat-back design with two pegging points, featuring a 210D waterproof nylon cover with taped seams and two zip openings for pole shipping. Also supplied in a storage sleeve and with two heavy-duty pegs. The telescopic centre pole offers a great span of adjustment, also having an above average solid screw-style point. The pole boasts an angle-tilt too, unscrewing on a hinged mechanism and then swivelling into a new position before re-tightening. This brolly weighs just over 6 lb.
Larger than a 50 in. brolly due to its combination of 125 cm to 150 cm ribs, this flat-back design offers loads of space underneath its dark blue, PU-coated nylon canopy. You get more space again by utilising the split centre pole feature, which allows a normal tilt and a higher set relocation point near the apex. There are also right and left zipped pole vents, four anchor points, a guy rope set, tent pegs and a protective sleeve in this excellent package. This top quality product weighs just over 6 lb.
Waterline Fibre-Lite 50 inc.
The first brolly to boast it’s 100% waterproof! Its cover is a ‘Heron Grey’ colour, to act as camouflage against the skyline, and this is supported with super-light ‘Flexi Fibreglass’ ribs. The latter are also impressive in that they have custom-made hinges where they join the top cover, looking far more sophisticated and robust than normal. The telescopic centre pole has a decent spiked end and good adjustment, offering a standard, lower-set tilt and a higher apex option. Weighs just 5 lb.
NOTE: All products tested March 2009.
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Running from 1964 until 2020, Angler's Mail was the UK's leading weekly magazine devoted to coarse fishing, telling readers everything they needed to know about which fish to catch, where to catch them, and what kit they needed to do it. Now, loads of the magazine's expert advice can be found on Advnture.com, as a helpful resource for angling newcomers and experts alike.