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Buyer's guide: lightweight umbrellas

Map Light Layback 50 In.
Map Light Layback 50 In. (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

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Dave Coster looks at six umbrellas, perfect for match fishing...

Map Light Layback 50 in.
£49.99 

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.
SCORE: 21/30

Shakespeare Nubrolly 45 In.

Shakespeare Nubrolly 45 In. (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

Shakespeare Nubrolly 45 in.
£30

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!
SCORE: 26/30

Brollnet's Classic 50 in.

Brollnet's Classic 50 in. (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

Brollnet's Classic 50 in.
£44.95 

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.
SCORE: 27/30

(Image credit: Angler's Mail)

Preston Innovations 50 in. Zipped Pole
£59.99 

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.
SCORE: 27/30

Brollnets Flatliner

Brollnets Flatliner (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

Brollnets Flatliner
£61.33 

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.
SCORE: 28/30

(Image credit: Angler's Mail)

BEST BUY

Waterline Fibre-Lite 50 inc.
£59.99 

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.
SCORE: 29/30

NOTE: All products tested March 2009.