With my old Nash bivvy having done me proud, but now showing it's age after nearly ten years of use, it was time at the start of this season to sort a replacement.
So as most of my night fishing is limited to just overnighters, a brolly system as opposed to a full blown bivvy, seemed to be preferable. A brolly systems obvious advantage is the speed of putting them up... I seem to remember too many times over the last few seasons when Gary's ended up sitting on his bedchair, brolly all set up, gear all stowed away, watching me as I'm still wrestling with poles, pegs and groundsheets!
After looking at the wide choice of brolly designs out there I finally went for the JRC Stealth Brolly Mk II system.
The full kit comprises of a large circular brolly, 2 x 48" stormpoles, 2 x 24" stormpoles, full size thick PVC groundsheet, full zip out front with door, full zip out mozzy front with door, tension bar, 16 stainless steel peg set with bag, and all this fits neatly into a large carrybag. Also supplied are 3 door panel options, clear plastic, green, and mozzy mesh.
The brolly itself is made of Hydratex material 10000mm HH 210D, and is very stable, owing to the 4 back ribs all touching the ground. Once the ground pegs are driven in, the stormpoles attached, it ain't going nowhere! During a nice Summer night the brolly alone gives enough shelter, but if it's one of those barmy evenings, and a bit more airflow is needed, then there's two rear vents that can be opened... and don't worry about the mozzies, the vents have mesh across them.
And that brings us to the 2 zip in 'fronts'. Attaching around the open front of the brolly there's a choice of a 'closed in' front for wet or cooler weather, or a full mozzy net front for the warmer nights keeping out those winged menaces! Both fronts have a central zipped door opening, in fact most of the panels have the option of being opened via velcro strips, and then being clipped back.
Other features include an extended 'peak' along the brolly's front edge, which itself has a sewn in rain gutter to drain away excess water from the front sheltered area. There's also Velcro strips just back from the front edge to hold your rods while you're sorting out your rigs and hookbait.
I've now used the brolly regularly throughout the Summer, in sunshine, wind, torrential rain... in fact all the conditions our Summer likes to give us, and I have to say it's a cracking bit of kit. It works great as a straight brolly, and when fully zipped up, and pegged down, it gives total shelter for the angler. It's reasonably light, and will just about fit in a large quiver.
The Stealth Brolly Mk II is widely available, and it's RRP is £219.99, but shop around!
For more info on JRC products, try their website www.jrc-fishing.co.uk