Why a stripping basket?Just a few reasons to consider here: avoid stepping on your fly line and stopping your cast short (this ALWAYS happens when you've finally targeted the best fish of the day and you get one shot…); never again worry about clutter and other mess in boats to snag your line when you least want that to happen; keep your line organized and ready to shoot, not drifting downstream away from you. Use the LineTender in boats on ponds or rivers, on the beach, wading in ponds; wading small streams or big rivers.
But what is a 'good' stripping basket?
A good basket will have these features, at least:
1. As a 'Stripping Basket', a) it should give you a big enough target to strip line into without the line falling out over the side of the basket; b) you should be able to place the basket on your body high or low, or position it centered on your body or to either side of your body-- why? so you can strip line the way your style of fishing demands without having to contort yourself to get the line into the basket. For safety, the basket should allow you to see where you are walking - the mesh bottom on the LineTender does just that.
|The LineTender, by HMH, is plenty ample, but easy to wear and use. Adjustable web belt|
makes it easy to place basket high or low, or moved to either side of the body.
(Handy mesh pocket on belly band is for leaders, tips, fly box, bug dope, etc…)
2. As a 'Shooting Basket', a) it should have a flat floor/platform so line coils can spread out and lay flat and be ready to shoot out without tangling;
|The LineTender is big enough to be an easy target, but not so big to be in the way. |
In this image, the basket is being worn low on the body and angled off the left hip for long, easy strips.
b) it should be shallow enough so coils can shoot with minimal contact with the sides of the basket, which increases drag on the fly line and reduces casting distance;
|The LineTender is about 7" deep, so line stays put, but still shallow enough |
to allow line to shoot out of basket with minimal drag. The basket is collapsible,
so you can decrease the basket depth during fishing if you want.
c) 'fingers' (we call ours "LineShooters") protruding vertically from the floor of the basket can help reduce or eliminate birds nests from happening at the first stripping guide -- ideally, these fingers would be removable and portable so you can place them in the basket when and where you want them depending on how you're going to fish today. And, the fingers should be height-adjustable to adapt to your line and casting technique on any given outing.
|"LineShooters" for the LineTender come in a set of two, for total of 6 fingers. They are |
easily height adjustable to optimize line shoots and minimize tangles. Each plate can
be installed anywhere in the mesh bottom of the basket.
As a convenient angling accessory, you should be able to use the basket when you need it, and move it out of the way when you don't need it. And portability is important. The Linetender easily swings behind you when you don't need it. And when you're done, it coils up small and fits in its (supplied) carry sack, which has belt loops so you can keep it on your wader belt and have it whenever and wherever you need it.
|The LineTender coils easily to a small size (top photo) and fits |
in a 9 X 13 stuff sack for easy storage and transport.