Gardner Tackle
HydroTuff 15lbs Low Viz Brown

Field Tested

 

Finding a reel line that has all the chrematistics to make it ideal for you own angling demands is one of the hardest choices and angler has to make and if you get it wrong can in many situations be a very expensive mistake. About 6 months ago UKMA took delivery of samples of the latest monofilament offering from Gardner Tackle the all new for 2011 HydroTuff monofilament.  So like everything that is sent to the UKMA office, we took it out on the bank and had a play to see how it would perform in an angling environment.

 

Vital Statistics

HydroTuff is an evolved from the well established HydroFlo but re-designed to offer higher abrasion resistance and all round durability. The new smoother outer allows for minimal line friction on the cast. This is not a line that will instantly turn you into a tournament caster but it will assist you when fishing at range and hitting the spot is paramount. With most fish we target loving to reside and patrol near chod paved margins, snags and around other abrasive areas like gravel bars. It is a must that any reel line I personally use must be soft and supple, fast sinking, highly abrasion resistant and have enough strength to handle and control the biggest of fish we are likely to encounter and the HydroTuff ticks all these boxes and some as UKMA found out over the six month we have been testing it.

Coming from a match angling background, I’m a fond believer in keeping things as discrete as possible. With this in mind one of my favourite features of the HydroTuff are the low diameters. The 10lbs has diameter of 0.30, the 12lbs is 0.35, the 15lbs is 0.38 and the 20lbs is 0.40. UKMA have checked the diameter of the15lbs HydroTuff that we have tested in several spots over thirty yards length and found the diameter to be very consistent throughout. There are two colours available in the HydroTuff range, you have the Low Viz Green and a Low Viz Brown and both colours are available in all previously mentioned breaking strains. That’s what the HydroTuff is all about but how would it perform on the bank on a really snaggy, tree line carp water with gravel bars overhanging snags and large de-composing branches everywhere?

 

 

The Field Test

Before loading the spools we decided to soak the HydroTuff brown in a bowl of warm water for just over an hour to soften it up before loading. This was enough to make the line incredibly subtle and easy to produce a very usable line lay. TOP TIP - Pre-soaking your bulk spools of monofilament or fluorocarbon is the ideal way of getting as near a perfect line lay on the spools of your reels as possible. UKMA used tap water that was just warm enough to soften the line but if you have never pre-soaked bulk spools before UKMA recommend that you pre-soak your bulk spools in cold water for around 24 to 36 hours before you are planning to load your reels. Once all three spools were fully loaded we prepared the rods and headed of to Waveney Valley Lakes in Norfolk to get the line wet for the first time and see how it would perform in an angling situation.

We place two rigs underneath marginal overhangs, one at 60yds and the other at just over 30 yards using a bait boat. We back leaded on both rods and pinned everything down to the deck. By back leading we put the HudroTuff in contact with the lakes gravel bar and large fallen debris from the tree lined margins, pretty much every nasty that your reel line will come into contact with. Over the next 72 hours numerous fish to 30lbs were landed and the line felt in total control and reassuringly strong. When fallen debris from the other hanging trees became a major issue and cost us fish, the line coped with these abrasive situations amicably. Another very pleasing observation was even after the HydroTuff had been under extreme stress; all knots held well and showed no visible sign of wear or tear.

On the numerous occasions when the lakes residents decided to plough through the debris and eject the baited rigs and leave them tangled around some very sizable branches, we were able to retrieve these heavy snags over from 60yds away with snag attached and after untangling the reel line from these very heavy dead weights, we were able to instantly re-cast with confidence that the line was still strong enough to use. On several occasions bream to 8lbs had taken the baited rigs and decided that they were going to tangle the line around snags, just to make thing a little more severe for the HydroTuff but even these pretty extreme circumstances didn’t affect this very strong lines all round performance.

 

Final Thoughts

Gardner Tackle latest monofilament offering has over the past six months impressed the members of the UKMA team with its all round strength and durability. Even after retrieving several snags up to five feet long and on numerous occasions with big bream attached, this very durable line handles these abrasive situations without any fuss or problems. It wasn’t until we had to retrieve a huge snag from the far margin that we finally decided for piece of mind to remove the first 10 feet of HydroTuff. After inspecting the line we had removed and testing the breaking strain, it still broke above the 15lbs breaking strain and that was with more notches on it than Peter Stringfellows headboard. The HydroTuff 15lbs sells for £16.99 and you get 870m per 4oz spool and is well worth considering if you fish waters were you have to deal with some real awkward snaggy or abrasive underwater situations.

 


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