Fox Coretex Review

Over the years I have been through the whole range of material to make hook links from. When I started carping on the distant past we used mono and then quickly progressed to black Dacron which as I was fishing a clay pit must have really stood out against the bottom. Strange that in the 20 odd years since I started carp fishing that we have effectively gone back to mono with the surge in the usage of flurocarbon ( for which I myself am guilty). Anyway recently after having issues with other hook link materials from another manufacturer a friend suggested that I try cortex. I dutifully bought a spool from my local tackle shop and had a play.


As you can see it comes on a rather handy spool that is comprised of 2 plastic halves. This has the effect of sandwiching the cortex as it comes off the spool making over runs a thing of the past. On the rear of the spool ( not shown above)  there is a cut out that allows you to see how much of the product remains on the spool, handy to check before a foray to  the tackle shop. Continue reading “Fox Coretex Review”

Fox Stratos FS 12000e Review

Well after my lovely wife bought me 3 Fox Stratos FS1200e’s  I had to just get out there and use them. This review is a little late in coming as I have been busy using them.


The Reels, well 1st thing you notice is that they are super smooth. There is no sense of wobble when you reel in fast with them that is common with other big pit reels. the clutch is smooth as silk and the bait runner is as positive as you could ever wish for. When I was debating what to ask for as a present I was considering the magnesium versions but after seeing Ian “Chilly” Chilcott cranking in a big conger with the graphite versions my mind was made up. Regarding the clutch, a lot of people back wind, I am not one of them and believe that the clutch is there for a reason. In France this year the clutches were tried out to their limits with carp to 39lbs being landed and several times the clutch saved me when a fish made an unexpected turn. On previous reels I had been used to a “grabby” clutch and so had the clutch set far far lighter then I normally would, not so with these reels, it is set dead on as I have that much confidence in it.

The Stratos 12000FSe’s are not only silky smooth but thanks to their graphite bodies they are super light as well. For any of you that doubt the long term durability of graphite in reels I draw you attention to a set of old graphite bait runners which are 18 years young and still going strong and are used today for lure fishing. Casting is a dream with large coils of line looping up the rod with every cast and there is a little rubber “wiper” between the rotor arm and the spool that stops any line causing a nasty tangle should it ever get loose. One thing you have to get used to if you have been a shimano person is that on the fox reels the baitrunner lever “goes the wrong way” ie it is against the reel body when disengaged and popped out when engaged. This seems non logical at 1st but then you realise that it is better to have the lever out of the way when playing fish !

Over all I love these reels, out of the box they will add a huge amount to your normal cast allowing you to explore areas of the lake that were impossible before. The build quality is second to none and they are available at a price that must make other reel manufacturers wince.

Rating : Good solid buy.

Pike, ohhh we love pike

Well back from the 1st pike trip for the winter season 2009, and what can I say… it went well. Arrived at the lake far later than I anticipated due to oversleeping and not wanting to get out of bed. Anyway at 08:30 I finally arrived at the lake to find perfect conditions. I set up 1 rod with a dead bait ( mackerel tail) and one on lure ( a Rapala fat rap ). The conditions looked perfect and setting up near a fallen tree I soon had the dead bait out. The lure was prepped and sent on its maiden voyage. With in 20 seconds of retrieving the lure there was a massive swirl and there was a very angry double figure pike makings its way to the snags with my lure in its mouth. The rod I was using was a Fox trek 4 piece lure rod that has been to and fished on several continents. Well the rod was just about coping and for the 1st time this year my lure reel was singing as it released line. After 3-4 severe runs I finally had the pike under control. Or so I thought… Have you ever had a pike tail walk away from you ? well at close range it is not only spectacular but also gets you soaked very fast.

After finally subduing the fish I then had the deep joy of removing the lure that the fish had quite literally engulfed but I am happy to say that after a small amount of very minor surgery the fish swam off strongly. No pics ( sadly) as the fish had put up a tremendous fight and had been out of the water for 10 mins as I got the lure out from 6 inches down its throat I didn’t want to press my luck.

Other than that 2 other jacks in the 5lb class rounded off what was quite a successful few hours on a brand new pike water.