Basket case

Basket case

Martyn White | Thursday, 3 August 2023

I never know how I feel about line trays and stripping baskets. Over the years, I've made them and bought them and never been fully happy with them. and if possible, I'll always try to avoid them. It's just not always possible to do without.. I'm not keen on chopping up brand new lines on volcanic rock

Shopping baskets, basins and the Ikea shower stool have all features in my rota, and no matter which one I've made I've always wanted it to be different from what I ended up with. I've bought several too, them not being right is more annoying than my own I think, they're supposed to have gone through some kind of product development process. If you could guarantee you'd never be deeper than your calf, the old mangrove hip shooter would be about as good as they come. Unfortunately it's no longer made and if you go to deep it floats away.. maybe I should make a shorter version of my own from a yoga mat, we'll see.

I'm currently using the Line Kurve basket for the flats, it semi rigid and reasonably comfortableto wear. But like all others I've tried it's not suitable as is. The first thing is drainage holes, I'm always baffled by companies making baskets without them. Easy to add a few 3mm holes, I don't want it draning too quickly and moving the line around casueing tangles. The second mod, was an idea poached from Hawaiian Dave; cutting the front down by about half the height, this really lets the line shoot free far better. I'm conviced that letting the line escape the tub less vertically reduces tangles too. the last thing I did was add a magnet on the left side of the basket, an idea I got form an Okinawa guide, by using it to hold the fly and taking a loop of leader in your hand instead you can have an extra 4-6ft of flyline outside the tip while wading, something I find helps me with quick shots(if I've a opper on I'll use Paul's snakehead shot because it's the fastest). I've seen people adding a bungee to the rod holing part, but I don't use that so much, so haven't added that yet, I might though..

Even with the changes, I'm pretty sure I'll end up with another basket before I'm done.