What is a stripping basket for?
A stripping basket is a line tray which is worn around the waist and is used to hold your loose line when casting. If you fish in areas where the line gets tangled in bankside vegetation, dropped into the mud or where it can be scraped on barnacle-clad rocks, then a line tray can help keep it cleaner, in better condition and free of tangles when fishing. Despite being a relatively uncommon site on the bank in the UK, they're ideal for reservoir fly fishers, pike fly fishers and those who like saltwater fly fishing.
How do you use the Stonfo Stripping Basket?
Unlike most other stripping baskets and line trays on the market, the Stonfo Stripping Basket can be worn around the waist or the thigh, thanks to an adjustable strap and a curved edge to the rear of the basket. It's generally positioned on your left side if you're a right-handed caster, so it doesn't get in the way too much when casting.
When you reach your chosen spot, you strip the line off your reel and into the basket and then cast. When you retrieve, you drop the line into the basket instead of on the ground, and it should cast freely with far fewer tangles than you'd otherwise experience, as well as remaining cleaner and free of mud.
How big is the stripping basket?
The basket feels just the right size. The line tray is 36cm across, 28cm from front to back and about 6.5cm deep. The strap adjusts to fairly big waists and comfortably fits over waders and jackets.
What are the spikes in the line tray for?
All of the best stripping baskets have spikes on the base of the line tray. The theory is that placing the line around these shark fin shaped spikes helps reduce the likelihood of tangling and lets the line shoot out easily.
What's it like to use?
Like any stripping basket, it takes a bit of getting used to if you've not used one for a while. Once you get the action right, placing the line into the basket soon becomes second nature. It's fairly comfortable to wear, doesn't slip down much and is easy to move from side to side. It greatly aids casting in those areas where twigs, sticks and reeds get in the way and it's also much quicker to move between spots, so is great if you like stalking the margins.
One particularly useful feature on this stripping basket are the two grooves in the tray. These let you rest your rod on top while changing flies, which is very handy and gives you more mobility than simply tucking the butt under your arm. It's robustly made and the shark fin spikes mean line gets tangled far less than it does in a regular stripping basket, so it's very effective to use.
How much does this stripping basket cost?
This is a very well made and good quality stripping basket that should last you many years. Expect to pay around £45-58 for one of these.
More information: Stonfo