What is the Wychwood International Para Drogue?
The Wychwood International Para Drogue is a special dual-arm drogue designed for towing on one side of your boat to slow down your drift when fly fishing on reservoirs and lakes. Without a drogue, even a fairly gentle breeze can result in your boat being rotated off your line of drift and will result in you drifting over the area too quickly, missing your opportunity to catch any fish as you pass through.
If your boat drifts too quickly, by the time your flies have got down to the right depth, your boat may already have drifted past them and you'll need to re-cast. Using a drogue lets you keep your drift speed down so you can fish deeper and slower and stay in fish holding areas far better than you can without one. Few competition boat anglers fish without one.
How do you use a drogue?
The drogue is attached to the side of your boat via clips or clamps which connect to guidelines on the side. It is dropped into the water on the opposite side to where you're fishing, facing the wind. The water (or an oar) will then open the drogue up so it sits flat below the water and the guidelines will tighten as it starts to drag. The boat's drift should now be much slower, and you'll be able to spend more time fishing in your chosen area than you would if you were fishing drogue-less.
What's special about the Wychwood International Para Drogue?
The Wychwood International Para Drogue has a number of features which set it apart from others on the market. While some drogues have just a single arm or guideline, the International Para Drogue has two. This means it's much easier to get back in - you simply pull one of the arms so it collapses - and it also means you can steer the drift by shortening one of the arms.
It's specifically made to be a competition legal size and measures 25 sq ft and comes supplied with two 5m "invisible" black rot proof guidelines and two carabiner style clips. The centre of the drogue features a hole which I guess is there to improve drifting abilities.
What's this drogue like to use?
The Wychwood International Para Drogue is strong and well made. It's easy to set, doesn't tangle as much as some other drogues can and is very easy to retrieve. It has excellent slowing power and gives steady drifts. When you get the hang of it, you can also steer the boat a bit by shortening or pulling one of the ropes.
As it doesn't come with drogue clamps, you might need to buy a set if the boat you're using isn't fitted with drogue rings, and you might want to buy some spare, stronger carabiners, as the ones supplied can sometimes break.
How much does it cost?
The Wychwood International Para Drogue costs around £26.99, which is pretty decent value for money, even if you do need to buy a couple of drogue clamps. Wychwood also makes an Easy Drogue with a single cord, which is a couple of pounds cheaper, but the Para Drogue is probably the best choice for most fly fishers. Best value overall though, is the Packaway International Para Drogue which includes an additional waterproof bag and costs £29.99.
Available from: Amazon