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Gardner Trickster Heavy Braided Hooklink, by Andrew Boyne

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Gardner Trickster Heavy Braided Hooklink

by Andrew Boyne​

Trickster Heavy is a new hooklink material from Gardner Tackle. It is an uncoated, fast sinking, soft and supple braid available in breaking strains of 15, 20 and 25lb in either brown or green camo finish on 20m spools. Hooklink materials of this type are nothing new, Kryston’s Supa Nova and Korda’s Supernatural are just two that spring to mind that have established themselves in an increasingly congested market.


Trickster Heavy has a number of qualities that will appeal to users of similar products. Firstly, the brown versions colour is a far better match to most river beds than either of the two comparable products already mentioned. Supa Nova is a 50:50 white/green fleck pattern while the gravel option of Supernatural is very pale, so pale that when using it in the past I opted for the green version as it blended in with the rivers substrate that little bit better. Trickster Heavy camo brown has a two tone colour combining light and dark shades that blends very well with most river beds and does not fade with use like some other braids. Some may argue whether colour maters at all, and they may have a point, but if it gives the angler that little more confidence it can be no bad thing. Secondly, and perhaps more important, is price! Constantly tying new hooklinks with most modern braided hooklinks becomes a very expensive affair. At just £5.99 for a 20m spool this represents amazing value for money when compared to other similar products. How have Gardner done it? I’ve no idea - but they have!
In use it is a delightfully limp material, just the job for fooling spooky barbel. The majority of my barbel fishing is done on northern spate rivers where bedrock and boulders are a constant threat to the hooklink and mainline. Strong tackle is a must to prevent being cut off on the rocks and a tough mono of 12lb or more is required. It’s possible on un pressured venues to use such heavy mono straight through to the hook but on many rivers these days the barbel have seen it all before and are more than capable of detecting a bait attached to a stiff mono hooklink and rejecting it. Having watched them do this many times soft braided hooklinks have become an important part of my fishing. I’m convinced barbel find it much harder to detect such materials and take the bait with confidence as a result. The problem with most braids is they lack the abrasion resistance that mono has. Coated Braids are better but again prove highly expensive when constructing hooklink after hooklink. The answer for me was the combi rig in which the majority of the hooklink is made up from the same mono as my mainline finishing off with a short section of supple braid. Users of this rig will have their own preferred method of combining the two materials, mine is a simple 4 turn water knot which is very simple to tie on the bank, retains excellent knot strength and provides a nice neat finish. Trickster Heavy has become my number one choice for the business end of my combi rigs and has performed superbly this season. Members will have their own uses for supple braided hooklinks, if you are already a fan of such products take a look at Gardner’s Trickster Heavy, you won’t be disappointed.

There are many similar products on the market but Trickster Heavy performs as well as the best of them. For sheer value for money I’m giving this product 10/10.

Available from BFW here.
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