review: Wychwood walled unhooking matt

RRP: £74.99 | www.wychwoodcarp.co.uk

Fish care should be a priority for carp anglers, but a secure, well-padded unhooking mat usually means a bulky, heavy one.

Here, though, is a rare beast – a supremely safe mat that’s doesn’t have the same weight and size as a fully grown Labrador.

Among a selection of impressive new products from Wychwood, this really stood out for a number of reasons.

The design has been cleverly thought out, meaning it folds down into a neat bundle yet retains its structural integrity when set up.

So many walled unhooking mats see their sides sag after a few months of use due to the way they’re stored. We strongly suspect this problem has been eliminated here.

With 60mm foam, the mat base and walls are amply padded, but not oversized. The surface on which the fish sits has also been covered in a lovely soft material that will hold a bit of water, rather than repel it, to keep fish safe on warm days.

As an added bonus, the base can also be used on its own as a pared-down stalking mat that’s super lightweight.

There are carry straps on all sides of the internal mat, and large handles on the walled outer. A heavy-duty kneeling pad is also an integral part of the package.

In a world where some unhooking mats take up as much room as a bedchair, this is a product that doesn’t compromise on fish safety yet dramatically reduces the bulk we have to carry.

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