Davy Proudfoot hits the beach to test the DVice Bait Delivery System and concludes that the various DVice products have solid boat fishing applications too.
Having read a number of glowing reports on the effectiveness of the DVice bait delivery system I decided that it was time to give them a trial to see if they were indeed as effective as various corners of the internet and some of the angling comics suggested.
I opted to try out the 150gm ‘stubby’ version as I would be using it with small baits on an open beach. The tube length on the Stubby is 14 cm which is 4 cm shorter than the standard version. The website listed DVice specific traces and so I picked up the two hook bomber rig to compliment the Stubby. A local sandy beach would be the test venue to evaluate both the DVice and the DVice rig as supplied by the company.
The work that’s gone into the design of the DVice is immediately apparent: the fluted lead being perfectly matched to the long tail wire and tight fitting clear plastic tube. The flutes are engineered to allow a clear flow of water through the tube resulting in the baited hooks being ejected via water egress as the rig travels to the seabed. The embedded, threaded fitting in the base accepts all the standard Gemini swivel and fixed grip plastic wire heads. It can be fished without the grip head in situ, but I’d suggest that if you wish to fish with a rolling lead you still attach a plain nose cone. To do otherwise could damage the screw thread.
While the plastic tube is streamlined, it does require two slots to accommodate the long tail wire. Although it never happened to me, it’s possible that small hooks might catch on the lower slot, and as such it’s worthwhile ensuring that the hook points face the front of the tube, away from the wire and the slots.
All in all the bomber rig that I trialled was solidly constructed from good quality components with neatly tied knots…which is particularly refreshing on a pre-packed shop-ready rig. The beads, swivels and crimps ensure a streamlined trace.
The lead clip is one of the distorted oval easy links which I dislike as I find that they can lodge at an angle in the eye of long tail wires. My preference would be to see the likes of a finer wired Breakaway Fast Link used on the DVice ready rigs. Hooks are black Kamasan style Aberdeens that are sharp straight out of the packet.
Bomber rigs with their overlapping snood configuration are inclined to tangle on retrieval. Adding a short length of silicon tubing over the snood swivels may improve the trace might help counter this happening but anglers tend to be split 50/50 on the merits using tubing thus.
With the supplied rig being designed specifically for the DVice I had no worries about the length of the snoods, which dangled approximately 150mm below the DVice, and for the first cast I baited both hooks with lugworm. These were then loaded into the tube with the lowest hook being inserted first. The overhead cast flew through the air with none of the wobbles I had expected and splashed down around 80 metres out in approximately 10 metres of water.
Rather than leaving the rig to fish, I immediately retrieved it to examine the bait. Allowing for my punctures when baiting up both worms were in excellent nick and had ejected without any problems. I decided to add a strip of frozen mackerel to one of the baits and only hooked it once to test the results. Normally I would stitch the hook several times through the soft, defrosted mackerel to ensure that it presented correctly.
After a quarter of an hour I brought the tackle back to shore and noted, as with the first retrieve, that the DVice quickly planed to the surface and prevented the annoying dragging effect that you normally encounter when using a grip lead. The baits were again in good condition with the mackerel strip still firmly attached. Although this meant that there were no fish about it did confirm that the DVice was living up to its name as an efficient bait delivery system.
I had read on an Internet forum that the DVice was unsuitable for shallow water as depth was required to eject the baited hooks. I decided to test this accuracy of that statement on the next cast. This time I baited one hook with a small mackerel strip and the other with a couple of head hooked white ragworm. Using white rag in this fashion on a normal rig and weight, even with bait clips, would result in the bait exploding on casting.
The cast was lobbed 30 metres into the surf where the water depth was barely two metres. After leaving the bait to fish while I took a couple of photographs I retrieved the tackle to find that not only had it ejected safely but the white rag were still alive and wriggling with the tails intact.
A further half dozen casts into shallow water proved conclusively that the DVice works perfectly well in shallow water. I also tried it with small chunks of mackerel in the base before placing the hooks in the tube and this integral ground-baiting tactic was also successfully pushed out the tube by the inrush of water on impact with the sea. The ground-bait idea might not work in deep water or where there is pronounced tide – it would end up well away from the hooks – but it’s worth a try in shallow areas for a variety of different species. In fact, there’s no reason not to take a leaf from the carp angler’s book and ‘spod’ a suitable area with groundbait using the DVice.
The DVice website recommends adding seaweed or similar to the tube before the hooks if fishing shallow marks but I have to say that I did not find this necessary with the stubby version that I tested.
While the DVice is not necessary for all types of fishing, it is an excellent bit of kit for fishing with either large baits or with baits which are too delicate to withstand the rigors of firm casting. I can see the guys fishing with ragworm at distance for plaice doing well, and it being very popular with those targeting smoothhounds and spurs at distance at venues all around the UK and Ireland.
There is absolutely no reason why various versions of the efficient DVice should not be used for uptiding from a boat, as it will not only ensure a well presented bait, but also reduce the risk of accidents from trailing hooks when casting. From the dedicated uptider’s perspective this application could be described simply as ‘compact casting made easy’.
Other than a seal over the lower slot in the tube, there is nothing I would change about the DVice. It does exactly what the manufacturers claim and is a fuss-free uncomplicated terminal tackle item that offers serious advantages to anglers of all abilities and experience. Simple to use and practical, you don’t have to be some rocket scientist to benefit from any of the DVice items. I’d like to see a 100gm or even lighter versions without the grip head screw for close in fishing where a moving bait is required. Perhaps the company may even get round to offering a clip-on version of the DVice that could attach to, and convert any lead weight…now that really would be something.