Steve Souter appraises the Fox Halo HT-135 LED fishing headlight and does not find it wanting. But you had better get a move on if this review perks your interest as these super little lamps won’t be available for much longer.
Years of night fishing and digging in the dark underpin my firm belief that serious shore anglers who are inclined to regularly operate during the hours of darkness cannot get by efficiently or safely with just one headlight. The lamps that I use for bait digging at night, or for scuttling down a rope to an isolated cliff or rock mark in complete darkness for example, are considerably larger, weightier and more powerful than those that I use for beach and pier marks that are not far from the beaten track, and where there is a degree of street lighting to compliment any natural ambient light. So before discussing what the Fox Halo HT-135 headlight unit has to offer lets be clear that one size does not fit all in this area of essential fishing safety equipment, where it is very much horses for particular courses.
The water-resistant Fox Halo HT-135 LED headlight has 7-position swivelled lens inclination and features easily adjusted top and side headbands, a lightweight rear battery pack and a front power switch to scroll through the four light modes of high, medium, low and flashing outputs. As alluded to in the product name, this lamp pumps out 135 lumens of clean white light, and easily delivers more than enough beam to carry you through an extended fishing session and even longer provided the power settings are managed carefully. It is difficult to accurately gauge the distance capability of the beam on high power, but I would judge it to be excellent to around 40 metres and pretty impressive for such a small unit.
The Fox Halo HT-135 headlight is a lamp for those simple night fishing situations where a cumbersome mobile floodlight is not required. Ideal for baiting up and close work even on the low setting, it’s brilliant little lamp for beach or promenade sessions. It weighs next to nothing and can be stuffed in a jacket pocket and you won’t even know it’s there. With this in mind, I have taken to carrying the Fox Halo as a back-up light source on night digging sessions, when I am often miles from anywhere and otherwise in bother should my main light conk out.
My experience is that any flex between battery pack and bulb housing is an area of potential weakness as the cabling is susceptible to tugging and stretch, such as inevitably occurs when adjusting the bands to fit over a beanie hat in winter. The flex in this instance is robustly constructed and well anchored at either end, with a short, coiled ‘kettle’ length at the back to allow generous adjustment and eliminate any annoying slack. There is no chance of the flex insanely tickling you to death, or indeed alternative strangulation – oh yes, I’ve nearly been there too! A pair of tough plastic cable clips ensure the flex is held tight to the side band, keeping the whole rigging assembly neat and tidy.
Extreme cold and wet conditions are other troublesome factors with some lamps, but I started using this lamp regularly way back in freezing January, and I have no issues to report. I have also used the Halo in some torrential rain of late and it has stalwartly continued to operate without any hint of the flickering pre-death that has signalled the imminent failure of previous similar headlights.
Access to the weather-sealed battery port is a simple process that will not leave you cursing burst fingernails. Simply turn the right-hand end-cap anticlockwise as indicated by the directional arrows to pop the battery cover. No obscure or hard-to-find batteries are required for the Fox Halo HT-135. Three bog-standard AA batteries – which can be bought anywhere – power the light.
The red rear safety light which can be set to ‘steady’ or ‘blinking’ is a function probably of more interest to cyclists than sea anglers, but it is an additional useful feature if you are leading the way to the beach with anglers following. If using the rear light, remember to knock it off again when finished as it stands to reason that perpetual use will increase battery drain.
This is an unassuming but robust product capable of delivering performance on a par with perhaps more posthumous brand lamps costing at least twice the price. On that score and having successfully come through months of abuse, which included a trip to a mad heavy metal music festival where it was doused on several occasions with foul yellow liquid, this is a headlight that gets a well earned thumbs up from me.
Like many so good products our information is that the Halo HT-135 is being replaced with a new model, the HTX100, hence the special price of around £20 from various outlets. The Halo HT-135 is still widely available from likes of www.breakaway-tackle.co.uk, www.tacklefanatics.co.uk and www.kenttackle.com. If the HTX-100 product is as good as this one then it will be well worth considering and we will endeavour to bring you a review in plenty of time for the winter cod and whiting fishing ahead.