The brolly is best described as a hybrid between a fishing umbrella and a carp tent. A brolly is often designed in the shape of an umbrella, but is a lot bigger and has closed sides, so that you sit or lie under it out of the wind. A brolly is really opened like an umbrella and doesn't need to be assembled like a bivvy or carp tent. A brolly is therefore quicker to set up and is often lighter and more compact to take with you to the waterfront. This makes the brolly very suitable for short sessions and for sites where space is limited. A brolly is sometimes also called a shelter.
A brolly is very similar to an umbrella, which means that you only have to open the brolly – no tent poles or baleens are needed. Because of the umbrella-like design there is little practical space lost and the brolly is nice and spacious. A brolly is generally delivered in a handy carrier bag that you just throw over your shoulder. You can compare this with the way you carry a holdall. In combination with the light weight and the compact size, you can easily transport the brolly to your swim.
A brolly is basically a 'half-open' tent. This offers many advantages, especially when it is warmer outside and the weather is calm. When there is a take, you can easily reach your rods, because you do not have to open the door of your bivvy. In rougher conditions or colder weather, a brolly is not so suitable. You can imagine what the wind and rain does to such a half-open tent. Luckily an overwrap is available with many brollies. You can see this as an extra layer that you attach over the brolly. With this you can turn a brolly into a closed tent and you will be dry and safe on the bank.