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January 25, 2013

Full-Mettle Jackets

Foul-Weather Gear Can Bring Comfort to a Cold, Nasty Day


Flexibility and Durability

 

Ex Officio Rain Jacket
Ex Officio Rain Logic Jacket

Another important quality in jackets and bibs is flexibility. As you might expect, just as evolving materials and manufacturing technologies have allowed for lighter, more-breathable products, they also created garments that make it easier to move around in the boat.


“The texture and construction of the fabric is extremely important,” says Cattaneo. “It must allow you to move freely, and it can’t impede you from fishing. Then again, it must be durable, especially in key areas that we, as anglers, know are important.”


So Bluefin designed many of its pants and bibs with extra reinforcement around the knees, since fishermen are constantly rubbing up against the side of the boat, especially in rough seas.


It’s these customized features, designed specifically for anglers, which make a good product great. Grundens points to its eight decades of experience designing foul-weather gear, and touts its Gage Halo hood system, fully tapered seams and double exterior storm flaps as a prime example of this.


Columbia, meanwhile, will launch its newest line of foul-weather gear, the Firestorm jacket and bib, this spring. The Firestorm offerings are designed for extremely harsh, cold marine environments and are loaded with fishy features, such as neoprene cuffs in the sleeves, thermal heat-reflective panels to keep your core warm and even a window holder for your fishing license.


Of course, not to be lost in all this is the safety element that foul-weather gear can fulfill. Yes, Bluefin’s jackets and bibs might feature sleek Italian styling, but Cattaneo also notes that all the company’s jackets are equipped with a highly visible yellow hood and string-attached whistles inside one of the pockets.


“It’s important to remain practical and safe as well as stylish,” he says.


Great advice that I’ll be sure to remember next time I’m out on a cold sailfish morning.

 

Manufacturer Contacts

AFTCO
Santa Ana,
California
877-489-4278
Columbia
Portland, Oregon
800-622-6953
Gill
Buford, Georgia
800-822-6504
Pelagic
Newport Beach, California
949-642-0646
West Marine
Watsonville,
California
800-262-8464
Bluefin USA
Miami, Florida
888-750-2583

Ex Officio
Seattle,
Washington
800-644-7303
Grundens
Poulsbo,
Washington
800-323-7327
Simms
Bozeman, Montana
866-585-3575