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March 12, 2014

Comfort on the Water

Fishing in the right foul-weather gear makes all the difference.

Critically taped seams on a jacket mean that only the most important seams are covered, in areas where water is likely to enter, whereas fully taped denotes all seams on the jacket are covered to protect against water intrusion. As an example, the Under Armour Stormfront jacket is a lightweight rain shell that’s fully taped and 100 percent waterproof, says Fulks. Jackets treated with DWR coatings have exteriors that deter water from ­saturating the material, often causing the water to bead up and drip away.

Layered Approach

When talking layers and clothing, it usually means one thing for anglers — the layered approach of bundling up to combat the rain, wind or cold. Jerry Richards, National Sales Manager at Gill North America, recommends a base layer, midlayer and an outer shell.

“That base layer should never be cotton,” he says. “Go with a polyester material, something that does not collect moisture and keeps you much cooler.”

The layering approach allows fishermen to add or remove clothing based on how hot the day is. That’s why Richards points out that none of Gill’s waterproof jackets are insulated — you’d have to put the jacket in the closet for half the year because it’s too hot to wear in the summer heat.

If it’s cold or cool, a good midlayer is a fleece, a material that Richards considers a “lofted” garment. “It should have lots of air pockets,” he says, “to form a pocket of air next to your skin, and to keep to you warm and insulated.” Some jacket manufacturers include a removable fleece lining in specific models that serves the same purpose as a midlayer. Sometimes, just the collar is lined with fleece.

“ExOfficio’s FlyQ Lite micro-fleece-lined collar feels great against the skin, and protects against the center, front zipper pull when fully zipped,” says Kylene Wolfe, ExOfficio Men’s Product Line Manager. “Plus, it’s moisture wicking and dries fast; we did not want to line the entire jacket with fleece, as it would be too warm for spring and fall.”

With every ­additional jacket feature, there’s usually an extra cost. The price of jackets stems directly from the quality and cost of the fabric used. Anglers must pick what cost they’re willing to spend, but most agree that they’d like their jackets to last for the long haul — you get what you pay for.