Although the approaching winter season brings unruly conditions that force many anglers to seek shelter, with the appropriate foul weather gear you will be able to stay safe and comfortable while still capitalizing on Florida’s bountiful angling opportunities. And even though you’ll need slickers and boots most during the coming months, don’t think for one second that protective garments are only for the winter season. Tropical squalls flare up in the summertime and can drop incredible amounts of rain in no time. An ordinary rain jacket will make you feel like you’re in a sauna and you’ll soon be as wet inside as it is outside. Fortunately you’re in luck, as technical apparel manufacturers have developed high-performance foul weather gear that will keep you dry and comfortable in the most unpleasant condtions.
It’s important to note that drenching conditions aren’t always the result of Mother Nature. Fishing in choppy seas is nothing to worry about, but forced to back down on an unruly billfish with waves crashing over the transom and crews will take a severe soaking. The point is that this specialized gear isn’t just for nasty weather. You should bring foul weather gear on any and every fishing expedition no matter the season or forecasted weather conditions.
...quality foul weather gear will keep you dry and comfortable. More importantly it will keep you fishing.
There are numerous options and price variances when it comes to foul weather gear selection. An important part of the process is being honest with yourself and your intentions. With varying technologies and fabrics that relate to breathability, waterproofness and durability, your selection should be based on the environment you see yourself in most. If you simply need protection from passing showers, a light duty rain jacket and pants outfit will suffice. If you’re a die-hard and remain in the cockpit all day, rain or shine, 2 foot or 10 foot seas, you’ll need the best protection you can get.
Nearly every manufacturer has their proprietary construction techniques and fabrics with product lines from basic to top of the line, but beyond the branded technologies you should focus on the minor details. Sealed seams, heavy duty zippers, ventilation flaps, waterproof pockets and the overall weight of product are only a few of the attributes to take into consideration.
Columbia is a trusted name in outdoor apparel and is set to impress avid anglers with the Supercell™ Jacket. Featuring their proprietary Omi-Dry membrane, this high-performance jacket features air-permeable waterproof fabric that transfers moisture and keeps you super dry. With a full hood that fits like a ball cap, waterproof zippers, lockdown construction on the wrists and sealed seams, you’ll never again postpone a fishing trip due to a meager storm.
Having produced foul weather gear since 1926, Grundéns is legendary amongst die-hard commercial fishermen. However, their protective outerwear isn’t only for those working the deck of commercial crab vessels in the Bering Sea. Tournament professionals and recreational anglers across the country rely on Grundéns to get them through the day. While they’ve recently released breathable nylon jackets and bibs with high-tech membranes, their original formulated PVC-coated products offer the ultimate in protection and value.
It is no surprise professional fishing guides around the world choose Simms when searching for innovative and functional gear. With a commitment to manufacturing the highest quality products, Simms is proud to introduce the ProDry™ GORE-TEX® Jacket and Bib. With a design based on the input of hardcore tournament anglers, this foul weather suit will eat up whatever Mother Nature dishes out. Innovative features are numerous, including a clear watch window so you can keep track of time in the rain, kill switch lanyard D-rings and oversized pockets equipped to handle plenty of tackle and gear. Best yet, this suit is sure to keep you dry, as it was tested in extreme conditions with up to 22 inches of rainfall per hour.
No matter what material and price point you decide on it’s extremely important you take care of your recent purchase. Some of the most advanced jackets can cost upwards of $500, so it’s crucial you care for your gear. Be sure to rinse with freshwater after every use and hang dry before storing. Whether you’re heading out on a long-range expedition knowing full well a storm is on the horizon or you simply got stuck in a surprise rain shower, quality foul weather gear will keep you dry and comfortable. More importantly it will keep you fishing.
From Heads to Toes
As with bibs and jackets, numerous options exist when it comes to foul weather footwear. Wet feet can really put a damper on a long trip, especially aboard a head boat where deckhands are constantly washing down the deck. Foam/rubber construction seems to be the most popular, with contoured footbeds making long days and nights on the water more enjoyable than ever. Be sure to look for quality waterproof protection that’s lightweight yet nonrestrictive. Rugged Shark and Bimini Bay both produce trusted deck boots.