Which wad­ing jacket?

WE EX­AM­INE SEVEN OF THE LAT­EST OP­TIONS

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Contents -

James Bee­son ex­am­ines the lat­est weather-beat­ers

IF YOU ARE a river an­gler a good wad­ing jacket is es­sen­tial, but with so many avail­able and at dif­fer­ent prices, choos­ing the best op­tion can be dif­fi­cult. Here, we look at six of the lat­est de­signs from Air­flo, Snow­bee, Patag­o­nia, Hodg­man, Vi­sion and Guide­line plus the pop­u­lar Simms Guide model. Look for a shorter-cut jacket to make deeper wad­ing eas­ier, with­out pock­ets po­si­tioned be­low chest height, which would oth­er­wise fill with wa­ter. One of the most ver­sa­tile styles is the shell, which can be worn over in­su­lat­ing lay­ers in cold weather, or on its own in warmer weather. Ex­tra-light or sum­mer-spe­cific jack­ets are usu­ally more pack­able, mak­ing over­seas travel eas­ier. If you fish in spring, an in­su­lated lined jacket will help keep out the cold. Find­ing the right fit is most im­por­tant, es­pe­cially be­ing able to com­fort­ably move your arms dur­ing cast­ing. You should try on the jacket be­fore buy­ing, though should you buy on­line most re­tail­ers will ac­cept re­turns (if you aren’t too hasty in re­mov­ing the tags). Check the ac­ces­si­bil­ity of the pock­ets – es­pe­cially any hand-warmer pock­ets – and make sure you can use them with the main zip done up and when wear­ing a life-jacket and/or net. Take a fly-box or two with you to see if they fit in the pock­ets and are eas­ily re­moved. The hood should be roomy enough to ac­com­mo­date a cap, a wire-re­in­forced brim can form a use­ful peak, and draw­cords should en­able you to ad­just the fit. Most hems will be ad­justable with draw­cords, too. The cuffs should be ad­justable to keep wa­ter out (when re­leas­ing fish or rais­ing fore­arms dur­ing cast­ing) and it is worth en­sur­ing the tabs are easy to grasp. The num­ber and style of the pock­ets, D-rings (front and back), re­trac­tors and other spe­cialised pieces of equip­ment are re­ally a mat­ter of per­sonal pref­er­ence. Do you pre­fer top- or side-open­ing pock­ets? If you opt for top-open­ing pock­ets, a good storm flap is nec­es­sary. The need for ad­di­tional pock­ets de­pends on how much gear you nor­mally carry and what can be left in a game bag, chest- or sling-pack.

“Take a fly-box with you to see if it fits in the pocket and is eas­ily re­moved”

AIR­FLO DE­FENDER £69.99 WHAT WE LIKE: Good-qual­ity fea­tures for an ex­cel­lent price. FEA­TURES: Cut for deep wad­ing. Two large chest pock­ets for fly-boxes. Two outer pock­ets with wa­ter­proof zips. Wind­proof, wa­ter­proof and highly breath­able. Fleece-lined hand-warm­ing pock­ets. Mesh lin­ing. D-ring on back for net. Tai­lored cut for un­re­stricted move­ment. Draw­cord at waist. Ad­justable storm cuffs. Ad­justable hood. Storm flaps on main zips. Sizes: M to 3XL. Con­tact: Air­flo. Tel: 0871 911 7045. Web: air­flofish­ing.com

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