Let's Talk Rain Gear

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by shadowcast, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. shadowcast Member

    Posts: 116
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    I almost fell over after seeing how expensive fly fishing apparel has gotten. So...I was wondering what your favorite 'best bang for the buck' rain gear might be. How do the non-Goretex "waterproof" tech fabrics stack up against Goretex under the wettest conditions, and what tends to have the best durability? Tried on stuff from Columbia, HH, Outdoor Research, Frogg Toggs, Carhardt, etc., but ended up with a Grubens/Gage storm jacket after reading good things, but Idk yet...I rarely get hot or sweat even in oppressive heat, so I guess even rubbers/pvc would work, but I'd prefer a little breathability and utility/pockets. Any suggestions for someone priced out of premium apparel?
  2. bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Posts: 2,266
    m-ville
    Ratings: +677 / 0
    I've got some reddington wading jackets that I bought at a close out salefor about $50.00 that looks good enough that I even will wear it up town on occasion & they work great for me . but I think all the new age fabric is good it just amounts to if your willing to spend the money for the latest trendy stuff.
  3. Skyler Evans Active Member

    Posts: 223
    Fort Lewis
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    I have not priced anything out but i own a gortex jacket and i also own a rainproof jacket that i bought from sportmans warehouse for $30. I like the jacket that i bought but i have tested the gortex in downpours and have not gotten wet at all. I would spend the extra cash for the gortex jacket if you can manage.
  4. Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

    Posts: 881
    TriCities, WA
    Ratings: +152 / 0
    There are differences in waterproof/breathable fabrics that manufacturers make you pay money for. I don't know any other way to put it, except to say that there's probably money in R&D that they need to recoup. There's easily over a dozen w/b fabrics out there now. Every garment maker has their own proprietary fabric and of course they all make you breakfast and tuck you in at night. Here's the skinny on how this works. Gore-Tex is still the biggest name with the biggest recognition. Gore-Tex's stuff in the more expensive products (jackets about $450-500 and up) still holds a small edge in performance compared to others. Next in line, and arguably barely behind, is EVent. In the meat of the market ($150-400) things get tighter and performance becomes more equal, making decisions a little easier. Good news is that the cheapest w/b will be waterproof; breathable is the part that gets better the more you spend. More good news is that you don't need the really expensive stuff unless you're sweating up a storm while you're fishing. If you spend $150-200 or more you'll have a good jacket that should last a long time and breathe well. Any w/b fabric requires some care and feeding to keep it working the best. I suggest an easy goolge search about that because, frankly, I'm tired of typing.
  5. Evan Virnoche Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Waders and jacket arr two thinga i would not skip on. Especially if u fish winters. You will sweat hiking you need the breathability. If not you will find your body temp dropping and can lead to bad juju
  6. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,429
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +513 / 0
    I'm behind in the times but my helly-hanson jackets have been flawless. Lots of great items out there.
  7. prestonco New Member

    Posts: 16
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I bought a upper-end rain jacket last year from Outdoor Research (the axiom) about a year ago. The only reason I went that direction was because I received a major discount because of my work otherwise, I would have go the cheap route. I have to say, so far I love the jacket. Keeps me high and dry and is breathable so I don't get clammy. As far as fishing goes, I've used it a couple of times on the water and it works well, but I have discovered two limitations:
    First, limited pocket space. Not a huge issue because I usually carry a pack but going superlight would be difficult.
    Second, and this is the much bigger issue, is durability. It's a very lightweight jacket so how well it would hold up in the backcountry is questionable. On a larger river (or lake) or easy access stream it wouldn't be a huge issue. But I like to fish small mountain streams which obviously entails scrambling over downed wood, sliding (falling) down steep banks. I'm not sure how much of that wear and tear this jacket could handle. If a lifetime warranty is offered (OR does) then maybe it's worth it. Otherwise, I'd try to stay on the lower end so its not heartbreaking when you rip a whole in your jacket falling over a tree.

    Anyway, just my experience.
  8. shadowcast Member

    Posts: 116
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    Thanks, good info. That confirms what I suspected. I might just opt for a cheap HH rubber with pockets; I tend to prefer too warm over too cold. Hell, I used to wear thick neoprene waders in 90+ weather and wasn't all that bothered. Used my Simms Goretex in the cedar once and nearly froze my b@lls off.
  9. Evan Virnoche Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I woukd 100% disagree with you on ur standpoint. If you properly have base layes and appropriate gear you.can shed layers as needed dependent on conditions. The last thing u want in the winter conditons is sweat with no breathablilty not only could it ruin your day but could potentially cause hypothermia
  10. shadowcast Member

    Posts: 116
    Ratings: +19 / 0

    Don't you mean hyperthermia? Non-breathables, to me, are a hell of a lot warmer than breathables because of your own body heat. I've always worn neoprene in the winter and gore-tex in the summer, as do many of the people I've fished with.
  11. BaldBob Member

    Posts: 68
    DuPont,WA
    Ratings: +23 / 0
    No he means hypothermia. If you get all sweaty and clammy, from the non-breathables then its easy to get hypothermia. If you are one of those rare people who doesn't get all sweaty in non-breathables, then your good to go with neoprene, and cheap PVC or rubber.
    Dave Kaiserman likes this.
  12. Brooks Werner Member

    Posts: 74
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    I've tried most of them all as I used to work at an outdoor store. I'd compare them to waders: don't spend a lot and replace often or spend more for something that'll last. GoreTex guarantees all their fabric, no matter who made the jacket. You can get GoreTex jackets for a couple hundred bucks, look for the Paclite fabric. It's light and extremely packable but carries all the usual GoreTex guarantees. Personally I have a Paclite jacket and can vary what I wear under it depending on temp, from a tshirt to a down jacket. It also works great at Sounders games when it's pouring rain!

    With any of the waterproof/breathable fabrics, make sure to wash them often and most also recommend drying in the dryer with heat as this rejuvenates the fabric. Looks for deals at Sierra Trading Post or Backcountry.com.
  13. shadowcast Member

    Posts: 116
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    Yeah I had plug my brain in there--trapped/cooled condensation, duh. It takes some hellish temperatures for me to sweat, so makes sense I've never had this happen.
  14. prestonco New Member

    Posts: 16
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Yeah, I wouldn't make my decision based on temperature. Just because expensive gore-tex jackets may be thin, that doesn't mean they have to be cold. As bass-turds mentioned, a good base layer with a gore-tex jacket can provide plenty of warmth and versatility. I should have further emphasized what an advantage (necessity?) breathability is. Fishing small, headwater streams may put you and your jacket in danger of wear and tear, but you're also very likely to be doing a lot of heavy breathing and sweating so having a rubber jacket could be pretty miserable. So it's definitely a balance. If you did go for a higher end jacket, I would maybe check something out that was reinforced in key wear areas like the elbows and shoulders. The nice thing about buying a little bit nicer jacket is that you can multi-purpose...I wear my jacket around town and on my bike all the time. It really just depends on your budget.
  15. bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Posts: 2,266
    m-ville
    Ratings: +677 / 0
    I 've been reading some posts on this forum and understand the homeless look is the current fad,If its cheap you want, buy a box of those hefty garbage bags that costco sell at 100 per box. That way you be able to multi task . Raincoat ,overnite shelter, garbage bag, tweeker body bag and so on i'm sure you get the idea !!!!
  16. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,614
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,656 / 0
    When I started fishing we didn't have all these new fangled toys to play with. A sweat shirt and a Rain coat was what was used. It kept a body warm in the coldest weather. Sure you would sweat a lot but that was one of the joys of fishing. All you had to do was stop and cool down a little and then get back to fishing.

    I bugged my wife to get me a Gore-tex rain jacket one year. It hangs in my closet. It's been there for three years now. Just waiting to be used. But in my old age I've turned into a warm weather fly person. I don't go out unless the sun is shining. The rain be damned.
  17. Old406Kid Active Member

    Posts: 317
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +87 / 0
    Not sure what your price point is but you might look at the Redington Stratus models.
    Should be able to find them for less than $100. I've been happy with mine.
  18. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,009
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,592 / 0
    Same here. Paid my dues fishing in the rain and never really had a great time but almost always managed to get wet no matter what I was wearing.

    I'll still fish for steelhead in the rain and my old Columbia Sportswear wading jacket works fine. I can't even remember how long ago I bought the thing. It isn't breathable so I spray it each year with water repellant... for the few times a year I go steelhead fishing, it is all I need.

    No expensive, breathable wading jacket for this guy.
  19. Clay Carney Member

    Posts: 63
    Vancouver, WA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Cabelas goretex paclite. They are light but you can layer.
  20. shadowcast Member

    Posts: 116
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    Thanks guys. Yeah the Stratus looks good and within my budget. Also looking at LL Beans Emerger II and Orvis. The Frogg Toggs Pilot's a possibility too. Goretex hopefully when/if I can afford it. Just need something to get me by for now.