As most savvy anglers know, often the best fishing action happens when it's wet out. Typically, rain and wind aren't a problem if you're prepared for it with the good raingear.
Raingear is a serious investment. It will significantly lighten the wallet — a sacrifice I'm happy to make if the stuff works, i.e. let's me fish in comfort when rainfall is in sheets, the boat is rockin' and the walleye's are biting.
For the past two years I've used Frabill's FXE Stormsuit and have been very satisfied with its performance. The suit is comprised of a hip-length jacket and matching bib overalls. (Each component can be purchased separately.) You can tell it was designed by folks that fish.
Most importantly, it sheds the rain and wind spray. I've put my suit to the test in many settings, among them the windswept waters of Pymatuning Lake, a 16,000-acre flatland reservoir located in northwestern Pennsylvania. It's a place that gets a lot of rain and wind during April and May, when the walleye fishing is hot; a place where you really can't hide when the wind kicks up, not that you want to. It's the wind and chop that activate the bite. You just want to be able to concentrate on the fishing, regardless of the elements. This raingear allows me to do just that.
Getting back to the angler-friendly features, here are some I find helpful:
- The streamlined design. It has cargo pockets, but not the bulging billows-type that can become cumbersome when you've stuff them with gloves and such;
- The wire-frame inside the hood. It's a pliable wire that can be bent into the shape to best suit your needs;
- D-rings on the outside to hang items like clippers or scissors;
- Chin straps enclosures, along with the hood, help seal off your noggin so you're well protected when motoring into a driving rain;
- Straps on both the interior and exterior of the sleeves, to help keep water from wicking up your sleeves; and
- There's even a small towel — tethered to the jacket's interior with light shock cord — to wipe off your glasses.
The bibs are equally well designed. Here's my favorite feature: A zippered opening to access the pockets in your pants. How many times you have donned your raingear in the parking lot, only to realize your truck keys are buried in your trouser pockets? If you're like me, lots of times! No problem now.
|Frabill FXE Stormsuit Bib Overalls||Frabill FXE Stormsuit Jacket|
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