As you might imagine, as an active charter boat captain that spends most of his angling pursuits in near offshore and canyon waters, I get to see a lot of interesting weather patterns evolve over a long day or days out on the briny. Most of the time, it’s not pleasant. I’ve gone through a number of traditional and sometimes unconventional rain gear and “foul weather” clothing and honestly, most of this stuff is either too heavy, too bulky and/or too stiff to wear comfortably for any extended periods of time. When bending a rod on a large pelagic, well, let’s just say that it’s a real challenge fighting the fish, the sea, the weather and your rain gear all at the same time.
Enter the “hybrid solution” from the good folks at Gage Technical Gear, a subsidiary of Grundens USA, a worldwide leader in the manufacture of foul weather gear for commercial operators and no stranger to knowing what works out on the water for people who make a living out there 24/7.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a surf rat that enjoys fishing in the pounding suds, a canyon jockey running to the edge of the continental shelf into a stiff offshore breeze, or even a freshwater fisherman plying a cold and quiet northern lake, there’s one thing that every angler needs: protection against the elements. Grundens USA knows this and has recently added the new Fish On jacket to its growing Gage Technical Gear line. Part of the Gage Professional Guide Collection, the Fish On jacket features a unique hybrid construction that combines a three-layer soft shell with a heavy-duty 500 Denier Nylon exterior. The result is a jacket that delivers superior warmth and protection from cold, wind and spray while also providing excellent water resistance. Not traditional “foul weather rain gear” in the literal sense, the Fish On jacket is ideal for a wide range of fishing situations and outdoor activities, including boating, sailing, kayaking, hiking and more - sort of like multi-mission threads that work equally well either on the water or on land.
The Gage Fish On jacket is available in Tarragon (olive green)/Black or Red/Black, in sizes ranging from XS to 5XL. This premium quality garment carries an MSRP of $149.99 (sizes 3XL-5XL are slightly higher) and it is available through authorized Grundens dealers nationwide. I have seen this great Gage product line popping up in some of my local tackle shops and have also seen the Fish On jacket selling for less than the MSRP on the street, so it’s definitely an affordable alternative to the usually single dimension foul weather gear that might work out on a boat, but would definitely not be a big hit with the wife and family at the next family picnic.
I have the Tarragon/Black flavor Fish On jacket in an XXL size that is roomy enough for me to wear another layer or two underneath for optimum warmth, comfort and flexible movement when performing my usual captain and mate duties out on the briny. It is a low bulk item and stows neatly in my waterproof sea bag and keeps its shape no matter what. The Gage Fish On jacket is definitely a keeper and certainly warrants a closer look if you are looking for some multi-mission outerwear that will work great both on the water and also while performing more mundane tasks on land. Just be sure to clean off the tuna blood and shark chum before you take it out on your next dinner date or family outing!