Tag Archives: Simms fishing products

2015 Fishwest Wader Showdown

As fly fishermen, we know (and have experienced firsthand) the parity that exists between fly rods. By and large, you get what you pay for when it comes to rods. Given the parity that exists between rods, we here at Fishwest were curious to see if the same parity exists between waders.

So we decided to do a mini-shootout of waders. We took a pair of Orvis Silver Sonic Convertible waders ($279), Redington SonicDry Waders ($399.95), and Simms G3 Waders ($499.95) to see how they compared at their respective price points.

We rated the waders on a scale of 1-10 in 3 categories: breathability, durability, and aesthetics. After all, waders are meant to be worn and we all want to look good out on the water.

Photo Credit: Preston
Photo Credit: Preston Lange

Obviously, these ratings are subjective and they’re just our opinion. However, we’re not just shop guys or writers – we’re fishermen too. I spend around 250 days a year on the water, while JC works the Fishwest shop in Sandy and spends plenty of time out on the water himself. We know what anglers look for in a pair of waders and think that we made some objective judgements.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how the waders fared in their respective categories.

Orvis Silver Sonic Convertible (Spencer’s Review)

ORF45WSSCOC_lg_800x800

Breathability – 10/10

The SS waders are very light and they breathe exceptionally well. I wore them for 10 straight hours, hiking over 3 miles in 70 degree heat, and they didn’t get me nearly as sweaty as I’d imagined they would have.

I did notice that water tends to bead off these waders, meaning they’re water repellent as well as water resistant.

I wore the waders in pretty cold runoff water, hiking around at high elevation, and they did a good job of letting my legs breathe so I didn’t freeze too badly.

Durability – 9/10

I’ve had these waders for a solid month, and they look brand-new. The neoprene booties have a thick rubber lining along the seams, which is absolutely brilliant engineering on Orvis’ part. The rubber lining will reduce wear along the neoprene seams, the most common place for neoprene to leak.

The only knock I have in terms of durability relates to how thin the material is. While I’m sure it’s a material that will stand the test of time (if these waders last two seasons that’s a win in my book – I’m pretty rough on my gear) it’s thin enough that a well-placed branch could tear a nice hole.

Aesthetics – 9/10

These waders look great. They’re colored in the classic Orvis green and gray, and the waders match the blank color of the Superfine Glass rods, for the fashionably astute angler.

The waders come with “anatomically correct” neoprene booties (and attached gravel guards, of course) according to the Orvis website. I do have to say, I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in fit and comfort in these neoprene booties compared to the Redington SonicDry Waders.

I do enjoy the green Sonic logo on the left leg, and the large Orvis logo across the front. I do think Orvis could get a bit more creative, though, which is why I knocked off one point.

Average Score: 9.3/10

Redington SonicDry (Spencer’s Review)

REF45SDWRGT1_lg_800x800

Breathability – 9/10

These waders are made from Redington’s patented 37.5 active particle technology. It’s supposed to dry up to five times faster than similar materials, as well as breathe better and be lighter.

Truth be told, these waders do dry quickly, but the Silver Sonic waders dry faster. However, the SonicDry waders fit a bit more snug along the leg, and it seems to me that they breathe a bit better when walking longer distances than the Silver Sonic waders.

Durability – 4/10

This is the big knock I have against the SonicDry wader. The material is a rouger nylon than most waders – it’s almost abrasive. In theory, that’s a great thing because it reduces the likelihood of the waders tearing on a stray branch. However, the welded seams on these waders (the same as on the Silver Sonics) started splitting after only 7 months of moderate-to-heavy use. While I know that waders aren’t supposed to last forever, having the seams split after less than one full season on them isn’t good.

To make matters worse, because of the abrasive fabric, the traditional Aquaseal doesn’t hold to the fabric as well as it should, and I’ve had to apply it three times before getting a seal on the seams that holds water.

All in all, Redington should have some way to fix this issue, and until they do, I’d stay away from the SonicDry waders if you walk longer distances in them, as I tend to do.

Aesthetics – 10/10

These waders do look nice. The two-tone coloration has a certain flair to it, they fit very tightly, and I like the look of the thicker wading belt. If you were to buy waders purely based on how they look (let’s be honest, fly fishermen are more vain than we’ll ever admit) then these would be the ones.

Total: 7.6/10

Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot (JC’s Review)

SIF45G3GSGS_lg_800x800

Breathability: 9.5 / 10

All I need to say is Gore-Tex. The Gore-Tex Pro Shell material is both lightweight breathable. The G3 waders use a combination of both 5 layer and 3 layer fabrics to make up the body of the wader. I (JC) have found this combination keeps me dry and comfortable no matter the season.  The 5 layer from the thighs down can get a little hot during the summer months depending on the situation, otherwise it is pretty close to perfect.

Durability: 9.5 / 10

People who come into the shop always ask me if these waders are worth the $499.95 that Simms is asking for these waders. My answer is always the same. These waders are worth every penny based on how long they will last. I put my waders through the angling ringer of thorns, sticker bushes, and drift boats and sure, they do spring a leak from time to time but that is nothing a little Aquaseal can’t fix. I retired my last pair of Simms guide waders with 7 seasons of heavy wear and tear on them and they could have lasted longer. Bottom line is that Simms built these puppies to last, and they most certainly do.

Aesthetics: 10/10

Simms hit a homerun with these in the looks department. Features like the left and right articulated feet as well as built in gravel guards are just two of the things that set these apart from other waders in our test. The fleece lined hand warmer pocket is also perfect for those days when the temp drops.

Total: 9.7 / 10

The Simms G3 Stockingfoot won this shootout, but narrowly over Orvis. For the budget conscious angler, the Orvis Silver Sonic Convertible Waders are a great buy, and in all reality they should last a solid 2-3 seasons, at the very least.

Either of these waders would be a great pair – it’s just up to you to decide which one you like better.

Artist on the Fly Andrea Larko Interview: Part 2

Simms Artist Series is now featuring the work of Andrea Larko. We recently caught up with Andrea talked about art and fishing. When she isn’t working she can often be found on the river, or tying flies. For those who missed Part 1 of our interview check it out here.

What type of flies do you like to fish out in your area?

Come the spring I like to fish a lot of dries, and I fish some wets and do some Nymphing. But I’m not the best at Nymphing. I don’t know if I just haven’t figured it out or what, because I’m mainly self taught so (laughs).

hat fish

Check out Simms Women’s Series Trucker here.

I gotcha, I just started in the last year or so.

Really, I think the first year and a half I only caught one or two fish. I just didn’t quite have it figured out. But once it clicks and you get the flow of it, you figure it out really quickly. But I’m not the best caster in the world by any stretch of the mean. I think I get a pretty good dead drift going on. I’ve figured out how to present the fly to the fish so they want to eat it. I fish a lot of the same streams all the time throughout the spring, summer and fall. Mainly through the fall and the winter I go brown trout fishing and King salmon fishing in New York. This is the first year I’m trying to go Steelhead fishing so I tied up a bunch of Decoteau’s and Senyo’s flies that I saw on Steelhead Alley Outfitters, but I haven’t had a chance to fish those yet. I can’t wait to put them in the water.

trout

Check out Simms Larko Trout Tee.

Where are you going to fish for Steelhead?

I went a few days ago up to the Cattaraugus to go with my dad and sister but we couldn’t find any stream gages before we went up there, and when we got there it was totally blown out. There were four people in the water and they weren’t fishing they were getting their gear and getting ready to leave. So we drove three hours for nothing, but we ended up going antiquing and it was fun anyway.  I want to try and go to Lake Erie this winter and see how that goes. I also want to go to Steelhead Alley, 18 Mile, and 20 Mile and see what all the big fuss is about. I see pictures all the time online of all the beautiful fish they pull out of there and I would love to catch one. I think that would be a lot of fun.

What are your favorite spots to fish that you don’t mind talking about?

There are probably three or four streams that are within five miles of my house that I like to fish. A lot of them have wild trout in them. So I fish there when the weather’s nice four or five days a week even if I can only get out for a half an hour.  But other than that I like to go to the yellow creek trout club. I mean they stock fish,  but the trout there are huge and they have such a variety and there are never the crowds that are often at the other places close to where I live. I go fishing there a lot and it’s a lot of fun. I caught my first tiger trout there this year so that was cool.

salmon

 

What is your most memorable catch?

I went Salmon fishing three or four years ago and everyone was fishing on the side of the stream, no bank fishing everyone was just standing in two lanes down the middle and fishing the banks right around the edges where the deep water was. I turned around to walk to the other side and I look in front of me and there are three absolutely huge brown trout sitting in probably 8 inches of water. I was saying to myself “oh my gosh I hope nobody sees this”… I put a couple of casts out, and on the third cast I got it out to the one in the front in his mouth and I caught him. That was definitely the biggest brown trout I’ve ever caught. It was just beautiful. I was so excited. I would have to say that was my best catch. I was elated and couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t until my first or second year fly fishing that I actually had a drift that went where I wanted it to go. I figured out the flow of the water, how much weight I needed. I mean, that took me a long time to figure out. I was really excited. It was definitely my best catch.

brown trout

What would be your favorite fly fishing destination to visit?

I really want to visit Alaska.

The fishing there is supposed to be like nowhere else in the world.

That’s what I hear because I have friends from all over the world on my Facebook page. Most of my Facebook feed isn’t even in English anymore. I see all these photographs of people from all over- in  Alaska, British Columbia, and down in Brazil. It just makes me think of all the places I want to go. It makes me want to work harder because I know I’ll get there; it will just take time. It gives me more reasons to work as much as I can every day. From when I wake up until the time I go to bed I’m doing something with my business. Either sending stuff out, marketing, posting  to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Etsy, taking photographs, doing research on new pieces, [and drafting] contracts. The drawing portion of what I do is really only 10% of what I do between taxes, buying inventory. I wish I could just draw and hire someone for everything else.
Check out more of her work on her Etsy at  andrealarko.etsy.com on instagram @andrealarko , her website andrealarko.com or on Facebook  facebook.com/artbyandrealarko

 

Artist on the Fly: The Fishwest Andrea Larko Interview: Part 1

AndreaLarkoAndrea Larko is an artist hailing from Pennsylvania where she creates vibrant works of art, rich in eye catching geometric patterns. After graduating with a B.F.A. in Illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology she went on to work in advertising. She started her Etsy Store (The Art Of Angling) about two years ago and currently she is pursuing art full-time, and getting out onto the river whenever possible. Her work is featured in Simms Artist Series Line for Spring 2015. We had the chance to catch up with her recently to discuss her success.

You’ve been very successful. Did you ever imagine that you would be where you’re at now years ago when you were working in advertising?

Oh, definitely not. I actually just quit my job working in advertising in October. So it’s only been a few months now. I never thought that I would be quitting my job… But it just got to the point where I couldn’t keep up and I had to make a decision. I figured I may as well go and see how it all plays out. I started this really about two years ago. It all happened pretty quickly.

How did you get involved with Simms? Did they approach you about it?

il_570xN.625178793_ybuwActually, someone on Instagram(check out her artwork on instagram @andrealarko) found me and asked if they could pass my work along to Simms. I said ‘why not’. But I didn’t think I would hear anything back from them. Then a few days later, I did and they wanted to get started right away. I couldn’t believe it. It all just happened so fast. I was definitely in a bit of shock for a few days. Because Simms is top of the line, my boots and my waders are all Simms gear. So I was really excited. Especially after seeing what they do for artists, like [Derek] Deyoung. I’ve been following his career since I started fly fishing. I admired going into fly shops and seeing work like that, instead of just a logo on a shirt it was really great artwork.

Check out her work with The Simms Women’s Line Here

Now, Zentangle is the main style you do. I like how you’ve referred to it as doodling.

Well I call it doodling, I didn’t know that there actually was a name for it until someone told me and I looked it up on Google.  I just thought I was messing around. Apparently it’s a big style now a lot of people are doing it. Even when I just stop in art stores I’ll see little books on the art of Zentangle and they tell people how to do it. It’s more of meditation; a lot of people do it to relax. I think it’s really relaxing too. I couldn’t be happier to have a job that’s relaxing when you do it, you know.

brown troutAside from commissions do you start with an idea of what you want to create before you start a piece?

I definitely do. Most of my commissions for the holidays were postponed until after the holidays so I had some extra time to do a few pieces that I wanted to do. When someone tells me that they want a certain type of fish in particular I’ll start looking online for reference photos. Then I’ll put together a bunch of photos and do the style or the design outline of what they are looking for and what will look best for them. Or if I’m doing it for a tattoo then I’m going to have to take their measurements and see if it’s going to fit where they want it. I also make sure that it goes with the way the muscle goes so it doesn’t look completely ridiculous.

You do a lot of commissions for tattoos?

At least half to ¾ of my commissions are for tattoos.

It was interesting to look through your portfolio because there is such variety.

When I graduated from college I tried to be an artist for a while without having a full time job and I did gallery shows. I painted murals in kid’s rooms. I just had fun with it and I didn’t have a specific style.  But it got to the point where I was sitting alone in the studio a lot and it got a little monotonous after a while, which is why I never tried to quit my day job. This has taken me to so many shows and I’ve met so many different people that I don’t think I’ll get tired of it, so as long as the work keeps coming this is what I plan on doing.

Is there anything that you’re working on now that you are excited about?

LoopI’m actually looking to work with a few other fly fishing companies as well.  But nothing is set in stone yet so I’d rather surprise you.  I’m also doing a shirt design right now for Loop Tackle over in Sweden of an Atlantic salmon. I just started that one last night. I haven’t even taken pictures yet, but it’s turning out pretty cool. I sit down right before I go to bed and start looking at pictures. And I say “I’m just going to sketch out the outline”. And I find myself getting into the zone and then I’m up until 7 o’ clock in the morning again. I look at the clock and the sun’s coming up I should probably go to bed. It’s just that in the middle of the night no one contacts me, and I have time to focus and don’t have any distractions except maybe if the dog needs to go out,  it’s easy to put my head down and start working on it and next thing I know hours have passed.

Have you always been a night owl?

Always, I tried to change my sleep schedule for my day job and it was rough. So I’d get only two or three hours of sleep and I’d go to work and I’d come home and sleep for three to four hours. There’s something about doing art in the night. There are less distractions, it’s hard for me to do it during the day when I think of all the places that are open that I have to go to, all the errands that I have to run. There’s just too much on my mind during the day to work. At night it’s a lot more relaxing it’s easier for me to work on something from start to finish and get a flow going.  I really don’t like stopping in the middle of something once I’ve started on it.

What other artists have influenced your work?

I’m very inspired by the Art Nouveau period especially [Alphonse] Mucha. But I don’t see that come across in my work as much. I like a lot of street artists and graffiti artists and things that are a bit more freeform, organic and whimsical. I think some of it comes through, especially the bright colors but that might also be because I’m color blind. I can’t see pastels as well; they are all kind of grey to me. So I tend to use a lot of vibrant colors in my work.

That’s interesting. You’re color blind? To what degree is it?

Actually I didn’t even know until college. I guess women can’t be red/green color blind it’s more pastel colors. One time I went shopping and I went to buy a shirt that I thought was grey. I didn’t realize at the time that the majority of the clothes I had that were “grey” were actually periwinkles. If it’s not next to another color when I’m mixing it or it doesn’t have a label on it I can’t tell. I have trouble doing anything in pastel colors especially if someone wants something really light.  Then it’s difficult for me. To be continued….

Editors Note: Stay tuned to see what Andrea has to say about fly fishing in part 2 of our Interview.

Check out Andrea Larko’s work with Simms Fishing Proudcts as part of the Simms Artist Series.

Mongolia: The Land Time Forgot

When folks talk about fishing in remote places for most the first thought that comes to mind  is the Alaskan bush or the back country of the North West. But there’s a place in Asia where human development and time have almost been forgotten. Most of you may have heard of Mongolia and the unique salmonid found in it’s waters. For those who haven’t heard of these creatures, they are the largest in the salmonid family, and fierce predators gorging on everything from bait fish to small mammals and birds. Here is a look at what it takes to have a chance at these incredible fish and what is being done to protect it’s habitat.

Product Spotlight: Simms G4 Pro Wading Jacket

With fall in full swing this is the time of year when the temps get cooler and the forecast calls for more precipitation. A good jacket is a must! The G4 Pro from Simms Fishing Products is the answer to your prayers when the weather takes a turn for the worst.  The G4 features a  Gore-Tex Pro Shell material and enough space to fit all your necessities while fishing. What more can you really ask for.

Product Spotlight: The Improved Simms Headwaters ½ Day Pack

blogpho2
Ample Gear Storage

The Headwaters ½ day pack quickly became a shop favorite when it was released in 2012 and believe they have struck a home run with the 2014 model. The original was nice for short day trips, light and sleek, had a good amount of room for boxes, a light rain jacket, and the hydration bladder. Had an additional pocket for the smaller accessories and if you needed a little more room the hip and chest packs could be attached with Simms’s Catch and Release system. The only issue with the original, some days you wished the main compartment was just a little larger. Although you could fit a good amount into it, everything fitted into it tightly, requiring you to remove everything in the bag to reach items that may have slipped to the bottom.

DSCN0516
In Use (Looking For Bass)

The 2014 model of the Simms Headwaters ½ day pack is still lightweight and continues with most of the original features, hydration pouch, the Catch and Release Magnet system (on the front), and the breathable back panel, the main improvements are the larger main compartment and the DWR treated fabric. The larger 15 liter (915 cubic in) main compartment with stretch mesh dividers gives you a little more room and organization for all your gear, minimalizing the frustration of removing everything in order to reach items in the bottom of the bag.

The smaller compartment on the back has also been altered; they have made it larger in order to fit more accessories. They have used 420 Denier abrasion resistant fabric that’s treated with DWR for more water resistance and 630 Denier abrasion resistant fabric on the bottom for extra protection from wear. The designers also added magnetized tool ports on the shoulder straps which I found to be my favorite feature, nothing more annoying than consistently losing your hemostats or pliers because they weren’t as secure as you’d hoped or having to reach inside a pocket to get them.

The only thing I wished they continued with would be keeping the Catch and Release magnet system on the back of the bag, this was a nice feature when you were utilizing the hip or chest pack and throwing streamers, you had the extra room you needed and it was out of your way when stripping the fly. The larger secondary pocket makes up for this but it’s always nice to have the ability to add more room when needed.

SIF84HW12FO_lgAll in all this is still a sweet pack, fits well, has plenty of room for your short day trips, and distributes the weight superbly, this has been my go-to pack since it came out and will be for many days to come.

Check out the pack by clicking HERE

Simms & Gore Tex: Fishing Gear To Protect You From The Elements

This video provides a little insight into Gore-Tex technologies and Simms Gear.  Simms Gear is a favorite of most of the shop staff here at Fishwest and it is easy to see why. Please check out the new 2014 Simms Fishing Products line by clicking HERE.

Product Review: Simms Paclite Jacket & Pants

This is a re-post from a great French blog: Peche Mouch Check it out. Please understand that the translation from French to English may be a little rough. Enjoy.

Spring arrives with showers and the opening of the fishing season. This is the time to think about clothes that protect us from freezing rain.

paclite_gore-tex_pant_minpaclite_gore-tex_vest_min

After over a year of use in extreme conditions and a little different, I propose a set jacket pants brand SIMMS you will face the elements with the greatest sérinité.

GORE-TEX ® Paclite ® JACKET $ 229.95 (€ 174)

Link seller, click on the image:

The manufacturer’s specifications:
  • 3-layer GORE-TEX ® Paclite ® Shell fabric for lightweight waterproof protection
  • Extreme provides protection in wet weather
  • With corrosion resistant YKK ® zippers in nylon
  • 100% Delrin ® zipper along the entire length making it ideal for sea fishing
  • Adjustable hood stows easily in the neck
  • Skinny that promotes overall better weather protection
  • Large chest pocket that has the passage system for an audio cable for breaks in music

In practice:

A very solid jacket fabric Gore-Tex ®. After long hours in the “bush” Lapland in July or in the woods to hunt fish in the heavy rain, the jacket does not move a bit. A super light weight which makes almost forget when the door or when you put it in the top of the backpack.

The sleeves ressèrent using scratch and the bottom of the jacket is constricted with a bungee cord. I wish neoprene parts are not inserted at the end of sleeves lorque is dipped in water arms. Nevertheless, it would be less solid jacket.

Warning: this jacket is protection against wind and rain, but no protection against the cold.It will therefore supplement it with one or two layers thermal type “SoftShell” and fitting merino wool. Avoid fleeces that load water at the slightest touch.

Now that I’m with, it makes it an ideal fishing vest and even in airplanes when traveling.

To find it, see end of article.

GORE-TEX ® Paclite ® Pant $ 199.95 (€ 151)

Link seller, click on the image:

The same GORE-TEX ® Paclite and the same fabric as the jacket. The rain pants offer the perfect complement for total waterproof protection.

The manufacturer’s specifications:

  • 3-layer GORE-TEX ® Paclite ® Shell fabric for lightweight waterproof protection
  • Extreme provides protection in wet weather
  • With articulated leg design for easy movement and make it more comfortable and have a better fit
  • 100% Delrin ® zipper along the entire length making it ideal for sea fishing
  • YKK ® front zipper closure with waterproof zip
  • Zip pockets and back pockets
  • Adjustable elastic waist, belt loops and elastic ankles

In practice:

Pants very useful for times outside the waders with incessant rain or fishing without waders.Very useful for the beginning of the season when it rains and you can not put toes in the water to protect spawning shadows.

The same strength characteristics as the jacket in the same color and protection against the weather very effective.

To an investment in the long term.

In conclusion:

Even though Christmas is over, you can buy this set without problems of reliability and efficiency for the season. If you want to complete a thermal layer, take DOWNUNDER MERINO ZIP TOP for fitting and WINDSTOPPER ® SOFTSHELL JACKET .

Prefer to purchase in the U.S. for the best price.

Where to find : In cf-1339602687 or clicking on the links below directly

Visit their blog super interesting http://www.fishwest.net/explore/

Jacket

Pants

This is a store where I buy regularly for several years without problems. Take good matching sizes U.S. / F. Adjustments to the wrists and ankles allow an accurate fit. Consider also below clothes to put on the choices of sizes.

Product Review: Simms Taco Bag

The Simms Taco Bag can really be described in one word. Simplicity.  The bag can be unzipped and laid on the ground in a large circle (a proverbial wader bag  tortilla) to provide an excellent place to stand when getting in your waders at the beginning of the day. When the time has come to call it quits the design of the taco bag keeps your wet boots and waders from dripping into the interior of your car.

Pros:

  • The mesh vents at the top of the bag help to prevent mold and mildew buildup.
  • The 40”x 20” dimensions are large enough to hold at least two sets of waders and boots
  • Price: At 29.95 this bag is an affordable solution for anglers looking for inexpensive wader storage.

Cons:

  • Since the bag has no sections it is hard to keep dry gear separated from wet gear.
  • Once zipped up the inside of the bag tends to get quite dirty from the waders themselves. However if you are diligent in cleaning your gear this does not really make a difference.

Overall this bag cannot be beat for anglers who are looking for a simple and practical way for storing waders and other wet gear.  This is just another example of why Simms is considered one of the best when it comes to fly fishing equipment.

Product Review : Simms Guide Waders

A Simms classic has been reborn in the form of the reintroduced Simms Guide Wader.  For anglers looking for frills and luxuries (aka front zippers, hand warmer pockets and built in retractors) these may not be your cup of tea. However what these waders lack in gadgets they make up for in pure angling function.

These waders feature a 3 layer GORE-TEX fabric from the legs down and when the temperatures drop staying warm is paramount.  My favorite feature on the Simms Guide Wader has to be the front stitched seams. In my extremely humble opinion that is huge because they do not experience as much wear as traditional seams. That is where a majority of anglers experience leaks within their waders due to constant friction from hiking and wading.  Overall these waders are an excellent value for anglers who don’t want to break the bank when looking for new waders.

Pros:

  • 3 Layer GORE-TEX fabric which makes these waders highly breathable and leaves the angler feeling comfortable and dry.
  • Built in gravel guards to provide extra protection while wading
  • Front seam construction increases longevity of waders.

Cons:

  • In my experience these waders can be quite hot as temperatures rise during the summertime.  That can be attributed to the quality materials used to keep the angler dry.

These waders have served me quite well over the year and a half I have been using them. I have heard  that it is not uncommon for an angler to get 5-10 years out of a pair of these Simms waders.  These waders are not cheap but if you fish 70+ days a year or just want to be as comfortable as possible spending that little bit extra will pay off in the long run.