Over the last few months I have taken the time to meticulously choose the items that will be a need more than a want before I start my tournament season. If you are really serious about getting into these competitions you will have to come to grips with the fact that it won't be cheap at first. No Wal-Mart specials will do the trick. The average angler can get away with the essential amount of gear, so my next few posts will be going over the bare bones basics for choosing necessary equipment. This will be a learning experience for both myself and my readers because all of my purchases haven't been finalized as of yet, and I would like to get my readers feedback before I make the dive on my purchases!
First and foremost, you need to be prepared for all weather elements you will be fishing in during your tournament season! The most essential of these is the Rain Suit! Other items like boots, warm layered clothing, and headwear is all necessary, but if you don't start with the right suit all of these other pieces of essential clothing will be meaningless.
What does a rain/wind suit give me?
- Creates a thin layer, breathable shell that is impermeable to rain and wind
- Adds extra storage on the body
If any of you have been out on a boat before, you know as well as I do that cold air and rain will go right through layered clothing in a heartbeat. The last thing you want to be doing during a tournament is trying to keep warm and shivering when you should be focusing on the bite and detecting strikes.
In my search for the best rainsuit, I have turned to two options. Both suits are made of Gore-Tex material that is THE BEST material on the market for rain/wind suits. The material is thin and light, which is what you really want. Insulation is not a necessity, just buy a bigger size so you can layer up. The material is also tough and durable so longevity of the suit is second to none. These suits are not cheap so the goal is to get the most out of your gear without having to replace it. So keep that in mind as we continue on with these posts, durability is first and foremost when making any gear purchase. Unless you are a pro and you get everything free, you want your gear to last!
The two suits that I have chosen to look at is the new Frabill FXE Stormsuit and the Bass Pro ShopsPro Qualifier Gore-Tex Suit.
Frabill FXE Stormsuit
- 100% waterproof, windproof, and breathable
- With the Parka or Jacket creates a single dry, comfortable system
- Two-layer GORE-TEX® fabric construction
- Double storm-flap-covered front two-way zipper with rain gutter
- Full hip-length waterproof two-way leg zips
- Articulated knees with reinforcing patches
- Adjustable ankle cuffs with inner patches
- Two large fleece-lined cargo pockets
- Two fleece-lined chest pockets with waterproof zippers
- Storm-flap-covered rear zip pocket
- Elastic waist for snug fit
After looking at the two side by side there are a few things I want to keep in mind when I go to try them out:
- Is it comfortable and easy to move around in?
- Is it big enough in size to put several layers underneath?
- Does the hood cover a good amount of my face to protect from the elements?
- Is it easy to get into and out of in case I want to take it off during a tournament?
- Does the jacket length go significantly past the top of the bibs so water and wind doesn't get under the jacket?
- How does the pocket storage space differ and what is easier to get to?
These are just some of the things that come into play off the top of my head, but the real question will be how it works out once I try them on. "If you are ever in doubt, try it out!"
I will be following up sometime next month once I have made my final decision, let me know what you guys think? Any other options let me know about them!