This month's installment of "Fishing Products That Pass the Test" features a pair of outstanding offerings that we have found to be exceptional performers. These are honest observations, completely unsolicited, and yes- they have earned a place amongst the "stuff" we take fishing.
EGO WADE® Net
We originally learned of Adventure Products at ICAST 2006. Adventure Products introduced their high-quality floating nets at that show and were very anxious to test the waters in Texas. During the discussion that followed we advised that many Texas wade anglers have drifted away from using landing nets because treble-hooked lures have a nasty habit of tangling in the fabric. We went further to relate how many anglers have embraced catch and release, and therefore strive to handle their fish as carefully as possible.
Looking back I'd say the guys at Adventure Products are good listeners and they are pretty serious about selling wade nets to Texas anglers.
Back about mid-summer 2007 we received a call saying they were ready to ship a prototype net that might be just what the wade fishermen wanted. Naturally, we couldn't wait to see it.
The net shown in the accompanying photos has been fishing with us for seven months now and it is performing very well. Lure tangling has been greatly diminished compared to working with other net designs. The stretch of the net fabric is another great feature. Heavy fish can bang around all they want in there and the stretch softens the blow, it's got to be easier on them than a hard fabric net material. And finally there is the slick finish of the net fabric; the slime stays on the fish which should contribute to post-release survival. Other attractive features are the way the net floats and its stout elastic cord and carabiner-style aluminum snap.
Look for this fish-friendly prototype to become part of the EGO WADE line very soon. To learn more about Adventure Products and their other fine offerings, visit them at www.adventureproducts.com.
Simms Breathable Waders
Waders are to a year round wade fishing guide the same as a claw hammer to a framing carpenter; these are simple tools but we cannot do our job without them. Now I've never broken a claw hammer, except maybe a handle; but even at that a carpenter might be able to borrow one from another worker on the job. A pair of waders, though, may not be so easy to replace on the job. I wish you luck trying to talk someone out of their warm, dry duds on a February morning when yours are full of water. And good luck staying on the bite as you turn blue.
This is a short testimonial that anyone seeking uncommon value and performance in a pair of breathable stocking foot waders might want to read carefully.
We elected not to use a photo of brand-spankin' out-of-the-box product here, anybody can do that. No sir, this is the real deal.
The waders you see me wearing here are over four years old and it safe to say they have been, "ridden hard and put up wet," hundreds of times.
Last spring I thought I was ready for a new pair. I had been noticing a damp spot along the left inseam that was growing. Not a big problem yet, but a signal that one was heading my way. Oh well, wet wading was only days away at the time and I'd deal with it later. A few weeks passed and the waders went back in the closet.
I happened to mention to Capt. Chris Phillips one day that I'd finally worn out my Simms waders and that's when I learned of their reconditioning and repair service.
Pam packed my worn and slightly leaky waders and shipped them to Simms for evaluation. To be honest, I did not expect much. However, to my surprise we received a letter shortly that said the waders would be reconditioned to include new booties, new straps, and all seams resealed. The cost would be about $50. Would I authorize the service charge?
So here it is, another cold water wading season drawing to a close, and I'm still fishing in my same old Simms. Call it what you will; I call my original $199.00 investment and the reconditioning fee uncommon value and service in today's market.
Check out Simms line of outdoor products at Fishing Tackle Unlimited, Cut Rate Fishing Tackle and Angler's Edge in Houston; The Tackle Box in Victoria, and Rockport Tackle Town in Rockport. You can also learn more by visiting their website www.simmsfishing.com.