Why buy a $550 Wading Jacket?

September 16, 2014

I just got a new Simms G4 Pro Wading Jacket and the conversation came up... at home.  As it always does "WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU BUY A $550 WADING JACKET?!!!!!!"  It does sound pretty ludicrous when you say it out loud.  

Initially this sounds like a lot of money until you think it through.  How many fishing days to you need to salvage to make $550 sound pretty darn affordable?  The answer for most devout Steelhead anglers is about a half a day!  Read through this blog article and I'll explain how this jacket will save fishing days and possibly a life someday.

My first thought... This jacket had better be good! 

Most product reviews frankly don't have much substance so I'll try to stay focused on why you might want this product rather than what it is made out of.  Gore-tex is all you need to know.  I laugh at some reviews, they talk about space age materials, how many oz. it is, how many fancy pockets it has, and a bunch of other stuff that frankly is just fluff.  We have all that on our online store, click here for specs/details on the Simms G4 Jacket.  How do you review a $550 fishing jacket anyway?  Of course it is an amazing product it is $550!  

There really isn't a comparable product to the new Simms G4 Pro Jacket.  It is built by Simms and for 20 years they have been building the best Gore-tex fishing gear on the planet.  It is without rival the best wading jacket on the market.  I could go through all the zippers, pockets, and gadgets but that is a waste of your time.  I would rather explain "why and who should get this jacket". 

Reasons to invest long term in a quality Simms G4 Pro Wading Jacket

  1. It will definitely save your fishing day at some point, maybe even your life.
  2. If your body is warm and dry, your hands will be warm.  This is huge when it comes to fishing productivity.
  3. If you are fishing remote areas or away from the truck.  If you fall in the river, get soaked, and are a long ways from a place to warm up it is just plain dumb to not have gear that will prevent you from getting wet.
  4. If you plan to fish when its cold.
  5. If you plan to wade fish in rivers that can be slippery.
  6. You won't have to buy a jacket twice.

Some of the small features that stood out to me:
  1. Pit zips.
  2. The new lightweight Gore-tex will "shake dry".  I have several Simms Jackets and the new ones are lighter and will shake dry after a rainstorm or interface with the water.  The old Gore-tex soaked up a lot of moisture even though it was waterproof.
  3. Better cuffs
  4. More intuitive pockets (the inside pocket fits a Samsung Galaxy S5 with an Otter Box).
  5. There are plenty of great features, as there should be. Did I mention that it costs $550?

Why Buy a Simms G4 Pro Jacket and How to Use it if you Fall Down in the River

We made a similar video a couple of years ago outlining the benefits of a good wading jacket but decided to update it a bit.  Both videos are good references as to WHY you might want a Simms G4 Pro Wading Jacket before your next cold weather fishing trip.

Things I have seen while guiding

I have been guiding quite a while and over the years have spent many days wade fishing with clients in cold weather.  Especially on the Methow River in the fall.  For a few years in a row the river was a bit too low during steelhead season to get the raft down it so we wade fished all of steelhead season.  For those of you that have been there, you know that the big rocks on the Methow can be slick!  

At the beginning of the season I wasn't too picky about what folks wore for clothing or footwear as long as they were warm.  They are big boys, what they wear is up to them.  I had a few old ski poles that I offered up for wading staffs but besides that folks were on their own.  Quite a few anglers got wet on those trips.  Most would get a wet arm because they would catch themselves on a small stumble.  This usually happened first thing in the morning when they were excited about first water.  This is also when it is COLD!  Their gloves would also then be wet and they would be freezing in the first hour. Some would get a little water in their waders and others... the entire dunk.  Wet pants, arms, body, etc.  What always starts as small slip can wind up as a ice bath.  

What I figured out that first season was that the anglers that had good wading jackets, typically Simms, weren't even phased by an arm grab a missed step or even when they completely slipped on their butts in shallow enough water!  It was as though it didn't happen.  On more than one occasion I had anglers that needed to retreat to the Motel to grab a hot shower, dry out, and then come back.  Spare dry clothes weren't enough. If we were in a remote area it would have been a bad situation and likely the fishing day would have been lost.

Wading Jackets are NOT Just Rain Jackets!

The Simms G4 water tight wrist bands allow you to submerse your hands without getting water up your sleeves. This is great for handling fish, when you stumble and have to catch yourself, and it also keeps rain from running down your sleeves!

As you prepare for Steelhead season keep in mind that wading jackets are not rain jackets.  Sure they will keep you warm, dry, and keep you fishing during inclement weather but that is far from their sole purpose.  Wading jackets are WADING JACKETS.  Most folks don't understand that the features associated with these jackets are wading oriented, not just rainfall oriented.
  1. I enjoy your videos and find them informative. I'd get a lot of value from a short one on the primary categories and the various stages as well as when you're most likely to use them on the Yakima. Stone Flies / May Flies /Teresstrials / etc.