Camouflage kit is great for creeping up on easily spooked trout.
But while we enjoy the benefits of angling incognito, the camo gear we wear today has its origins in the carnage of the First World War. Appalling losses at the Western Front prompted a desperate search to come up with ways of disguising troop movements.
Things have come a long way since then. Modern camouflage patterns are designed using complex algorithms that ensure near invisibility. Here we bring you a collection of some truly incredible camouflage fishing clothing. So, can you spot the camo guy?
The TF Gear Onesie is a hooded, one-piece, fleece suit that will truly keep the keenest deep winter carp specialist wrapped in a thermal second skin all day and all night.
Field testing of the TF Gear Chill Out Onesie illustrated its outstanding insulating properties and incredible comfort, our testers have endured the coldest weather with ease. With no belts, buckles, gaps or joins the wearer enjoys complete freedom of movement and draft-free, whole body warmth. The TF Gear Onesie is an utterly superb sleep-suit, the perfect mid layer and a rather trendy outer garment.
Don’t deprive yourself of the best piece of winterwear you could wish for – invest in a TF Gear Onesie.
Available in sizes Medium through to XXL
When searching for new fly fishing clothing, your search can be sometimes hindered by the copious amounts of waterproof jackets, trousers and bib and braces on the market. It always helps when you find something that has had good recommendations by trusted anglers. When you’re in the market for a new garment, you need to take into consideration it’s breathability, insulation, water repellence, durability and more importantly for some, the price.
All the clothing in the Airtex range feature a three-layer nylon shell which is windproof, waterproof and breathable. With A loose polyester mesh lining over the main body, the sleeves of the jackets have a lined, smooth polyester fabric which ensures nothing will scag or scuff it when passing your arms through. The bib and brace is lined throughout with smooth polyester fabric.
The entire Airtex clothing range is designed around fit and comfort, as well as being 100% waterproof. The integrated hood offers great cover from the elements and unlike some hoods, doesn’t obscure your vision. The peeked front of the hood keeps water from dripping over the front and into your face. It’s also fully adjustable. The Cuffs on the jacket are secured in place with a Velcro fastener, perfectly positioned so it won’t catch on your fly line.
What Robbie had to say about the Airtex 3/4 Jacket:
The 3/4 length jacket has a full-length single zip opening with a good rain gutter behind it and a substantial storm flap which folds over with Velcro fastenings. The built-in hood is lined with a polyester fabric which makes it very comfortable and warm. The hood’s peak, although not stiffened, offers some protection against the elements. A double toggle lock and cord adjustment around the face and a secondary fitting on the back of the head tightens everything into place and ensures the hood moves with you, so it doesn’t obscure your vision.
The sleeves are contoured and finished off with a good tab and Velcro fastening. On the front there are two chest box pockets with water resistant zips and two flat hip pockets with zips and small stormflaps. There is a large D-ring on the back and two on the front. Inside there is one simple pocket with a Velcro closure.
What Robbie had to say about the Airtex Bib and Brace:
The bib and brace have a set of adjustable elasticated webbing braces with quick release bayonet fittings and there are two nylon tabs with Velcro fasteners located each side of the chest which can be tightened for a custom fit. There are reinforced panels on the high wear areas – the seat, knees and on the inside of the ankle cuffs. An 11-inch zup opening at the ankle cuff has a gusseted panel behind it and the ankle cuffs can be tightened down with Velcro fastenings. A single water-resistant zip opening from the crotch to the top of the chest has a good baffle behind it along with a substantial rain gutter and storm flap with Velcro fastenings. Nothing’s getting through this! There are two waist box pockets with storm flaps and Velcro fasteners and a large flat zipped accessory or hand warmer pocket each side of the chest.
The Airtex Wading Jacket:
The wading jacket is the same design as the 3/4 style, but with the pockets pushed much higher up. A good jacket for the boat angler when worn in conjunction with a bib and brace, or alternatively worn over a pair of chest waders either in the boat or off the bank.
“A good set of fishing clothing at a good price – Airflo are offering any jacket and the bib and brace trousers for just £150. The large jackets that I had for review were a generous size without being baggy. Well designed hood!”
With a stamp of approval from Trout Fisherman, labaled as Tackle Testers Choice, you’d be silly not to conteplate the Airflo Airtex clothing range in your search for a new fishing jacket, bib and brace or both.
Next time you strike lucky when you’re out fishing, take a moment to examine your catch.
Because it could hold the answer to some of the world’s most pressing technological challenges. Yes, fish are in demand as never before, not just because they taste nice, but for their high tech secrets.
Read on to find out just how high tech a fish can be.
For a construction technique that could lead to production of fishing clothing that’s literally bulletproof, we need to trek to the Amazon. The arapaima is a river fish that grows to over 2 m in length and can weigh as much as 200 kg. But it’s not its size that interests scientists.
The scales of the arapaima are so tough, piranhas’ teeth crumble on impact. Scientists studying the scales have discovered that beneath their rock hard mineral exterior, the fish scales ride on a bed of elastic protein threads. The combination of hard and soft lends the scales incredible toughness, a discovery that’s inspiring a new generation of flak jacket as well as tougher false limbs.
A plate of fresh sardines or herring is a delicious heart healthy meal at which few would turn their noses up. But those shimmering silver fish have scientists in a flap for a completely different reason. It’s to do with the way their bodies reflect light.
Crystals in the skin of the fish are aligned so they reflect light in all directions, mimicking the natural play of light around their ocean home. It’s neat trick that helps hide the shoal from the beady eyes of dolphins and other predators. Researchers now believe they can use this clever natural mirroring to improve LED and fibre-optic technology.
Hoki is a succulent white fish commercially harvested in New Zealand. But it’s not the flesh that’s spawned a whole new high tech industry, but the skin. As a by product, hoki skin had no particular use until scientists discovered the possibilities of the collagen it contained. Engineers worked out a way to spin the collagen into nanothreads 500 times thinner than a human hair.
From the super fine threads a non woven mat is produced. An incredible surface area makes this mat ideal for use in air purification filters, but its applications offer far more scope than that. The super thin material can be impregnated with anti bacterial agents for use in wound dressings. And other uses include in electronics, cosmetics and packaging. There could even be a use for hoki skin fibres in structural engineering.
Remote controlled unmanned subs are hard to manoeuvre, particularly in confined spaces. This makes them less than ideal for tackling complex tasks like the investigation shipwrecks. But now engineers are making progress with a new type of sub whose movement and sensory equipment is based on the knifefish, a small inhabitant of mangrove swamps.
Instead of using its eyes to see, the knifefish beams a low voltage electric field that enables it to sense its surroundings. The diminutive fish is able to negotiate the tangled tree roots and dense water vegetation by means of delicate undulations of its long blade-like fin. By replicating the knifefish’s electronic eyes and precise manoeuvring ability, new generation robots will be able to go where no deep sea probe has been before.
When engineers were tasked with bringing wind power generation to the Los Angeles valley, they faced a problem: the lack of space. To resolve this issue, they went for vertical rather than the usual horizontal blades. But to make the best use of the available land, they went a step further, and turned to fish to help them work out the best way to position the turbines.
Scientists have noticed that individuals in a shoal of fish position themselves to make most efficient use of the vortices created by the fins of the fish around them. Engineers took this research and applied it to the positioning of each turbine in the farm, even working out the optimal direction of rotation of each turbine blade.
Fly fishing can be a very demanding sport, both physically and mentally, so protecting yourself against the elements should be the first thing you think about before heading to any water. How many times has a freak downpour put and end to your fishing because you’ve forgotten your wading jacket?
We’ve recently taken delivery of our most anticipated fly fishing clothing yet, a full range of clothing from Airflo called the Airtex range. Providing a fully waterproof outer shell from the worst possible conditions known to anglers.
Here’s something more focused to the river angler. The Airflo Airtex wading jacket, a short cut design which is ideal for deep wading on rivers. The high riding chest pockets allow your fly boxes and tippet to be kept clear of the water, while strategically placed reinforcing pads take advantage of the extra durable Talson shell to provide great water repellecy. This jacket is fully breathable and will keep you warm, dry and comfortable for many fishing trips to come.
Some anglers are not too fussy on waders when looking for waterproof leggings or trousers, so a set of Bib and Brace style garment look the part and keep you dry when fishing from the bank or boat. They are much more comfortable and safer than a pair of chew waders whilst boat fishing they are also easier to get on and off too. The high back allows you to wear a short wading jacket as well as the longer, 3/4 length waterproof jackets for full protection.
The 3/4 length waterproof fishing jacket is ideal for keeping your body warm and dry. The lengthened bottom adds extra protection to your abdomen and to the top of your legs. Water is forced to run off over your waterproof trousers, ensuring your dryness all day long. With multiple ‘D’ rings for attaching various accessories and warm, zipper pockets give great security for your fishing gear.
Whether you’re into fly fishing, coarse fishing or sea angling, we’re all well aware of how dangerous our favourite element can be.
You might be wearing the very best in waterproof fly fishing clothing, or ensconced in neoprene lined chest waders, but the truth is there are some emergencies no one can plan for. Here we’ve trawled the web for some of the most incredible fishing survival stories. Warning: best read from the comfort of home.
Hiking back from a successful salmon fishing trip on the Russian river, 25 year old Dan Bigley was an experienced outdoorsman. Well aware that there were bears in the area, Dan and his fishing buddy chatted loudly as they walked, making sure any animals in the vicinity would be aware of their presence.
But they didn’t reckon on meeting a rogue grizzly bear. Most bears will avoid humans, but not this one. Instead of trotting away, hackles raised, it stood its ground. Dan and friend backed away and once out of sight headed back the way they’d come. But the bear tracked them and pounced, pinning Bigley to the ground and savaging his face and head.
Dan Bigley was left blinded by the attack, but despite the seriousness of his injuries he now works as a social worker and college lecturer. And of course he still loves his fishing.
Shark attacks kayak
For our next story we head to Port Elizabeth in South Africa. Werner Coetzee, 35 had recently moved to the area, and as a keen kayak fisherman was looking forward to the fine fishing on offer there.
Early one morning, he and some friends put to sea in search of Geelbek – Cape Salmon. Guided by their fishfinders the group came to a good spot, fanned out and prepared to fish.
It was while Werner was getting ready to drop his anchor that a Great White shark attacked from below. It struck his kayak at full pelt, making a noise like a gun going off and throwing the unlucky fisherman two and a half metres in the air. Now in the water, Coetzee watched wide eyed as the monster predator turned its attentions to him.
The fisherman managed to scramble aboard the remains of his craft and was plucked to safety by a nearby boat. Needles to say, he and his friends beat a hasty retreat to land – happy to live to fish another day.
While fishing from any kind of boat, a life jacket really is a must have safety item. But if you forget to wear it, or there’s an equipment malfunction, here’s a story that should give you a clue what to do in the worst case scenario.
John Aldridge was working aboard a lobster boat out of Montauk, New York state. He was trying to move a cooler when the handle suddenly snapped. He lost his balance and fell off the back of the boat. It was two and a half hours before crewmates noticed he was missing and raised the alarm.
By the time Aldridge was found, he’d been in the water for nearly 12 hours. The fisherman hadn’t been wearing a lifejacket but thanks to his quick thinking, he managed to save his own life.
How? He pulled off his seaboots and trapping air in them, jammed one under each armpit.
Sharks and crocs
A fishing trip almost ended in disaster for two elderly Australians when their fishing boat was capsized by heavy waves off the North Queensland Coast.
Ross Pennisi, 82, and Phillip Sorbello, 77 found themselves clinging to their upturned boat in shark infested waters. Terrified they’d be eaten, it took them a nerve jangling two hours to make it to shore.
And their reward? A trek through crocodile infested swamps to make it to safety.
Somehow the intrepid duo lived to tell the tale. Of his ordeal, Ross Pennisi told reporters:
“You have not got much time to pray there but we were thinking of Him and we asked Him for help and I think we got it. I’ve been tough all my life and thank God for that.”
Here’s a little gem from Florida newspaper, the Evening Independent, from August 1958.
Would be rescuers feared the worst when local radio engineer, Ben Smith’s rented angling boat was found adrift at sea. A sea search failed to find the married father, and he was later given up for dead.
But in small town America, secrets can be hard to keep. It wasn’t long before Sheriff’s deputies heard a rumour that Smith wasn’t dead at all. Their enquiries revealed the lost angler was alive and well, and living under an assumed name in a town a few miles away.
They decided not to press charges, but on hearing the news of her husband’s resurrection, Mrs Smith threatened to sue. Ben Smith had moved in with the family baby sitter!
Winter is almost upon us and with it, the likelihood of a cold snap.
If you like nothing better than bright, crisp mornings or chilly moonlit nights on the riverbank or beach, it’s important to make sure you’re adequately prepared for whatever the weather may throw at you. Here’s our guide to keeping warm so you can keep your line wet this winter.
Stay warm by staying cool
As every arctic explorer knows, the best way to stay warm is never to get hot. On cold days, sweat won’t evaporate. Instead, it’ll make your base layer damp. As soon as you stop moving around so much, that cold wet layer will chill you to the bone.
Wear a thermal material next to your skin, preferably one that wicks water away from your body. And rather than thick, bulky clothes, wear thin layers of fishing clothing you can take off if you get too warm. Fleeces come in a wide variety of thicknesses, making them the ideal layering garment.
Keep your head covered
While it’s not actually true that we lose more heat from our head than any other part of the body, it is true that we will if it’s the only part of us that’s not covered! The simple message is - don’t forget to take your hat. Bobble hat, beanie, thinsulate hat – whatever your choice, make sure it’s on your head.
Even the Romans wore socks – with a separate big toe so their sandals wouldn’t fall off. Luckily you’ll be wearing boots, but you still need to make sure your socks are up to the job. Wool rich socks, thermal socks, fleece welly liners – all will do their bit to keep your toes warm. Waterproof breathable fishing boots with a decent grip are a must for wet or icy winter conditions – and if you’re choice is wellies, go for the neoprene or fleece lined variety.
Half gloves, or fingerless gloves will keep your hands warm while allowing you to work with your fingers. For cold wet conditions, it’s always best to go for a design that combines a warm neoprene or velvet lining with a windproof outer. That way if your gloves get wet, your hands will stay warm.
It goes without saying that you’ll need a waterproof shell for winter fishing excursions. Go for the best breathable fishing waterproofs you can afford. A decent coat with lined pockets and a decent storm hood, matched with over trousers or bibs will offer great protection from inclement weather.
One of the best ways to keep warm is to keep your internal boiler stoked. Hot soup, tea and coffee served from a good quality stainless steel or unbreakable thermos can be a lifesaver on cold wet days. Those who prefer to travel light or who anticipate being away for more than one day might consider a field kettle cook set. Originally designed in the early 20th century and used extensively by kiwi soldiers in world war two, this superb bit of field kit enables you to heat water and cook using small quantities of twigs as fuel.
Hardened winter carpers will know the value of a decent bivvy. A tough, lightweight shelter is essential kit for when the weather turns nasty. Not only does a bivvy offer somewhere to sit while you wait for the fish to bite, it offers vital and potentially life saving protection from the elements.
The guys and gals at Simms have produced one of the most technical and stylish fishing clothing range for this years Autumn range. Featuring some old named garments with new fabric technologies, these new fishing jackets, fleece tops and pants from Simms will perform to the very highest level.
Any angler knows that fishing can cause wear and tear on the body.
Periods of relative inactivity interspersed with flurries of intense effort can result in injury, as can the repetitive motions of casting and retrieving. Physical fitness can really help you up your game and keep you healthy too.
So kick off your fishing boots, clear some space in your bivvy, and try some of the stretches below while you’re waiting for a bite.
It’s all about posture
How we stand when we fish has a major effect on the muscular balance of our bodies.
When standing, most anglers tend to rest more of their weight on one leg, with their pelvis rotated forward. Holding a fishing rod is a shoulder-rounding stance and gazing down at the water places a strain on neck muscles.
In short, fishing puts your body out of balance.
To counteract the stresses that fishing puts on our bodies, we need to stretch in such away that unlocks tensions in muscles and joints – particularly our backs. One exercise that’s very useful for anglers is the ‘superman.’
Not only does it release tension in your lower back, it strengthens core muscles too. Lie on your front with your arms stretched out in front.
Keeping your head in a neutral position, lift your arms and legs clear of the floor. Hold and slowly release.
Added release for shoulders and neck can be incorporated into this exercise by bringing your arms back so that you resemble an aeroplane. Not sure? It’s easy – babies do it all the time.
Pain in the neck
Fishing puts a strain on your neck, so make sure that you stretch before and after fishing.
The lateral neck bend is a simple exercise. Look up – look down, look right – look left. Bend your head towards one shoulder, straighten, then bend toward the other. Keep your shoulders relaxed and in a neutral position throughout.
You can do the exercises at any time so make sure you take them fishing with you. Take your time to perform the movements slowly and smoothly.
Lower back problems affect vast numbers of people. The human body wasn’t designed to sit down for hours every day.
Enforced immobility is a major problem in Western society – but to ensure you remain fit enough to fish – there are steps you can take.
Simply take a step forward, lower your back knee and at the same time push the front of your hip forward. Only bend as far as you find comfortable and always stop if you feel pain.
With this exercise, it is important not to bend your front leg beyond a right angle. Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds before slowly straightening. Then swap legs and do it again.
A simple exercise for improving core strength is the plank.
Pay great attention to getting the pose right and you’ll reap the reward of this very effective exercise. Keep your knees locked and your legs straight.
Your hips should be level at all times. As you tire it’s tempting to let your back sag. Don’t.
It’s far better to let your knees drop to the floor and do a modified stance. Your head should be in a neutral position and your upper arms at right angles to the floor.
Hold the position for as long as you can – it’s great for your core, back upper body and legs.
Forearms and elbows.
Winding the handle of your reel and casting are highly repetitive motions that can lead you to develop tennis elbow. This is a very painful condition that can take all the fun out of fishing. Keep your muscles and tendons supple by performing this easy stretch.
With your arm out in front of you, gently bend your hand back. Hold and release. Now take the same hand and bend it in the opposite direction. Repeat several times on each side.
Never stretch further than is comfortable. It’s much better to repeat the exercise two or three times a day than try to make big gains right away.
Practise little and often and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much more reeling your elbows and wrists can take.
Trench foot is a particularly nasty affliction of the feet caused by prolonged exposure to cold and wet conditions.
But if you think trench foot isn’t a risk for anglers, think again. It can take as little as 13 hours to develop what amounts to a serious medical problem.
Read on to discover how good quality fishing boots could literally save your life.
It’s only mud
As every angler knows getting wet and muddy goes with the territory, but you do need to pay attention to your feet. In temperatures below 16 celsius, if your feet get wet, you’re at risk of developing trench foot.
The boots themselves are partly to blame, because all footwear restricts circulation. But how you look after your feet is key.
This is particularly true if an angling trip is scheduled to last more than a single day. Make sure you know the warning signs that your feet are feeling the strain.
The first sign of a foot in trouble is likely to be tingling, or perhaps an itching sensation with pain, swelling and cold, blotchy skin. You may notice areas of redness or blueness indicating blood circulation has been compromised. Alternatively, you may experience numbness or a heavy feeling in a waterlogged foot.
Later on, once you’ve warmed your foot, is the skin suddenly very dry? And are your feet uncharacteristically red, swollen or painful? You may have chilblains but if you’re unlucky – it could be trench foot.
Untreated, trench foot can worsen beyond the point that swelling and blisters develop. Infection can set in and interruption to blood circulation can cause skin to die. At this point there is a significant risk of gangrene.
While you’re unlikely to let a case of cold, wet feet deteriorate to such a degree, it is worth being ‘foot aware’ to prevent very painful and perfectly preventable after effects. If you are worried you might have developed trench foot – seek medical advice.
The best way to stop trench foot in its tracks is to keep your feet warm and dry, also avoid footwear that’s too tight or too loose. Good fishing boots are a must.
But if your feet are likely to get wet, make sure that you pack plenty of dry socks and change them frequently. At night, when you’re tucked up in your bivvy, always check your feet over and treat any blisters.
Leave wet boots and socks off at night, this will give your feet a chance to fully recover, in time for the following days fishing.
Trench foot gets its name from the appalling plight of soldiers during World War One. Men fought for days and weeks in thick mud and standing water. At its peak 20,000 soldiers had diseased feet, and over the course of the war the condition affected a staggering 74,000 allied troops. Some of the soldiers suffered gangrene, amputation and even death.
Combattants in wars as recent as the Falklands have been dogged by trench foot. In the civilian population, festival goers, anglers and hikers have all been affected. But by being prepared and knowing the signs and symptoms – you can stay one step ahead.