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Old 05-02-15, 10:39 AM   #1
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Default Drowned rat?

What does it feel like to be a drowned rat?

I really can't say, but if it were not for a good set of Goretex rain gear I would probably know. I own several pieces and I am thankful every time I have a need for it, it is available. It is something anyone who spends time outdoors in lousy weather should own. Yes, it is expensive, but how much is it worth to stay bone dry in wet weather below 60 degrees?

I bought in to the Goretex product years ago when I fished tournaments and took extended fishing vacations. It has saved many a day and trip having it onboard. Bass tournaments are not cancelled due to rain, and I refused to drag my boat hundreds of miles to fish waters I have not seen before to sit in a hotel room and watch TV because of a little rain. Two things (modern innovations/inventions) made fishing tournaments and lakes I never had seen possible for me. Without them I doubt I would ever have fished big lakes I was unfamiliar with or traveled long distances to fish. One was GPS the other is Goretex and the latter may be the more important of the two.

I was again reminded of the value of Goretex just yesterday (Friday) while fishing a tournament on the Potomac river. It was raining light but steady when we departed for the ramp. At launch (Smallwood, on the MD side) time it was raining pretty heavily. Wind was blowing 15 MPH steady from the north (Washington DC) and our prime destination was 5 miles away on the other side of the river (Virginia). Mattawoman creek was not bad at all, it was protected from much of the "breeze". The Potomac was another story. Wind gusts were in the mid-20's and the river was muddy with lots of debris and I can't forget 3' rollers.

I was lucky to be in a 21' Ranger, one of the best riding bass boats you can plant your butt in. But (I think there is a pun there somewhere) it is not a lot of fun in rain that stings like hail on exposed skin, spray flying over the gunnels, and strong wind without Goretex - well it really isn't a lot of fun with Goretex, but the point is everything in the boat got thoroughly soaked except the two fishermen. Hypothermia would have been a high probability.

As I am writing this today you all know I survived the ordeal. The trip back across the river 5 hours later was worse as the wind had shifted and I really think increased. The trip across was worth it, we had a limit within two hours of launch (with travel time that was about 90 minutes of actual fishing) and proceeded to cull throughout the morning. Fishing was tough, in that finding water calm enough to actually fish it was difficult and finding uncrowded calm water was very difficult. We had little luck in the afternoon other than the rain stopping and the sun came out. But the boat carpet was still wet at weigh in, we of course were not.

So finally I hope the point has soaked in (another woeful pun), without Goretex rain gear the day of fishing, the trip, catching a limit of bass and "enjoying" another day on the water would have been lost. An investment (and it is an investment) in quality rain gear is the best thing I ever did to allow me to fish in any weather without ending up cold, soaked, sick or dead (well dead is a bit much as I would like to believe I have sufficient intelligence to know that if I am not prepared for bad weather I would stay indoors).

If anyone is wondering we managed to finish 4th. We could not find a good kicker fish to give us better weight. That was probably because our other spots were UN-fishable, but that affected everyone. Actually no "big" bass were brought in (lunker was only 4.5#), but bags of buck bass were.

I should probably say, there are many good brands of rain gear on the market and some big retailers have their own version of the original Goretex. Whatever brand, the important thing is the waterproof membrane, because many products will keep you dry (PVC, I'm thinking) but the Goretex membrane also breathes, so you don't soak in your own sweat (that is nasty). My particular preference is for Cabela's Guidewear, I have several pieces. As it is expensive I suggest bibs over pants because they protect your lower back if/when you bend over. For the same reason I like a parka over a jacket. I have it all so I offer suggestions based on my experience. Uninsulated gear is what I like, you can always wear a fleece vest under the top, the bibs do well over pants or shorts. Insulated Goretex would only be good (IMO) for ice fishermen or hunters who sit inactive for extended periods.

That's it. Drowned rat or dry, warm and healthy fisherman? Certainly the latter for me.
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Old 05-04-15, 07:17 AM   #2
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Congrats on the 4th place finish! Few things are as helpful as warm rain wear, and Cabelas is top notch.
Just one more cast, and then some!
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Old 05-04-15, 11:00 AM   #3
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Second the congratulations. 4th place in shi**y conditions is a good thing.

I have a set of Frog Togs and I know they've saved me a couple of times. I have a heavy cloth/vinyl set that I use in cold weather ... which I recommend strongly. Breathable rain gear is good in warmer conditions, but heavy stuff will help keep you warm.
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