: Simms Freestone jacket, Fleece, comfort, waders, etc.
03-31-2002, 03:40 AM
I'm in the market for a breathable rain jacket that is just a shell, nothing more (I will layer to keep warm in the winter with Fleece, etc) that will at least do the trick, if not more. Simms has recently brought out their Freestone jacket which sounds like a nice enough jacket. I was wondering if there are any opinions out there?? Anything else in the 150-200 US funds price range to consider that is breathable and will do the trick?
Just wanted to say I picked up my first pair of Breathables, the Simms Guideweights a month ago and after 5 solid outings with them, as well as my guide boots which I also picked up, I'm very impressed with the quality, the breathability, the fit, and the overall comfort. I also like the philosophy by Simms which is quite simply if you're comforatable when fishing, you fish longer, harder, and with more focus and the end result is more fish. I was also looking at getting the Simms back support belt, anyone else used that? Have heard some good reports about that as well...No replacement for doing some situps, but a good compromise until I get working on the "pack."
03-31-2002, 08:39 AM
Patgonia also makes a nice inexpensive breaethable jkt callet the "Deep Wader". It is nice too. I'd stick with Gore-Tex.
I know several people who use the simms jackets, including three with whom I fished through winter steelhead downpours last week. Pete, Ryan own the heavier fabric version, Doublespey has the light shell. Both are awesome.
I have the Patagonia deep wader, as does striblue. This jacket performed beautifully in cape cod summer squalls and on the olympic peninsula's rain last week.
The real test is time - I've been testing breathable fabric jackets for years and have always gone back to rubber jackets like the Columbia Frazier for serious weather, but much prefer breathables and I am hoping jackets like the Simms and Patagonia are going to be the ticket.
As far as simms waders, I have been a happy guide weight simms customer for years. Exceptional quality and durability that Simms is known for. My one wish (I have wishes for every manufacturer!) for summer flats fishing would be for a summer boot foot model. The thick neoprene is a bit much for summertime especially when long walks on the sand is part of the equation.
I guess we're lucky to have these kinds of jackets and waders to fish in, the old rubber days were a pain.
03-31-2002, 01:00 PM
I just picked up the new Patagonia SST with improvements from last year... but like Juro the Deep Wader, less money, is a great Cape jacket...
03-31-2002, 02:26 PM
Like Juro said, I have the Guide Jacket and love it. The large amount of pockets makes it so I rarely have to carry a vest with me where I just throw a couple flyboxes, tip-wallets and leader material in the jacket along with a pair of pliers and nippers and I am good to go. I even do this on sunny warm days and I stay very cool in the jacket.
But because you said you were looking for a less expensive jacket, look for a 2001 or prior McCloud Jacket. They have velcro cuffs, lots of pockets and are made from 3 layer Gore-Tex. The local Simms rep swears by this jacket over abything else.
There was a price jump for this jacket in 2002 from like $215 to $250 this year, if you can find a jacket with last year's tag on it...SCORE!!!
Do not hesitate to buy it!!!
03-31-2002, 03:56 PM
Scott...if you can use a large, I may have just what you're looking for...e-mail and we can talk about it...
04-02-2002, 02:58 AM
Thanks for taking the time to reply fellas....
I was just wondering if anyone had tried the Freestone jacket because I've seen it at Michael and Young and it looks quite thin (and well it's new). It's made of 2 layers of Goretex, which according to Gore on their site should do the trick, but that a 3 layer Gore-tex jacket is rated for heavier elements, which, living in BC is part of reality. I had the Raincloud in the back of my mind, because I know that I may have to come to grip with reality, that I may have to shell out the bucks for something a bit more, which, after doing the research and saving the money for, I did with the Simms Guide weight waders and boots. The new Guide jacket sounds attractive and I'm slowly but sure considering it considering it apparently has the Goretex XCR fabric which is supposed to be 25 percent more breathable than regular goretex.
I'll go into Michael and Young in a few days and browse the jackets, again. (you know, kinda like how you shop for rods, you pick them up and fling them, but with jackets its you touch them, rub them, inspect them, talk about the people who work there about them, etc, LOL). I don't mind shelling out the bucks, it's just I have to wait a bit longer because I have to save the money, that's all (but it's always nice to see if you can find something to do the trick for a bit cheaper). I will be buying it at Michael and Young though, whatever I buy for a jacket.
Ryan, that's a good point and something I've always thought about when I considered getting a jacket and I move away from my Sagetech green vest for Winter run fishing especially. When I'm out two handing 'er for Steelies (which is almost all I do now for them except when broodstock fish'n) I very seldom need much tackle in all honesty. A fly box, I have one of those Tiemco plier/scisscor combo things with the green handle (it was reviewed in the last edition on STeelhead of Homewaters magazine), a retractor if it's not already built in to hold it, some spools of tippet/leader material, a head wallet, a camera, for those times you never know: arsewipe in a ziplock bag to keep it dry obviously, etc. What more do you need for a days fishing?
Hey man, don't laugh at the arsewipe thing. When you're 30 miles up the Squamish mainline there are no outhouses around, you ain't driving back into town!!
04-03-2002, 08:54 PM
Ok fellas, went into Michael and Young today to browse the jackets....and well, the credit card accidently fell out of my wallet and well, I decided to go with the...drum role....
New Simms Guide Jacket.
After taking a look at the different jackets, I figured hell why not. It's so darn intelligently designed and well thought out it blows me away. Looking forward to fishing in it.
04-04-2002, 03:00 AM
Scott,that's going to be my next purchase too.Let me know what you think of it and how it handles the heavy coastal downpours.
04-04-2002, 07:13 PM
Tony, I took it out today in the sun and WOW, I"m quite amazed at how breathable the jacket really is. I guess i'ts suppposed to be as they use the Goretex XCR material. Very comforatable to fish in and plenty of pockets and room to hold all your neccessary steelhead fishing stuff plus wallet, keys, camera, arsewipe, etc.
I'm going out again tommorrow and the weather isn't supposed to be as nice, so I'll see how she plays with the rain that's supposed to be around. I'm feeling kinda cawky right now, LOL.
Tony, are you going to be in the Lower mainland anytime soon, .like within the next month??
04-05-2002, 03:24 AM
No,sorry Scott.I had to put off my spring trip on account of I accidently bought a 10ft 9wt GLX.It really sucks but I was forced into it against my will(honest):hehe: Hopefully I will make it down there before the steelies are done.I still have to get a line for my spey rod too.Are you going to the big sales at Hub and Berry's?If so let me know if there are any good deals on lines there.Keep me posted on the jacket too!;)
04-07-2002, 10:28 AM
I recently tried out the Freestone jacket for a product review. By "2-layer" they mean that instead of the sturdier (but less breathable) laminate of outer shell/breathable membrane/bonded liner, the outer shell and breathable membrane have a mesh liner sewn in which provides some protection against abrasion of the membrane. The jacket only has two pockets, but they are large, with full-length vertical zippers. Just remember to zip them up to prevent things falling out. I think it would make a serviceable jacket and, with Simms' reputation for reliability, would probably give plenty of service.
04-07-2002, 01:07 PM
Scott, you made the right decision.The simms guide weight is by far the best breathable jacket that I've had. Super waterproof and very light weight compared to other top end raincoats. I haven't tried the new Patagonia though. As for waders, I'm on my fourth pair of guideweight waders and am happy with them. I have tried most others but can consistantly get a year out of the Simms and they seem to breath the best.Brian