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Fly Apparel Review

The Orvis Pro Guide Stretch Wading Jacket shields anglers from the elements (continued)

When it came to mobility it was easy to move around in the Orvis Pro Guide Stretch Jacket and at no time did I feel like the jacket was restricting any of my movements when casting or simply navigating the river terrain. The shoulders actually feel like there is extra room which is a very welcome implementation. I have fished with wading jackets in the past that seem loose when standing straight but tighten up right around the shoulders and forearms once I started casting. The material used on the Orvis Pro Guide shoulder section is a stretch fabric that has a little bit of give while retaining structure very well. This stretchy shoulder yoke moves with your casting motion and the jacket's cuff design is very streamlined so that line doesnít hang up during casts.

Rain beads up on the surface of the nylon face

Even though Orvis does not disclose what the material is we know it is not Gore-Tex and I suspect it is Toray based material. In our tests the material performed exactly like Toray based material used both in other Orvis and Simms waders. Water from the surrounding river or the rain beaded up and slid right off the surface of the garment. If I shook the sleeves of the jacket after a hard downpour all the water would slide right off and the jacket arm would actually look dry. During tests I didnít sweat much when I was fishing out of a drift boat but when I had to wade a good distance down the river I did start to perspire. The Pro Guide Jacket does a great job moving moisture away and I never felt cold from the moisture inside the garment.

The jacket is great for both fly and conventional fishing

Breathability is something we often take for granted from quality outdoor wear, and is something you really donít seem to notice until you donít have it. Want to see what a non-breathable jacket feels like? Just put on a rubber jacket and try fishing in that all day. Just say ďnoĒ to rubber based jackets, they may be affordable but they are terrible on warmer days and on colder days can be very uncomfortable when your sweat cannot escape, the rubber also tends to harden in cold environments and can affect your mobility.

On the back of the jacket is a huge pocket goof for larger items like lunch

The Orvis Pro Guide was exceptional at keeping out even the heaviest rain, and it got really nasty when we were fishing on the Smith for Steelhead. Unlike many other wading jackets the Orvis Pro Guide is relatively clean looking on the front. There are not a lot of flaps or protruding pockets, and unlike the Orvis Tailwaters XT or Simms jackets there are no attachments for lanyards on the front. This doesnít necessarily bother me as I typically use my own lanyard or in some occasions will wear a vest on the outside of my jacket. The Pro Guide jacket has a totally stitchless front that keeps water out and lends to the Pro Guide jacketís excellent fit.

When it starts to rain the two way adjustable hood keeps you dry and in the game

During our field tests the rain came pouring down on us at the Smith River and I really began to appreciate the full coverage hood. I typically try and avoid wearing a hood unless it is absolutely pouring because it really dulls your senses as you hear the pitter patter of the rain all around you. However on this trip the hood was a godsend, and kept me completely dry and in the game. The hood can be worn by itself but I found a visor or hat underneath helped keep it in perfect position.

With more time to fish the chances of hooking up improve, some of the best steelhead fishing comes in the nastiest of weather

Though there are not any built in lanyards on the front of the jacket it does offer a surprisingly good amount of dry storage. Behind two large pockets I found mesh dividers that were good for everything from fly boxes to pliers, and even some extra room for some trail bars. These pockets were even able to accommodate large fly boxes with ease, no fiddling to get them in and out quickly while wading.

Releasing fish is easy with the dolphin skin cuffs

To aid with comfort the Orvis Pro Guide Jacket also has two zippered fleece handwarmer pockets that are lined with fleece to help keep your hands warm when idle. These pockets are higher up so that you can use them even when waist deep in the river. There were numerous occasions when I made use of these pockets in the early morning hours waiting for the sun to come up.

Even though the outside of the cuffs are wet my shirt sleeves are totally dry

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