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Clothing Review (Built for Fly-Fishing)

A jacket built for the worst conditions, when fishing is typically at its best...The Simms Guide Jacket

Date: 2/21/02
Tackle type: Clothing
Manufacturer: Simms
Reviewer: Buzz

Total Score: 8.75

Introduction: Anyone who has fished in horrible weather knows that it can be a very miserable experience.  The problem is that no matter how good of fishermen we are, we cannot control the weather.  The best thing we can do is to try and cope with mother-nature, and to be prepared for whatever she might throw at us.  In looking for an all weather outer jacket, there are a number factors you should consider.  For those who want to conquer the elements to fish, Simms introduces the Gore-Tex Guide Jacket, designed to keep you warm and dry on the river while others will be running for shelter.


Simms Guide Jacket Specs

Material Gore Tex XCR fabric
Hood Roll up
Sizes Available Small, Med, Large, X-Large, XXL
Color Forest Green, Khaki
Fastening (Adjustment) Velcro, Retractors
Price as tested $350.00

At first look at the Simms Guide Jacket I couldnít help but notice its high quality construction.  The jacket is comprised of Gore-Tex XCR fabric, which is 25% more ďbreathableĒ than traditional Gore-Tex materials.  Many jackets can keep you dry from the outside elements, however this jacket allows your bodyís sweat and moisture to escape, thus keeping you drier longer.  The main zipper is so big and strong, it looks like it should belong on a wetsuit, not a fishing jacket.  Anyone who has ever had a zipper break knows that this is a big plus.

The Simms Guide Jacket features the new Gore-Tex XCR which is 25% more breathable then regular 3 layer Gore-Tex

As far as storage is concerned, I am still discovering hidden pockets that I didnít know the jacket had when I purchased it.  You can actually fish with all your gear without having to wear an outer vest.  A large back pocket can also come in handy for storing extra layers, or whatever you wish.

The Guide Jacket has a roll up storm hood

Real World Test:
There are 2 features this jacket has that will absolutely amaze you.  First is the two built in retractors that can hold your pliers and clippers.  You wonít have to buy those cheap after-market retractors that put holes in your clothing. These retractors also hide when not in use.  Second: Watertight stretch Gore-Tex cuffs that adjust to cinch around your wrist.  This minimizes water entry when casting, and landing big fish.  Simms patents both of these features, so donít expect to see them on any other jacket.

A cornucopia of pockets provide plenty of storage

The roll-up storm hood, and waist drawstring are a couple of nice finishing touches that put the final signature on the coat.  I have used this jacket in the pouring rain, with only a small thermal layer over my skin.  The result was that I fished all day while I saw many other people heading for their cars.  They looked at me like I was crazy for staying on the river, but little did they know the environment wasnít effecting me like it was them.

Two hidden retractors hide behind (not inside) the pockets


At the end of the day I had a fantastic fishing experience, landed fish on waters that normally would have been under higher pressure due to more anglers, got great pictures, and still went home dry. The Simms Guide jacket not only shielded me from the elements but allowed me to keep fishing, and not just salvage a day of fishing, but make it a great day out...regardless of the weather.



Simms Guide Jacket Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality You wonít find a better made jacket on the market.  Gore-Tex XCR fabric is more breathable and waterproof than any other material known to man 9.5
Performance Does exactly what it is supposed to do...and after hours of rain and splashing water...you stay totally dry! 9.5
Price You might want to get a night job to pay the  350.00 for ultimate Simms protection 6
Features 2 features on this jacket are patented.  1) Gore-Tex Water tight adjustable cuffs, 2) Built in Retractors.  No you wonít see anyone copying this jacket 9.5
Design (Ergonomics) A great chemistry of every necessity so you donít have to stop fishing just because nature tells you. 9
Application Donít look at this jacket if you fish once in a while, or if you only fish on sunny days.  This jacket is made for those die-hard fishermen that will chase fish in rain, sleet, and snow.  9

Total Score (avg)


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Great Construction L Price
J Good Durability  
J Top Notch patented Features  

If you fish all seasons you may want to consider this jacket because it is the benchmark for every other waterproof jacket.  However, if you look outside to see if it is a good day for fishing, you might want to consider other choices.  This jacket will allow you to minimize your internal layers, and stay as dry and warm as ever.  When conditions are lousy, you will stay comfortable.  If you are wearing the Simms Guide model Gore-Tex jacket when conditions are lousy and the bite is on, you will probably be the only person on the river....and ultimately, the only one landing them.









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