THE CURIOUS THING about the product that took the “Best of Show” overall award (as well as the “Best Outerwear” award) at the International Fly Tackle Dealer show last week is that it really isn’t a product made specifically for fly fishing…
Developed with the input of bass professionals, and designed to help Simms Fishing Products tap into the bass nation, the ProDry GORE-TEX Jacket, Bib, and Pants line is clearly a step beyond anything the company has made before.
We talked with B.A.S.S legend Gary Klein during the testing phase for the product, and he assured us that ProDry is the “real deal.” This, from a man who has qualified for more Bassmaster Classics than anyone, and has spent more than his fair share of time ripping across lakes in rainstorms, chasing fish for money. Those who know Klein also know he’s not the type of angler to put his name behind a product for endorsement fees alone.
But will fly shops really sell these things, at $499 for the jacket, and $399 for the bibs?
“I voted for this because of all the products I saw, this one was the ‘game changer’ in my mind,” said one IFTD voter (unnamed, as all voters for all products are). “I can sell these to boaters, and conventional (tackle) fishermen, and if we’re looking to make fly fishing a bigger part of all fishing, this product will do that.”
Performance-wise, ProDry is smartly designed in all aspects. That starts with GORE-TEX Pro Shell fabric that has a proven track record. What we liked were the pockets—large enough to hold boxes, tools, and so forth, but not overdone to the point of being cumbersome. The hood is designed to fit over a cap securely, and there’s even a clear watch window inside the sealed cuff on one sleeve, a nifty detail if nothing else.
Now, are there bona-fide fly fishing applications for ProDry? Of course there are. The striper anglers fishing the blustery fall months will eat these up, and anyone who does a lot of boat fishing (salt or fresh) will appreciate a durable, dynamic full-length rain suit. It seems perfectly suited for the roughest squalls in Alaska or on the Great Lakes. Heck, I’d even have no hesitation wearing this through a car wash. And the jacket alone (in line price-wise with other premium rain shells) will no doubt be a standard for many guides who still opt for waders on the bottom.