Gear from high brands: justified?

Blog Forums Fly Fishing Gear from high brands: justified?

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
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  • #5287
    nonenone
    Member

    I own a whole bunch of gear from Patagonia: waders, long johns, vest, fleece jackets, rain jacket. I sometimes feel like I’m a walking ad for Patagonia ūüôā

    Really technical clothing I can say the price can be justified. I just expect my waders to perform when fishing. I just don’t want to get wet or feel clam during rain. But shirts, fleece jackets? I doubt a Wallmart fleece jacket will perform worse than Patagonia?

    Are all these high end brand fly fishing gear justified or are we just ‘fashion victims’?

    Jay

    #46446
    Bob RigginsBob Riggins
    Member

    I think you are right.

    #46447
    nonenone
    Member

    If you look around, you can usually find perfectly suitable substitutes for most of the high end stuff. ¬†I built my own stripping basket for pennies compared to the $50+ for a “real” one. ¬†I use a very nice waist pack I purchased for $15 from Sports Authority, that is just as good as the $75 “technical” fly fishing waist pack. ¬†Most of my fishing clothes consist of Columbia fishing shirts I can usually find on sale for $25 or less, and Columbia Snake River Shorts, for about $20. ¬†The only two “high end” items I own are a pair of Simms Flats Sneakers I’m about to wear out and a pair of Patagonia Marl Walkers that are so uncomfortable, I’ll probably never wear them out.

    As for shirts, I used to wear just regular cotton shirts. During comfortable weather, no problem. If temps get real hot, these quick drying shirts are a lot more comfortble.

    Why did you buy the Marl Walkers if you find it to be very uncomfortable?
    I get really picky about wading shoes too. That’s because my feet can’t handle narrow toe area. I also want thick padded ankle areas too. So far only Simms Freestones match my needs. These shoes are very durable too so that’s great.

    I would like to see ideas about replacing expensive gear by much more affordable items. Or where we can get the original with amazing sale prices

    Jay

    #46448
    Bob RigginsBob Riggins
    Member

    I tried the Marlwalkers on at the store and they felt OK, but trying them on and wearing them wet for hours are two different things.

    #46449
    nonenone
    Member

    How about if we buy an item together and getting huge amount of discount?
    We’ll probably need several hundred people to achieve this!

    #46450
    theshark
    Member

    Bruce is all about Simms and everything matches. He knows he looks darn good. I did not have that kind of money when we started fishing together. I now have one Simms wind jacket. I like it except it clashes with my grean float tube. I look like a floating Christmas ad.
    I have Cabellas under-gear, with regular long sleeve shirts and an offshore waterproof jacket. I look pretty ghetto in my float tube, I even have pink dive fins that I use to top off my ensemble. People saw this in our DVD and boy do they love to tease me about it. At least I am fishing

    #46451
    Steve K.Steve K.
    Member

    Jay….we’re probably falling vicitim to the fashion craze to a degree (Note-I was wearing North Face before it was cool to do so.) Walmart fleece is probably just as good to a degree as NF or Mountain Hardware fleece but what’s the worst that could happen if the jacket fails you on a wet and chilly Saturday afternoon at a football game? Now if that same Wallyworld fleece jacket fails you 5 days into a 10-day float trip on the Alagnak….you could die.

    There are certain things I personally won’t skimp on…..Gore Tex jacket and a good base layer are two of them. Quality waders and boots, tent and sleeping bag are up there on the list as well.

    #46452
    nonenone
    Member

    Anyone tried the Nano Puff insulation gear from Patagonia?
    They are supposed to be comparable to heavy fleece yet weigh almost near to nothing and are very compressible.

    #46453
    gavin poppen
    Member

    The patagonia puffs are awesome, incredibly light, and very warm.

    #46454

     Just how many ways can you design a shirt pocket.

    ;D ;D ;D
    Academy sports has great fishing shirts (I believe they are labeled Magellan) for under $20 all the time. I bought a few last summer in Oklahoma and they were fine in the heat

    It seems that this is probably not the best forum to advertise great off brand deals, considering many of the sponsors. However if you scour ebay a bit, there are also always clothing deals that can be had for next to nothing.

    Orvis had a similar primaloft vest and jacket to the Patagonia on their site for super cheap before Christmas. to me they are similar products.

    #46455

    I think name brand stuff like waders, wading boots, vests, and such are well worth the added price.

    I do think fleece is some of the best stuff ever invented. It’s warm and breathable. However for polar fleece jackets and pants I can’t tell any difference between cheap and the expensive stuff. I have some polar fleece jackets that I bought for less than $10 that work great. For years under my waders I wore a pair of fleece pants that I bought from old navy on closeout for $4. I recently got a better more expensive pair (patagonia) but I don’t think they work any better than the cheapies.

    I have a Simms fishing shirt I really like. But it’s not really any better than a couple I have from Bass Pro that cost 1/4 the price. I will say the Simms is a bit more stylish though.

    Greg

    #46456
    dan dombos
    Member

    I tend to purchase high end, but I’d like to think I spend my money where it makes the most sense to me.

    #46457

    Some of the technical gear is the best stuff made — A few years back, I scored a Mountain Hardware down coat for 75% off in a local Charlotte store. ¬†It is made for climbing Everest but I guess there were not enough people interested in that kind of product in our local market. ¬†I can think of two trips in particular where I was very glad I had it. ¬†Smart Wool socks? — I love those, too.

    Simms are great products but I don’t use them (except for a pair of Simms boots that I am not overly impressed with). ¬†Admittedly, I covet a pair of Simms wading pants. ¬†For the money, however, the top end Hodgman are very good (but I have found their lower end product to be worse than worthless). ¬†Some of the high-priced fishing shirts seem hard to justify, as well.

    I have tried some of the highest priced rods on the market but I don’t need them to enjoy my day.

    #46458
    anonymous
    Member

    I can only justify name brands for:
    1. Waders (patagonia)
    2. Raingear (Marmot)

    I have little case for anything else.

    #46459
    Peter E.Peter E.
    Member

    Personally I love to save money and I also love to find substitutes for expensive brand name items and customize them to my needs. I guess thats all part of the fun for me.

    For a hip/lumbar pack I use a Mojave Pack from wal-mart, I can hold two bugger barns, four spare spools, nippers, hemos, lighter, snacks, and it is made to hold two water bottles. It does everything Simms, Patagonia, and Fish Pond packs do and it holds water bottles.

    For my technical shirts I use Russell Athletics shirts, their new dri-fit gear is the best stuff since sliced breab and it only runns $20. I would put it up against any big brand.
    http://www.essentialapparel.com/russell-athletics-mens-dri-power-raglan-long-sleeve-shirt.html

    My fly tying thread is simple all purpose sewing thread, and as far as wadres go Academy has these and they are probably Simms knock offs but hey I can live with that.
    http://www.academy.com/index.php?page=content&target=products/outdoors/fishing/waders&start=0&selectedSKU=0156-02458-0001

    Truth be told after the purchase of the fly rod, reel, and line this is the most cheapest and most enjoyable way I have ever fished.

    I will say that if I could I would like some good Simms technical cold weather gear.

    #46460
    John BennettJohn Bennett
    Member

    Jay….we’re probably falling vicitim to the fashion craze to a degree (Note-I was wearing North Face before it was cool to do so.) Walmart fleece is probably just as good to a degree as NF or Mountain Hardware fleece but what’s the worst that could happen if the jacket fails you on a wet and chilly Saturday afternoon at a football game? Now if that same Wallyworld fleece jacket fails you 5 days into a 10-day float trip on the Alagnak….you could die.

    There are certain things I personally won’t skimp on…..Gore Tex jacket and a good base layer are two of them. Quality waders and boots, tent and sleeping bag are up there on the list as well.

    Bingo.

    Ultimately I’m thinking this discussion depends entirely on the climate and conditions you often find yourself in and the duration your in them.
    For some people. When something goes south it can be the difference between living to tell the tale, or not. That’s worst case scenario.

    However day in and day out while you should keep that in the back of your mind (worst case scenario) I’m looking for comfort. Someone above said after “two” hours….Well for me that doesnt cut it. If its -20 out and I have plans, if Im going home after two hours Im not having fun.

    My “technical” clothing is to me more important than any of my hardware. Meaning, pound for pound I’ll shell out more for that than *any* rod or reel.

    I just gave up the ghost on a perfectly good, $300 pair of Irish Setter winter boots because after two years and days where I spent 4 to 6 hrs in -20 temps they werent keeping my feet warm enough. Replaced them with an equally expensive pair of Sorels.

    Outer wear and your base layers if you live in certain climates are not to be skimped on in my opinion and yes the better stuff does make a difference.

    A $1,000 rod/reel combo isn’t much good if after a couple hours your cold/wet/had enuogh and in the car heading home.

    /edit add
    Had this duscussion on another outdoors board a few weeks ago about wading jackets for winter. The usual makers were mentioned..Simms, Pata, Loop etc but most of that discussion centered on the imortance of layering. A good base layer, a mid layer and a good outer layer can keep you going for hours even in very poor conditions.

    Related an experience I had last spring fishing for Brookies on a remote back lake just after ice out. Water temp was just above freezing and air temps a little better, maybe around 6 degrees C

    Forecast was good, with rain called for late in the day. By 9am it was raining, by Noon a full blown storm rolled in with toretial rain and heavy lightning, much worse than called for. We (there were about 8 of us in kayaks) had to ride it out just off shore.


    By 2pm when the rain slowed most people had had enough. There were only a couple of us still dry, still warm and comfortable and willing to keep fishing.

    taken just before we reached the put in/out, when the storm had “cough” let up enough to safely get back “cough”

    I wonder how those people would have fared if the storm hadnt let up enough to allow people to return to the put in safely. At one point as I sat in my yak under a tree in a bay riding it out around 1pm I did in fact begin to wonder if we’d be able to cover the miles back before dark.

    #46461
    Michael Exl
    Member

    It depends.

    There are a lot of factors to look at when buying gear, the biggest being conditions and amount of use. In my case yes, I fish more then most people and see the advantages of the gear. Now for someone that is a weekend warrior they probably do not need the gear that I use.

    As long as the consumer can justify the purchase for themselves, that is all that matters.

    #46462
    nonenone
    Member

    I think the situations good technical gear will make the difference are extreme hot, extreme cold and extreme wet situations. The situations in between, any general gear will be fine.

    #46463
    dave nyberg
    Member

    I am glad to see that someone else other than me doesn’t understand “technical.” ¬†I believe technical is simply an advertising term to get us to buy. ¬†
    As far as products I have that I really like is a Patagonia Rain Jacket, ¬†a Folstaff Wading Staff and a pair of Chota Boots with rubber soles and cleats. ¬†I am sure that other makes are just as good. ¬†Korkers are certainly an excellent product. ¬†I won’t trade my Folstaf for any other wading stick. ¬†
    I think we are fashion victims to some extent, but I feel some justification in buying “high end.”

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