Wednesday, December 18, 2013
12.18.13 Proud to be a part of TEAM STORMR....
No doubt there are good and bad things that come with the fishing industry and the business practices that come with it. One thing that raises eyebrows and always is a point of debate is the use of guide and pro staff programs, sponsorships, and endorsements. Some will say that an overuse of these programs by captains, guides, anglers, journalists, and those who just know someone, take retail monies away from local tackle shops and companies that use the web as their storefronts. That goes from rod and reel makers, boat manufacturers, apparel companies, and fly tying distributors. On the flip side companies would rather sell, at a discount usually, and see their products out on the water and in use by recreational and professionals (those who do this for a living) alike. In the end those involved get products for "free" or at a reduced cost, and, when in use its a "free" form of advertisement and endorsement by those that are using the products. Much has been written and said about these programs and it seems like companies are tightening up, at least a little bit, but the debate continues.
Here is something I saw on the web the other day, it made me laugh.
Some people have a long list of pro staff and guide programs they belong too. Some even belong to competing companies making the same products. In the end, it could, lesson the impact that an angler, guide, or captain has with a particular company or companies.
That said. I am a "part of" a few companies that I am proud to be affiliated with. First, I am an an Orvis endorsed guide. Yes there are stickers out there that say, "Proud NOT to be an Orvis Endorsed Guide.", but I am. I believe in the product, company, and the people from the mothership that I have met and deal with. I am also endorsed by Regal Engineering, HERE, the maker of Regal Fly Tying Vices. I am far from a professional fly tyer. In fact I purchase most of my freshwater flies and some of my saltwater flies that I use while guiding. But when I sit down and tie up "bait", as I call it, it's on a Regal, and the vice, and the company and its folks have treated me well. I am also affiliated with the FlyMen Fishing Company, HERE, makers of products like Fish Skulls, articulated shanks, and various beads and eyes. These are the companies and the products that I use with clients in the fresh and saltwater.
So, as fall approached this year and with it the cooler temperatures I went through my winter clothes looking to be ready for the fall run. I had a bin full of sweatshirts, long johns, wool socks, gloves with fingers or without fingers, thin jackets, thick jackets, and hats that covered my entire or just parts of my head. One day a friend of mine was out fishing the river and we bumped into each other. Chris is a hardcore angler often spending a lot of time chasing stripers in Cape Cod, Block Island and Montauk. He's is part of the StormR pro staff and was wearing some of the products put out by the company. I tried on the jacket, hat, and gloves and he gave me a brochure with the info about the company and its products. It's a company made popular by surfcasters and spin fisherman that fish in hardcore weather.
Most fly fishing companies, like Orvis, don't have an apparel line for foul weather fishing. Yes, people fly fish in the cold in both the fresh and salt waters, but finding the proper clothing is harder than you think. I find that fly anglers, in foul weather - high winds, rain and cold- are usually miserably under or over dressed. They layer themselves up and top it off with their fly fishing windbreaker, or are layered up and have Grundens on, which makes them look like the Gordon's of Glouster fisherman from the fish sticks box.
I contacted STORMR and introduced myself and told them I would like to be a part of TEAM STORMR, which is a group of recreational and professional anglers, guides, and captains that use StormR products. When I looked through the lineup I didn't find any fly anglers or guides, so I thought I might make a good fit, and, could introduce the line to fly anglers while fishing and guiding on the Upper Delaware and the Jersey Shore. So after some review, I was accepted and am now part of the team. You can visit their website HERE.
Yesterday I received a box from StormR which had a Stryker Jacket, Typhoon gloves, Typhoon Watch Cap beanie, and StormR neoprene socks. Today I got to put them to use. Where I usually have four or five shirts, sweatshirts and a jacket on, today I wore a long sleeve t-shirt and a light sweatshirt topped by the Stryker jacket. I wore the beanie and the gloves. It was 30 degrees and the wind was blowing from 20-25 mph from the NW. I have never been so warm and comfortable as I was today.
Here's some thoughts.
The Stryker jacket was great. Fit like a glove which is important while fly fishing. By wearing less you have less bulk which makes casting and retrieving that much easier. The jacket is windproof, and there were no drafts, so the heat that is inside the jacket, stays in the jacket. The other thing that is great, the jacket is long enough so it extends below the stripping basket, no more getting your hands or line caught while stripping line into or casting out of the basket. Priceless!
The beanie kept my head warm. No heat loss. I took it off when I was done my hair was wet from the sweat. The only thing I would put on a wish list was a bill on the front of it. The sun was up and bright and I was blinded even with sun glasses on. I'm a hat wearer so it was a little different for me. Maybe I can put one over it? I'm not sure.
The Typhoon gloves kept my hands dry and warm. Very important note. I had a pair before yesterday that I had used and my hands were freezing. I couldn't figure out why until I started talking with the rep from the company. He explained that if you buy gloves that are too small the blood flow will get restricted and the blood flow to your fingers will stop. That's what I did. I bought mine in a medium, thinking the tighter the better. Not the right move. Now I have a large and my hands, well hand, stayed warm. As a fly fisherman, I need to stay in contact with the fly line with my non-stripping hand, which is my right. The fly line needs to be free while I strip in and cast. So, I was gloveless in my right hand, which eventually got wet and cold. I kept the glove inside my Stryker and during a break I put the glove on and my hand got warm again.
So there's my endorsement of some of the StormR products. In the future I will be adding a few more to my arsenal to combat the wet, wind, and cold. As someone who in the past always seemed under dressed I look forward to being dry and warm the rest of the winter striper fishing and on those cold floats in the early spring down the Delaware river.
If you have any questions on anything StormR drop me a line and I'll see if I can answer it or put you in contact with someone that can. Stay warm - you'll fish longer if you do!
In the bad news department. The heavy equipment arrived at 8th Ave in Asbury Park and it started to be put together today. Workers told me this phase of the beach replenishment will start in 2-3 weeks, and they will be going from the flume south.