By Matt Lynch
Winter time tends to often show you the worst in your gear. The faults and shortcomings are exacerbated in the wintry chill that follows our often snowfilled season. One area many anglers struggle with in this frigid environment is their clothing.
It can prove rather difficult to find proper clothing that does the advertised job when the temperatures drop, and often usually requires we stretch our pockets a bit deeper to do so. I used my older hunting gear for years and years winter fishing to some success. I found though that after about 4-5 hours I was still freezing and it took sometime to recover after a long run down the lake as it did little to block the wind. This time of year I usually was active and moving while still hunting, however the requirements of warmth when setting in a boat with little movement proved more than the clothing was capable of.
This winter, Stormr USA came through and brought with it an end to the shivering cold when on the water. I had been reading forums and reviews for a couple months in search of some new winter gear, when I stumbled upon a very nice deal on a Stormr Typhoon jacket. Aware of their reputation, I jumped on the deal and ordered one. This model jacket was first introduced in 2011 and uses neoprene as its primary means of fending off the cold. If you have ever used neoprene gloves while fishing you can appreciate the effect a larger coverage of it can do for your core warmth. The best part is that it is extremely thin. So thin in fact you’ll wonder how it can even keep you warm when the weather drops below freezing. When it arrived, it was about 65 degrees in the Fall and I tried it on. I found myself sweating almost immediately due to the effectiveness of the design. Along with the neoprene shell it has an AQ6 micro fleece inner lining which provides outstanding comfort. They also use glue-blind stitch/thermal tape at the seams and splash proof zippers to repel the cold and water. From experience it does just that. The cuffs do an excellent job of sealing out the elements and to make sure your core remains warm it has a drawstring system at the bottom.
To me the worst feeling in the world in winter is feeling the cold creep in around my kidney area on my back and I have yet to experience that feeling since using the Stormr jacket. Two large fleece lined pockets provide a great place for your phone, etc but also a windproof location for your hands when running down the lake or just needing to warm them up. One of the other downsides to running down the lake in winter is your face being frozen. The hood of the Typhoon features the same construction as the rest of the jacket and provides an elongated neck area. Combined with the draw string closure on the hood and you can cinch it down exposing only a small portion of your face from which to be able to see. Toss in some sunglasses or goggles and your face is very well protected and warm.
Perhaps the single best feature of the entire jacket is the fact that not only is it waterproof, but it is also windproof. There is zero windchill for me running down the lake. None! The impervious nature of this jacket to wind is enough to ensure I continue to be a patron of this company. I really can’t say enough how big of a deal a windproof jacket is for winter fishing. If you do not have this feature, by the time you get to your fishing spot often times you’re ready to turn around and go back home already. And with the hood features I mentioned, I find my head is warmer when traveling down the lake than when wearing my Mad Bomber rabbit fur trapper hat. Of course when fishing you can’t keep it cinched down as tight and when stopped I then rely on alternate head coverings unless it is raining/snowing heavily. In near freezing temps, I typically will wear a moisture wicking t-shirt of some kind topped off by one of my Army issued Polartec waffle suits that Uncle Sam was kind enough to let me keep.
From here if moderately cold I can use my Stormr Typhoon alone, or if temperatures will be below freezing all day I’ll usually throw on a warm hoodie followed by the Stormr. the Stormr is so warm though that I often have to remove it after running down the lake even when temps are in the low-30s. I’m one of those crazy people that also night fish in the winter and this jacket shines especially on those cold nights where no sunshine exists to share its warmth. Marc and I on an early trip with freezing temps decided to night fish. After setting out lines and engaging our clickers, I laid down in the floor of my SeaArk and was quite snug for the night with my layering unlike my poor friend who despite numerous layers of insulating clothing found it no match for the cold. At this point besides catfish slime coating its exterior, I have had no failures of any seams or materials and the coat functions perfectly as it did on day one.
Stormr not only makes fine jackets but also bibs, gloves, UV protection, and several lines of their gear. And they have some newer products out now for 2016. I can definitely say I’ll be looking more at their gear for future purchases as I need it and I’d highly recommend you guys check them out at StormrUSA.com.