In a perfect world, we would always be fishing in great weather. The sun would always be shining, the temperature right at 78 degrees, and the fish would always be biting. In reality, especially in Michigan, some of the best times to fish are when the weather is at its worst. Spring fishing in Michigan can mean temperature swings from 45 degrees and raining to 75 and sunny—often in the span of a single day! Rather than lament the less-than-ideal conditions, it pays to be prepared with the proper outerwear. A good fishing rain jacket should be one that is completely water and windproof, comfortable, durable and has lots of pockets. With these goals in mind, Simms designed the G4 pro wading jacket.
While technically a wading jacket, the great thing about the G4 is that it is cut a bit longer than a typical wading jacket. It’s still short enough to avoid dragging through the river when wading but is also long enough to wear fishing without waders. This double-duty makes the G4 truly a versatile piece. Featuring Gore-Tex Pro, the jacket is made from the most durable waterproof material on the market that breathes. The Gore-Tex material features microscopic pores that release heat when it builds up inside the jacket. Thanks to the minuscule size of the pores and a robust DWR coating, it keeps all water out while keeping you at a comfortable temperature.
The jacket also features fishing-specific features. Four pockets are on the sides of the G4, with two of them allowing access to a large “game pocket” in the back of the coat. Both side pockets are large enough for a small box of lures or fly box. The two front pockets feature velcro strips that pull out to use for attaching foam to hold flies and lures. The hood is fully articulated and has 3 different adjustment cords that help you get it cinched down without restricting movement during a cast. Another great feature is a set of watertight cuffs that ensure you won’t get water up your sleeves when reaching down to land a fish. The features on the jacket are understated and only give you what you actually need to fish in rough weather.
I was out yesterday during some pretty miserable spring weather shore fishing with my spinning rod. At 46 degrees, the air was cool and it was raining constantly throughout the day. The G4 jacket kept me dry and warm by blocking the wind. I found it to fit well for a jacket as it was designed to run a tad bigger than the normal Simms fit. This allows you to layer up under it if needed and to have unrestricted movement while fishing. The material of the G4 feels thicker than your standard Gore-Tex shell. The pro material used is the thickest and most durable product in Simm’s waterproof lineup. The only downside to the jacket is the high price tag coming in at a bit over $600. It’s a Simms product and it is made of Gore-Tex pro so maybe it’s to be expected, but it is a lot of money for a jacket. However, after using it for several rainy river trips, I am confident that it will be worth its weight in gold during heavy spring rains, winter steelhead fishing, and even summer showers.