The Buzz About Fishing

The fishing trend is resonating with today’s consumers.

Fishing is having a moment. And beyond equipment, categories such as apparel and footwear are being impacted.

According to the Outdoor Industry Association’s 2019 Special Report on Fishing, female fishing participation reached an all-time high in 2018, at 17.7 million. Participation among Hispanic Americans is growing too, at 4.4 million participants annually. “There is a participatory balloon happening inside fishing,” says Ted Manning, director of fish for Patagonia.

The fishing trend is resonating with today’s society. “Barriers of how and where to do this have come down,” says Manning. “One of the best anecdotes I know is that ‘the river doesn’t care.’ It slows you down and forces you to focus, providing a rich opportunity to connect with nature.”

Like hunting, fishing centers around authenticity and family. As some in our society shift away from guns, fishing is another way that children can carry on a legacy. With this, brands are creating more inclusive apparel and gear.

Looking ahead to 2021 and beyond, Patagonia is rethinking ways it can get the female angler out of Lululemon and into its apparel. The brand is examining the versatility of pieces and the incorporation of knit, while balancing lifestyle, individuality and a meaningful color palette. The more immediate focus for Spring 2020 is recycled content with the Swiftcurrent line of waders for men and women consisting of waterproof 100 percent recycled face fabrics.

Women’s fishing is a relatively new category for Filson, with the firm marketing products like the Swiftwater Rain Jacket and Ultralight Jacket and Vest that crossover. “Fishing is a category we are maintaining by innovating and fine tuning each year by adding more modern technical features and fabrications,” notes Aude Tabet, Filson’s director of design. Core fabrics, like the water-repellent cover cloth used in the Foul Weather Vest, have been in the line for decades. For Spring 2020, the brand will add additional dry bag styles.

Left: Filson Neoshell Reliance Jacket. Right: Simms G4 Pro Wading Jacket.

Cordura is likewise “seeing a lot of traction in the fishing category,” says Cindy McNaull, Cordura’s business development director. She highlights a recent two-year development project with Orvis that just launched in the market. The new PRO Wader is built with an athletic fit and has a proprietary 4-layer Cordura fabric shell in the upper and 5-layer Cordura fabric shell in the lower legs for exceptional abrasion and puncture resistance. Versatile, and lightweight yet strong the Cordura Naturalle fabric featured is made of 100 percent nylon yet has a cotton-like look.

At Simms, the goal of the brand’s product development team is “to continue innovating and creating the best products for anglers,” says Bart Bonime, VP, product design and merchandising for Simms. The new, redesigned G4 Pro collection from Simms, which includes waders, a jacket and boots, “represents everything we, at Simms, are about — design, innovation and passion,” says Bonime. “From making sure the product designs and material selections are top-notch to putting the products through the most rigorous testing, we know this collection is built to withstand the elements and last.”

The key ingredient to the all-new G4 Pro and G4Z Stockingfoot Waders is Gore-Tex Pro Shell fabric. With 4-layers in the legs and seat for added durability and 3-layers in the upper for enhanced breathability, the new fabric package boasts the highest puncture, abrasion, and tear resistance ever from Simms.

Simms also completely revamped its G4 Pro Jacket. Constructed with rugged 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell fabric, the new G4 Pro Jacket offers on-body storage in a streamlined profile. The new G4 Pro Boot, built with an abrasion resistant synthetic textile mesh upper, features vacuum molded HF welded TPU film in high wear zones for added durability.

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