Monday, August 27, 2012

AFTCO Gear Review

I recently won some cool gear from AFTCO and the Outdoor Blogger Network with the condition that I write a review for the items I received.  After subjecting each of the items to multiple outings starting in early July, I have gotten a good feel for them in order to do a fair review.  The swag AFTCO sent me is as follows:  a Fathom Fishing Hat, a Lure Sun Fishing Buff, and a pair of Waterproof Fishing Pants.  

First up is the Fathom Fishing Hat.   The hat comes with an attractive embroidering of  AFTCO's logo and a tuna on the front and their slogan "If you fish," on the right rear of the hat.  The thing that I am most impressed about with this hat is the quality craftsmanship.  Just by inspecting this hat I know it is going to be difficult to destroy.  All the inner seams on the hat have an additional barrier sewn over them to protect the stitching.  I have worn this hat nearly every fishing outing since July (15-20 excursions) in plenty of sun and a decent amount of rain yet it looks the same as when I opened the box.  The thread work is remarkable and makes an all around great looking hat.  The hat works how it should blocking sun and rain allowing me to see in the water easier and keep fishing in adverse conditions.  The hat also seems to keep my head cooler than other hats due to the ample amount of air vents in the back four panels of the hat.  The only con I have found is the "Flexfit" method of fitting.  Flexfit is a spandex strap that runs the inner circumference of the hat preventing one from having to fit the hat using velcro or plastic that seems to break on every hat I have owned.  Their website states "one size fits most," which I believe is true and would fit anglers with large noggins.  My issue is the hat seems a little loose on me.  If I was kayaking 30 mph down the lake and a gust of wind came up, it would probably blow the hat off and I would be forced to actually have to pay for my second  AFTCO Fathom Fishing Hat.  I would absolutely recommend this hat to anyone in the market looking for a new lucky fishing hat.  But good luck destroying it to the point where it looks like your current hat.

Next on the list is the Lure Sun Fishing Buff.  I didn't know much about buffs before receiving one for review.  I originally thought they for mainly saltwater use for anglers stalking flats all day in the tropics.  After wearing one a few outings, I find myself putting in on whenever I know I will be on the water for extended periods of time or when I am in skinny water and am trying to prevent the fish from seeing my pasty white glow my skin emits.  The buff is made of 100% spandex making it easy to adapt to multiple different styles.  AFTCO's buff comes in three neutral colors, all in camouflage patterns with AFTCO's logo and images of lures.  The buff is lightweight and I found only a burden to wear when covering both your nose and mouth, slightly obstructing your breathing.  An easy fix is to pull the buff down so that your nose sticks out and your mouth is still covered.  My favorite use for the buff is to keep me cool on the water.  Dipping the buff in the water and placing back around your neck provides instant relief in +90ยบ weather allowing you to keep fishing in comfort while also providing protection from the sun.  The buff's sun protection abilities are evident from my new tan line on my neck after a 12 hour canoe trip.  This prevents the need of applying and reapplying sunscreen on the water saving time and keeping your hands free of malodorous chemicals.  The buff also helps to cut down on one's visibility.  The camo patterns break up skin tones and allow a stealthy angler to get a little closer to their quarry.  I have gotten within rod's length of creek smallmouth and carp without being spotted with the aid of wearing the buff. The buff seems to need additional tapering or an elastic band at the top to fit snugly on my scrawny skull.  Without a hat to hold it down, or styling the buff cleverly, it slowly slinks downwards with continual motion.  This is barely an inconvenience and remedied in multiple, simple ways.  An elastic band may also help reduce the amount of condensation that forms on sunglasses when wearing.  Once again, I would recommend AFTCO's Lure Sun Fishing Buff to anyone who is actively looking for a buff to wear or those who woul

The last item to review is AFTCO's Waterproof Fishing Pants.  The pants' exterior is composed of 100% lightweight nylon allowing them to be easily stowed with your fishing tackle when rain may be in the forecast.  If it starts raining, you can pull the pants out and put them on over your current pants without having to take your shoes off thanks to the knee length zippers.  The zippers also have a protective velcro flap to prevent water from leaking through.  Another velcro band is present around the ankle cuffs allowing the pants to be tightened snugly around your ankles.  The pants have kept me fishing in adverse weather more than once.  After an hour of fishing in the rain,  my windbreaker started leaking water in various spots, yet the pants still continued to keep me bone dry.  Moisture runs off the pants easily and is impossible to keep wet as I have tried by wet wading while wearing these.  The pants are a great addition to my fishing equipment and are always present in my car or kayak should a storm come up while I am fishing.  The pants can be compressed into the size of a soda can making them simple to carry in a coat pocket and hardly noticeable.  I have zero complaints with the AFTCO's  Waterproof Fishing Pants.   

I want to say thank you again to both AFTCO and the Outdoor Blogger Network for allowing me the opportunity to review such great apparel.  Besides receiving the items for free, I received no other compensation or pressure to provide a good review.  AFTCO's products speak for themselves with their attention to detail and quality craftsmanship.

All AFTCO products tested receive two (bass) thumbs up!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you got some great products from AFTCO!!! Thanks to the Outdoor Blogger Network!