by Seth Fields
WHAT GOOD IS A GEAR REVIEW IF IT DOESN’T PUSH THE GEAR TO THE BREAKING POINT, OR PAST IT? If you truly want to test the mettle of a rod, a reel, or even a fishing shirt, you need to push the envelope a bit. Don’t be afraid to break some stuff.
In early February as I was walking the halls of the Atlanta Fly Fishing Show, a certain booth caught my eye. To be honest, it caught my eye because of its simplicity. It was two guys, two tables with hats and swag, and a rack of shirts. That’s where I met Poncho Outdoors founder, Clayton Spencer and where this journey began.
In an industry that’s trending in over-diversification, it’s nice to see a company that says, hey, we’re not trying to make rods, reels, nets, sunglasses, and wading boots. We just make shirts, super-comfortable shirts. Okay, maybe they didn’t say that explicitly, but their slogan is, The World’s Best Fishing Shirt” An enterprising claim to say the least, but I decided to give their shirt its due.
Again, if you’re going to test a product, TEST IT! A few cast on your lawn aren’t sufficient for a rod review, and wearing this shirt down the isles of Fresh Market wasn’t going to reveal very much. Instead, I took the Poncho shirt to two of the hottest, muggiest locales on my travel list for the year; Cuba and the Everglades.
If you claim that a shirt keeps you cool and has UV protection, you’d be hard-pressed to design a better testing ground than the swamps of south Florida and the Caribbean. I fished long days in this shirt, underneath relentless sun and in some high-intensity fishing situations, and I can honestly say that it never gave in to the heat or the humidity. The design of the shirt is well thought out and like the company’s booth, its appeal centers on application and style rather than gimmicks. Is it “The World’s Best Fishing Shirt”? Well, that’s obviously up to interpretation, but at the moment, I can’t think of one better.
We’re giving away some Poncho gear and a few American Angler subscriptions to a few lucky followers and are further spreading the love with a cool incentive to purchase some cool Poncho gear. Just go to Poncho Outdoors and use the code PONCHONIPPERS during checkout and receive a free pair of nippers with your order.