POULSBO, Wash. — In the days leading up to ICAST 2019, news started to emanate from this town of 10,000 on the Puget Sound. Grundéns, long known as one of the most durable names in commercial fishing, was teaming up with Gore-Tex® for a totally new line of rain gear whose impact would be felt thousands of miles away from its roots in the Evergreen State.
The line of fishing rain gear includes three jackets and two bibs, all designed with specific fishing features and utilizing Gore-Tex’s® proprietary waterproof breathable technology, providing exceptional wet weather protection to anglers in a variety of climates.
By now, the first examples of that line are already on the shelves of Grundéns top dealers and on Grundens.com. The company says they’ll be widely available to all retailers in Spring of 2020.
“Gore-Tex® is synonymous with waterproof breathable protection and the Guaranteed to Keep You Dry™promise. By combining our years of experience building apparel for one of the toughest jobs on the planet with their membrane technology, we’ve created an exceptional line of products,” says David Mellon, CEO of Grundéns. “All five styles are designed and built for a specific use and users will find that they are more rugged than what is currently offered for fishing and offer better performance than anything Grundéns has ever produced. There is a style and feature set that will appeal to nearly all anglers and we know our customers will be stoked with this line of products.”
The Flagship: Buoy X
“Our target customer for the Buoy X Jacket and Bib is the dedicated sportfishing angler fishing from a boat,” said Grundéns Outerwear Category Manager Curtis Graves. “Bouy X is a nod to Buoy 10 on the lower Columbia River. Our local Pacific Northwest salmon and steelhead anglers trolling downriggers from a North River boat were front-of-mind when we started to identify our customer’s needs in a jacket and bib. Also, the New England striper angler tossing poppers out of a Whaler Montauk, or the Gulf Coast redfish angler battling rain and wind in an center console have a very similar set of requirements for burly, rugged rainwear and a need to stay dry even on a sunny day.”
Basically any hardcore angler that fishes in an open console boat in bluebird or nasty weather and needs a rugged jacket to protect from wind, rain, and boat spray when running at speed is who we wanted to target for this project. We’ll clearly sell some of these jackets to folks that have boats with enclosed cabins, but our thoughts are; if we design and build for the hardest of hardcore users, everyone else will benefit too.”
Buoy X Gore-Tex® Jacket and Bibs are built utilizing Gore-Tex® three-layer laminate, the 150-denier face fabric is treated with C6 DWR for maximum water beading performance and avoids wet-out that can be created by contamination from oil, blood or fish slime. The result is the burliest Gore-Tex® garments ever produced for the fishing industry. The jacket includes neoprene shingled cuffs in the sleeves, dual zippered storage pockets, and a kill switch anchor among other fishing-centric features.
The jacket is available in three colors in sizes from small to 3XL and retail for $479. The bibs utilize Grundéns famous adjustable suspenders, a Grundéns removable belt, and water diversion system at the front lower closure. Available in two colors in sizes from small to 3XL, the bibs will retail for $449.
The Workhorse: Downrigger
The workhorse fishing suit is the Downrigger Gore-Tex® Jacket and Bibs. “The Downrigger Jacket and Bib borrows the Buoy X’s proven Gore-Tex 150 denier face fabric,” adds Graves. “Both Buoy X and Downrigger share a face fabric, because we tested that material for abrasion and tear resistance and it performed super well in both the lab and in the field testing on a boat. Beyond that, the 2L version makes for a more versatile, wearable jacket with a more comfortable next to skin feeling from the hung taffeta liner. The Downrigger jacket is for the guy who needs his super nice fishing jacket to work for him both on the boat and to be wearable around town ,because he loves it so much that it just became a part of his everyday life.”
Built with Gore-Tex® 2-layer laminate technology, the Downrigger maintains the same exterior ruggedness and water beading performance of the Buoy X but at a more affordable price and the next-to-skin comfort of a liner. The Downrigger jacket has a single chest pocket, an adjustable hook and loop cuff closure and a unique hood that handles wind and rain while running in boats without flopping around. Also available in three colors ranging from small to 3XL the Downrigger Gore-Tex® Jacket will retail for $349. The Downrigger Gore-Tex® bib has handwarmer pockets and lower leg zippers to facilitate easy on/off over bibs. Available in two colors in sizes from small to 3XL, the bibs will retail for $329.
The Portable Player: Charter
The most portable jacket in the line is the packable Charter Gore-Tex® Jacket. Featuring Gore-Tex® Paclite® Plus, which provides an improved interior next-to-skin feel compared to classic Paclite® technology, the jacket is extremely breathable and highly packable. That, according to Graves, was an essential part of the coat’s design.
“Packability is super important, especially for anglers with limited space on their boat or fishing from a buddy’s boat. We named this jacket the Charter, because we wanted to target the user that is walking onto a boat with only their gear bag, and they want a packable rain jacket but don’t want to compromise on comfort or wind and rain resistance. There are plenty of inexpensive “packable rain jackets” on the market, we wanted to offer both packability and guaranteed waterproof performance. Gore-Tex Paclite Plus is the fabric technology that enabled us to achieve both of these conflicting requirements.”
Gore-Tex® Paclite® Plus offers an improved interior next-to skin feel compared to classic Paclite® technology. The compressible jacket has engineered sleeves for range of motion, zippered hand warmer pockets, and adjustable hook and loop closure on the sleeves.
“We tested the Charter during the 2018 Pacific Northwest salmon and Fall British Columbia steelhead, and Winter Pacific Northwest steelhead seasons—both from a boat and on a walk/wade perspective,” adds Graves. “We had great abrasion and tear lab results on the face fabric as a starting point, and really wanted to validate how much of a breathability and comfort improvement the new Gore-Tex Paclite Plus was over the Classic Paclite that has been around for many years. We had super positive feedback on the laminate’s next to skin comfort, and both our internal and external testers became converts to this new Gore technology.”
Available in two colors including refraction camo glacier, the Charter Gore-Tex® Jacket will be available in sizes from small to 3XL and retail for $269.
“Grundéns is the newest Gore-Tex® brand in fishing and our rainwear is super rugged and burly,” concludes Graves.”Nobody else’s can compare. We have every confidence that when customers get their hands on these products, they’ll be exceptionally happy and won’t return to anything less rugged.”