Fed up with getting soaked and miserable, shore angler Richard Taylor turns to the Rite Gear Smock in his search for a reliable wet weather top.
Rite Gear Limited (RGL) has manufactured fishing products since 2010. The East Anglia based directors, Dene Conway and his wife Nicole, have a passion for sea angling and they decided to put their experience and knowledge of the sport into the production of fishing related clothing and accessories. Capitalising on Dene’s match circuit experience and the feedback from anglers they met while fishing the beaches they have produced products designed by anglers, for anglers.
The fact that they tested no less than ten prototypes of their Matchman Rod Holdall before settling on the production model fully demonstrates their commitment to quality. Rite Gear stress that they are committed to producing quality products, designed and tested in the harshest conditions.
The Rite Gear Anglers Smock comes in two versions; the first is a lightweight smock and the second is a fleece lined winter edition. Both versions feature an innovative peaked hood, zipped side pockets, a pen holder for match angers on the sleeve of the left arm, a hand warming centre pouch pocket couple with a zipped centre pocket. The Velcro fastening sleeves have a neoprene cuff and the smock body has a longer than average length to cover the lower body area.
The smocks come in five colour variations with a black or blue main body and contrasting sleeves, including their brand colours of yellow and black. Prices start at £36.99 for the lightweight version and £46.99 for the winter fleece lined version. Body shapes and sizes are well covered by a product range of six sizes, from small to XXXL.
So, what did I think? I purchased the fleece-lined version back in April and put it to the test straight away on a trip to Norway.
The quality of the stitching and materials used in the manufacture of the smock are immediately apparent. There is a large centre pocket, which is big enough to accommodate a spare reel of leader or hooks, rigs etc. The fleece lined, centre hand-warming pocket provides an extremely comfortable environment even with damp hands. The peaked hood impressed when remained firmly seated above the brow line allowing full visibility at all times. Even when casting the hood will not obscure the angler’s vision; unlike many other available hooded waterproof garments. An additional advantage is that the fitted peak negates the need for a protective cap to shield the eyes from the rain.
Another plus point of this smock is that the long length of the body protects the lower back and retains heat when sitting on the beach. With these points in mind, The Rite Gear Anglers Smock started ticking all the right boxes. From the bag, the smock is extremely easy to put on and almost instantly provides warmth and wind-chill protection. The fleece is thick and combined with the rubber coated outer shell, provides an effective windbreak. The outer layer is manufactured from waterproof material and testing the smock in the British autumn conditions, I found that the smock performed really well in the current climate of rain, wind to 10 knots and a temperature of 8oC. I even had to take my jumper off because I found myself overheating.
The generous cut of the shoulders and arms ensures unrestricted movement of the arms when sending your bait to the horizon with a power cast. Although the inner fleece is thick, it does not affect the performance of the lightweight shell during the cast.
All of the smocks are finished to the highest standards and the research and development that Dene and Nicole have undertaken will make Rite Gear one of the leading brands across Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands. The Rite Gear Angler Smock is extremely warm, waterproof and incorporates features designed by anglers who passionately believe in what they produce. Experience and research are the key ingredients that will ensure that this brand blossoms in the future. I challenge you to try this smock and find anything better on the market, particularly in this price bracket. The performance of the smock to date has been impressive and I look forward to seeing how it performs in winter beach conditions.
The Rite Gear clothing range is expanding and at present a large selection of hoodies, gloves and a baseball cap are already available.
All of the clothing and other Rite Gear angling accessories can be viewed on their website.