It seems odd to say that a jacket is feature-packed, but this new fishing jacket from Fladen seems to be just that. I spent ages fiddling with it, just to find out what some of the features were.
As anyone in the trade will tell you, Fladen produce an enormous trade catalogue. However, this jacket is so new that it doesn't appear to be in there, so you'll have to put up with my muddled-list of features, rather than words lifted straight from a catalogue. Hey, who knows, I might even start a new trend in the world of product reviews?!! I have got a leaflet to guide me, so some of the 'clever' stuff will be borrowed from that, mind you.
First things first, this is a waterproof jacket. It is not just a water-resistant one – it is a PROPER waterproof one, with some kind of rubber lining (technical term, that!). A lot of people seem to buy water-resistant jackets and wonder why they don't keep out the British weather. Those sorts are designed for light showers; this jacket is designed to keep out real rain. For the people who like it properly technical, it has a “Peach Microfibre PVC coating, 10.000 mm+.”
I should also point out that it is not a padded jacket. It is mesh-lined and you would wear it over a warmer layer in our winter months, such as a fleece - something to bear in mind when deciding which size to buy.
Actually, this is a good time to point out when of the 'features' of this jacket – the sleeves are removable, meaning that you turn it into a waistcoat for those days when the sun makes an appearance. The zips are well concealed, so you can't notice them in normal use and, more importantly, they are protected from the elements. The last thing you would want on a waterproof jacket is an exposed zip, as this would allow water in.
The cuffs of the sleeves have an excellent Velcro system, incorporating a 'handle', which enables the wearer to do them up tightly. This little touch, alone, indicated to me that this jacket had a lot of thought put into it.
In the neck of this jacket, there is a waterproof peaked hood, which has a drawstring system for tightening it and fits via Velcro to the jacket if you need to make it really secure.
On the back, you'll find a loop; perfect for roving anglers, especially fly and lure fishermen, who like to hang their landing net there.
POCKETS....I lost count. There are nine on the front, according to the leaflet, including a divided 'open' part for storing things that you may need in a hurry, such as pliers, disgorgers, etc. There are also nine in total on the inside, if you include all the divided sections as one pocket each, I think...this jacket seems to morph in front of my eyes and I'm forever finding bits! Pockets also benefit from the inclusion of good strength Velcro fastenings and zips, depending on which particular pocket you're fiddling with at the time.
I love this jacket. It looks good, has plenty of pockets to keep all the bits I need, isn't heavy and is waterproof. You can't ask for much more from a fishing jacket. It's a jacket you can use all year round, so works out good value for money on that basis alone.
There are two versions of this jacket currently on the market:
Fladen Dark Khaki Fishing Jacket – RRP £52.99
Fladen Camo Fishing Jacket – RRP £59.99
Ask your local Fladen stockist to stock them, if they don't already.