Funnily enough, it wasn't a lack of money or time that was the biggest pain in my angling backside last year. No, it was wind.
There's a song, that I can't stand, which contains the line “Everywhere you go, you always take the weather,” and this is true. If you were a squash player, that wouldn't bother you, as the weather you're taking with you would be firmly shut outside. However, as anglers, that song lyric always rings true. We do have to put up with the weather. Perhaps that's why I despise the song itself!
I wish I could put on a windproof fleece and it would make the wind go away, allowing me to go boat fishing, but even the most ambitious of advertising copy-writers wouldn't claim that their fleece could do that. Probably. However, what decent quality clothing can do is make your inland fishing more pleasant, whether sea or freshwater.
The first thing I noticed about the Berkley Windproof Fleece Jacket is that it doesn't feel like my other 'normal' fleeces. It's a tighter knit and, I suppose as a consequence of this, feels slightly heavier. It actually feels like a jacket, rather than a zip-up t-shirt.
It's well made, too, with a waist toggle, main zip and a studded 'popper' collar, which is high fitting and perfect for keeping the wind off your neck. Dark green in colour, with black trim, there is a small 'Berkley' logo over the left breast and a small insignia on the left arm. I'd say that the overall appearance is carp-angler friendly, for sure, but without being over the top, so it will appeal to just about any angler.
The two pockets on the front are designed for warming hands, rather than storage and the elasticated cuffs complete this wind-beating package.
I'm a lover of fleeces, as I love the comfort and warmth that they offer. The Berkley Windproof Fleece Jacket offers that extra protection on windy days, due to the tighter-knit fabric, and is definitely my fleece of choice right now. It's pretty stylish, too, so I don't mind wearing it in public, which is something I don't do with a lot of my fishing tackle.
They are quite generous in size. I'm quite stocky and would usually get an XL jacket, in order to make sure there's enough room underneath for an additional layer of clothing or two. However, I took some advice and ordered a 'Large', which is spot on.
The Berkley Windproof Fleece Jacket has a recommended price of £49.95. That puts it towards the top end of the fleece market, but potential buyers should be aware that it's not one of the cheaply-made affairs that you can buy from any discount store. That said, at the time of writing TackleBargains are selling them at just £29.95 in limited sizes, which represents excellent value. Click here to check the current availability.