Vass waders – maybe time for a cultural exchange…

Vass LogoSome fly anglers, I know, would be more drawn to a trade catalogue with seagull droppings on the cover than one adorned with coarse fishing imagery. If that’s you, I implore you to hold your nose (you shameless snob) should you be in the market for new waders, and at least give Vass Textile Group some thought.

I owe the Milton Keynes firm an apology. Specialists in waders and rainwear, mainly for the coarse and sea markets, I happened upon their stand at the Farnborough’s ‘Big One’ fishing show in March, and have had their card on my desk all summer, with a view to giving them a mention.

You can quickly develop ‘product fatigue’ at these shows but Vass’s waders, in particular, stopped me in my tracks. I’m no authority on fishing gear but I had a more seasoned angler with me at the show and he confirmed my initial impression that Vass waders had a distinctly ‘top-end’ feel to them, suggesting material that is comfortable yet also laughs in the face of jagged branches. I also recall their price range sounding competitive alongside some of their more specialist flyfishing counterparts.

Before this begins to sound like Alan Partridgesque product placement, I hadn’t heard of Vass before Farnborough, and were I on commission, I certainly wouldn’t have left it five months before writing about them.

My humble opinion is that they are at least worth a look; I’ll leave it at that.

‘Front unloader’ waders, music to ears of a certain age

Those of you who may be experiencing a certain perishing of the bladder’s seal as years slip by, may find this thread worth keeping an eye on.

Caught somewhat short while up to my nicky-nacky-noos in the River Swale last month (link is for the benefit of our trans-Atlantic readers…) it occurred to me that the contest between de-layering speed and the fortitude of your urethral sphincter can become so finely-balanced as to be worth a place on a Japanese game show.

“The hell with landing on Mars,” I remember thinking to myself. “Just invent the front-zipper waders, someone…”

I had no idea they were already out there. The field test terms of reference could make interesting reading…

Boil-in-a-bag waders – beautiful when it stops

There is a great way to make sure you never take for granted breathable waders.

Wear a pair that aren’t.

In a heatwave.

That was me in Norfolk last week; assuming that the river to which I was travelling wasn’t wadeable and therefore sloppily making do with the first pair of just-in-case waders that came to hand.

Old school waders. Or ‘boil-in-a-bag waders’, as one TF contributor calls them. Two hours of trudging the river bank on an increasingly scorching day brought it home to me in no uncertain terms from whence came the analogy. It was Springtime from the nipples upwards; a Malaysian summer at all points south.

We men must be grateful that the scope for our testicles to descend in search of cooler climes is not limitless. Trying to take photographs while increasingly sapped of energy would be hard enough without the additional dread of inadvertently stepping on something.

Yet at the end of all this, there came relief so delicious that it really is no wonder  philosophers can talk for hours on end when asked to rationalise suffering.

Sit in a river for five minutes, as I endeavoured to do whenever time permitted and the sensation of liquid ice being injected into your torrid veins is worth every sweatbox moment that preceded it. So much so that you realise your day would have been unwittingly poorer had you not first suffered the pain necessary to know this pleasure.

Just looking at this photograph of my legs enjoying another such moment last Thursday, I feel that joy all over again.

This blog will always strive valiantly to steer clear of the ‘better than sex’ cliché but sometimes…