Fresh water and salt water fly fishing in New Zealand and Australia. Brought to you by Riverworks waders, wading boots, vests, jackets, fly rods and reels.

Riverworks – Wading Jackets, help us out

With the end of 2011 drawing close its time to start looking ahead and revaluating the Riverworks product range for the 2012 – 2013 season.

The Tongariro wading jacket has served us well over the years. However, technology has changed and improved, new fabrics are available and styles and fashions are always evolving.  The Tongariro jacket is not dead! We are looking to create a new jacket to add to the range for the 2012 – 2013 season and we need your input!

While we fish as much as we can here at Riverworks and we use the gear we preach and sell, we aren’t everyone.  There’s nothing better than getting feedback and criticism from the people that are using our gear and making the purchasing decisions in the stores.

So here are a few questions to get the creative juices flowing in all your fish riddled brains:

What do you want in wading Jacket?

How can the Tongariro wading jacket be improved?

When do you wear a jacket, to stay warm? To stay dry? Both?

Do you wear a vest under or over your jacket? Or not at all when wearing a wading jacket?

What’s your style of fishing when wearing a wading jacket? Tongariro style? Rivermouth / rip? Back country? Multi day trips?

Do you see a market for a basic lightweight packable shell style jacket, tailored (short wading cut) for trout fishing?

How important is the length of a wading jacket? Should they be longer? Shorter?

What are the key features you look for in a wading jacket? Big pockets? Zingers? Fly patch? Water tight cuffs? Style?

What’s your colour preference? Does it really matter or influence your purchasing decision?

Is price an issue? Would you be prepared to spend more for a better jacket? Or is there a certain price point we should aim to hit?

Post a comment below with your suggestions, and hell, if you’re feeling artistic pinch the kids crayons and draw us a picture of your ideal jacket, email it through to me and if you don’t mind Ill even throw it up on the blog.

I might get in trouble giving the bosses stock away, but why don’t I run a little competition.  The 3 most creative designs sent in will receive a little something.  If it’s a really shit hot design I might even be able to persuade Rob to give away one of the new jackets to the winner……………..

8 responses

  1. Well done guys, heaps of good suggestions here.
    However Ive only received 1 drawing, Calum, a 15 year old keen fly fisherman, sent in a great design for a new jacket, cheers mate.

    Come on guys send us a pic, you have to be in to win!

    Ill post all the designs up when I get a few more.

    Until then, have a fishy xmas and tightlines for the new year!

    December 22, 2011 at 7:58 am

    • daren gamble


      As I see it you have 2 distinct opportunities at hand here.
      1 a traditional style “true” wading jacket.
      2 a lightweight shell “back-country” wading jacket

      Now for me as a Christchurch based fisherman I have a greater need for a lightweight back-country jacket. When you are planning a typical day / overnight trip space / weight is at a premium and to have a lightweight shell style wading jacket would be a huge bonus. To date I have tried cycling and tramping / walking shell jackets but they are not built to last in the harsh environment of back country bush bashing brown trout stalk!
      The way I’m looking at it is this shell jacket can be just that. A lightweight (yet robust) breathable shell jacket. It doesn’t need to be festooned with pockets zingers etc as I have a vest / backpack combo that already has everything I need for a days fishing in it and to have to start moving / transferring flies, leaders, tippets nippers forceps floatant and the very important license etc into another set of pockets isn’t at all necessary. I’m sure most fishermen are the same. We have had years of getting the vest packed so you can find everything without thinking and I can see no need to have a jacket that duplicates this.
      The important things that for me would make this jacket an absolute must for my trips are (in no real order):
      1. Water proof but breathable.
      2. Flexible material.
      3. Storm closure over front zipper.
      4. Watertight cuffs. Simple elastic style (wide elastic so it doesn’t cut your hands off), length short so not to get caught in anything during the course of use.
      5. Neutral colour
      6. Body length not to long as to catch on branches / rocks etc but not too short as expose too much of the users “core”.
      7. Pack away full head hood with storm closure at neck

      Idealy this whole shell jacket should pack down into itself so you could either wear it like a “bum bag” or stuff into your pack ready to pop on at a moments notice.
      I will email a picture to you shortly that you can post if you feel like it. You will have to excuse the quality as I’m definitely no artist.


      January 16, 2012 at 8:39 am

  2. Well! I can see this is going to get interesting… I’m a firm believer of KISS, get the basic fundamentals right and you can fine tune this technicolour dreamcoat into reality.

    1 – Water/wind proof, why else are you wearing it? With the evolution of materials these days there’s no excuse for waterlogged, bulky apparel.
    2 – Practicality, no snags etc, not too many bells and whistles (the wearier can always add these if desired). If they are to be included then a functional concealment would be nice.
    3 – Cut, would it be possible to have different cuts (skinnies to fatties, tall/short) take the waders for example, long/short.
    4 – Waterproof pocket is smart but I hate having to unzip the main zip to access these things.
    5 – Summer weight jacket, love the idea, always have. Possibly longer/fitted (no pockets) cut than Tongariro, just to cover your torso (no one likes a muffin top). After all you’re more-than-likely wet wading anyhow. I think the Tonga length is fine, just enough to make the seal between waders, any longer and you’re dragging in the water with those ballooning “hand warmer” pockets (not much of a fan when it’s raining. Plus aren’t you meant to be fishing, that warms you up!)
    6 – Pockets, pockets, pockets… Good luck with getting everyone to agree here. A good base would be 2 mid sized chest pockets for the average Joe, any more and it’s a vest.
    7 – I thought I’d stop at 5!

    Good luck Al, I think you’ve put the cat amongst the pigeons here. After all, I think the best efforts are the extensive field testing that the garments go through themselves, it soon sorts the wheat from the chaff.

    December 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm

  3. James McKee

    Dry pocket is a great idea – adjustable cuffs are a must with good quality velcros/domes.

    I prefer to wear my vest over the top as I find putting things in between my vest and pockets is a great way to lose/forget key items. Which means too many pockets/zingers etc are just redundant and take up space for me.

    I also like the ‘shell’ idea – with the way the undergarment layering works these days its easier to get that right than wearing a bulky jacket, also its great for packing/drying/washing etc.

    A good hood is a must – I like one with a little peak in it to keep the water out of my face.

    Am not looking for a price point particularly and am happy to pay a little more for something that is spot on.

    Bring it on.

    December 19, 2011 at 12:40 pm

  4. Craig

    Hmmm. Lots to think about there. I’ve had a couple over the years, all of which had their strengths and weaknesses. I had one with velcro fastenings on the chest pockets, which were capacious enough for a couple of fly-boxes, but were impossible to open without the use of both hands. The velcro was tenacious, beyond stubborn, and into the territory of the ridiculous. Changing flies mid-stream became a freaky dance, fraught with much swearing and rod-clutching between the knees. Undignified.

    I had a really expensive one which put up with about 3 minutes of proper downpour before the water crept in under the arms and into the seams. Once the shell material got wet, the lining held onto the moisture inside and refused to dry out. It also had velcro wrist fastenings, outside the neoprene wrist seals, the seals were great – but the outside velcroed flaps caught my fly line almost every cast, cue gritted teeth and more swearing.

    I’m originally from Scotland, so my jackets had dual purpose – obviously waterproofing but also windproofing on dry days – it’s nice to get inside a good hood with the wind behind you on colder days. No need for insulation or to be heavy, IMHO it should be a tough, lightweight weather barrier – with room for fleecy layers etc underneath, and plenty shoulder and upper arm space for casting.

    My list of must have’s then, upon reflection would be:

    Lightweight and packable, tough, maybe ripstop
    Water and windproof
    Big pockets, less velcro
    Hem to chin chunky zip and rain-gutter, with fleece beardy guard
    Quality neoprene wrist seals
    Short length, just above the hip, adjustable
    Loop or ring on the back for net magnet and carabiner
    Similar on the front for zingers
    Waterproof inside pocket for wallet, phone, smokes etc
    Double lined on shoulders, vent zips under the arms
    Big ol hood, adjustable down to fit snug when very windy

    There you go. I’m not a fan of the camouflage – most of my fishing kit is somewhere in the khaki/mossy/stoney/olivey kinda range – perhaps that’s more of a function of what’s on the market rather than a reflection of my personal taste, my mountain and snowboarding kit is much more varied in style…

    Best of luck guys!



    December 19, 2011 at 11:24 am

  5. adam

    I for got one thing.
    Anti mozie face shield.

    or a static zapping thing wot frys the little ^$&%&ers b4 they can bite you.

    December 19, 2011 at 10:42 am

  6. adam

    want good adjustable cuffs.

    big pockets. wider not deeper.
    a thing u can put flys on, on the out side.
    maybe a few clips for floatint , clippers ect.

    a fold away hood.


    a rod holder, :ie loop and a strap.

    dry pockets for smokes , cell phone ect.
    not to bulky on the shoulders and under the arms. with air vents under the arms with zips on them.

    a pull tight wast band.

    “A built in fish finder what tells you what flys to use size and weight.

    a built in life vest for them sticky times.
    what inflates with a pull of a cord.

    and not to have uv at all on it.

    maybe a built in walkie talkie pocket..

    best of luck…

    want wait to see the new jacket..
    and to be made of of some relay good water proof material what last for ever :D….

    December 19, 2011 at 10:30 am

  7. Mike Thomas

    Hi, no drawing from me, but I have to say the very first thing I look for in a wading jacket is it must be Waterproof! If it does not keep me dry in the winter then I get less time fishing, if I am dry I can stay warm and fish on! Waterproof cuffs and hood are important as well.
    As a bonus a dull Green or grey colour is good and if it has some water resistant pockets even better. I like to wear my vest on the outside but do need some extra room for winter jerseys.

    December 19, 2011 at 10:22 am

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