Scierra C&R wading jacket review - around £170

When I first thought about putting this review up of a waterproof wading jacket during our summer it felt a bit daft, but with the weather we have been having recently I reckon it’s actually become perfect timing! I wasn’t sure that I would get a lot of use from this Scierra C&R wading jacket until the autumn, but over the last few months it’s come out of my rucksack on far too many occasions if you ask me, and whilst that might well be perfect for giving it a proper testing, ideally I’d like not to have to wear it thank you very much ye weather gods…….

As with when I first started wearing lightweight chest waders and wading boots, it was the same with a “proper” wading jacket from the fly fishing world - because I was doing some work with Svendsen Sports at the time, it was therefore Scierra gear that I turned to initially, and I have to say that I don’t remember any of their wading jackets that I used giving me any undue grief. I bet you all use any number of different waterproof tops from various markets, but I do happen to think that the slightly shorter and usually nice and easy to fish in wading jackets from the fly fishing world tend to work well for the way that many of us here go about our lure fishing.

OK, so it’s not as if around £170 is small change to spend on a waterproof jacket, but when I compare it to the price on say some of the Simms wading jackets, this Scierra C&R one getting towards good value for money I feel, and especially with how it’s working out for me. Yes, it’s going great guns so far and I haven’t come across anything that I actively dislike about it - initially I went for the XL size as that’s what I take with nearly everything, but it was a little tight across the shoulders for casting all the time especially. I asked if a mate could give it a thrashing and I then got an XXL and it’s the perfect fit for my lure fishing (he would usually take an L size and this XL one fits him perfectly if that helps). Nice and comfortable, very easy to wear, enough room to wear a few more clothes underneath when it gets cold, and it doesn’t catch me anywhere when I wind a cast up and let it fly.

Is it just me, or does this colour go well with my new, uber-good looking new car? Sorry!

Is it just me, or does this colour go well with my new, uber-good looking new car? Sorry!

I would expect a jacket like this to be properly waterproof, and so far there are no issues whatsoever, and that includes a fair amount of fishing in some perfectly horrible weather. Sure, as per every single waterproof jacket I have ever used for fishing, a little bit of water will eventually find its way in down the sleeves in heavy rain especially, and at the start I was a little worried that this jacket’s cuff design might lend itself to letting in that bit more. But I was wrong, indeed I reckon this C&R jacket is one of the better ones when it comes to minimal amounts of water trickling in via the sleeves. Same with the hood and face area - driving rain in your face and a bit has to get in via me peering out from underneath the well designed hood, but as with the sleeves it’s a minimal amount. As much as wearing a baseball cap annoys me because of the peak getting in the way with cameras, I have gone back to wearing one in the rain and I do reckon it’s worth it with helping the hoods on jackets work that bit better with you.

There are various pockets on the jacket which I must admit I haven’t really used, but the zipper up and down the front seems to be of decent quality, and it can’t rust via saltwater because it’s made from some sort of plastic/rubber or whatever? I went through a phase a few years back of trying out various walking/climbing jackets for my (saltwater) fishing, and the metal zippers all failed eventually, or at least got so stiff I would routinely curse the sodding jacket as I tried in vain to do it up or get out of it! Not a problem with this one. I like this Scierra C&R wading jacket as an outer shell that is not too heavy yet plenty warm enough for many situations, but then very easy to layer up underneath if needs be.

What more can I say? The jacket works well, I think the price is fair when compared to other fly fishing gear out there, but of course many anglers are perfectly justified in thinking that it’s far too much money to spend on a waterproof jacket for fishing. It matters not at the end of the day though, because the jacket exists, I am sure Scierra are selling a bunch of them, and I happen to think that it works well for how many of here go about our fishing. If anything untoward suddenly happens with this Scierra C&R wading jacket that I or a couple of mates are now using, I will of course report back, but after plenty of use now I think it’s a really good wading jacket that I wish I wasn’t having to use so much this “summer”.

And how about finishing up the Australia tour at 3-0 tomorrow morning in the rugby? I keep having to pinch myself that really are in the position to complete a clean sweep against the second place team from last year’s World Cup, but I am feeling that good about English rugby again that I see no reason why the boys won’t produce another monster performance down under……...

Got a new car, thanks so much for your suggestions

It feels a little strange not to be driving my twelve year old, dirty grey Ford Focus estate around anymore, but there you have it below, my new car - and it’s a big thanks from me for your help the other day on here and on Facebook when I asked, indeed via your comments and specifically the ones telling me to look at the Citroen Berlingo Multispace XTR, well that is what I am now driving. I was close to getting a Skoda Octavia estate or some other similar estate type car, right up until a few of you told me to have a look at the Citroen………

Photographing my new car, whatever next?

Photographing my new car, whatever next?

Which I did. I didn’t find it easy looking for a new car primarily because I have so little interest in them, but I did what most blokes do and carried out as much research as possible - but that Citroen Berlingo Multispace thing never once crossed my radar. Another straightforward estate made the most sense because it’s what I have driven since my eldest girl was born, and I was actively looking for a second hand Skoda Octavia estate. But via your comments I went and had a look online at the Citroen Berlingo and what it could offer me, and then I went and booked a test drive to see what it was like.

Absolutely bloody perfect for me and what I need a car for, that’s what it is. Thank you, thank you! Sure, if a drop dead gorgeous car is your thing then you ain’t exactly going to lust after those stunning sleek lines on a Citroen Berlingo Multispace (!!), but I am not buying a car to try and look better. Nope, a car is a tool to me, and I need a car that works for the family and for my fishing/travelling around with loads of stuff in it - this Citroen fits the bill brilliantly. So comfortable to drive (nice and high and upright, great visibility), plenty quick enough for me, decent stereo, acres of room in the back for kids or passengers, great big boot, easy to take any of the back seats out individually if I need even more space (or to kip in), and I love those sliding rear doors. Hell, it’s even got a touchscreen thing in the front that made me nearly jump out of my skin when a call came in over the mobile! I am far more used to shouting over a crappy bluetooth earpiece.

So there you have it. The new motor. And yes, there will be a fair bit of piss-taking from various mates about how I am preparing for old age with a car like this and what they are sometimes used for, but that’s no worries - loads of room for the old zimmer frame! Nope, I love it, and I reckon it’s going to be the perfect car for these high milage trips I make over to Ireland especially, either with a mate or two along with me, or those whole day journeys I do on my own over to glorious Kerry for my co-guiding work. Set the cruise control and have a damn good kip on the way! A great fishing wagon, and it makes me very happy to be driving something that is based on a van.

Many thanks again. The only reason I have ended up with this rather fantastic car is because some of you kind people took the time to leave a bunch of helpful comments the other day, and I hugely appreciate it. Oh, and the Citroen garage took my beloved old Ford Focus estate off my hands for the princely sum of £200 part exchange! The driver side electric window hadn’t worked for a couple of years and I am still finding it a thrill to press the button on this Citroen Berlingo Multispace and actually have my driver side window go up and down, instead of having to pull up just right at say the toll booth after the bridge going into Wales so that I can open my door, apologise for the sodding window not working, and hand over money/take ticket etc. It’s a new dawn…….

I reckon that’s about as good as sport gets - mighty, mighty England!

The most awesome match possible that revolved largely around selfless bravery from putting bodies on the line again and again for wave after wave of gold attack, and in my mind the most significant result since November 2003. Sustained but legal violence throughout the eighty minutes plus on the pitch, yet not a single mention of any fan based violence in the press which seems to so blight these Euro things that are going on. Nope, rugby will always be where it is at for me, and Saturday was just frigging epic………

If you are an England rugby supporter then it’s been a long, long road from the World Cup success of 2003 - plenty of downs, a few mainly false ups that so cruelly raise our hopes and then dash them like feeding mullet that are feeding on everything else save your bait, but forever the hope eternal that the proverbial corner will be turned and we will get back to being pretty damn good at the sport which, let’s face it, we invented.

Nearly thirteen years later and we are finally the real deal again, and to me it’s so damn exciting that we have so much more development to come. We can dream once more of three years down the line - could we do it again? Heading down to Australia and winning the three match series 2-0 - with one more to come of course - well that’s just immense. OK, so I can’t help but wonder how we might have done against the current All Black side which is brushing Wales aside with a worrying injection of class in the second halves of each game, but this changes nothing - a newish (Australian!) coach has taken his side to the southern hemisphere after the success of the Grand Slam and delivered something which has never been done by an English side before. Series wins down south don’t exactly come delivered on silver platters, and yes, I had moist eyes come the final whistle on Saturday. World Cup aside, that’s about as good sport gets in my view.

We need to remember that Australia were the beaten finalists in last year’s World Cup, and we have turned them over in their own backyard - and it looks like there is so much more to come. Imagine if Eddie Jones and his staff can sort out a world class attack to go with everything else that is starting to come together so nicely. Damn right I’m excited about England rugby all over again, and damn right I am now starting to dream about the 2019 World Cup. Mighty, mighty England. It bugs the hell out of me that I pay for Sky Sports yet never, ever watch a single minute of sodding football, but Saturday’s game of rugby has made it all worthwhile! Heady days.

Oh, and please could we have our summer back. I am getting far too used to doing barbecues under big garden umbrellas like I do through the winter, and I’d love a bit of that weather back that we were gifted last half-term………..

How much do “perfect conditions” end up teaching you?

We are anglers and we always wish for “perfect conditions” - whatever those might be for you and your fishing - but how much does going fishing when everything seems to be ideal end up teaching you? Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take perfect conditions as much as possible thank you very much and I will never say no to a bunch of decent fish that want to impale themselves upon whatever I throw at them, but it really struck home a few weeks back in Ireland when we had seriously less than ideal conditions how much that situation then resulted in us learning a whole lot more about what we might do in the future when faced with a forecast like that again………

I would guess that you keep an eye on as many weather forecasts, crystal balls and even webcams as I do, indeed it’s hard to imagine my life now before I lived near the sea nd tides and winds didn’t rule my life! Home fishing, away fishing, it matters not, we are looking for those times when tides and conditions come together and we seriously fancy our chances at banging a few fish out - and then your head drops when things don’t look so ideal. I know I am guilty of talking myself out of going fishing sometimes because I reckon conditions are somewhat less than ideal, but the beauty of these fishing trips away is that because you are away from home, you’re going to go fishing almost regardless and try to almost make things happen - and without a doubt this can end up teaching you so much more.

A few years back we did some filming for the now discontinued Tight Lines Sky Sports programme over on the south coast of Ireland, and whilst we were pretty much bound by when crews etc. were available, I distinctly remember worrying like crazy because the forecast was so dire for bass fishing - the middle of August, baking hot, big blue skies, as bright as you like, and to top it all off, east winds. Time to go mullet fishing if you ask me, but we were there to film bass fishing, and via some kind local help we ended up fishing a strong run of current in an estuary that produced some of the most amazing bass fishing I have been lucky enough to be a part of - and to this day I still regret the fact that we were filming, because if we hadn’t been, we’d have caught so many more bass, and there were some serious fish around like this near as dammit double figure fish above.

The fact is that filming fishing stops you actually fishing for a lot of the time, and especially when I was presenting the short film - trying to do a piece to camera (PTC) again and again because your mates keep hooking bass on Black Minnows which means you need to start again because of needing to help land fish and yap about them to camera etc. What I really want to do is rip the microphone off my top and smash some bass myself, but I can’t, at least not until we’ve got the PTC out of the way, which is proving somewhat tricky because my sodding mates can’t stop hooking bass!

Anyway, sorry, I digress. Wow did those few days teach me about certain locations and certain conditions, as did my last trip to Ireland a few weeks back. A forecast that I would have seriously considered cancelling the trip on if they had been forecasting it a few days before we left to catch the ferry over, yet we ended up catching a bunch of fish in less than “perfect conditions” - which in turn helped to put so much extra information in the memory bank for future trips and what to try and do if we get similar conditions again. We were almost forced to do things we might not have done if we had got “perfect conditions” - different locations, different tide states to when we might usually fish them etc. - and at the end of the day I would argue that we came away having learnt far more than if everything had gone totally to plan for us. And let’s be honest, when does everything go totally to plan with fishing? It’s us trying to get one over on nature, and I would argue that nature knows a little bit more than we do.

You all have a good weekend. I have been bricking myself all week about the rugby tomorrow morning, but I truly believe we can go 2-0 up in the three match Test series against Australia. I am trying as much as I can not to get too overexcited about English rugby because of all the disappointments we have had to live through since November 2003, but I can’t help it. I am hugely overexcited once more, and I will always love how such a beautifully aggressive and violent game on the pitch never, ever lends itself any of this perfectly despicable supporter violence I read about at this Euro football thing in France. Best of luck to Ireland and Wales tomorrow as well, but I simply can’t see Wales turning the All Blacks over in their own backyard, and especially not after that midweek thrashing. Ireland though for a 2-0 lead in their series? Bring it on!