The best lightweight thermals I have worn....

If you virtually live in your breathable chest waders as I seem to have been doing for both my fishing and a lot of my work for years now, then wearing clothes like jeans or trackie bottoms underneath them for moving around a lot and fishing hard will result in you ending up a bit damp and uncomfortable. I actually know of some fishing tackle companies who have waders returned from customers who are convinced that they are leaking - when in fact it is because they are wearing the wrong stuff underneath the waders and end up sweating. And this can feel like there is a leak in the waders.......

The trick to being comfortable underneath breathable waders is to wear the right clothes - what you wear next to your skin is really important if you want to remain dry, comfortable and easily mobile. I don't know about you guys, but a lot of my bass fishing for example involves a fair amount of walking and/or climbing and scrabbling around, and even when the weather is really cold this can build up a lot of heat underneath one's waders. For years and years I was wearing some very old cotton-based thermal tights (ok, don't think of me in them, it's not a nice thought) that would end up literally soaking wet if we went yomping. But more recently I have become a lot more interested in looking into, wearing and testing different, more "technical" clothing that I reckon will benefit my fishing, and I can't believe how awesome these lightweight thermals are that I have been using for a while now.

We have a very good Cotswold store here in Plymouth, and from my initial research I found that Helly Hansen are doing a whole load of different "base layers" (also thanks to my mate Andy, he was raving about the stuff), and I ended up getting their HH Warm Pant (see here) and their Ice Crew top (see here). Have a look around and you can always get a good deal on combinations like these. Now I do accept that a lightweight, warm base-layer is hardly as exciting or glamorous as a new fishing rod, reel or even shiny lure, but personally I am always on the lookout for anything that works better for me. I don't know exactly what it is about these Helly Hansen base layers I have been using, but they are just awesome to wear and move around in when I have got my waders on. No more soaking wet cotton thermals, no more damp jeans. They just seem to work really well - easy to overlook this kind of thing, but to me it's really important, and they are without a doubt the best lightweight thermals I have ever worn. Great for wearing at the moment as well as the weather hovers between winter and spring.

If we take this Helly Hansen thermal base layer as a really good starting point for a lot of conditions, I was also wearing the Hardy EWS Fleece Joggers on top of them when it was brutally cold at times this winter. Wear this lot underneath breathable waders and I can't see how you can get cold - unless you fall in that is. Still easy to move around in, and very comfortable and "efficient". I don't think I would have got through my Mongolia trip last September without those EWS Joggers to sleep in every night in my tent !! Modern technical clothing is the way forward for me when it comes to my work and fishing.

I thought you might like to see this new lure that I picked up the other day (not that I have a problem or anything like that) - you might remember me talking about a very similar looking one on this blog very recently (see here). Well, there's me rather smugly thinking along the secret squirrel lines of having stumbled upon a potentially lethal bass lure that my mates had never even heard of, and then at the Hooked Live show the other day in Dublin I walked onto the Henry's Tackle Shop stand and saw this thing above !! It looked similar to the one I had rather sneakily acquired, but the damned thing was actually a bit different. Slimmer, more aero-dynamic, and definitely a bit more "subtle" than the one I had already got. So I had to get one..........

I had no idea that anybody in Europe was actually doing any of these F-Tec lures, but a bunch of them look awesome for our bass fishing (F-Tec website is here). So I am really pleased that the guys at Henry's Tackle Shop have them in (see here for the one I got) - the lure you can see above that I picked up at the Dublin show is called the F-Tec S-four Mark II 128 (128mm, 18g) and although I have only played around with it for a little bit, that cut-face promotes a massive side to side, head shaking kind of action, plus it swims really, really shallow. Nice and noisy as well, my hunch is that it casts better than the other one I was talking about the other day. A bit like a Tackle House Feed Shallow on steroids. Out the window goes my chance of a secret squirrel success with these ones then...........onwards and upwards though !!