Fishing is the greatest sport or hobby in the world, but like any great passion, it attracts its percentage of moaners and whingers - something I have no time for at all. Fishing is my thing, and I love spending time with and around fishermen, but from time to time I can't help but think that a small minority of anglers need to wake up, get the correct facts, and then stop complaining/moaning and spreading complete garbage around and about........
Breathable chest waders - honestly, if I hear one more person complain to me that their waders are leaking because they ripped them on the rocks, I am going to take those waders and plant them somewhere dark !! I took my fly fishing mate Nick Hart over to Ireland on my most recent trip, partly because I wanted to see how certain locations might pan out with the fly, but mainly because he's a good mate, I really like fishing/photographing with the guy, and I also had a hunch that we would really love the whole lure fishing thing (which he did, big time !!). Bear in mind that this is a guy who practically lives in breathable chest waders for a living - Nick is a fly fishing instructor, guide and tackle shop/website owner, check here. So he knows his waders big time. In freshwater, as they are designed for. Freshwater, not saltwater. Important fact.
It took Nick all of about five seconds to comment on the fact that no wonder my waders have so many repair marks all over them, and that he could see exactly why breathable chest waders were taking such a hammering over the kinds of terrain that we fish. We spoke a bit about it, and we came to exactly the same conclusion - if we choose to use these kinds of freshwater designed products in a harsh saltwater environment, then we take the increased risk that we are going to damage them. Plain and simple, no arguments. We choose to take that risk ourselves. I could not do without breathable chest waders, and I see an increasing amount of bass anglers especially adopting them, but there is simply no point in moaning or complaining if you slip over on sharp rocks and rip them. It's just the way it is. If you don't like the fact that this might happen, don't wear them. Nice and easy. Wear a pair of 5mm neoprene chesties instead and try walking a six mile round trip to one of your favourite bass marks........
If you know nothing about fly fishing and where these waders come from, then what gives one the right to waste time complaining about a product that works just fine - in the environment it was intended for. Take that same product out of the environment where it was designed for and we are pressing unfair demands upon it. Make those wader repair "glues" your best friend and you will be just fine. I always wash my waders down after using them in saltwater, but I have come across guys who leave theirs without washing them, and then complain when a leak appears the next time they go fishing. It's saltwater remember, not freshwater. Two very different things. Will a tackle company ever make a pair of breathable chest waders that are specifically designed for the bass fishing that we do ? I doubt it. How on earth could they with what we put them through ? But don't complain and throw your hands in the air. Think about it.
If I hear or read one more thing about the MegaBass Zonk 120 Gataride being a rubbish bass lure because that hinged-bib can break, I will scream. The lure is a killer, indeed I would class it as a modern day classic bass lure. But the bib is a potential weak point, and if you smash it against the rocks or pebbles for example, it might well break. That's the way it is. Either accept this, fish with the lure, and just take the pain if and when a bib might break on you, or if you don't like the fact that this can happen, don't buy or use the lure. What's so difficult about that ? Complaining about it is a complete waste of time and energy.
I liken the Gataride to breathable chest waders, hence talking about them both in this post. They are both products that we have found to really work for bass fishing, but both items have inherent strengths and weaknesses when we bring them into "our" world - and a world which they were obviously not designed for. Look, I don't speak or understand one single word of Japanese, but it does not take much common sense to work out that a lure like the Gataride was not designed to be used and abused around seriously harsh terrain where we do a lot of our bass fishing. But we have found out essentially by mistake this this lure just happens to slay bass in a big way, and we have also found out the hinged-bib is a weak point (in "our" world). But what on earth is the point of complaining and moaning about it ? Nobody is forcing us to buy the lure.
The Gataride I am presuming was designed for another kind of saltwater fishing where the bib was not at such risk of breaking, so what on earth is the point of wasting time and energy complaining about it ? There's enough info flying around out there to know that if you buy this lure you are running the risk, so making a personal decision is hardly that tricky. And to put it into perspective, how many bibs really get broken anyway ?
The internet is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't half help hype up this kind of thing. I have the utmost respect for the retailers and online shops that are starting to offer us more and more modern bass fishing gear, but I also feel for them hugely when complaints are made about products that are just plain wrong and badly informed. Bad info always spreads far more quickly than good info. Here-say and rumours don't do anybody any good at all, and I can't stand it when I know that a lot of it is based upon pure ignorance of the facts. Making genuine complaints based upon the correct information is another matter entirely though, and I reckon the fishing tackle industry as a whole is very good at dealing with this. Monday morning here we go !!