Simms Expands Softgoods, Brings Back Old Favorites
Simms Fishing Products is one of the few fly fishing companies that is actually growing in a down economy; their expansion into the conventional fishing market has largely been a success, and their clothing lines have expanded and sold well.
Simms 2012 Guide Wader
While many anglers may feel that Simms has nothing left to prove in the wader market, they have recognized a couple holes in their lineup. First and foremost, the popular Guide Wader, which has been off the market since 2006, is back, with beefed up gravel guards (the old ones shredded after a few hard seasons) and a new lower seam configuration which needs only one line of stitches instead of two. They are also cut somewhat roomier than the existing models in the G3 and G4 lineup.
Simms has also added a new wader: the Blackfoot, a three layer stockingfoot model for only $180. The low price is thanks to the use of Toray breathable fabric (a longtime supplier of many fly fishing companies) instead of the more expensive Gore-tex.
Although there are many new clothing models and styles, the coolest--literally--is the Stone Cold Shirt, which uses a proprietary technology (Simms simply told us it was "magic") to actually feel a couple degrees cooler than the surrounding air. "It will lower your skin temperature by an average of one degree," says designer and head of marketing Diane Bristol. She's right: this stuff actually feels noticeably cooler than surrounding material. The technology is only in one shirt currently, at $80, but it may very well expand.
Simms Headwaters Half Day Pack
Finally Simms has announced a partnership with the Skin Cancer Foundation, after seeing several local Montana guides fall sick with the dreaded disease. "A cotton t-shirt only offers 10-15 UPF protection, and even less when it's wet," Diane Bristol explains, "and meanwhile you need at least 30 UPF to be protected from the worst of the rays.