Rode Hard and Put Away Dry

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If you want your wife, girlfriend, mistress, daughter, mother or female friend to dislike fishing, make sure she has an ill-fitting or low-quality rainsuit.

It’s not hard to do. There are plenty of them out there. Even the good ones don’t necessarily fit women correctly.

Finding the right one has historically been a harder task, no matter what you’re willing to spend. Women, on average, tend to be shorter. They have curves in different places and different proportions. They go to the bathroom differently. So while there are plenty of good suits available for men, the options for women haven’t been as strong.

That’s understandable – since most of the anglers out there have a Y chromosome, it wasn’t necessarily cost-effective for the major manufacturers to design a high-quality product for the ladies. The R&D, advertising and effort needed to sell a few suits likely didn’t have a sufficient ROI. That tide may be turning. In recent years we’ve seen a major proliferation of female-specific fishing apparel from the major manufacturers. Now Gill has come out with a tournament-ready (read: ready to handle rains that would otherwise require building an ark) bib-and-parka combo for women.

My wife Hanna has fished in a BPS 100mph suit for at least six or seven years, and while it has been more than serviceable, it’s been far from perfect. It’s not contoured to her physique the way it might be to a guy of roughly similar proportions. As it became well-worn, she started to look for an alternative. Last week she acquired a suit from Gill made specifically for women. It’s a major milestone for our relationship, and I doubt that she’s been this excited about a piece of clothing since she bought her first ruffly-style teal prom dress in the 80s. Unlike that one, we’re hoping that this one stands the test of time. If nothing else, it doesn’t require a special strapless bra to make it work.

Neither of us hopes for a frog-choker the next time we hit the water, but it’s good to know that we won’t be miserable if those are the conditions we face.