Loop Opti 3L Wading Jacket
Reviewed by Justin Anwyl
Item Number: OWJO.L
Manufacturer: Loop Tackle
Last year Fish & Fly asked me to review the Loop Opti series rod (see link at end of this review) and this year to complement that review they have asked me to test out the new LOOP Opti wading jacket.
The Opti Wading Jacket comes in 3 different colours (Rustic/olive and check) and is made of 3 layers of fabric which allows the jacket to breathe and keep you dry. The new outer fabric has a TPU membrane which is light and resilient to the worst weather.
The pockets are large and accessible with a vertical zipper and incorporated into the side are two hand warmer pockets with fleece linings. The collar is of a soft fleece material which is very comfortable as is prevents chaffing around the neck on cold windy days and the cuffs are rubberised with Velcro straps which when tightened are totally waterproof. - this is a thoughtful design as on many occasions when lifting a Bass from the surf you will get saturated in the process, if you tighten these straps before hand you'll find that even if you totally submerge your arm, your inner sleeve is dry and protected.
There is a good size D ring on the back for attaching a net and on the front there is a hidden tool pocket with a zippable flap containing 2 retracting coils for hanging small pieces of equipment - be careful, as a mistake I made when opening the zip was I assumed there was a material base to this pocket, there isn't, merely a flap of material protecting your tools - mine fell out!
We started this season in February teaching clients how to increase their line speeds through "double-hauling" and as you can imagine it was more often than not cold windy and wet but sometimes there were days at the end of April where you may have been tempted to lighten your clothing - the Opti Wading Jacket complements our ever changing weather. It is light but wind proof and the fabric allows your body to breathe preventing sweat and therefore body chilling in the Low season. More importantly for me however was the fact that the material is very light and did not impact your ability to manoeuvre your arms when incorporating your hauling arm through the cast, this is so important as your body needs to be able to move easily and without restriction.
The Opti Wading jacket has been thoughtfully designed to protect your body from the elements. Nice touches are the rubber cuffs with retractors allowing water tight protection along with a very comfortable collar and 3 way adjustable hood - it's practical as well as stylish in the Rustic Copper and Olive but if you really want to stand out, Christer Sjoberg and his team at LOOP tackle have produced a grey & white checked version - it just gets more extreme every year!
Loop Tackle has evolved over nearly thirty years of passion and experimentation built by fly fishermen for fly fishermen, a job well done.
Available from Eoin Fairgrieve's Centre of Excellence
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