Big Water and Big Walleyes Means Preparing to Get Wet
If you are a hardcore walleye angler, you know the three unwritten rules of putting big walleyes into your boat.
1. You need to put your time on the water.
2. You need to go to big water.
3. You better be prepared to get wet.
There's no one who knows these rules better than Tony Roach, considered one of angling's walleye gurus. A well-respected fishing guide, tournament angler, and outdoor communicator, Roach spends close to 300 days on the open water and ice annually. He operates Roach's Guide Service on Mille Lacs Lake and regularly travels to destinations such as Lake of the Woods, Devil's Lake, Lake Winnipeg, Green Bay, Lake Erie, Fort Peck Lake, and Lake Sakakawea in search of monster walleye.
Over more than 20 years of professional fishing, Roach has literally tried every type of system to stay warm and dry in pursuit of walleye.
"It's not just about staying dry," notes Roach. "Anyone who is obsessed with walleye knows that wind plays a big factor in walleye fishing. So your outer gear also needs to cut the impact of the wind, too, to keep you warm."
"There's also another factor, to consider, too," he says, "it's fatigue. If your outer gear is too heavy, it can literally weigh an angler down and wear you out."
Using these insights, Roach worked with Rapala to design the ultimate three-season rain gear system, which he has been using now for three seasons.
"In walleye guiding, you can't always pick the day you're going to fish," says Roach. "Your rain gear is like a tool – it can be as important as your rod, reel or fishing line. In some cases, it can be critical to your survival. So you really want to put some thought into what you wear."
The Rapala® Pro Rain Jacket and Bib Series are built on high expectations, combining advanced technology performance with upgraded waterproof and breathable components for more extreme conditions. Its three-layer construction offers comfort, durability and the ultimate protection from rain, wind and yes, even sun.
"It is the Goldilocks of rain suits," said Roach. "It's just right. It keeps rain out, it protects you against the wind, and it's light to wear."
"It's my go-to work wear," adds Roach. "It's also super durable. I've been wearing it for three years and this gear is tough. I can't tell you how many different brands of rain gear that I've gone through over the years. I absolutely love it. It's so comfortable, sometimes I just wear my Rapala Rain jacket even when I'm not fishing."
Believe it or not, walleye guides like a little downtime every now and then. So, what do they do? They go fishing for salmon in Alaska.
"Having my Rapala Rain gear saved the trip," says Roach. "The magnetic flaps create this great seal on this jacket. And believe me, we needed it. It was coming down like I was in a shower. But I stayed completely dry and caught fish."