We are often asked about how to make your fishing oilskins last longer. This may seem like a simple question, and it is, but it really comes down to some basic knowledge about how fishing oilskins are designed and what makes different weights and types work.
Commercial Fishing oilskins are mostly made from PVC, a combination of PU and PVC or PVC. It is best to discuss the different qualities of each material/combination and then list some simple procedures to care for your gear.
PU Oilskins: Generally speaking all PU oilskins will be very lightweight and only really good for uses that is not arduous or you won’t be spending large amounts of time in harsh conditions.
PVC/PU Oilskins: The best way to look at this combination is to think of the PU as acting as layer of protection that works the same way as polish works on your car. It provides a layer of protection that stops aggressive oils, lubricants and fish oils from attacking the PVC or the the glue that joins the PVC and the fabric backing. This also helps provide a supple feel to the PVC and is particularly useful when you are working in cold conditions.
PVC: The weight or thickness of the PVC is what gives it it’s strength and resistance to the fluids and fish oils etc that will otherwise attack the material. A simple general rule of thumb is that the thicker the PVC the stronger it will be. Obviously weight will be an issue though.
How to wash your oilskins: We only recommend that you hand wash your fishing oilskins in warm soapy water. Using chemicals will affect the lifespan of your oilskins and is not recommended. We realise that many people do machine wash their gear. If you do do this, then make sure you use a low temperature.
For more information, please feel free to get in touch. We are always keen to help.