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A guide to buying wet weather gear for fishing in New Zealand

Crew 654 foul weather fishing gear being used in New Zealand

New Zealand fishing crews face unique challenges, not only from the normal rigours of working out at sea but also from the country’s unique climate. Wet weather fishing gear for work in these waters needs to be up to the job. It must be strong, durable, fit for purpose and crucially – able to adapt to changing conditions.

Wet weather gear

The unique challenges of the NZ climate

While undoubtedly a beautiful and indeed bountiful place to live and work, New Zealand’s climate can present a challenge to fishing crews. The climate is variable, dominated by the country’s mountains and the sea. Temperatures can vary and the weather has been known to change suddenly. This makes the list of criteria for buying wet weather gear in New Zealand a little different compared to other parts of the world.

How tough is PVC?


Versatility is the key in New Zealand

Ask New Zealand fishing crews about the very best quality of their wet weather fishing gear and most will say versatility. The ability to adjust to changing temperatures, to stay comfortable during long shifts out at sea, is crucial. Gear needs to be lightweight, particularly for crews working in the far north of the island – which can experience subtropical temperatures in the summer.


However, layering is crucial. If the temperature changes, you don’t want to be caught off guard. Items that can be layered to add extra protection against cold, wind and rain are essential.

Material, structure and strength


is a smart choice, a kind of ‘mix and match’ approach to suit your specific needs. But what about the technical elements of what you should be looking for? Here are some points to consider:


  • PVC is an ideal choice of material due to its strength, durability and flexibility. However, look carefully for the gsm measurements. For fishing in New Zealand, you need a gsm of around 630 to ensure a lightweight yet strong fabric that resists most abrasions.
  • Raglan sleeves are a smart choice. They offer extra mobility and freedom of movement.
  • Heavy duty zippers are incredibly important. Poorer quality zips that break can result in the whole item having to be replaced. You should also look out for ‘glove friendly’ zippers that can be used while wearing even thick gloves, for extra convenience.
  • Velcro storm flaps are a must on any wet weather fishing gear. This protects you from even the worst weather from storms and squalls. 
  • Reinforced seams will prevent water entry at vulnerable points. This also helps to give the item a longer usable life.

High-visibility is crucial for wet weather fishing gear


As well as looking at the quality of wet weather gear in New Zealand, don’t forget about other important features. These include high visibility markings, to help you stay safe and identify your crew members during difficult weather.


The benefits of light weight fishing oilskins

What about fishing gear for recreational use?

Professional and recreational wet weather gear have quite different requirements. For casual or occasional use, you don’t necessarily need such hi-spec materials, structure and features. However, it’s always a good idea for anglers to at least consider professional wet weather gear in a climate such as New Zealand’s. It’s always better to be safe – and comfortable – than sorry.

If you are looking to buy professional wet weather gear for a whole crew, you could save money with wholesale discounts of up to 15% with Stormline. Take a look here at the range of wholesale fishing gear options, with free shipping to New Zealand.