Even though fall and spring are the most popular seasons for angling, the activity itself can take place at any time of the year. Among other types, ice fishing is one of the most peculiar and equipment-dependent ones. The conditions are more adversary than usual and thus one needs to be prepared to confront them. Luckily, there are a bunch of brands that prioritize the needs of ice fishermen and design dedicated apparel. Striker Ice is one such brand that focuses on ice fishing gear. We at Gritr Outdoors compiled a short list of technologies that have allowed Striker Ice to charge through the lines and find itself at the forefront of the industry.
Understanding the Ice Fishing Environment
Ice fishing is not deprived of challenges and risks. Those are mostly associated with the harsh and unpredictable environment in which fishing takes place. It might be useful to first get acquainted with the risk factors that Striker Ice apparel aims to negate.
Extreme Cold and Wind
The primary challenge of ice fishing is, unsurprisingly, the cold. In many regions where this sport is popular, temperatures can drop way below freezing. There is a hefty pile of conditions that exposure to such temperatures can lead to, including frostbite and hypothermia. Believe you us, you want none of them.
Moreover, wind chill can exacerbate these low temperatures or at least how you experience them. Wind chill refers to the cooling effect of wind blowing on exposed skin. The stronger the wind and the lower the temperature, the colder the wind chill. This usually makes the environment feel even colder than the actual air temperature.
Slippery Surfaces and Unstable Ice
Another significant challenge during ice fishing is dealing with slippery surfaces. Ice, especially when wet or snow-covered, is incredibly slippery. Thus increases the risk of falls and related injuries.
Additionally, the stability of the ice itself can be another concern. Ice thickness can vary greatly, even within a short distance, and thin ice is a hazard to be reckoned with. Falling through the ice is the biggest threat ice fishermen face, as getting out without assistance is a grueling and sometimes near-impossible task.
Striker Ice’s primary focus is on apparel, so its products can’t necessarily address the issue of slippery ice. However, they boast a variety of technologies that can help you out in case in case you fall through the ice.
Snow and Precipitation
Snowfalls, while often adding to the beauty of the ice fishing experience, present challenges of their own. Heavy snow hinders your vision, making navigation difficult. It also adds weight to the ice, potentially affecting its stability, and creates a surface that reflects UV rays. None of those factors tip the scales in your favor, but Striker Ice apparel can at least balance them.
While it may seem counterintuitive, the sun remains a major concern during ice fishing. Snow and ice are particularly good at reflecting harmful UV rays, so you get attacked from both directions at once. While only sunscreen can protect you from reflected rays, apparel can nullify the effect of direct ones.
Now let’s get down to the very things that helped Striker Ice revolutionize the world of ice fishing: apparel technologies.
Sureflote Flotation Assist: A Lifesaver on Ice
One of the standout technologies that Striker Ice makes use of is the Sureflote Flotation Assist. The technology employs low-density polyethylene foam that creates air pockets within the garments, effectively increasing the wearer’s buoyancy in the water. If you were to accidentally fall into the water, the Sureflote system would keep you adrift for quite a while. A remarkable aspect of this technology is that it doesn’t add significant bulk or weight to the garments. Unlike traditional life jackets or floatation devices that can be bulky and restrictive, Sureflote is built into the clothing, providing safety without sacrificing comfort.
You don’t have to take our word for it, there are plenty of videos demonstrating the wonders of Surefloat technology. With a full set of a jacket and bibs, you’ll remain floating for two hours. That is enough to try to get out, fail, panic, get desperate, get a hold of yourself, get out and have another hour and a half at your disposal – a luxury that few other ice fishing apparel brands can grant you.
eVent Fabrics: Breathability at its Best
The eVent Fabric technology is particularly beneficial for ice fishing apparel. The “no sweat” phrase is hardly applicable to ice anglers. The physical exertion, even if not particularly intense, inevitably leads to sweating. There is no comfort in being sweaty in general, but when exposed to cold, this condition becomes fraught with illness’s risk. The eVent fabrics ensure that the moisture is vented out by providing an ultra-lightweight and breathable apparel solution.
At the heart of eVent fabrics lies patented Direct Venting technology. It essentially allows sweat in vapor form to escape directly from your clothing. In contrast to many other breathable fabrics that require sweat to condense into liquid form before it can evaporate, Direct Venting allows moisture to vent away instantly. As a result, you get ultimate breathability, while staying dry and comfortable even during the most strenuous activities.
HYDRAPORE®: Ultimate Waterproofing Solution
Hydrapore is a specially designed fabric technology that’s integral to the high-performance clothing produced by Striker Ice. This technology is built into the outer shell of Striker ice fishing suits and ensures superior protection against the elements while not hampering breathability.
The primary feature of Hydrapore technology, as you might tell from the name, is its exceptional waterproofness. With a waterproof rating of 5,000 mm, Hydrapore provides an extremely robust, if not impenetrable, barrier against water. That means it can withstand heavy rain or snow, or even an accidental plunge into icy waters, keeping the wearer dry against everything the chance might throw at them.
This waterproof rating is achieved through a special laminating process that bonds a waterproof membrane to the fabric. This membrane consists of tiny pores that are just big enough to allow vapor molecules to escape but too small for larger water molecules to penetrate.
Striker Ice has also developed an enhanced version of this technology, known as Hydrapore Pro. This advanced fabric offers even greater waterproofness and breathability, boosting the level of protection and comfort.
THERMADEX® INSULATION: Stay Warm, Stay Active
ThermaDex is an advanced insulation technology used in Striker Ice apparel. It offers a blend of lightweight warmth, softness, and breathability that’s ideal for outdoor activities like ice fishing. This technology is integral to the Predator series from Striker Ice, designed to prevent sweat build-up during intense physical activity.
The technology is designed to trap body heat, but not in the conventional manner. Unlike traditional insulation materials that can be heavy and bulky, ThermaDex is remarkably lightweight. This makes it perfect for active wear, so you could use the same jacket for such activities as skiing or snowboarding.
The effectiveness of ThermaDex, like other insulation materials, can be quantified using a measure known as the ‘clo value’. A higher clo value indicates better insulation performance, meaning the material is more effective at trapping heat and keeping the wearer warm. Striker Ice’s apparel range includes garments boasting from 2.0 to 3.0 clo, with 4.0 clo equaling heavy polar gear.
By implementing innovative technologies in their apparel, Striker Ice set the new standard for ice fishing gear. The Sureflote technology is second to none in its niche, and the brand offers a combination of safety and comfort features that are hard to beat. Investing in quality ice fishing apparel like Striker Ice is not just about looking good on the ice; it’s about keeping your mind at ease and enhancing your overall fishing experience. So why wait? Explore Striker Ice products today and experience the difference these technologies can make firsthand.