Testing Rain Coats in a Car Wash

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You come up with the next extreme gear challenge, and you get the gear.

by Kirk Deeter

I’ll go to any length to test gear to its limits…well, almost any length. Remember the motorcycle reel test? Well, my latest “mad scientist” folly will appear in the May issue of Field & Stream, and it involves me wearing popular fishing rain gear through a car wash to check it out. You’ll have to read the issue for the results, but it was a pretty fair test. I wore a gray sweatsuit under the rain coats and pants, endured the jet rinse (that hurts, by the way) and any soaked spots underneath earned negative points.


I want to do more of this type of testing, but I need your help. I’ll make you a simple deal. If you come up with a test that fairly and reliably measures the performance of one piece of fly gear against others (could be rods, reels, lines, waders, whatever…), I’ll not only do it, I’ll give the person who comes up with the test concept the winning gear.

But it has to be a real test. Of course, offbeat is preferred…but this isn’t a contest to suggest “wacky ways for Deeter to torture himself and fishing gear.” There should be some baseline hypothesis, consistent variables, and a clear performance benchmark. The motorcycle test challenged reels by amping up the acceleration speeds (more than fish could make) as line was pulled off those reels. The car wash test was a simple pass-fail, wet-dry performance under simulated extreme conditions.

What’s your best test idea? Go for it…I’m not afraid.