What are Simms Windstopper Flex Gloves made from?
These gloves are made from Windstopper softshell fabric and have a warm, soft fleecy lining to keep your hands warm in cold weather.
Can they be worn while fly casting?
Yes. They're one of the best gloves I've tried for fly fishing. They're relatively thin compared to the Patagonia R1 gloves and Sealskinz gloves I've used in previous seasons, so they give you much more feeling on the fly line. They don't really impede casting that much at all.
Do they provide much grip?
Grip is quite good on the Simms Windstopper Flex Gloves. The palms are coated with slightly sticky silicone bumps that let you create a firm grip on the rod and the fly line, without being so grippy they prevent you from shooting the line.
How warm are they?
They're not especially thick, so they don't provide a huge amount of warmth compared to rivals. However, they do a good job of keeping the wind off, which means your hands will feel much warmer than they would without.
The cuffs of the gloves also feature stretchy pockets that are designed to hold those single-use chemical heat packs next to your wrists. The idea is that you activate the heat packs, shove them in the pockets and they heat up your hands by warming the blood as it flows through your wrist.
What are the downsides?
There are two. Firstly, they're not very well water proofed. Simms described them as "quick drying" with a "water repellent" coating. However, that doesn't last long. After a couple of trips, mine quickly got damp and stayed damp, so my hands got cold.
While they're great for casting in, compared to thicker gloves, the object is defeated if they make your hands cold because they lack sufficient water resistance. I'm going to try giving mine a bath in some water proofing compound to see if I can improve this.
The other drawback, as you would expect from Simms, is that they're not cheap. At full price, these cost around £45, but I picked up my gunmetal grey ones in the sales at Christmas as Simms has now discontinued this colour.
Poor water resistance aside, they're probably the best fly fishing gloves I've tried to date. Hopefully a dip in some extra water proofing compound will make them perfect.