Reed – Providing Vital Protection from the elements for Twenty Five Years

The Reed Storm Jacket on a cold December day back in 2016

Being an all-round angler and fishing throughout the year coping with what the elements throw at me is an important part of my fishing preparation. An adage that is often thrown around is that there is no such thing as bad weather just the wrong clothing. Well there is perhaps some truth in that though generally I prefer a warm sunny day to a cold wet one!

I enjoy my fishing excursions throughout the year and keeping warm and dry undoubtedly makes the experience both more enjoyable and productive. You will not fish well if you are cold wet and miserable.

Playing a hard fighting trout during a heavy downpour

I have worn a vast range of weather proof garments over the past fifty years some good some not so good. Several years ago I was introduced to Reed Chillcheater clothing by my good friend and fellow angler Kevin Legge. Kev extolled the virtues of Reed Chillcheater products and in 2016  I invested in an Aquatherm Fleece Storm Jacket.

North Devon sea angler Kevin Legge embraces the elements in his Reed Storm Jacket

I was immediately impressed by the comfort and resistance to the winter weather the Aquatherm Fleece provided. The inner fleece provides warmth and the outer fabric provides a waterproof barrier.

I also combine the wearing of Transpire Fleece base layers during the colder months and find this ensures I can endure the coldest of days. I occasionally wear the double thickness transpire under top and trousers but generally find that I get too warm unless its static fishing.

The true test of clothing is undoubtedly its endurance overtime and whilst most waterproofs I have used in the past start leaking after a couple of seasons my Aquatherm Fleece Storm Jacket is still doing its job over eight years later.

(Above and Below) Keeping out the chill Arctic air in Norway

After speaking with company owner Chris Reed I put the jacket into the washing machine. It now smells far better and with the slightly fishy aroma removed it still repels the rain. The pockets have ripped and it’s getting a bit jaded but it still keeps out the rain. I will be investing in a new jacket for this coming winter.

At home in both fresh and salt water.

I visited Reed premises a few weeks ago to discuss their ongoing support of North Devon Angling News and enjoyed a tour of the premises. I have been pleased to help promote their excellent products since 2016 when I launched NDANs. The products are manufactured In Braunton by a small team of skilled workers. Reeds have been producing products aimed primarily at the Kayaking, Canoeing and outdoor adventure fraternity for twenty five years. Local anglers have discovered the benefits of Reed products with the clothing stocked at Braunton Bait Box and at Veal’s Mail Order and of course direct from Reeds at Braunton.


Chris Reed shows me around their well stocked storeroom

The work place

Drought Thoughts 2022

Advice from Richard Fieldhouse of Barbless Flies

As I’m sure you are well aware, it’s been pretty hot over the last few days  in this weather it is recommended to leave the fish in both rivers and stillwaters alone. Water temperature has a massive effect on the ability of a fish to recover once it has been caught – it is generally accepted that once the water temperature is above 18°C, fish will start to become stressed (the warmer the water, the less oxygen is dissolved in it).

For the above reasons, it’s probably just best to give the fishing a miss and sit in the garden with a cold drink for the next few days – enjoy it while it lasts!

The above is good advice for those who fish rivers and small still waters. It is alarming to see how low our rivers are here in the South West. I paused to look over the wall at Barnstaple Square on a recent evening out. A large salmon was swimming lethargically close to the wall. It was sad to see this iconic fish aimlessly swimming the estuary as it waits for rain to swell the rivers enabling it to forge upriver to achieve its life goal.

A few weeks ago whilst on the lower Taw I found a dying lamprey languishing in the shallows. These prehistoric creatures have been migrating  rivers since before dinosaurs roamed the land. And that is a long time ago. It is good to see that they are surviving in our rivers though it is worth thinking about their perilous existence as mankind continues to trash the world.

Are there many left who deny that climate change is happening? Are those that deny it totally removed from nature?

Wimbleball levels dropping after months of dry weather.

Beating the elements and cheating the chill

(Above) Chill-Cheater Storm Jacket kept the chill out on this bitterly cold day off Penarth.

When I started fishing forty odd years ago fishing garments tended to consist of old clothes and at best outfits bought from the nearest Army Surplus store. Times have fortunately changed and angling clothing has come on a long way with specialist weather resistant clothing available that is both functional and smart.

A couple of years ago my good friend Kevin Legge introduced me to a local North Devon company based in Braunton that provides bespoke clothing for use in demanding environments. Reed Chillcheater Ltd specialise in garments for use in water sports such as kayaking. Kevin’s logic was that this quality equipment would be ideally suited to sea anglers who spend many hours exposed to hostile weather and conditions.

I recently enjoyed a visit to the shop floor where I met up with owner Chris Reed and Dion Hunt who gave me a fascinating tour of the premises and explained the intricacies and complexity’s of the manufacturing process and the properties of the materials used. Chris established the company in 1999 when they got off to a flying start winning the British Plastics Award for Aquatherm Fabric.

(Above) Owner Chris Reed and Dion Hunt


Aquatherm is a modern intelligent Fabric designed using basic practical science as Chris explained to me in layman’s terms. Wind and water is the enemy and are combated effectively using layering with Chillcheater’s Aquatherm providing the outer layer. The smooth outer surface is water resistant and drys quickly reducing wind chill that is caused by evaporation.

The most popular products for anglers have been the Aquatherm outdoor jackets with transpire fleece inner with matching storm trousers. I have had one of these jackets for close to two years and can vouch for its warmth and weather resistance both at home and abroad in Norway.

(Above)Storm Jacket


(Above)Rugged non-corrosive Zip
(Above) Storm Cuffs

Extensive testing and consultation with anglers including North Devon’s local enthusiast Kevin Legge has resulted in a product that ticks many boxes. The Storm Jacket has several useful features including a fleece lined kangaroo pouch pocket to warm the hands, an Aquatherm outer pocket with a drain hole along with Velcro fastening, adjustable wrist straps to prevent water ingress and ¾” length zip that is made from hardwearing saltwater proof plastic. The storm peak is reinforced with wire; reflective strips give high visibility for added safety. All seams are fully heat taped to ensure no leakage.

The storm trousers are made of the same Aquatherm material with adjustable Velcro boot fasteners, shin guard overlay protection for knees, twin cargo pockets with drain holes, double Aquatherm bum patch, inner foam pouch phone pocket, elasticated back fix braces with simple double loop fasteners and elasticated top for close fitting.

Ideally beneath this robust outer layer can be worn transpire fleece inners. These are made using single filament yarns made from polyester and spandex. This ensures a tangled array of soft filaments that cling to the body matching the body’s contours trapping a warm layer to the skin. These fleeces can be purchased in either single layer suitable for the British Climate or in double layer for extreme climates like Norway and Iceland in winter!

Other items in the transpire fleece range include socks, long trousers, short trousers, long sleeve tops, zipped or unzipped tops, beanies and balaclavas.

(Above)Balaclava and beanie


Dion also showed me a Pertex jacket that can be worn over the inner layers or as an outer garment to repel wind and light rain. This amazingly lightweight material folds up into a bag no bigger than an apple!

Testament to the quality of the clothing produced at Chillcheater is the fact that renowned adventurer and long distance Kayaker Justine Curgenven has chosen the products for several of her expeditions in some very harsh climates.

I found the tour of Reeds fascinating and was very impressed with the attention to detail and the state of the art production techniques ensuring a top quality product. The venture into clothing aimed at anglers is a relatively new venture for the company that has for years focused primarily on providing robust, light weight and warm clothing for extreme water sports enthusiasts.

(Above)Leonie Isaac-Pike – Works on a Reed’s garment

(Above) The factory floor


I discussed breathability and overheating with Chris who gave some sound advice regarding maintaining comfort whilst out fishing. Angling tends to be a rather sedentary pastime. I explained that one issue with fishing is that reaching the venue can require a considerable degree of excursion that can result in perspiration. This can then lead to the angler feeling cold as the session unfolds. Chris suggested that in many cases venting whilst in transit could significantly reduce this. So remove your hat and undo the zip. During long expeditions explorers cover ground slowly to reduce overheating. Plodding slowly to your chosen mark and taking five minutes longer to get there can significantly reduce perspiration and subsequent chilling. When you arrive at the mark you can of course zip up and put on the hat to keep the warmth in!

Chillcheater gear isn’t cheap but it is certainly quality gear that will outlast the majority of weather gear sold by other companies for anglers. For more information on Chillcheater visit their website or give them a ring on 01271 815828.