Surf Casting with the Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover

When I first bought the Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody, I had steelheading in mind. It’s windproof and water resistant, not to mention incredibly lightweight at 12 oz. On a spring or fall day of steelheading you wouldn’t need anything more, and in the winter it would make for the perfect layer.

Unfortunately, the nearest steelhead is four hours north, following lake run salmon upriver to a hatchery off Lake Ontario. The next nearest steelhead is about 2000 miles west, so it’s no surprise that the first expedition this jacket saw was some surf casting for stripers in Montauk, New York.

Our first proper day of surf casting was Saturday – which started out with sunny skies but quickly deteriorated into whipping winds and rain. We had both forgotten waders, so I had my wetsuit on up to my waist with the Nano Puff hoody and a windbreaker on top. This is where I started to really appreciate this jacket. Rogue waves were common, and the nature of surfcasting is to get out into the water before launching your spoon or popper as far into the ocean as possible. Inevitably, you’re going to get wet.

patagonia nanopuff

When a wave comes crashing over your head, it doesn’t really matter if you have a waterproof jacket on or not, and that’s where the quick drying feature of the Nano Puff came in handy. After a particularly soaking wave, I could just peel the Nano Puff off and let it dry on the beach for no more than 10 minutes. This gave me time to tie on a new lure, deal with tangled line, or just have a beer. After 10 minutes, the Nano Puff was dry and ready to go. I thought about how useful that would be on a cold day of steelhead or trout fishing, when you’re bound to get your sleeves wet while releasing a fish. If that happens to cotton, it can be a day ruiner. With the Patagonia hoody, you’d be good to go again in a matter of minutes.


montauk stripers

The kangaroo style pocket keeps your hands warm when you’re not fishing and is a good size for a box of flies/lures, a spool of tippet, and a pair of pliers. When the wind picks up, the hood holds tight around your head and stays there confidently.

This jacket held up great all weekend, even with 30 mph winds and rain coming through camp on Saturday night. I actually slept in it because it was the only dry thing I had left! It has quickly become a staple in my gear bag for both fishing and skiing, and I’m looking forward to many more trips with this guy in tow.

Some specs:

  • Lightweight, 100% recycled polyester Pertex® Quantum shell and liner fabrics use interlocking Y-shaped fibers to enhance the performance of the DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • The most thermally efficient synthetic insulation available; water-repellent, compressible 60-g
  • PrimaLoft® Gold insulation has excellent warmth-to-weight ratio and maintains 96% of warmth, even when wet
  • Brick quilting pattern with horizontal quilt lines on side panels stabilizes insulation and uses durable thread for abrasion resistance
  • Venting center-front zipper has wicking interior storm flap and zipper garage at chin for next-to-skin comfort
  • Kangaroo-style handwarmer pocket and zippered drop-in torso pocket doubles as a stuffsack with a reinforced carabiner clip-in loop
  • Under-the-helmet hood with elastic binding is warm and simple
  • Elastic bound cuffs and drawcord-adjustable hem seals in warmth

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