Review: Railriders Gear

Given that I spend most of my time on or near water, it’s strange how little fishing specific apparel I own. For a typical afternoon on a trout stream, a t-shirt or a flannel is usually enough. It’s only when I head into the harsh world of saltwater and sun that I turn to serious gear.

railriders cast

On a recent trip to Baja, Mexico to chase roosterfish with the guys from Fly Lords, we stocked up on Railriders Gear. Our first few days were spent out on the pangas, riding through waves under a virtually cloudless sky. To put it simply, it’s just not feasible to cover yourself with sunscreen three times daily in the bearing sun that pervades Baja. It’s times like these when good gear is absolutely necessary.

railriders pool

railriders roosterfish

We opted for Railriders. Their new manufacturing material involves microscopic holes, or micro-pores, which dot the entire fabric and allow the shirt to literally breathe as the wind moves through it. On the front, handy chest pockets store an extra leader or a lens cap.

What strikes me most about some of the Railriders shirts is the lack of a front collar. They call it a ‘banded collar’. There is a small collar around the back which can be turned up to add sun protection. On the front, however, the collar tapers down to match something like a henley.


At first, this is off-putting as it doesn’t match the fishing shirt norm. Once the wind picks up and the boat starts moving, you’re relieved not to have the front collar flapping around and whipping you in the chin. With most anglers wearing the almost ubiquitous buff nowadays, that classic collar serves no purpose on the flats.

When it comes to fishing pants or shorts, again I’m lost. I typically wear sweatpants or jeans under waders, and in peak summer I’ll wear a bathing suit on a tailwater. But the modern flats angler has to choose between fishing pants or shorts. For me, shorts are always preferable, and we were covered there. But on day 3, when the backs of your knees sting as you kneel to open the cooler, the pants start to look more appealing.

railriders shorts

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