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PRODUCT SHOWCASE: FISHMASKS NECK TUBES BY VAGABOND FLY

Technical innovation in Neck Tubes: Who knew?

The new kid on the block always has the advantage of correcting mistakes made by their predecessors. That being true it would be silly to say that Fishmasks® are new to the world of Neck Tubes with their PhunkShun® brand holding court as a premium brand within the world of skiing & snowboarding.

So, it may appear that Fishmasks® have simply improved upon traditional Neck Tubes using their experience from the snow to set the fishing tone.

One year in!

We at Vagabond Fly have been using, testing & abusing Fishmasks® products for over a year. From the salty flats of the Seychelles to high mountain streams and ice-chilled winter stillwater venues, we were never without Fishmasks® protection. The verdict? We have been nothing but impressed. We were drawn to the variety of impressive designs & sold by their fabric… but now we can honestly say it may be time to rethink your Neck Tube choice.

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But why would you consider switching from the tried & tested, or better-known brands? Maybe this will give you food for thought?

The expectations

Sun Protection UPF 50+ – you expect sun protection as a given when purchasing Neck Tubes, so this is not a deal breaker. But as testament to the Vagabond Fly editors’ fair skin, we both returned from a two-week stint in the Seychelles without a hint of burn. Tested tough in the sunniest conditions.

Moisture wicking – this is a feature often overlooked by fly fisherman, still we wouldn’t call this a feature but another expectation! Staying warm & dry and ultimately comfortable & dry is top of our list of expectations from our gear, and then it should offer ‘quick dry’ as a standard should you get dunked! Soggy is horrible, and sweat soaked is no better.
Light splashes from releasing fish simply bead & roll away from the Fishmasks® fabric, then again on those occasions when being beaten down by squalls, rain showers or undignified dunking’s our Fishmasks® Neck Tubes always dried fast… test past with flying colours.

Bonus level!

Expectations out of the way, this is where we believe that Fishmasks® are worthy of your attention.

Product selection

Perhaps something for your shopping list is the inclusion of a variety of Neck Tube options. Although we do not currently use the Bandana options, we have cycled through the rest of the range including:

  • Single layer Neck Tube – use it as you would a traditional neck tube. Single layer tubes are the standard issue around the globe. Multifunctional and everything you would expect.
  • Double Layer Neck Tubes – a double layer Neck Tube: dive for these in your gear bag when the wind whips up or the mercury drops below your comfort level. Your ears will thank you!
  • Balaclava – perfect for ultimate sun protection, the balaclava option worked for us fantastically on long sessions in the sun. These are ideal options to wear over your peak cap, but if the heat dominates you, simply use the balaclava as a single layer tube.

 NOTE: Fishmasks® have launched arm sleeves at the ICAST 2016 show, and we will be putting these products through thief paces soon.

Design options

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With more designs you can shake a stick at, we had no trouble filling our basket with not only sexy designs (yes, we used the word sexy & when talking about Neck Tubes… sorry but it is true) but functional designs also.
Dull & camouflage options exist for stalking winter trout, more colourful options exists for the saltwater flats and of course there are the gaudy options for when you need something to pop for your photos. If you don’t believe us, follow this link to cycle through their design options.

Fabric manufacturing

Made in the US – from a South African perspective this may not carry as much weight as in the larger US market but it must be noted that homemade products and industry should certainly be respected. If not for the quality but for small industry generation we believe that supporting local is always better, even if it does carry a small price premium.

Most impressively however is how Fishmasks® fabric is manufactured using a sustainable & green process.

This means:

  • No wastewater in the manufacturing process
  • 3000lbs (1360kg) of recycled fabric each year
  • Incorporating recycled plastic into the process
  • 9 plastic bottles are recycled for the manufacture of the single layer option & it just gets better from there.

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This article may seem like overkill for a Neck Tube showcase, but when you come across a product that works just the way you wish it would (i.e. not rolling over, spinning or folding regardless of wear time or conditions), that protects you just the way you wish it would, looks better than most competitor products on the market all the while making you feel like you are doing your bit for the environment too… its easy to see why we felt we should let you all know about it. Visit Fishmasks®and consider your options, you wont be disappointed.

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