The Simms Guide Windbloc Foldover Mitt is a new iteration of Simms foldover mitts, succeeding the Exstream Foldover from a couple of years ago. The subtle changes to the mitt from the previous iteration did not improve upon the initial design in our opinion, but with the Exstream foldover no longer in production, the Guide Windbloc became the focus of our cold-weather winter fishing glove review.
Table of Contents
- What We Like About It
- Suggested Improvements
- Simms Guide Windbloc Vs. The Competition
- Closing Remarks
Winter time fishing…the bite can be hot and the weather can be very, very cold. For many so called “anglers” the fast approach of winter and dipping temps often means it’s time to winterize the boat and wait for the thaw in spring to get back on the water. But, for the die-hards that will continue to battle through the elements and fish all winter long regardless of the blistery cold, some serious attire is required.
There’s a large section of the country where the water doesn’t quite get cold enough to freeze over but the temps consistently hover above or near the freezing point making for conditions, albeit not favorable, that allow for fishing to continue. Can you think of a more miserable day then 34° temps, wind blowing and a light drizzle? I’m sure you can, but for the sake of the article, lets just say it doesn’t get much worse. So how do we combat what mother nature throws at us? Well it starts with having the right gear. Base layers, wool socks, a good set of a jacket/bib combo, beanie or stocking cap and probably most important, a pair of warm gloves.
As anglers that have fished these conditions, we all know how imperative it is to have a pair of gloves but we also know they can be a pain. We don’t just need any gloves, but we have needs, right? They need to be warm, waterproof or resistant, light, and provide the dexterity we need to tie on lures, cast a baitcaster and thumb the spool or feeling the line when we are waiting for those light bites. This can be a tough bill to fill no doubt, but we have found a solid contender in the Simms Guide Windbloc™ Foldover Mitt, let’s take a closer look.
What We Like About It
In order to be in contention for our glove of choice for the winter, the glove in question had to be both warm, lightweight, provide as much dexterity as possible while being water repellant and comfortable. The mitt is constructed of a dense knit multi component fabric (essentially a softshell) that provides a healthier balance between warmth and breathability. This material is called Polartec Power Shield® Pro and has all the attributes of a material ideal for a cold weather glove including water resistance as well as durability and comfortability. What this equates to is a glove that is warm, dry and provides high dexterity. Additionally the inside upper part of the glove is lined with a Sherpa fleece material of some kind that is soft, warm and as aforementioned, breathable. Coming in at 3.2oz this glove has all the right things going for it, but let’s talk some more about the features that we find most appealing.
The name leaves no ambiguity as to the main feature of the glove *spoiler alert* it incorporates a fold-over mitt. This is great when you are running down the lake on a cold winter day, but when it comes time to drop the trolling motor and make that first cast, the mitt folds over and snaps into place out of the way exposing a finger-less glove. Like most gloves, it is more of a half finger than “finger-less” but what was different from gloves we have had and used in the past is a separate thumb sleeve that can either be folded down or can be flipped up like the mitt but rather than being held in place with a snap, it uses the same snap as the mitt for the thumb sleeve to store out of the way. This was a truly appreciated addition as most gloves in the past, you had to choose one or the other; have a thumb sleeve (in most instances it had to be cut off to allow for the use of baitcasters), or just not have one at all. We can buzz down the lake at 70 with our mitt folded over our fingers and thumbs covered and when it’s go time, all digits are exposed and able to perform the tasks they need to. The cuffs also deserve recognition for their length which comfortably covers the entirety of the wrist and stretches nicely, in fact it stretches enough to cover a watch (always wearing our watches) and still remains comfortable.
We were able to test the gloves in a variety of conditions alongside the Buck N’ Bass Bibs and Jacket and although the gloves perform well in cold conditions, they failed miserably in cold AND WET conditions. The gloves are marketed as water resistant, so our expectations were low, however, during testing, the glove almost seemed as if it had no water resistance in the construction materials whatsoever. As aforementioned, meeting all the demands we have as anglers can be a tough bill to fit when warmth, waterproofness, and dexterity are necessities.
As with most things, the gloves, though great all around, are not perfect. At times, the button snap that holds the fold-over portion of the mitt in place when not in use is not, in our opinion, the most ideal type of “lock down” mechanism. We would like to see the same glove with a magnetic “lock down” mechanism which is common among other cold weather gear. Additionally, making the outer shell of these gloves waterproof would be much appreciated. In rain testing, the gloves did not hold up well to a day of cold, rainy weather that eventually lead to our hands being very cold. I would suggest that a company like Simms that has the resources, that they consider putting a little more R&D into a product prior to release.
Simms Guide Windbloc Vs. The Competition
One might ask, well, how does this glove compare to the competition? And to be frank, there is not much competition to be had in this particular category. Yes, there are gloves that are warmer and there are absolutely gloves that offer better dexterity, however, you will be hard pressed to find one that finds the right balance between these two needs. The ultimate cold-weather fishing glove offers the best of both worlds; dexterity, while maintaining warmth and Simms has accomplished that with these gloves. By utilizing the foldover design, it is our belief that no other glove comes close to meeting both of these needs that is currently available on the market.
These gloves are a very nice and accomplish their purpose, but are not the end-all glove for cold weather fishing by any means. They keep your hands warm and provide great dexterity, however, they do not hold up to wet conditions that we often encounter in the winter. A good glove that with a little tweaking could become an amazing glove. Additionally, at $65, they are a little pricey for what they are, but as with most big-name companies like Simms, one comes to expect it. All things considered, we still would recommend this glove over the competition.