XPEL Tec Hoodie
Gill Fishing

Gear Review: Gill Fishing XPEL Tec Hoodie

There aren't many manufacturers that continue to come up with great gear and find the fastest way to get it right into our greedy little fishing hands, but Gill Fishing continues to impress. The XPEL Tec Hoodie has a great fishing shirt fit, feel, and look, but there's so much more to it.

When Gill sent one of these warm-weather hoodies my way, I jumped at the chance to try it on, and I'm having a hard time taking it off! Not only does it repel water, but oil and even blood don't stand a chance of staining this lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking shirt.

We set out to find out just how tough, good-looking, and comfortable the Gill XPEL Tec Hoodie was, and we weren't disappointed. It is 50+ UV rated for sun exposure, comes in four colors for men and four for women (with a few more on the way), and it is guaranteed to score high points for just about any angler.

First Impressions

There are a lot of lightweight fabric clothing items out there made from polyester, as it's typically the go-to for apparel worn in hot conditions. The XPEL Tec Hoodie is a prime example. Still, the best part is that Gill's version also comes in either Shadow Camo or Pool Camo for those looking for a little more concealment for wary fish.

The hoodie has a soft feel that glides on. The slim cut doesn't stop me from putting it on over a t-shirt, and since it's been a cooler-than-normal spring where I live, I haven't stopped wearing it, especially since it's helping keep the bugs off of me.

The large but lightweight hoodie actually slides over my head while wearing my favorite fishing hat, even if I'm wearing a GoPro. It has thumb loops that I typically don't care for, but in this hoodie they don't get in the way, and they make for a nice option if I'm really needing to keep the sleeves in place.

Fishing with the XPEL Tec Hoodie

XPEL Tec Hoodie

Craig Raleigh

Surely if a fishing shirt would help us catch more fish, then who wouldn't want one? The fact remains that I prefer the drab colors, such as the Shadow Camo, to help me blend in more, especially when fishing shallower waters. I don't always care to have long sleeves on during the warmest parts of the day, but while boat fishing on a lake or reservoir, the sun's rays can be deceivingly tough on your skin. You can opt for this hoodie in the Pool Camo pattern for a lighter coloration that may be more appropriate for boat anglers, since it's meant to help hide you when only the sky is serving as a background.

Even in the hot sun and with little wind, I found the XPEL Tec Hoodie completely comfortable. I tried casting with each of my thumbs inside of the thumb loops just to see if it was a problem, and I couldn't even tell a difference. Whether worm fishing, chucking a crankbait, or ripping a spinner through the water, I felt good and looked good doing it.

Other Outdoor Uses

I found myself walking around the house in this hoodie and even throwing it on when there was a little chill in the morning to walk the dog. The gnats have been crazy up here in the Catskills this spring and early summer, and with the hood up, I barely noticed them. Gill Fishing does not claim this hoodie is bug-proof, I'm just touting the hood's effectiveness on keeping them out of my hair and ears.

Since I'm trying to do some offseason hunting work, I needed to get my trail camera back into the woods after bringing it in for a minor repair. The hoodie seemed to fit in just as well with the general outdoor activities I had planned, even if they didn't directly involve fishing.

Remember, Gill recommends getting one size larger than you usually wear (depending on your body type) since the hoodie is rather form-fitting with a slimmer cut than you may be used to. That was certainly the case for me. The complete pattern list includes Shadow Camo, Pool Camo, Ice, and Glacier for the men's version, and Palm Print, Ice, Pool Blue, and White for the women's. This includes every size from Men's XS - 4XL to Women's 4 - 12.

Right now, the XPEL Tec Hoodie is offered in those patterns, but Gill has told me that Twilight and White will be available when supplies allow.

I've already gotten multiple compliments on the look and style, and many folks want to know where to get one. If you need more evidence, I can only suggest you try the hoodie yourself. Learn more about the Gill XPEL Tec Hoodie at GillFishing.com.

Please check out my book "The Hunter's Way" from HarperCollins. Be sure to follow my webpage or on Facebook and YouTube.