In this Gear Review: New Zealand Guide and SIMMS Pro, Mike Kirkpatrick of Latitude Guiding will sit down to go over his thoughts on some of the new SIMMS Flyweight gear that was released last April. In this review, Mike will touch on his favorite features of the gear line, his personal experiences in the field, and what the flyweight experience means to him.  pro review kirkpatrick

Initial Impression:

I’m Mike Kirkpatrick, owner of Latitude Guiding at the top of NZ’s South Island and I never scrimp on gear. As a company, we always strive to use the best in all of our equipment because when you are 20km’s from your car up a river valley gear failure is not an option.

fly fishing new zealand

I’m lucky enough to help Simms with product testing, and prior to the Flyweight range being released, had the pleasure of doing a three-day photoshoot testing almost the entire line. They’ve nailed the styles, versatility, and colors in what I believe is their best release yet…

I’ve always loved the Flyweight boot, which came out several seasons ago, and rate it as the best boot I’ve ever owned. Period. They are light, rugged, stylish, and fit me like slippers. So my expectations of the new range were high. Simms certainly delivered.

flyweight boot
The Flyweight Wading boot from Flylords’ shoot with SIMMS last Fall.

Upon Testing:

The Flyweight Shell Jacket is amazingly light, packs to a very small form factor for easy storage, and does what it needs to do by keeping you dry! They are generous in size as well, so fitting over layers and vests poses no issues at all. I Love the understated Olive color too.

flyweight shell

The Access Hoody is warm, light, and stylish enough to look great even In the pub after a day out. I’ve often worn mine out as a casual jacket, it looks that good! Plus I love making my mates jealous…

The packs are a revelation with their small size, built for purpose, functionality, and incredibly lightweight. These are great-looking packs with the new modular system making it easy to make additions or alterations to suit your day out. Every pocket/compartment is thought out and of course, purposefully built for the active fly fisher.

flyweight backpack

Speaking of adding things – the new modular system is a masterstroke as you can purpose build your entire Flyweight system to suit whatever your needs might be on any given day. It’s a game-changer.

modular flyweight system

The flyweight waders are incredibly light, stretchy, and are the best ‘shape’ of any wader I’ve used. They just fit so well and are the best looking I’ve used. Zips, to tighten the waist if needed, give a slim and comfortable fit. A big one for me is it doesn’t feel like you have waders on as they are far less ‘bulky’ than conventional waders, making them perfect for long hikes.

hiking in flyweight waders


In conclusion, the Flyweight collection suits me here in New Zealand as we cover often serious km’s (I know I do!), and having some serious weight trimmed off your gear, while being modular for flexibility in use, make them is a no-brainer. The fact is the lack of weight takes the stress off your body while being highly functional and great-looking.

covering km's in flyweight

To learn more about the Simms Flyweight collection, Click HERE.

Photos courtesy of Kiyoshi Nakagawa.

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