Let’s face it: when Columbia Sportswear puts a new technical-grade fishing shirt on the market, anglers are going to pay attention because Columbia has the well-earned reputation of making top-notch professional gear. So, when Columbia introduced their new Solar Cast Zero Long Sleeve Shirt at ICAST 2014 in Orlando, we had to take a look.
This new shirt has the classic look of Columbia’s fishing shirts with a cleaner cut. The shirt doesn’t suffer from an overabundance of external pockets. Instead, the two front zippered chest pockets are a great innovation and look to be a great feature for kayakers, waders, surf casters, and other mobile anglers who rely on secure pockets for carrying gear.
The shirt combines Columbia’s Omni-Freeze ZERO sweat-activated cooling technology, their Omni-Wick high performance wicking fabric, and their Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection. This kind of protection and cooling fabric is designed to keep anglers comfortable and dry in hot, sunny fishing conditions.
The shirt is vented, allowing for air movement between the shirt material and the skin. It has roll-up sleeve tab holders. It also features pragmatic technical apparatus with its rod holder and utility loop.
One feature of this new shirt that really caught our eye is that the Columbia designers have added a lens cloth to the inside of the bottom of the Solar Cast Zero. This is flat out genius. How many times have you used the front bottom of your shirt to try to clean your sunglasses, but found that the wicking material or cool-tech material just smears the glasses even worse–particularly when the material or the glasses are damp with saltwater? The Solar Cast Zero alleviates this by incorporating a dedicated lens cloth on the inside front of the shirt. It even has a groovy little sunglasses icon to let you know what the strip of cloth is for. (Maybe Columbia will put a little sweaty brow icon on the sleeve, too).
The shirts come in four colors: white, tippet, Jupiter, and bounty blue–the picture at the top of this introduction shows the shirt in bounty blue; the picture of the sunglasses lens cloth shows the shirt in tippet; Jupiter shirts are orange. Columbia lists the MSRP as $110. They aren’t yet listed on the Columbia catalog, but should be soon. Keep an eye out for them.
This Inventive Fishing Product Introduction is for informational purposes only. Inventive Fishing has not field-tested the product addressed here and, thus, neither endorses nor criticizes the product. For critical reviews of specific products, please see Inventive Fishing’s Gear Reviews and Tech Reviews.