When the guys from Huk Performance Fishing showed up at the Buras Marsh Media Bash in mid-August with long-sleeve black shirts for guides and writers to sample, I was admittedly pretty skeptical.
After all, who in their right minds would ever dream of fishing in a BLACK long-sleeved shirt in the hottest, most miserable part of Louisiana’s summer?
But I’m here to tell you — this stuff made a believer out of me.
It was still hot — it was August for crying out loud — but the Huk (pronounced “hook”) Kryptek Icon long-sleeve shirts were definitely some of the most cool, comfortable and best-fitting fishing shirts I’ve ever worn.
Turns out the folks from Huk fish — a lot. So they constantly work on improving their designs based on their experiences from the field.
“I think the company, and the brand, the way we are we’re fishing every second we can,” said Drew Herma, with Huk’s marketing department. “The core group — from our designers, sales group and marketing team — we do it. We live it everyday.
“It’s a group of guys and gals, and that’s our passion and our life. If we build a product that fails, it’s on us. How can we be offshore and have something fail? We do it so much, we’re constantly brainstorming on how we can make it better.”
The Kryptek Icon, available in several short- and long-sleeved designs, features a breathable mesh vent on the sleeves and back to dump heat and keep you cool, stain release to keep it blood-free, SPF for sun protection, anti-microbial agents so you don’t smell like your catch and a little spandex so movement isn’t restricted.
“They’re full of designs that make your clothing into performance gear,” Herma said. “So now when you go into your closet, you’re grabbing something just like you grab your rod or your tackle box.
“It’s something that’s going to help you do better.”
Huk has an impressive stable of Bassmaster Elite Series pros wearing its jerseys, including Kevin VanDam, Skeet Reese and Gerald Swindle.
“The littlest thing could help them, from range of motion in the shirt when they’re casting to temperature regulation,” Herma said.
And the Kryptek design series gives the garments a little more flair than your typical fishing shirt. Multiple styles make them perfect for Louisiana anglers almost year-round.
“The pattern is designed to bring a trendy look to the fishing industry, and change it up a little bit,” he said.
Long-sleeve Kryptek Icon shirts sell for $49.99 and are available online and at several retailers throughout Louisiana, including Puglia’s, Lafayette Shooters, Simmons’ Sporting Goods and the Spotted Dog.
By January of 2016, the Huk line should be available at Academy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s.
“The Huk mission statement is uniting all anglers. It was a brand that was built to crossover whether you were a bass fisherman, a marlin fisherman, saltwater or fresh, live bait, artificial or fly guy,” Herma said. “It was designed so that every single one of them could get into gear that would help them on the water, and also be a lifestyle brand off the water.”