Fishing waders are a really important piece of gear for fly fishermen and all anglers who may have to wade through the water. In addition to keeping you dry, they also protect you from brush, weeds, bugs, and animals.
For those reasons, I’ll wear the waders even if I’m not planning on going into the water. You never know when you’ll need to take a few steps in and this way I’m always prepared.
Depending on your fishing style, where you fish, and what trout lures
you use; you’ll have your own needs when it comes to waders. I’m also a big believer in wearing waders even during warm weather. I personally don’t wet wade because I don’t like getting my clothes and boots wet and can never really understand when I see people doing it.
Anyway, here are some of the things to keep in mind as you shop around for the best waders.
The material and water resistance of it is the first consideration. The whole point of wearing waders is to keep you dry when you’re in the water. If they’re not doing that, there is absolutely no point in wearing them.
Waders are usually broken down into two categories:
As you’re trying to cast your trout rod you want to wear something that has lightweight breathable material and is easy to walk in. This is exactly why most manufacturers make waders from nylon and polyester.
You want to find waders that offer four layers of protection at the bottom portion of the waders because this is where the water will have the most contact with the material. The more protection down there, the better.
As you work your way up, you can decrease down to two or even one layer because you’re not likely to submerge yourself up to your chest. The extra material will only weigh you down and make you hot.
Neoprene is the same material used to make rain boots so you can imagine where I’m going with this. It’s not comfortable, very hot, and harder to walk around in. But, neoprene waders do have their time and place.
If you’re fishing cold water in the winter, these waders will keep you extremely warm because they don’t allow any body heat to escape.
That leads me into my next point, breathability is an important factor for me. I don’t want to be sweaty because it’s not only uncomfortable but it makes a lot more work in terms of keeping the waders clean and free of bacteria.
The Simms Gore-Tex brand is well-known for putting together the most breathable waders on the market. They use special proprietary technology to create waders that are both durable, waterproof, and breathable enough to allow air to flow through the fabric.
Sizing is a big issue with waders because there are so many manufacturers and everything fits differently. When you’re deciding what size to get, I always recommend going up at least one size because you need to compensate for the clothes you’re wearing underneath the waders.
When choosing the best waders for cold weather fishing, you’ll want to accommodate for this even more. You may have multiple layers so you’ll want to size up two full sizes from what you would normally wear.
Another thing that many anglers neglect is the fit for their wading boots. You can’t choose a separate boot size from the rest and not being able to fit your boots into the stockings will make or break the effectiveness of the waders as a whole. Bigger is always better!