9 Best Waders For Fishing: Find The Best Waders For You 

Last Updated on June 9, 2021 by Coty Perry

Best Overall

Orvis Men’s Ultralight Convertible Waders

4.8/5

Best Fly Fishing Waders

Frogg Toggs Hellbender Stockingfoot Chest Waders

4.7/5

Best Chest Waders 

Simms Tributary Chest Waders

4.7/5

The best fishing waders won’t only keep you dry, they’ll prevent you from slipping, offer convenient storage, and help you stay cool when the sun is beating down on the back of your neck. 

I’ve been through quite a few pairs of crappy Walmart waders in my life. You know, the kind that are as thin as a rain poncho but as heavy as an RV cover? 

Don’t be like me, make the right choice right away so you can spend more time fishing and less time wringing out your socks. This guide will get you on the right track. 

Our Top Picks For The Best Waders

Orvis Men’s Ultralight Convertible Waders

Best Overall

Features
BENEFITS
DRAWBACKS

Frogg Toggs Hellbender Stockingfoot Chest Waders

Best Fly Fishing Waders

Features
BENEFITS
DRAWBACKS

Simms Tributary Chest Waders

Best Chest Waders 

Features
BENEFITS
DRAWBACKS

Simms Freestone Hip Waders

Best Hip Waders 

Features
BENEFITS
DRAWBACKS

HISEA Chest Waders with Insulated Boots

Best Bootfoot Waders

Features
BENEFITS
DRAWBACKS

Frogg Toggs Hellbender Guide Pants

Best Wading Pants 

Features
BENEFITS
DRAWBACKS

FishingSir Bootfoot Chest Waders

Best Fishing Waders for the Money 

Features
BENEFITS
DRAWBACKS

Simms Freestone Z Women’s Chest Waders 

Best Waders for Women

Features
BENEFITS
DRAWBACKS

Redington Crosswater Youth Waders

Best Waders for Kids 

Features
BENEFITS
DRAWBACKS

How to Choose the Best Fishing Waders 

fishing with the best waders in shallow water
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.

Material 

 
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. 

Breathability 

 
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. 

Fit/Sizing 

 
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! 

Type 

Four types of the best fishing waders
The types of waders you choose is one of the most important decisions and you need to make sure you understand all the different styles of the best waders. Whether you’re fishing with trout rods in the pond or fly fishing in the creek, each fishing scenario has its own set of waders that work best. 

Bootfoot Waders 

 
These are most common with neoprene waders because they come as one whole piece with the rubber boots included. I like these because you don’t have to worry about squeezing your boots inside of the stockings and being uncomfortable. 
 
There are some downsides though. First, you don’t have as much flexibility when it comes to sizing. For example, if you’re 5’10” but you have huge feet, you might only need a medium-sized wader but you’d like a large sized set of boots. You’re out of luck because it comes all-in-one. 

Stocking Foot Waders 

 
These are the most common waders for fishing that you’ll find. Most fly fishing anglers and ultralight spinners use these for a variety of different applications. They’re usually full chest waders and they come with a set of neoprene socks on the bottom. To put these on, you’ll put your boots and clothing on and slide the waders over everything so the socks protect your boots from getting wet. 
 
Many come with what is called a “gravel guard.” These make it easier to put the waders on because you can remove the socks and clip them back on instead of sliding your boot through the entire thing. 

Hip Waders/Wading Pants 

 
I’ve always called them hip waders until I found out that many people call them wading pants. Whatever you call them, they’re waders that come with a traditional waist belt that holds the waders up. They don’t come up to your chest and strap over your shoulders, instead you wear them like regular pants. 
 
If you’re tossing out your trout bait from the shore and not planning to get in the water much, these are a great way to go. They’ll keep you dry when you need it but they’re not going to weigh you down and make you feel hot. 

Brand 

 
Brand is always an important factor for me in all my reviews. When it comes to fishing, I am loyal to certain brands and the same reigns true for fishing waders. Orvis, Frogg Toggs, and Simms are my favorite brands. They’re recognizable, I trust them, and I know that whatever they make it high-quality because they have a strong reputation. 
 
There are other brands as well that we didn’t cover in this guide. Cabela’s, L.L.Bean, Hodgman, and Patagonia are solid choices as well. I just think it helps to go with a brand you know because they generally stand by their products.  

How to Care for Your Waders 

Caring for your waders is very important because it will increase their lifespan, prevent bacteria growth, and save you money in the long run. Here are my best tips for cleaning and maintaining your waders. 
 
1. Keep them dry – Never ever leave the waders laying around when they’re wet, this will kill them. You need to always make sure to thoroughly dry them and store them in a dry place at room temperature. Most people hang them upside down in a basement as long as it’s not damp. This will allow excess moisture to escape. 
 
2. Don’t keep them in the car – When heat and sun constantly beats down on the waders they can start to break down, crack, and become discolored. It’s recommended that you store them at a moderate room temperature and out of direct sunlight. 
 
3. Rinse them off – You should rinse all the fishy water off your waders as much as possible. I recommend doing it after each use but every few uses is fine. It all depends on how hard you’re using them. If you’re wading through weeds and mud, you might want to wash them after every use. 
 
4. Use water repellent – One of the best tips a fly angler ever gave me was to spray a water repellent coating on my waders so the water would just bead up and slide right off. Well, what do you know it worked like a charm!  

Do You Even Need Waders? 

walking through a stream with the best fishing waders
The last point I want to touch on is whether or not you even need waders. A lot of new anglers enter the game getting told by everyone and their brother that they need this, that, and the other thing but that’s not true. At Your Bass Guy, we pride ourselves on offering only the best information that is accurate and unbiased. So, I’m going to always give it to you straight. 
 
No, not everyone needs waders. In fact, I sometimes go years without wading but it all depends. If you’re a frequent fly fisherman or you want to be, you’ll need the best chest waders because fly fishing requires a backcast. This means that you need water in front and behind you to cast. 
 
If you’re like me and you only fly fish sometimes but primarily go after bass or trout from the shore, then you can get a pair of hip waders and wear them to protect you from poison ivy and fire ants. 

Final Thoughts 

 
You’ve seen the best waders, you read the buying guide, and now we’re ready to wrap it up. All that’s left to do is leave you with this. 
 
The best anglers know what they need and how to use it to catch more fish. If you feel like a pair of waders will help you with precision casting, I suggest you get them. If you simply want them just in case, you should get them. If you don’t think you need them, you should get them anyway (just kidding). The most important thing is that you get a high-quality pair of waders and all of the products in this guide should keep you dry for years to come. Good luck out there!  

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