I realize that winter is a few pages further in the calendar, but I'm planning ahead. This is going to be my first year in the water during winter. I have many options in my closet for cold weather clothing and under clothing since we used to live in Iowa, but I would like the opinions of experts as to what type of outer gear works better in the lakes.
Specifically the waders/boots area. There are 2 reasons that i'm looking this early, 1 is that I was an eagle Scout (Be prepared), the other is we took a major bath on our house back in Iowa. All the spare pennies are going to the loan we needed to get to sell that house (how messed up is that?). I should be able to hide enough of those pennies if I start now for a usable set of waders.
The Dick's Sporting goods here in town has 2 styles of hunting waders. 5mm Neoprene, and I believe a coated Nylon ($60). The local fly shop only carries waders at or above $300 on top of the boots. There is a Bass Pro in town that has 3 on hand to look at. All 3 have the Neoprene booties, and 1 pair is the pant size waders. I tried a search here, but only found 1 discussion on the preference between Simm's G3 and G4.
I've built some assumptions over the years that could easily be wrong. First is that waders with the boots attached are better in the winter since there is no layer of water anywhere within the insulation layers. Second is that neoprene, though warm itself, is not a great choice due to the build up of moisture. Third is that people giggle at fly fishermen in cammie waders
So what are your opinions on the different types? And do you have any specific waders that have served you well? Besides the stores listed above, the internet is my only option for browsing.
---------- Post added at 01:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:57 PM ----------
Sorry, I forgot about 1 other question I have. Several of the rivers I have been fishing here have mixed bottoms. by that I mean that within 200 yards they switch from mud to sand to mossy boulders that I can't walk across in my tennis shoes (far too slick). Would it be better to cut my losses and go with the cleated bottom and simply walk around the rocks, or get the felt bottom? I assume that the mud won't do too much damage to felt; the traction would be the only issue.