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Old 07-18-2012, 02:03 PM
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Default Is it OCD to be thinking of winter??

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.

Thanks.

---------- 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.
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Is it OCD to be thinking of winter??

I always wear stockingfoot waders but I heat up quick, I could have icicles hanging from my beard and still be sweating in neos! I would say go with cleated or studded soles in winter, felt sucks when its frozen. If you start looking around for clearance sales you should be able to find something decent at a reasonable price. I use Dan Baily Lightweights (stocking foot) and I think I paid around 250 and another 150 for my Korkers boots. My waders leak, I've come to the conclusion that no matter how much I spend I'm always going to have leaky waders. Aquaseal is a close friend of mine as I am brutal on my gear.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Is it OCD to be thinking of winter??

I fish breathables year round in Chicago. Buy a hair on the big side of things and layer up on everything from socks to pants to shirts.
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: Is it OCD to be thinking of winter??

I ditched the Neo's years ago and have never looked back. The ONLY advantage of the bootfoot neo's I had was in the winter my feet stayed warmer. As I look back on those neos, I was miserable in them 90% of the time in comparison to breathables. I prefer stockingfoot with separate boots, they are much more comfortable. I also prefer chest waders for winter fishing, those extra layers on top add to warmth.

As others have mentioned, layering is key with breathables. Avoid cotton as a base layer at all costs. Think synthetics or wool if you prefer but avoid cotton as it absorbs moisture and will keep you cold, wet and miserable. If you take nothing else away from my post, latch onto this.

That said, there are options out there for waders for well under $200 and for the boots themselves, you can probably get something for $50 and up. I am hard on shoes and that follows suit on wading boots so I appreciate good support. The key to buying waders is to get something that fits you right or you are going to be susceptible to premature wear. If you can take something off the shelf you will likely have many more options, though Orvis has a pretty good range of sizes. Don't overlook Simms, they have options from $150 and up.

It's a bit of a drive for you (2 hours from Cincinnati), but Mad River Outfitters in Columbus might be worth the drive if you want to look at things in person and speak to people first hand. If the drive is out of the question, browse their website and give them a call with questions. I've ordered from them and they have been great to deal with.

Good luck, let us know what you end up with.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Is it OCD to be thinking of winter??

You should heed the advice from people living in or near your area first but.......... I fish in Simms G3 waders in all but the worst of conditions. I use rubber with studs for the boot soles and have a pair of Cheap Hodgman's 3 MM neoprene stocking foots for right before things freeze up. Given the weather for the upper mid west the past few years light weights should do. I make it here with a pair of North Face long underwear or similar (UA or REI brand) under the waders and am comfortable. You mentioned 'Lakes' perhaps neoprenes will be best for the winter months if you are not hiking river sides........
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: Is it OCD to be thinking of winter??

In the winter is about the best time to fish the tail water near where I am at, I don't spend tons of days down there but in just a few I have picked up tricks from the guys who live there in the water. First thing to think of for me are the Places that get real cold(hands,feet,head,face). The rest of the body should be ok with a little layering if these areas are warm. For hands a good pair of neo gloves does ok for me, for head and face a balaclava and a beenie work great. I have stocking foot Breathable waders and boots with cleats because felt or rubber will slip badly on ice. And on top of a pair of wool socks I use duct tape to hold hand warmers in place. Works real good, might keep you fishing when other people are heading home.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Is it OCD to be thinking of winter??

I fish breathables year round. In the winter time I have a pair of fleece pants that i wear under them. It keeps me nice and warm. If i really need to stay warm, long underwear goes on, then fleece then the waders. I used to use the full hunting style neopranes but they amount of movement they reduce was a pain to me. I can always layer on and stay warm with better movement then the neopranes.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:30 AM
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Talking Re: Is it OCD to be thinking of winter??

Well I finally hid enough pennies to go boot shoping last night. Spent a little more than I wanted, but I think they will be comfortable. I found a pair of Simms river walkers with rubber soles. I hadn't thought about it before the owner showed them to me, but it made a lot of sence to get the neoprene booties so that the fit stays similar between seasons. I also picked up a pack of cleats. I think they called them alumina-stars or something like that.

Boots: $129
cleats: $29
booties: $36
black sparkle chenille (because who can resist getting SOMETHING) $2.50
2yr old daughter grabbing one of the
boots as i'm about to put it on and racing
away between racks and isles, then
coming back to instruct daddy on the
propper method and order of putting them on his feet: $Priceless

I know I'm not invensible yet, but I should be safer than stepping into a river in tennis shoes! Some of those slow moving pools build up a LOT of slick on their rocks! Now it's time to start stockpiling those pennies for the waders. The water is still plenty warm here right now, so I have some time.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:56 AM
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Default Re: Is it OCD to be thinking of winter??

Looks like you made some wise choices with the boots and cleats, good luck with the breathable waders. Makes a lot of sense to save up rather than over spending on a credit card!
jaybo41 and woodrivertroutbum like this.
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: Is it OCD to be thinking of winter??

Congratulations. Sounds like you had a great time shopping and you're all set.
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