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Old 01-20-2009, 07:46 PM
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Default Waders

Hello everyone. I've been reading for a little while now, and really enjoy the site.

Here's some from me: I live down in Florida (really lower Alabama) and my grandparents have a cabin in North Carolina. When family gets together up in NC, my Uncle always heads to the streams and leaves us to play cards. I asked to go with him at one point and loved it. For my last birthday I received a fly rod and reel and some flies. I've been practicing in the bay by my house and can't wait to get back up to the rivers.

I've been shopping around for some waders and boots on the internet and read one discussion thread that mentioned Stearns products. I'm currently looking at a Steans Full Grain Leather/Duramesh Felt Sole Wading Shoe and Chest High Stearns Seal Dri Plus waders. (I'm on a student's budget)

Now, here are some questions:
1. Is the Stearns brand reliable, or would I be just as well off with something else?
2. How does LL Bean rank in the reliability department?
3. If I go with the Seal Dri, should I get the ones with the chest pocket and gravel guards on the ankles, or the ones without ($30 cheaper)
4. How about waders with boots already attached? (I found some at LL Bean for $99) I am wary of buying too cheap, but I realize that this gear will be my first and there is the very small possibility that I will outgrow it.
5. How about the boots? Is felt bottom the best? I have seen some with studs, are they helpful?

Any advice would be helpful.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Waders

Welcome
I am not sure what price range the stuff you are looking at runs, but my wife, son and I have been wearing Cabelas Dry-Plus waders for a little over a year now , and we use them weekly and have had NO pronlems with them, they have the built in gaters and chest pocket(on the inside) and they run about 100 bucks.
The kind with the gaters on them are great, dont have to worry about keeping track of the neopren kind that you zip on.
Sterans however is good stuff from what I have used in the past.
If you buy waders I would go with the kind with out the boots, you can buy diffrent boots for diffrent situatins and they fit better around your ankle makeing walking and wadeing easier and safer.
As for the studs I been asking around about that myslef lol
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: Waders

For creeks all ya need is Hipwaders.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: Waders

Thanks,

Gaters? Sorry, I'm brand new to all of the terminology. What are gaters? Are they the things you pull down over your wading boots?

Also, I didn't know that something zipped off of any waders. Could you explain how that works.

I'm looking at about $80-$100 for the waders, and $60 for the boots.

Thanks for the tip on the hipwaders, I'll shop around.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Waders

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyLee View Post
Thanks,

Gaters? Sorry, I'm brand new to all of the terminology. What are gaters? Are they the things you pull down over your wading boots?


Also, I didn't know that something zipped off of any waders. Could you explain how that works.


I'm looking at about $80-$100 for the waders, and $60 for the boots.

Thanks for the tip on the hipwaders, I'll shop around.
Yes. they keep the rocks, sand and such out of your boots (aka gravel guards). They generally come separate from the waders which I why I lose an average of one a year.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: Waders

Around here we have a problem with Rock Snot (a bad form of algae) and we are being encouraged to not use felt soled wading boots. Don't know if that is an issue for you but you might want to keep it in mind.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: Waders

Concerning hipwaders: I think that since these will be my first waders, I should go with something that will give me a lot of flexibility. I don't really know where I'll be fishing in the future. I'm looking at Cabela's.

Concerning Felt bottomed waders: Rubber seems like it would be worse than felt on algae. Can anyone explain the rationale for felt vs. rubber. I have also seen studded boots. Are they helpful?

Also, are all waders dry waders? I want to make sure that's what I get.

Thank you all.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: Waders

Rubber hipwaders are fine & economical. Heck, in summer I wade in shorts & canoeing slippers.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Waders

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyLee View Post
Concerning hipwaders: I think that since these will be my first waders, I should go with something that will give me a lot of flexibility. I don't really know where I'll be fishing in the future. I'm looking at Cabela's.

Concerning Felt bottomed waders: Rubber seems like it would be worse than felt on algae. Can anyone explain the rationale for felt vs. rubber. I have also seen studded boots. Are they helpful?

Also, are all waders dry waders? I want to make sure that's what I get.

Thank you all.
One of the big issues with the felt in this day and age is the possible transfer of invasive snails etc. from one body of water to another. If things stay the course, I can see where felt soles may be discontinued altogether IMHO. Depending upon the bottom structure of the water that you normally fish, felt (again IMHO) has better traction value that rubber. Others may differ on this.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Waders

Hey BobbyLee welcome to the site. You may get a few tugs on your line in that bay of yours while you're practicing for NC. Are you in redfish territory or is this a FW lake? Either way, i bet you've got a lot of stuff to catch right near you. as for some of your questions...

Yes waders are dry--- at least that's the way they're supposed to be unless you spring a leak.

I'd get breatheables rather than neoprene- a lot cooler to fish in- you'd roast in neoprenes, but it sounds like that's what you're already looking for.

As far as felt soles, they grip well, but studded soles with felt are even better.... but as ab4usa mentioned there are a lot of problems with Didymo ("rock snot")- an invasive species of algae- that takes over streams. It can hitchhike from stream to stream on felt soles, and it's spreading like crazy here in the NE. On some streams they have requirements to dip wading soles in bleach solutions before/after getting out of a stream etc, and around where i live they've even prohibited wading all together on some streams.

Simms and a few other companies have pledged to eliminate felt soled waders and wading shoes by 2010 and are going to some rubberized special grippy soled kind of deal, and wouldn't be surprised if they're banned on a lot of waters. I haven't tried them so i don't know how well they work compared to felt and have heard some mixed reviews. Some people like them, others have supposedly been doing more slipping and sliding than usual... although some that I have heard that had problems weren't exactly mountain goats to begin with. Maybe others that have used both can comment on their experience?

The LL Bean waders are good, and everything they sell has a 100% satisfaction guarantee--- I haven't used the Cabelas ones but many folks are very happy with them, so either way it seems like a pretty good deal.

I'd also second the gaiters and wading shoes (rather than boot foot) The gaiters will keep gravel etc out of the wading shoes, and stocking foot plus wading shoes are a lot easier to walk in, give more secure footing with less chafing than boot foot waders. I'd go for studs too if you were fishing rocky streams..

I hope this helps,and it's good to see you on the board.

peregrines
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