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f1 fan 04-21-2012 02:24 PM

How are these waders?
 
Hi all,

I am new to the sport of fly fishing, and have a question about waders. I live in Sheridan Wyoming and will mainly fish in the Big Horn Mountains. Being new I dont know what I really need or want, but have heard I will need waders. My wife is afraid this will be like golf was for me, that I have to have all the stuff, spend all kinds of money then never go. So I am trying to find some less expensive waders and want to know about these from LL Bean
Are these OK? Are they going to hold up? The price seems scary cheap when you compare them to Simms or Orivs.

Thanks all,
Brad

Hardyreels 04-21-2012 05:50 PM

Re: How are these waders?
 
Hi Brad,

For getting to know how often you'll fish or what you really want I figure you can't go wrong there. I used a pair of LL Bean Wicked Tough waders for 9 seasons and loved them. When they were going bad my wife ordered me another style from Bean. I didn't like them so they refunded the $185 she had paid. You do have the return postage at risk but it's worth the gamble I'd say.

I've had some real bargain priced stuff that worked out swell as well as some that didn't. All you can do is give them a whirl.

Ard

fyshstykr 04-21-2012 10:34 PM

Re: How are these waders?
 
I agree with Ard and think these will work fine, just remember the all important layering during the colder months, during the warmer times you may want to consider ditching the waders altogether and wet wade with a pair of shorts, neoprene socks and wading boots.

Guest1 04-21-2012 11:12 PM

Re: How are these waders?
 
I'd look at Madison River Fly Shop's website in the closeouts and see if they still have the Simms waders in there. I bought a pair of Simms for less than you have shown there. I'd also look at Sierra Trading post and see what they have. They are generally in the 50% off ballpark. As far as layering goes, when the water gets real cold spend another hundred bucks on neoprenes. I fished with a guy who tried the layering thing and I am always warmer than he is and he's tough about these things.

rangerrich99 04-23-2012 01:07 AM

Re: How are these waders?
 
F1;

Welcome. I bought those exact waders about three and a half years ago when I was still in the beginning stages of the addiction. I even wrote a review of these waders for anther FF site I visit. I'll spare you most of that, and just give you the main points.

First point: I am extremely hard on gear, during use and neglect of maintenance. Especially things like waders, boots, raingear, etc.

Second point: I look for "bang for your buck" products. I don't own any high-end gear at this point (might get a winston rod next year, might not), but every thing I own I researched for performance vs. cost vs. durability.

If I gave it a gold star, whatever it was came through several seasons of hell on earth.

Now, about the waders:

They are breathable (as opposed to neoprene), but they are not gore-tex. In cold weather/ water you WILL have to layer up. Invest in some thermals and maybe some fleece wading pants. They can pack down to a little smaller than a roll of paper towels, nice if you're packing in somewhere where space in your pack is at a premium. These waders have great shoulder straps (seems like a dumb point until you buy your first set of waders where the straps are always falling off your shoulders while casting, or just walking). They are roomy (great when you're tubing in early spring or late late fall and need to put three to four layers on your bod to prevent frostbite).

Summary:

IMO, if you plan on serious bush whacking up and down brushy, boulder-filled streams, these waders will realistically only get you through one or two seasons before springing some kind of leak. They are simply not heavy duty enough to take that kind of abuse for very long. Now, LL Bean has a great lifetime waranty, so you can just send them back and they'll fix them. I've already done this twice with these waders.

But if you're going tubing, or hitting streams that don't involve major brush crashing, they'll do just fine. In fact, that is what I use them for now. I got the Simms for battling shrubbery while fishing.

There are reasonably tough. I've done some brush crashing in them and usually come through without putting new holes in them. But eventually you'll hole them.

Anyway, hope that helps.

Peace.


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