04-23-2012, 01:07 AM
Re: How are these waders?
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).
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.
"Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark