The North American Fly Fishing Forum

The North American Fly Fishing Forum (
-   Other Gear (
-   -   Waders.. Teach me.. (

manderson2228 09-28-2010 10:28 PM

Waders.. Teach me..
So I am starting out in fly fishing and truth be told I am overwhelmed at the gear selection. There is so much gear, in such a big range, I am finding it hard to pick decent gear that is serviceable to see if I stick to the sport.

I bought some waders from Cabelas, their brand that had the boots built in.. Mostly because they were cheap. They aren't very comfortable, I don't even really like them, but I am going on a guided trip soon and need something..

I look at alternatives, and man some of these things run 600$ bucks... So teach me, I understand there are differences between a 70$ and a 600$ pair of waders.. but seriously is there 530$ worth of difference??? What makes it 600 bucks?

MoscaPescador 09-29-2010 12:12 AM

Re: Waders.. Teach me..

Originally Posted by manderson2228 (Post 144460)
I look at alternatives, and man some of these things run 600$ bucks... So teach me, I understand there are differences between a 70$ and a 600$ pair of waders.. but seriously is there 530$ worth of difference??? What makes it 600 bucks?

Let's bump the price point up to $700 for the Simms G4z.
  1. Licensing to use a Gore brand membrane. Gore charges brands a high licensing fee to use its membranes.
  2. Gore membranes are the best waterproof and breathable membranes on the market.
  3. Gore membranes cost more expensive than other membranes on the market.
  4. High end waders use multiple layers of membranes to make them more durable.
  5. Simms Gore membraned waders are produced in the USA. These waders are not made by slave labor waged employees overseas.
  6. The waterproof zipper on a G4z costs $100.
  7. The harness on a G4z is not a cheap web harness.
  8. There is a lifetime of the product warranty.

Does everybody need $700 waders? Nope. However you may want to pay more for better quality waders if you will be fishing a lot. A person who fishes five days a year won't put as much wear and tear on a set of waders compared to a person who fishes 100 days or more.

There a lot of quality waders that you can choose from well below $700. If you want a "made in USA" wader with a Gore membrane, Simms make a model called the Rivershed at the $299 price point. Redington sells its non-Gore membraned CPX wader with a waterproof zipper at the $279 price point.

I got back into fly fishing in the late 90s. I did not start fishing during the fall and winter months until 2001. I bought a set of $130 Hodgemans. I put in about 30 fishing days in them when the seams started to fail. I replaced them with a set of Patagonia SST waders. Those were $300 at the time. I replaced those in 2007 with a newer set of Patagonias. My SSTs were still usable, but I ended up giving them away.


manderson2228 09-30-2010 08:20 AM

Re: Waders.. Teach me..
I like warrentty's it tells me that a company stand behind their product, it looks as if the Simm's one is pretty good. That does mean something...

So would you say the sweet spot where you get a good high end product at the best price is around 300$ for a pair of waders then?

wt bash 09-30-2010 08:46 AM

Re: Waders.. Teach me..
Before you dump a ton of money on the highends consider the areas you fish. Is there alot of hiking involved, are you in the water moving or up on the bank, is it thorney or open trails? Like MoscaPescador said, how many days a year are you in your waders? Personally I wouldn't go under 300 unless you find a closeout but the biggest thing that helps me determine what waders to get is where is the inseam, if it runs down the inside of the leg they will leak at some point in time. All waders do its inevitable. I have a set of Patagonia WaterMasters that leaked within a few months, they are the lightweights though and now theres enough aquaseal on them to stave off any leaks! Mind you these have the inner leg seam and I do alot of hiking with them on.

jaybo41 10-02-2010 11:31 AM

Re: Waders.. Teach me..
Lots of great advice given as to what makes up some of the differences between lower priced and higher priced waders.

Something else to consider if you are getting ready to purchase new boots.

You may be one who's blessed that can pick up "standard" types of sizes. I am not. I am a firm believer that fit can be factored into how quickly waders break down. Seam location, as mentioned is also key.

When looking for new waders these are the key points that I try and consider:
  1. Fit--make sure they fit and are comfortable.
  2. Features--multi layers, seam location, pockets, suspenders, etc. gravel guards built in, bootfot vs. stockingfoot, etc.
  3. Warranty/product reputation-speaks for itself.
  4. Price--go with the best product in your price range.
  5. Use--using for warm/cooler temp fishing, travel, backup waders vs. primary, light hiking vs. heavy bushwacking, etc.

With all of that said, I have 2 sets of waders. One for cooler weather/bushwhacking that has multiple layers and another light weight pair that get use in warmer temps. This way if one pair goes back, I am not stuck without waders.

fredaevans 10-02-2010 05:32 PM

Re: Waders.. Teach me..
Easy answer, no kidding. Get yourself a set of Dan Bailey Breathable waders. Warm weather, put less on; DAMNED COLD!! put on a few extra layers. (Layering IS the KEY to cold weather comfort.)

These are very well built, excellent warranty, comfortable to ware, etc., etc., and etc. As these are 'stocking foot's' you'll need to purchase a set of appropriate sized boots (FAR bigger than you'd think given your 'street shoe size'). Best (especially given the money involved) are the Simms "Freestones." Least expensive of their line, but they're built on a wider 'Military Boot last' (sp?) and are notably wider than most boots. A dream come true if you need to ware two sets of 'heavy socks' in winter weather.

As for the bottom of the boot (felt vs 'rubber') you might as well get on with rubber as felt will soon be 'out-lawed.' Just get (or do your own) studs on the bottom ... you will need them far sooner than later.


manderson2228 10-22-2010 06:45 PM

Re: Waders.. Teach me..
They are really getting ready to out law felt? Why?

I really like the g3 convertables and think i will end up with them! Now.. To find a pair of boot!!

Thanks for all the advice!

MoscaPescador 10-22-2010 07:33 PM

Re: Waders.. Teach me..

Originally Posted by manderson2228 (Post 155625)
They are really getting ready to out law felt? Why?

I believe Alaska and Vermont are going to outlaw felt on January 1, 2011. It is already banned for all of New Zealand. The issue is invasive species.

Unclean boots can transport New Zealand Mudsnail larvae and Didymo algae spores. Felt seems to hold muck better than any other material on a boot. New Zealand Mudsnail infestations eat up bugs that are food sources for fish. Didymo blooms can take away real estate where bugs like to grow and choke out all the phytoplankton that the bugs eat.

One of the small streams that I have been fishing lately has Didymo. I use a backup pair of boots for it. If I ever take those boots to another water, I give them a good cleaning with a diluted bleach solution.


manderson2228 10-22-2010 09:27 PM

Re: Waders.. Teach me..
Thats good to know, if i am going to buy a new pair of boots might as well stay away from the felt then. I will get the studded kind. Alaska and New Zealand sound like one heck of time, but I am still a rookie ;)

mudbug 10-23-2010 01:11 AM

Re: Waders.. Teach me..
shoulda went to Bass Pro Shop

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.40 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
2005-2017 The North American Fly Fishing Forum. All rights reserved.