If you haven’t guessed it yet, fly fishing waders are garments specially designed for fly fishing, but what makes them so special, is the material they’re made of and how they help enhance a user’s experience.
Due to the complex fishing technique, fly fishing waders are designed to help you get into the water where you can be nearer to your catch.
The materials that they are made of include man-made fabrics such as nylon, rubber, and neoprene.
Aside from being waterproof, you’ll find that these are breathable as well, so you don’t sweat yourself out.
Fly Fishing Wader Reviews
How to Select Waders For Fly Fishing
The temperature of the area and depth of the water all play a pivotal role in influencing your decision. The two main categories to pick from are bootfoot and stockingfoot waders which come in different designs.
Shallow Waters and Gentler Shores
The main difference between the two categories is that bootfoot waders have built-in boots while stockingfoot waders have a waterproof sock that’s attached to your leg.
If you’re going to fish in gentle streams without going too far into the water, bootfoot waders are the way to go. That’s because the built-in boots in these waders function similar to rubber boots so they fit loose, and they’re simple.
Deep Waters with Slippery and Unstable Ground
On the other hand, if you fish in a deeper stream and wade through water on the slippery and unstable ground, stockingfoot waders are a better option.
The loose fit of built-in boots won’t get as much support.
Even though stockingfoot waders have to be worn with additional footwear, they do tend to provide extra support, which can aid your balance on those rocky shores thanks to its ankle support.
Cold vs. Warmer Days
It’s established that stockingfoot waders are suitable for fly fishing, but what about the temperature?
Will you freeze or sweat your socks off?
In colder temperatures, waterproof insulated stockingfoot waders are recommended because they keep you warm and they’re flexible and heavy-duty as well.
However, wearing insulated stockingfoot waders on warmer days means you’ll be sweating as soon as you head out to shore.
Hence, if you’re fish on a regular basis during the warmer months, buying breathable stockingfoot waders is a practical option, since they’re more comfortable as well.
Advantages of Buying A Fly Fishing Wader
Essential For Beginners
Despite the easy look of it, fly fishing is difficult for beginners because they don’t know how to cast quite well.
Beginners are prone to a lot of tumbling, and they’ll have to get into the water eventually to learn how to cast from small distances first before doing it from afar.
Suit Different Rivers
You’ll find that certain rivers are lined with foliage or they’re just bushier than others — These conditions can make it difficult for you to cast your fly to a fish.
Meanwhile, lakes can have bottoms that are shallow, and these can require you to wade all the way into the water.
Moreover, you never know when the pesky fish are going to make it difficult for you to get a good catch.
To avoid that, you may need to go to a different river or simply move to the farther bank but these conditions can be murky and waders can keep you protected.
You Have More Fun!
There’s no fun catching fish from a dry shore especially when you’re near a nice, cool stream in the summer.
At those times, it’s just better to get into the water and scramble around to catch fish. Not only does this makes fly fishing fun, but it becomes simpler and more effective too.
Things To Look Out For When Buying Fly Fishing Waders
Neoprene or No?
Neoprene offers the advantage of being durable and insulated, which means you can stay warm while fishing in cold months and it lasts pretty much forever, too.
These are also available in a range of thickness in case you feel like taking a fishing trip in the North Pole. Of course, you can’t take the risk of wearing neoprene-based waders in warmer months which turns us towards the second option, breathable waders.
These are likely to be pricier, but they are better at wicking moisture and keeping you cool during the warmer summer months. Moreover, they’re waterproof which is a plus if you dislike the wet feeling that comes with being in the water.
If you’re worried about fishing in colder temperatures then simply opt for layered waders or layer up on your own. Breathable waders with more layers are expensive in addition to being durable so keep them in mind while buying. Those will keep you well protected from the elements and comfortable as well.
In the fishing community, there’s a lot of emphasis on having lightweight waders because not only are they easier to put on and take off, but they’ll be a breeze to carry as well. This means your waders won’t be taking up much of the space and you can stock up on bait and other essentials.
When it comes to our two types of materials, breathable waders take the prize as being more lightweight. Neoprene of the other hand, weigh more and take up large amounts of space.
Lastly, they’re difficult to take off after you’re done and come out of the water.
The common designs when it comes to fishing waders include hip, waist-high and chest waders. While waist-high waders function like pants, hip waders are separate for each leg and are more suited for a leisure fishing trip.
However, due to the intense nature of fly fishing, chest waders are recommended because wading in slippery streams won’t leave you dry for long so it’s best to come prepared.
Bootfoot fly fishing waders don’t come in many sizes but even when buying stockingfoot, it’s crucial that you don’t make a mistake about your size. Carefully look up the size chart before selecting one because a wrong fit can make for an uncomfortable fishing experience.
Best Fly Fishing Waders
Let’s get started on the best fly fishing waders that you can find in the market. Each of them boasts great features but has its own drawbacks.
However, they’re the on the top of every list so you’ll be guaranteed to have amazing performance on your next fishing trip.
Despite the old design, the Hellbender waders surely meet expectations when it comes to the price versus value argument.
These stockingfoot fly fishing waders come with exceptional features such as reinforced knees and shins, and the handy wading belt that’s a must.
Gravel guards are also attached along with the integral lace hooks.
These waders are designed to keep you cool during summer fishing trips because they’re made with breathable nylon fabric.
Moreover, they also feature 4mm double taped neoprene boots that are attached and have a rubber lining to give you a comfortable fit.
You’ll find these waders in a range of size to accommodate many body types.
Plus, their sizes are convenient because most other brands make waders wider for larger sizes and this may not appeal to taller and slimmer users.
Hodgman has been designing durable and cost-effective waders for a long time and the best part is that they can hold up against many fly fishing trips.
It features a three-layer lower and upper which act as a sweat vapor transfer, and a hand warmer pocket lined with microfleece.
There’s also a chest pocket that’s mesh zippered for tippet and an exit for large leaders.
The attached neoprene feet are different from each other to fit your right and left foot perfectly.
It comes with a wading belt kept in place by a loop. They didn’t miss out on adding their signature Comfort Fit gravel guard or Y-back elastic suspenders either.
These waders work well for beginners that have just entered the world of fly fishing and are looking for a cost-effective solution without missing on the breathable material.
These are made with layered nylon and then combined with an external polyester shell.
Moreover, their CaddisDry technology is integrated into these waders which allow them to let sweat pass out but keep the water from coming in. You’ll remain dry throughout the trip because the seams go through a three-way process to avoid leaking. They’re taped, stitched and then glued so you can rest assured about keeping yourself dry.
The neoprene feet on these waders are taped inside and out so you’ll find a better balance when you step into wading boots.
The most visible drawback is the lack of loops for the wading belt which means you should keep it tight so that it doesn’t fall off.
If you’re a fly fishing enthusiast that enjoys the simplicity provided by bootfoot waders then these cleated chest waders by Ouzong are a great option.
You’ll get the convenience of an attached wading boot with a bunch of other features. They’ll keep you dry during your fishing trip because of the seams which are taped aside from being stitched.
The cleated sole is comfortable while these waders run in a range of sizes so rest assured you’ll find the perfect fit.
These are different from the usual rubber waders which are also heavier and bulkier.
These waders feature H-back shaped suspenders that also have quick release buckles for easy removal.
The best part is that they’re lighter than and not as bulky as the usual rubber waders which make them easy to transport for fishing trips.
Azuki Sport didn’t miss out on releasing their own fly fishing waders and if you prefer bootfoot over stockingfoot then their chest waders will be a good choice.
Made from 4mm PVC, the seams on these chest waders are taped and sealed to prevent any leakage from occurring.
Moreover, the taped seams ensure that you won’t be tearing through your waders during a fly fishing trip. PVC is generally soft and comfortable than other materials, and it scores high in the durability department too.
While they don’t hold up as well as neoprene in colder conditions, you can always layer up to stay warm. Reinforced knees help them withstand wear and tear.
It’s a tough decision to make when it comes to choosing from a list of high-quality waders but keeping in mind various factors, the Silver Sonic Convertible-Top Waders by Orvis take first place.
It’s not just because the pros outweigh the cons but they’re a better investment compared to the other waders on the list.
Waders aren’t something that you should have to continuously buy and they’re not a garment that can be repaired after tearing either.
Firstly, these are suitable for fly fishing trips all year round and it’s because they can be converted into waist-high rather than the fact that they can be insulated. These waders are specially designed to let you get in the water without getting wet.
Rather than taped seams, these waders are seamless and welded so that there’s no chance for water to get in. Even the loops that are stitched onto a different patch of fabric are welded onto the waders.
Additionally, they took into consideration that not all tall guys are wide and this bridged the gap for tall users that couldn’t fit well into other brands of waders.
These may be on the pricier side so they’re the best choice only if you’re determined to go fly fishing regularly.
Other than that, you can bet that these waders will last you a long time.
Last update on 2019-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API