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Fishing waiters are fish with cute little bowties that bring meals to mermaids. Fishing waders keep you dry when you wade into the water to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon doing some fly fishing.
Do you remember the days when fishing waders were little more than rubber half-suits? If you don’t, consider yourself lucky!
Today, fly fishing waders have improved as they are more like pants as opposed to the heavy rubber of yesteryear.
The question remains, though, as to how do you choose the best waders?
We have provided you with some guidelines on what to look for in choosing the best fishing waders for you and your budget.
Features on the Best Fly Fishing Waders
You want your waders to breathe so you don’t end up feeling like a prune on the inside. The best materials to look for are gore-tex, dri-plus, and other moisture-wicking fabrics that allow for perspiration to be kept away from your body.
You also want your waders to be lightweight. Insulation is not necessary unless you plan on going fly fishing in near freezing waters.
Some of the best fly fishing waders include the Redington Crosswater Waders, Redington Sonic Pro Waders, and Simms G3 Waders.
Times You Might Not You Actually Need Waders
Most anglers need waders, but some may not depending on the fishing excursion you intend to take.
If the weather is warm and the water is warm, by all means, don’t wear waders if you don’t want to. Warm water tends to feel great for most anglers, so unless you need to avoid getting stung or having leaches latch on, you can go wader-free if you want.
When the weather is warm and the water is colder, you might be able to get away without using waders if you only go in about ankle deep. You will be limited in your range, but you’ll still be able to go without.
If your feet tend to get cold easily, you might want to invest in some quality wet socks to keep your feet warm and invest in good quality wading boots.
Do you fish exclusively from a boat, the shoreline, or a pier? If the answer is yes, then you don’t need waders because you won’t ever be in the water.
Wanting to have flexibility in your fishing is a driving part of deciding whether or not to purchase waders because not having them can limit where you can fish. Waders may not be necessary, but they are definitely good to have.
Know Your Waders
When you go searching for waders, you’ll come upon three different types: the bootfoot, stockingfoot, and hip-wader. Familiarize yourself with each one so you know what you are looking for.
Bootfoot waders have attached boots and go all the way up to your chest. These tend to be heavier, and the boots cannot be removed.
Stockingfoot waders do not have an attached boot, go up to your chest or waist, and have a neoprene sock at the foot. These are lighter and require you to have a separate wading boot.
Hip-waders are different from stockingfoot or bootfoot waders because they are made for shallow water and only extend through the upper leg of the angler. You can get them with or without attached boots.
Wader Construction and Shopping Costs
The most popular fabrics for fishing waders are neoprene, gore-tex, and dri-plus based on breathability and the ability to stay dry.
Neoprene fly fishing waders are arguably the most popular in colder weather because they will keep you toasty warm. The downside of neoprene waders are that they are not breathable. If you are planning to fish in colder waters, then these make an excellent choice.
More breathable waders include those made from materials like gore-tex and dri-plus. Gore-tex keeps water out and keeps heat in, all while allowing perspiration to escape.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to spend several hundred dollars on a pair of waders, but you also don’t want to go super cheap. Good price points that don’t sacrifice quality include Redington Sonic Pro Waders and Redington Crosswater Waders.
If you are looking for high-quality fly fishing waders that will last for a long time, then you’ll want to consider investing in a pair of waders like the Simms G3 that come in stockingfoot and waist-level styles.
Do Your Research
When you go looking for a new pair of waders, make sure you do your research. Think about what you’re looking for – shallow water, cold water, versatility, etc.
Once you know what kind of fishing you’ll be doing, you’ll be ready to make an educated decision to pick the best fishing waders for you.