Buying the Right Waders

June 7, 2017

Buying the Right Waders

Picking a set of waders can be almost as difficult as picking out a rod and reel setup. The design has come a long way since your grandfather's waders that looked liked a scuba suit, minus the glass mask. It's not one set standard anymore like it was back when one company held a monopoly on wading gear. With the improvements in materials and how light and durable waders have become, the possibilities are endless. It's all about finding a pair that fits your needs by considering how you fish and the stream or creek you fish the most.

To kick it off, we will jump into the old, true and faithful hip waders. These were your dad's or grandfather’s go-to waders. Back when they had these waders, they were made out of rubber, and ProLine still has rubber options. If you are a spring creek trout angler, these do a fine job because most of the time the deepest water comes up to your ankles. With companies like Frogg Toggs and Chota making leaps and bounds in hip waders, they have come a long way. Both brands now have stockingfoot versions of hip waders, with breathable, nylon uppers instead of rubber to keep you cooler during the warmer months. If you find yourself not wading above shin level, hip waders fit your style of fishing.

The next style is waist-high pants. These waders go on like pants and pull up to your waist. Most of these are stockingfoot, so you are able to pick the wading boot style you prefer. These are typically made out of a layered nylon-like material, making allowing them to be waterproof and breathable. These can be very useful during the summer if you are walking and moving around often. Brands like Simms and Patagonia have released products that are heavy in the leg area to allow you to move through brush with ease and no snags or rips. Waist-high wading pants are a little higher up than hip waders, which lets the wearer kneel if you want a stealthier approach. These can also be worn in the winter and do a decent job of keeping you sealed up from the elements. Waist-high wading pants are a good choice if you hike a lot or just want something a little higher than hip waders.

The next waders are chest waders. These can be broken down into two categories: neoprene and breathable. If you have ever fished in the winter or when the water is colder in late fall, you have seen at least one angler wearing neoprene waders. These have been around for a long time. Neoprene will keep you dry, warm and, depending on if you get stockingfoot or bootfoot, the bootfoot style can have added insulation. The concept behind these was to make a set of waders that would help keep you warm in the winter, with different thicknesses (3.5mm or 5mm) to fit your preferred fishing style. Neoprene chest waders do a great job keeping the warmth in, but during the summer they can be a burden. Just think about wearing a winter jacket in July, that's when it feels like. If you’re a serious winter or cold water angler these could be a great option for you.

Breathable chest waders are my favorite style for year-round fishing. They are designed to look like neoprene chest waders, but are constructed out of a layered nylon-like material. These are great for use in the summer and, when properly layered, can also be used in cold water, too. I find breathable chest waders to be the most versatile waders in the chest wading category. With numerous options for breathable materials, there are pairs of breathable chest waders for any angler, regardless of budget.

At the end of the day, you have to identify the type of angler you are. Whether you’re a small stream angler that only needs hip waders or you are deep wading so chest waders might be necessary, they all do a great job in keeping you dry when used properly.

Related Products

Chota Hippies Stockingfoot Hip Waders
Chota Hippies Stockingfoot Hip Waders
Chota Hippies Stockingfoot Hip Waders feature a 3mm neoprene stocking foot attached to a three ply breathable laminate upper with an adjustable draw string at the top for a secure fit at any height. The Hippies also have a built in cinch strap just below the knee to help keep the socks in place and help prevent flooding just in case you go in a little too deep. The Hippies can be worn at the hip, just above the knee or just below the knee for comfort in many wading situations.
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Frogg Toggs Amphib Neoprene Stockingfoot Chest Waders
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Frogg Toggs Amphib Neoprene Stockingfoot Chest Waders are made from 3.5 MM neoprene for warmth and comfort, and offer many features often found only in more expensive waders. These are "stockingfoot" waders and a wading shoe or boot is required.
Frogg Toggs Hellbender II Stockingfoot Chest Waders
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Frogg Toggs Hellbender II Stockingfoot Chest Waders are made from an ultralight outer shell material, with an exclusive waterproof and breathable 4-ply nylon upper. These waders feature an advanced, double-reinforced knee construction that provides superior durability for a more comfortable and better fit.
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Pro Line Stream Cleated Bootfoot Hip Waders
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Pro Line Stream Cleated Bootfoot Hip Waders feature durable construction and comfort for those long days on the stream. The padded boot foot and durable knee pads ensure that these hip waders will last many seasons and will stay comfortable as well. We carry a wide range of sizes to keep little kids and big kids dry during any fishing adventure. These waders are best for use in cool to moderate climates.
Redington Sonic-Pro HD Stockingfoot Chest Waders
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Redington Sonic-Pro HD Stockingfoot Chest Waders are a heavy-duty wader that offers many features in addition to its top-quality, welded build. These waders offer Redington's Active Fit design which offers unparalleled comfort, even during those long fishing trips. The HD model also features large internal stretch woven pocket, flip-out pocket, 4-layer water-proof/breathable wader fabric, articulated knees, 3.5 mm thick booties, and ultra sonic welded construction.
Simms Freestone Stockingfoot Chest Waders
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Simms Freestone Stockingfoot Chest Waders offer anglers premium waders at an affordable price. These fishing waders are constructed of waterproof 4-layer Toray QuadraLam fabric that repels water and breathes easy. With anatomically engineered stockingfeet and Duraflex buckles, you will experience a comfortable and mobility enhancing fit. The waders are incredibly durable with gravel guards. Wade deeper and longer with Simms Freestone Stockingfoot Chest Waders!
Simms G3 Guide Camo Bootfoot Chest Waders
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Look great while blending in with nature in these Simms G3 Guide Camo Bootfoot Chest Waders. Designed with a River Camo pattern, the Gore-Tex Pro Shell construction in this wader provides breathable, all-day comfort. An articulated fit gives a consistent range of movement for confident progression in and around the river. Say goodbye to cold and wet feet thanks to the sturdy built-in boots with neoprene insulation and a grid fleece lining. The Super-fly Patch and flip-out Tippet Tender pocket st...
Simms G4Z Stockingfoot Chest Waders
Simms G4Z Stockingfoot Chest Waders
Simms G4Z Stockingfoot Chest Waders feature more fabric than any other Simms wader and made in the USA, they’re practically bullet proof. These Simms G4Z Stockingfoots are award-winning fishing waders perfect for crawling over rocks and busting through branches. The G4Z features 5-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell Technology through the legs with 3-layers through the upper body for the ultimate in durability with true breathability.