At a Glance: Wading
Wading is the term used for walking out into shallow water to fish. Wading allows anglers to fish waters where a boat would be unable to travel, such as streams, shallow rivers, low-tide lagoons, ocean shorelines, and marsh areas surrounding ponds and lakes. Wading creates less movement in water compared to fishing from a boat and provides a stealthy approach to target easily spooked fish. It is a tactic most commonly associated with fly fishing, surf fishing and centerpin fishing. Wading is also effective for species which spawn in the shallow waters of lakes at various times throughout the year.
An angler needs to have the proper gear and apparel to stay safe and comfortable while fishing in this manner. Wading with gear specifically made for the situation allows the angler to feel at ease and enjoy their time in the water. Waders are available in multiple styles for men, women and youth, to allow the whole family to fish together. Everything needed for wading can be found at FishUSA, including waders, wading boots, cleats and spikes, wading jackets, vests and packs, and wading accessories.
When shopping for waders, you have to understand what your needs are. Water depths will determine the type of waders that best fit your needs. Hip waders are ideal if you are fishing waters no deeper than your knees. Expecting to cross a stream several times or on a shoreline with waves crashing? You will need chest waders to stay dry. In need of something a bit deeper than hip waders, but not the bulk of chest waders? Waist-high waders fit like a pair of pants, and will keep you dry and comfortable. Water temperatures will be a factor as well. Neoprene waders offer a thick material, similar to a wetsuit, which can keep an angler warm in cold water. Breathable waders are much lighter, tend to fit nicer, and are better for warmer climates and seasons.
Both hip waders and chest waders are available with attached boots, called bootfoot waders, or with neoprene booties instead of boots, called stockingfoot waders. Stockingfoot waders add versatility in that the wading boots are separate and allow an angler to have different wading boots for specific surfaces. The same set of waders can be worn with a felt sole boot on one trip, and on another trip can be used with a pair of cleated boots. Make sure you are always aware of local regulations.
Wading boot soles may not be enough to keep an angler firmly in place along a shoreline or streambed. Cleats and spikes can be installed on most boots to add traction along slippery shale or moss-covered rocks. FishUSA also sells replacement studs for well-worn wading boots that originally featured studs. Additionally, sandal-style cleats can be worn over your wading boots to add versatility to your existing wading gear. Wading accessories such as wading staffs and wading belts can keep a momentary slide from becoming a life-threatening survival situation. Other wading accessories such as gravel guards, replacement felt soles, repair kits, and replacement laces can add years of life to your wading gear.
Wading apparel is not restricted to waders and wading boots alone. Proper layering of clothing underneath can keep the angler comfortable and in the water longer. Quality wading socks are essential for foot comfort, whether using bootfoot waders or stockingfoot waders. Moisture wicking base layer bottoms and tops will keep sweat from chilling your skin while FishUSA hoodies make a nice insulating layer under a quality wading jacket. Wading jackets are designed specifically to be fully stocked with tackle while in the water and protect the wearer from wind and rain. FishUSA also has vests and packs to carry and stow an entire trip’s worth of tackle and gear to keep you in the water for as long as you wish.
The most popular brands of wading gear at FishUSA are Simms, Patagonia, Frogg Toggs, Redington and Hodgman.