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JP Z

The Right Waders for You.

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This could go in the equipment forum but I believe we trouters are the ones who generally are the ones in need of waders.

As the topic suggests you need to find a pair of waders that is right for you.

There are many different types of material that waders are made out of right now and any of them are an option for you depending on your pocketbook and of course how you generally fish. There are rubber, canvas, neoprene, and breathable. Of course there are different types of waders. There are hip boots, waist high, and chest waders. There are either boot foot waders, which have a rubber boot already, attached or there are stocking foot waders, which have a neoprene booty, and then you need to supply your own wading boot.

All these options can cause a rather large headache; believe me I know I just bought a new pair of waders.

Basically you need to look at how you fish. If you only fish during the winter months because you don’t ice-fish then you probably want a pair of neoprene waders as they offer the most warmth and insulation. But if you only fish during June or July and the water is only a foot or two deep then you could get by on a pair of rubber hip boots.

Or if you’re like me once you have your first pair of waders you’ll find that you don’t always need to have a pair of chest waders so you’ll buy a pair of hip boots as well. A good suggestion if you generally fish in brush-lined streams is a quality pair of rubber hip boots. Or of course if you are going to always be in deeper water a pair of canvas or rubber chest waders is a good option. They are quite inexpensive and will offer you a waterproof barrier when fishing and they don’t get holes as easily as a pair of neoprene waders. But if you aren’t afraid of patching your waders a few times (which we all have to do anyways) I would suggest a pair of neoprene waders. As they generally are a bit more form fitting and they can be used for a variety of purposes. I use mine for putting in and pulling out docks during the year and also for duck hunting, as they are quite warm during the late weeks of October.

The kind of waders that I just purchased were a pair of Hodgeman Breathable boot foot and a pair of felt sole wading shoes.

Enough of my rambling now for some of your opinions.

------------------
Tight Lines,

JP Z

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jpz,

I agree, the kind of wading you do relates directly to the style of wader chosen.

Cost is a huge factor as well.
I went through quite a few pair of neoprene waders, busting through brush etc. Repairing got old and after "swiss-cheesing" them with repairs I opted for cheapo rubber hip boots.

However, you sacrifice ankle support with rubber boots.

I truly miss my fitted wading boots. I rarely walk less than a mile on streams and rivers. Trudging up and down banks and over uneven rocks etc, my ankles and shins eventually wear down.

SO consider fitted gear.

Neoprenes are excellent for early and late season wading when the temps are down both in the air and water. However, you will get a free sauna during the summer...not recommended. NIce fit for sure, lot's better than the often rubbing of skin from hip boots!

I hope to soon return to fitted boots, opting for the breathable style chest wader. Maybe breathable hip style with fitted boots?

Anyone have a pair of those?

Not certain how durable the breathable styles are. I have seen all styles eventually leak.

Well, time to get my hip boots on this week and find out just how many leaks I have!!LOL

One point of suggestion for storing hip-boots.
NEver store them folded up, try to hang them or lay them flat.

Keep the rods bendin'!!!

Jim W

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Great Point Jim,

I meant to cover support but well I missed it. That was the main reason I went to a Stockingfoot version this year. I wanted to try out the idea behind a seperate wading boot.

Right now it does feel a bit weird from when I've had it on to feel it out. But I guess it feels better then my rubber hip boots.

That and the fact that I have an oversized neoprene booty as my sock does add to the odd feeling. But overall I think these are going to really make my trout fishing more enjoyable............which is going to be hard I will admit because I don't know how much more fun I can take.

------------------
Tight Lines,

JP Z

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Just my two cents on the wader thing.. I would stay away from neoprene waders at all cost unless all you do is fish when its 10 degrees or lower, same thing with rubber. The neoprene waders will feel clammy and do not breathe at all so if your fishing when it is 50 degrees or more you might as well go without because you feel as wet by days end. The rubber wader, well my personal expierence has told me there is nothing more uncomfortable then these. More so in the boot then anywhere else. I like hippers if comfortable but then you need to think about where you sit so as not to mud up your back end. The only wader I would reccomend are some type of breathable wader. First off I can fish with these at any temp, I buy them slightly bigger and that allows me to layer underneath (a pair of fleece pants and good long underwear) will keep you as warm as neoprene but you won't feel clammy, just nice and dry and warm. Plus in the other months you can wear them and feel comfortable.But the stocking foot and add boots for the most comfortable setup you will find. I prefer waist high beathables, most notably Reddington. They have a 4 year unconditional warranty and are very durable (Double knees and backend). In my opinion if your approach is to be comfortable on the water stay away from neoprene and rubber. This may not apply for other methods of use like pulling docks or bird hunting but if Trout are the prey then you cannot beat this system. I have tried them all and am on my 4th pair of breathables. ( over a long period of time and countless days on the water). Just my thoughts on the waders....

[This message has been edited by smellzalilfishee (edited 03-31-2004).]

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Great input Smelliz, let's keep it coming.

And I wholeheartedly agree on the neoprene fact. They will turn into an oven pretty quick. July is not a happy month for neoprene.

------------------
Tight Lines,

JP Z

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Hey Jim W, I have a pair of breathable hip waders and I love them! If you hunt around you can find the stocking feet ones for under $40. Match them up with some good wading shoes and you'll be able to walk for miles.

------------------
"Study to be quiet"

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Yes Renneberg, I agree that is a great setup, escpecially in the later months of the season. I think the adding of the boots is key for utmost comfortability. The attached rubber boots to waders are to me so uncomfortable. They tend to rub and cause blisters and if you like to hike they are not the way to go.

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Great food for thought. I used a pair of cheapo rubber hip waders last summer and they did the trick, although they weren't high enough for some bigger rivers. But taking in water in late July isn't a bad thing at all.
After posing this question on FM last year, I bought a pair of breathable chest waders and the difference is truly enormous. Great for all-around, versatile conditions. I used my chest waders on multiple outings this winter, they're big enough so I can layer up underneath and stay warm. I've already used them five times since the Wisconsin March 1 opener, and the foot support is worth the cost alone. Your feet don't tire out like they do with the flimsy rubber soles. Plus with chest waders I can lounge on a snow bank for a cup of coffee, or to just rest my massive ego after missing a big take. So much more flexible than my hip waders too. I can "hide" behind logs and half-perch behind rocks in the stream.
I'm convinced that these waders have allowed me to catch three trout between 17"-20" this spring already, where before I simply couldn't have waded into the proper casting position.
When you think about the cost, remember it's all relative and waders are literally stream fishing's version of a mobile boat. It's all about providing the means to catch fish. At least that's what I told my wife when she saw the price tag. smile.gif Good fishing.

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I feel that breathable waders are one of the great advancements in gear in recent years. They are far more comfortable than anything else I ever used in hot weather and with good layering - long johns and fleece pants - I've been comfortable steelheading in November and while fishing for trout in January and February in the MN winter season. Their only downside, and its a minor one, is that they're a little fragile when it comes to pinhole leaks, but such leaks are easily repairable with AquaSeal.

I'm a proponent of stocking foot waders and separate boots, but I can see advantages for some users with bootfoots.

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I was curious on the durability of Breathables but I just had to give them a shot. And as for the advantage of bootfoot.. Well last year right before the season I got a pair of rubber hip boots for $25. Granted they weren't the most comfy, but the cost was the main factor. That and I was sick of using my leaky neoprene waders. And the hip boots helped me a lot during warmer months.

But by all means, if you can find a pair of stockingfoot and then a good wading shoe for cheap and you like them buy them in a heartbeat because I know anyone else would.

------------------
Tight Lines,

JP Z

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jpz, I think you will find that the breathable waders you bought will be your favorite yet. As for durability, you need to take care of them like anything else. They are however much easier to patch than neoprene because what holes you may get are much easier to find. The quality of the wader makes a big difference in these waders to. A less expensive pair may use a thinner piece of material or of lesser quality and may not double up areas of key point like knees and backend. I like a pair with built in gravel guards as well, then there are no worries of losing them. The "you get what you pay for" applies with breatables as well. One thing I notice at stream side all them time is somebody putting on a pair stocking foots and standing on the ground be it gravel or whatever. This will find a guy holes quickly. I have a gear bag that has a rubber mat that folds out and I use it religously. A towell or whatever will work fine to. I hope you enjoy them, get back in here and let us know.

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Guys,

I'm off for my first go round with SE MN browns in a couple of hours! Excited to go, but reluctant to put the old hip boots on.

EIther way, I know there is a big old brown waiting to jump around for me!!!

Keep the rods bendin'!!

Jim W

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Your a dog Jim! Man I envy you. I can only sit here and dream.

Smellaz,

The waders I got were the Cabela's exclusive Hodgeman, not the highest dollars but still quite nice. I will definetly remember to bring a towel to stand on......or maybe just my old neoprene waders have a new use now.

I'll let you know how they handle as soon as I know.

------------------
Tight Lines,

JP Z

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Good call on buying from Cabelas jpz. They back anything they sell and if you have any issues they will return them with no questions. I think the pair you bought will work out nicely.

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I have been extra lazy this winter, I must have put on a few LBs as when I tried on my chest waders I looked like an Irish sausage gone horribly wrong. Time to hit the waliking trails hard.

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Jim how was your trip chasing the Troot?

I'm just waiting for the 17th. It won't be long now.

------------------
Tight Lines,

JP Z

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