People who spend time fly fishing know the difference between soggy feet and comfort on the water is a good pair of waders. While there are many brands that specialize in fly fishing waders, some definitely stand out among the rest. This article will walk you through some of our favorite waders on the market today.
Comparison of the Best Fly Waders
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Are Waders Important While Fly Fishing?
While they’re not necessary for fly fishing, waders play an important role in increasing angling comfort. Fly fishing often requires getting your feet wet, but waders prevent unnecessary discomfort by providing a waterproof barrier between you and the river, lake, or stream.
- Keep You Dry and Comfortable Throughout a Fishing Trip
- Provides Protection From the Elements
- Gives Extra Traction in Slippery Environments
- Waders are an Investment
What to Wear Under Waders When Fly Fishing
What you should wear under waders really depends on what season you’re fishing in.
For winter and fall, wearing lightweight fleece or wool sweatpants is recommended. Wool is a great option because it is a naturally breathable material. It prevents clamminess from sweat because it tends to wick away moisture really well. It’s also smell-resistant, which is a total plus. Under Armour liners are also a good option for colder months as they insulate body heat well.
For summer, it’s also important to wear something that can keep you warm if you’ll be in cold, fast-moving water. A more lightweight base, like long underwear or thin sweatpants, are a good option. Jeans or cargo pants will weigh you down and get warm quickly, so stick to something lighter.
How to Choose Fly Fishing Waders
Material- So, obviously, your waders should be 100 percent waterproof. This is the most important part of a waders’ job, and it comes down to the material. There are several main materials used in waders including nylon, rubber, and neoprene. While none hold huge advantages over the others, our recommendation would probably be nylon. It’s a little cheaper, super lightweight, and very breathable.
Nothing is more frustrating than your waders springing a leak in the middle of a fishing trip. The waders you choose should be made with high-quality, durable material that is tear and abrasion-resistant. Look for a product that has a multi-layer fabric design, as that tends to provide some extra protection.
Because you'll likely be wearing them for hours at a time, it’s important that your waders fit comfortably. Look closely at sizing charts before purchasing and it can be really helpful to try them on before taking them home whenever possible.
Quick Take | Best Fly Fishing Waders
Just looking for the top three best fly fishing waders? Here they are:
Review of the Best Fly Fishing Waders
In the fly fishing world, there are so many waders to choose from. To make the task of picking out your next pair easier, we’ve compiled a list of our top picks. No matter your angling style, the following waders are high-quality choices that are built for success.
Best Fly Fishing Waders:
Frogg Toggs Canyon II Breathable Stockingfoot Chest Wader
Frogg Toggs is a popular brand among wading-enthusiasts. They’ve got several lines of chest waders that have made a name for themselves in the realm of fly fishing. Frogg Toggs has gotten the construction of the product down to a science.
The Canyon II waders are created with a four-ply design, made to keep moisture out. The inner layer is a soft, microtextured fabric meant to reduce skin contact to keep the body cool on hot days. The middle layers are extra lightweight, waterproof, and the outer layer is a 100 percent waterproof, abrasion-resistant nylon shell. These waders are stockingfoot, so they have 4mm double-taped neoprene boots to keep water out.
To ensure a solid fit, the Canyon II features adjustable y-design suspenders with quick-release buckles. They also include an adjustable wading belt with a quick-release and lock buckle to make it easier to get the waders on and off.
Additional features include a waterproof zip chest pocket, a flip-out security chest pocket, and gravel guards with lace hooks.
The Canyon II waders from Frogg Toggs are an incredible option for entry-level fly fishermen who need a quality product that won’t break the bank, just make sure you check the sizing chart first! The waders are made with good-quality materials and are lightweight and comfortable enough to wear through a full day. Consider the temperatures you’ll be fishing in as some anglers say these waders can get sweaty fast on a hot day.
Redington Crosswater Waders
Reddington is another trusted name in the game of waders. The Crosswater waders are meant to be for more entry-level anglers, however, are suitable for anglers of all skill levels. They are created with three-layer fabric design but stay lightweight and portable for hiking trips to your favorite fishing spot.
They’re made with a breathable polyester fabric and the top layer is coated with DWR, which stands for “durable water repellent.” This coating makes the waders 100 percent waterproof and resistant to moisture leaks. For extra durability, all seams are taped and glued to reduce the chance of wet feet.
Fit-wise, they include fully-adjustable back straps, as well as an adjustable wading belt that is removable. The waders have opposing buckles which make it easy to convert them to waist high if you’re spending the day in a more shallow river or stream.
They also include a flip-out chest pocket with a waterproof YKK zipper for extra protection, high-density neoprene booties, and hooked gravel guards.
The Crosswater Waders from Reddington are another great value for anglers looking for their next pair of waders. While there are some sizing and storage issues, they don’t overshadow the quality and usability of the product. These are a great pair of waders to travel with as they are lightweight and can fold down to a small size to fit into a backpack or suitcase.
Best Women's Fly Fishing Waders:
Simms Freestone Stocking-Foot Waders for Ladies
Women should not be left out of the fly fishing world. Because the sport is fairly male-dominated, there are limited choices for waders made specifically for women, but these Freestone waders from Simms are a high-quality, inclusive product.
They are created with a four-layer Toray QuadraLam fabric that is technologically engineered specifically for wading, which means they are 100 percent waterproof and super breathable. To ensure a great fit for all bodies, Simms uses a center leg seam construction, allowing for a good amount of mobility and flexibility in and out of the water. They also have articulated knees and patterning for extra comfort.
The Freestone Waders are fully-adjustable, with reversible waterproof YKK buckles, and suspenders. The wading belt also makes it simple and quick to convert them to waist high if needed. The stockingfoot booties are made with an hourglass design, with a 4mm neoprene material for a superior fit and waterproofing.
Additional features include a fleece-lined hand warmer pocket for cold days, gravel guards, and a zippered chest pocket.
For women who have been looking for the perfect waders, look no further. These Freestone Waders from Simms can get the job done effectively, and are a great, durable choice for any angler. While the fit may be a little saggy, these waders have so many great qualities that make up for it. They’re breathable, easy to move in, and nothing can beat a high-quality product.
Best Simms Fly Fishing Waders:
Simms G3 Guide GORE-TEX Stocking-Foot Waders
Simms is a go-to wader brand for so many anglers, and for that reason, this wouldn’t be a comprehensive list without including the best of Simms’ wide array of selection. While the G3 Guide GORE-TEX waders from Simms are not an inexpensive purchase by any means, they have ticked all the boxes of great wader capabilities.
This is a re-engineered version of a popular line of waders and they feature a new four-layer Gore-Tex membrane. They also have the four-layer Gore-Tex in the legs and waist. This makes for a 100 percent waterproof, super-breathable product. They feature a fully adjustable fit with elastic suspenders with opposing buckles and welded, low-profile belt loops. For comfort and mobility, the G3 Guides offer Simms’ patented seam construction and articulated knees.
While they still include the removable flip-out tippet pocket, new to this line of waders is a zippered reach-through hand warmer pocket. The hand warmer is located on the chest for easy access and is lined with microfleece to keep the digits cozy on cold days.
Purchasing the G3 Guide Gore-Tex waders from Simms would be an investment that you won’t soon regret. While they are on the pricier side, you get what you pay for, right? These are a super-durable pick that feature a great amount of mobility in and out of the water. Take these waders along with you on cold days to keep warm. Simms has gotten wading construction down to a science, and it shows in their design.
Best Hip Waders:
Allen Black River Bootfoot Hip Waders
Allen is a trusted fly fishing brand that focuses on outdoor products, including waders. Founded in 1970, they’ve been creating items that are designed to make the lives of outdoorsmen a little easier and these hip waders are no different.
The Black River Bootfoot hip waders were created to keep an angler warm and dry on a long day on the water. They’re constructed with a two-ply design. They feature a lightweight but durable polyester upper and include a waterproof membrane to keep warmth in and moisture out.
An admirable quality for any fly fishermen, these waders feature extra traction in the sole with cleats. This will prevent slips and falls on slimy rock beds (also check out wading staffs to prevent slipping). They also have a take-up strap to simplify slipping them on before jumping in the creek and a belt loop to secure them while in use. Allen offers several different sizes and all feature adjustable straps on either side for a perfect fit.
While there may be higher quality hip waders on the market, for their value, the Black River boots from Allen are a great option for anglers on a budget. This is a purchase that will perform well during long days in the river or creek while keeping your wallet happy. If you spend more time in shallow bodies of water or near the banks, consider giving these hip waders a try. They offer great traction to keep you safe in slimy conditions.
Waders play an important role in a fly fisherman's gear. While there are about a million waders on the market to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start. Hopefully, this list of recommendations brings you one step closer to being warm and dry on the water. Happy fishing!