Alright, you’ve bought a rod and now it’s time to get wet. Let’s find the perfect set of fly fishing waders for you. Most waders you’ll find are made from one of three materials – rubber, neoprene, or a breathable fabric, such as Gore-Tex. Let’s talk about all three, and why there is only one correct choice here. Remember, we want you to be comfortable. Staying dry means staying warm, and warm + dry = comfortable.
Let’s have a look at the options:
1) Rubber Waders
Dry? Sweaty. Warm? On a hot day, you’ll lose 10 pounds. Comfortable? You decide. (All joking aside, seriously, just don’t buy rubber waders, boots, or clothing.)
2) Neoprene Waders
Wetsuits are made of neoprene. Who wants to wear that all day? (I might be exaggerating a bit, but apart from being bulky and hot, neoprene has another set of issues.)
3) Breathable Waders
Breathable waders. Dry. Warm. Comfortable. Catching fish.
What Makes Breathable Waders so Great?
- They’re lightweight, and you’ll have full range of motion for any situation you find yourself in. (see picture above)
- Wear them any season. If it’s a hot day, you can get away with a pair of briefs. Cold day? You can layer up as much as you need.
- Comfort. They wick away sweat, keep you dry, and keep you warm. The only thing you’ll need to worry about is hooking the next fish.
As a Beginner, What are your Best Options?
These will keep you dry. You’ll be ugly, but dry.
- Basic, and budget friendly. This was the first pair I ever owned.
There is nothing better than this (for your wallet). Nothing.
- Zippered mesh storage pocket
- Integrated belt loops
- Fabric gravel guards to protect the seams where your booties meet the waders. Gravel guards will help keep unwanted river junk out of your boots.
- Backed by Orvis’ 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
- Budget friendly, with upgrades.
- Zippered chest pocket to store smaller gear
- Fleece lined chest pouch to keep your hands warm on chilly days.
Which Fly Fishing Wader is Best?
Easy. Orvis’ Encounter Series Waders are the higher quality choice, and as always, they’re backed by Orvis’ 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Though they might be just a bit more expensive, having that insurance on your gear is priceless. That’s not to say the Redington and Hodgman options aren’t a worthy choice. If budget is your first priority, both will do the job, and do the job well.