I started out not thinking waders were not that important, over the years I had some different ones including hip waders, rubber type chest waders, neoprene chest waders most with boot attached. I have since gone to lighter Breathable chest waders and will never go back. I used to think it was a waste of money to buy good waders but now know better. The best thing you can do when outfitting to start fly fishing is spend a decent amount on waders the level of comfort on a long day of fishing is Paramount to end the day tired but not damp and wore out is great.
Most of the good waders on the market now are stocking foot so another important buy is going to be a really good pair of wading boots, again don’t skimp on the quality here. A good pair of boots will be comfortable to wear all day and keep you upright in the river. Nothing worse than sliding around on slippery rock because you did not buy a good pair( I know I have to buy a good Pair this year as I bought cheap one and ended up in the water last year with waders full of water in the spring when it was cold).
In the 1850s a company by the name of Hodgman manufactured the first waders.
When rubber became popular around 1912, they started making the waders out of this particularly waterproof and durable material. Then rubber was more or less perfected in 1942 for World War II, so they used the same technology to make waders that are closer to what we have today.
Over the years waders have been manufactured out of different materials such as rubber, plastic, nylon, neoprene and breathable. All in two distinct styles boot foot or stocking foot.
What type to buy
If you get boot foot the boot is part of the wader so there is no need for separate boots. The boots are just like rubber boots so a long day of fishing can be hard on the feet. They do have there place like neoprene waders with boots for spring or winter fishing were extra socks and the neoprene can keep you warmer.
Most Of us prefer the stocking foot as you can get boots that are more comfortable to wear all day and are better to wade in as the bottoms have better traction. The breathable material is great on summer day when it is warm out as you don’t sweat as much in them, of course when really hot I just get wet.
Some things to know
Waders normally come with a waist belt, use it if you go down in the river only the top of your chest waders will fill with water allowing you to move still and get out of the water. Make sure that at the end of the day to hang the waders up so they get a chance to dry out otherwise they will start to smell bad. In resent year there are cleaning products on the market to clean waders in and out, good idea in the fall/ winter to give them a good cleaning and check over. The new materials are very tear resistant but it can still happen.
If you are in the market for waders go to some place were you can try them on and find something that fits you and is comfortable,If you fish as much as I do you will spend a lot of time in them. DO your research on line before you buy so you know what to look for and prices to expect. Prices very from really cheap $30.00 to several hundred there are some very good brands around without a large price tag. Get a decent pair and spent a little more on good boots. So I hope this helps anything I missed or just want to say hello please leave a comment. Thanks