Fly Fishing Essentials: Picking the Best Waders for You

When it comes to fly fishing, we as anglers have a specific set of gear essentials that we just can’t live without. Waders are by far, one of the most crucial pieces of gear that cannot be overlooked. Picture yourself, fly fishing in the ravine of a mountainous gorge in the middle of winter, standing in 35-degree rapids without a pair of waders on. That sounds like a death sentence. Waders not only provide warmth in frigid water and temps but also offer us protection against any harmful entities contained in the water bodies we are fishing. Below, we at Flylords will highlight wader options that fit your usage level throughout a typical fishing season.

Minimal to Moderate Use Options

Compass 360 Gear Tailwater Stockingfoot Breathable Chest Wader – $169.95

So maybe you consider yourself a fly fisherman, but the hustle and bustle of life prevent you from getting on the water very often. Or maybe you love to fly fish but just don’t have the budget to drop $500 on a new pair of waders. Compass 360 Gear has the waders for you. The Tailwater Stocking Foot waders are the perfect option for the average fly fisherman, not to mention the consumer-friendly price point.

Materials and Features:
  • 4 ply constructed upper section
  • Adjustable elastic suspenders with quick-release buckles
  • An extra-large water-resistant zippered pass-through pocket
  • 6-ply nylon full wrap lower leg reinforcement 
  • 100% chloroprene 3mm neoprene booties for soft and stretchable comfort without bunching
  • Rip-stop stretch Span-dura gravel guards
  • 1.5” wading belt with quick-release buckle
  • B.A.P 3-N-1 Pocketing system

Intricate care and design leave Compass 360 Gear Tailwater waders a viable option for the average fly fisherman. There is something to be said about the quality and these waders are just that. Without breaking the bank, you can hit the water with confidence and full reliance on the durability of the Compass 360 waders.

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Moderate to High Use Options

Redington Escape Waders – $229.99

Redington Escape Waders
Image Credit to Redington Gear

You may be a fly fisherman who spends moderate to high amounts of time on the water and you are looking for waders that will produce the quality and reliability you desire. Redington holds its name as one of the more well-known companies in the fly fishing industry providing anglers with quality yet affordable products. Their Escape Wader line fits the mold of an excellent option for anglers with high expectations of their waders.

Materials and Features:
  • 3-layer upper and 4-layer lower waterproof breathable material 
  • Ergonomic 3mm neoprene booties with increased puncture resistance
  • Large chest storage pocket with water-resistant YKK zipper
  • Chest handwarmer pocket with micro-fleece lining
  • Flip-out YKK zip pocket for storing smaller items
  • Two integrated took docks for tool attachment and access
  • D-ring at center back for hanging a net
  • Integrated gravel guards and lace hook
  • Fully coated corrosion-resistant zipper pulls, and grommets
  • A removable elastic wading belt

At a consumer-friendly price point and optimum quality, the Redington Escape Waders are a great option for anglers who spend a quality amount of time on the water.

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Orvis Ultralight Convertible Waders – $298.00

Orvis Convertable Waders
From Orvis Fly Fishing

No matter how long you’ve been involved with fly fishing, you have surely heard of the Orvis name. Arguably the industry’s most well-known brand, Orvis is known for producing products of the utmost quality. They have made their mark on innovation with the highly versatile Ultralight Wading System. This light-weight design achieves its goal without sacrificing durability and performance. 

Materials and Features Include:
  • 100% Nylon Outer Shell
  • Bi-component Polyurethane
  • 100% Nylon Tricot Liner
  • 4-layer waterproof breathable nylon shell fabric
  • FIDLOCK SNAP magnetic fasteners for waist-high conversion
  • External storage pocket with YKK AquaGuard water-resistant zipper
  • Integrated tool dock and a fly patch on the front pocket
  • Updated anatomical neoprene booties
  • Integrated neoprene gravel guard
  • New low profile seam construction for high-stress areas
  • Internal zipper pockets with four-way stretch power mesh
  • Low profile belt loops with 1.5” stretch belt included
  • Approximate weight of 35 oz

The Orvis Ultralight Convertible Waders provide a sense of versatility unseen in many other wader styles. Because of these features, this system is an excellent option for consideration and will definitely not disappoint.

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High Use Options

Simms G4 Pro Waders – $749.95

Simms G4 Waders
Image Credit to Simms Fishing

If you are the type of fly fisherman who spends multiple days a week on the water, it is necessary to have a pair of waders that can withstand wear and tear. While not for the everyday fisherman due to the steep price point, the Simms G4 Pro Waders are made with the utmost care and attention and are built to last some of the toughest scenarios. Featuring GORE-TEX fabric, these waders are abrasion, puncture, and tear-resistant. Brier and thorn bushes don’t stand a chance when it comes to the Simms G4 Pro Waders.

Materials and Features Include:
  • 3-layer GORE-TEX Pro Shell upper/4-layer GORE-TEX Pro Shell lower
  • Patented compression-molded stockingfeet
  • Top zipped chest pocket with fly patch and tool docking station
  • Zippered, micro-fleece lined reach-thru handwarmer pocket
  • Built-in, lower profile GORE-TEX belt loops
  • Adjustable spacer air-mesh suspender system with opposing Duraflex buckles
  • Shark Fin buckle for hemostat retention
  • Patented front and back leg seams
  • Patented 2mm abrasion resistant built-in gravel guards
  • Anatomically engineered stockingfeet

If you are looking for a pair of waders built for the elements as well as comfort, look no further than the Simms G4 Pro-Line, you won’t be disappointed.

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Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition ZIP-Front Waders – $749.99

Patagonia Swiftcurrent Waders
Image Credit to Patagonia

Sustainability and carbon footprint are two aspects of today’s world that are talked about frequently and deserve the utmost attention. Patagonia is known for its use of recycled materials in all of its products as well as focusing on a sustainable carbon footprint. That being said, they have produced waders for all types of fishermen across the globe. The Swiftcurrent Expedition series is their top of the line product, perfect for anglers who spend a multitude of time on the water.

Materials and Features Include:
  • Durable H2No Performance Standard recycled polyester microfiber shell with a waterproof and breathable barrier along with a durable water repellent finish
  • Single-seam construction for durability and gusseted crotch for freedom of movement
  • Submersible YKK front zipper is fully waterproof; fully adjustable, quick-release suspender system
  • Interior organization; waterproof flip-out pocket; two drop-in stretch pockets; two daisy chains for tools; center-back hanger loop for easy drying
  • Exterior organization: two handwarmer pockets with pocket flaps
  • Articulated legs: removable foam kneepads; heavy-duty scuff guards at ankles
  • Anatomical left and right booties have lower volume and a more sock-like fit for all-day wading comfort
  • Upper: 4-layer, 6.6-oz 100% recycled polyester microfiber high-density taffeta face fabric bonded to 100% recycled polyester backer
  • Lower: 4-layer, 9.4-oz 100% recycled polyester microfiber high-density double-weave taffeta face fabric bonded to 100% recycled polyester backer

The use of recycled materials is a true testament to the sustainable push that Patagonia pursues. Looking to help our carbon footprint while also staying protected on the water? Then the Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Wader line is the perfect fit for you.

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No matter the amount of time spent on the water or your level of expertise, waders are necessary to improve your fly fishing experience. Waders range in quality of materials, design, and price, all of which should be considered when choosing the best option for your fishing style. Now, lace up the boots, grab your rod, hit the water! Tight Lines.

Written by Flylords Content Team Member Grant Michaels. Check out what he is up to here: @gemichaels

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