Fishing waders are the best thing since, well, fishing waders. They are a staple requirement for any keen angler. Waders are used to help you reach further waters and fish in areas of rivers and lakes which may have previously been off limits.
They keep you warm, dry and safe whilst you are waist deep in what could be 4 – 5ft of water. Chest waders, in particular, allow you to reach deeper water. More and more anglers are deciding to purchase and use waders for a better fishing experience.
Waders are also great for when you are fishing in shallow waters where the fish may be a little further out. Or when you are fishing where there maybe brushy reeds and you need to walk out a little to get a better cast.
Getting out into the water makes your fishing more enjoyable and that little bit extra fun. Don’t forget waders are great for all day long, no need to worry about sitting down for a spot of lunch and getting a soggy bottom!
Fishing waders come in three different lengths;
Hip waders – Hip waders look like the leather chaps cowboys used to wear. They cover from your foot to your hip and attach onto a belt. This type of wader is used in summer and in easy fishing conditions. They are suitable for streams and creeks with an easy current.
Waist Waders – Waist waders are similar to a pair of water-proof over pants. They are more durable and offer more protection when fishing in deeper or more testing conditions. You wouldn’t want to use them where there are any waves though!
Chest waders – Chest waders are the dungaree of the fishing world. They are a full body suit with straps or buckles which go over the shoulders. They are the most versatile type of fishing wader and come with the most protection. They come in materials suitable for allw2fishing conditions and weather conditions.
There are two main types of waders, Bootfoot or Stockingfoot.
Bootfoot waders are the simplest type of wader. They have a rubber boot welded to the bottom of the wader which allows for easy on/off and you don’t need to purchase a set of boots separately. They are fine if you are fishing in relatively shallow waters without any or minimum rocks.
They are mainly suitable for summer fishing and for very easy fishing conditions. The boot itself often doesn’t offer much in terms of ankle support, so you wouldn’t want to be wearing them anywhere you could potentially damage your ankle on unstable ground.
Another issue with Bootfoot waders is that they come in limited sizes. Someone with a wider size 9 foot, for example, may find they offer more support than someone with a slimmer size 9 foot. If you always fish low waters, in warmer conditions then maybe Bootfoot waters are a decent choice.
When looking at Bootfoot waders you should always check the quality of the boot and how sturdy they are. Slip-resistant soles are a lifesaver. Rubber soles are suitable for different types of terrains and are usually the best material.
Rubber soles with studs or cleats are a great choice when it comes to Bootfoot waders. You will get good traction underwater and in muddy conditions. We advise you to avoid any boots with porous felt soles as they have been known to provide great conditions for organisms to survive and be transported from one area to another.
Many places won’t actually allow this type of Bootfoot wader to be used in their waters anymore.
Stockingfoot waders are a lot more versatile. They are a wader with a neoprene sock welded to the bottom of the wader. This sock acts as a waterproof barrier, you can then purchase any wading boots you like and wear them on top.
There are a couple of great things about Stockingfoot waders which make them the preferable option. You can choose whichever boots you prefer, we are all different and having a choice of footwear when walking and having out feet submerged under water for hours in a little luxury I think we should all get.
If your boots get damaged, they are easy to replace. Unlike with Bootfoot waders where you would have to replace the whole wader or pay for repairs. When the sun is shining brightly in summer and the rivers are low you can also wear your wading boots without your waders.
If you fancy a bit of winter fishing having a sturdy and insulated set of wading boots can make a huge difference in how long you can stay in the water. The boots, along with the neoprene sock will keep a warm and protected layer from your skin and the icy waters.
There are certain other luxuries you can look for in your waders, which include;
- Knee Padding
- Gravel guards
Knee pads – Knee pads are a given. When we are out fishing, we spend a lot of times on our knees. A bit of padding or knee guards will hugely improve the aches and pains you feel from a full day out on the lake.
Gravel guards – Gravel guards will keep any stones and dirt out of your pockets. If you are out fishing in 3-4 feet of water or more, with the swish of waves debris could fill your pockets. Pockets full of debris and dirt will make you heavier and make it harder for you to manoeuvre around.
Pockets – Some fishing waders come with pockets. Some don’t. Judge of what you think you may need with you when you’re waist deep in a lake or river. Having extra flies and a disgorger easily accessible only makes your life easier.
The Best Fishing Waders
Best Budget Fishing Waders
Caddis wading systems have been developing fishing waders for over 9 years. They offer a vast selection of some of the best fishing waders on the market. Caddis continually aim to innovate the fishing wader world and offer a huge variation of waders.
The men’s two-tone taupe deluxe breathable stocking foot wader is exactly the kind of high quality and durability we have come to know and love about Caddis.
- 2 -tone taupe color
- Heavy-duty polyester material
- CaddisDry breathable technology
- Reinforced knees
- Attached gravel guards
- Seams taped, glued and stitched
- Foot taped inside and out
- Quad pockets
- High-density neoprene soles
- Lightweight and breathable
- Four pockets
- Reinforced knees and gravel guards
- Huge selections of sizes available
- Thin material – may snag if caught on a sharp branch
- Not suitable for winter fishing
Overall Caddis have produced an exceptional wader on a budget. It has all the luxuries you would expect to pay a premium for including quad pockets, reinforced knees, and Caddisdry technology.
CaddisDry fabric has a waterproof, breathable layer which allows small molecules of vapor to pass out of the wader into the air/water. It does this whilst stopping any water from entering the wader – Keeping your dry.
The Caddis fishing wader has ample room around the crotch area, if you sit down in them, they don’t ride up and give you a wedgie (always good news) and there is room in the neoprene sock to fit a nice thick pair of socks.
Best Fishing Waders for Strong Currents
Redington is hardly a name I need to introduce to even amateur fishermen. Redington has been producing some of the best quality fishing and hunting gear for many years. They never cease to amaze and they build products to last.
- 100% Polyester
- 3 -Layer DWR
- Chest Pocket
- Flip out Internal Pocket
- Double Layer Knee for More Comfort
- Fleece Lined Hand Warmer Pockets
- Includes Wading Belt and Gravel Guard
- Triple layer construction
- Fleece lined hand pocket
- Double layer knee
- No Knee padding
- Only Two Pockets
- No stretch around the crotch area
At the end of the day, Redington waders are the go-to fly fishing wader for many people and we can see why. This is a sturdy wader which will hold up against small snags and scratches. You won’t have to worry as much about making your way up trails to get to lakes off the track, so to speak.
We didn’t like the limited crotch movement, but it is a small price to pay for a pair of waders which are that little bit tougher for stronger fishing conditions. The reinforced knees could’ve done with padding.
The neoprene sock is comfortable and the wading suit itself is true to fit. There is plenty of room inside the two pockets and the Fleece lined hand warmer pocket is a nice trick. The wader is made from a triple layer breathable material so you will not overheat on a long summers’ day fishing trip.
The last in the lineup and the toughest. To finish up we wanted to make sure we had you covered for those cold weather expeditions. After all, a little cold is no reason to not fish. These, surprise surprise, are also the only waders in the line-up which are Bootfoot.
Hodgman’s has a long history deeply embedded in America history. First on the scene in 1838 Hodgman’s has gone through many owners. Something things though always remained the same.
Hodgman’s has always produced outstandingly quality products. Especially when it comes to their outdoors range. Hodgman’s gear is tested by themselves before they even decide it is suitable to go on sale.
All of Hodgman’s range is based upon a simple principle ‘We don’t sell our waders and apparel until we’ve field tested it and beat it up to the point, we are absolutely sure that you can’t find a better protective garment’.
The Hodgman Caster neoprene wader suit is no exception. Perfect for fishing in colder weather this chest wader is made thick neoprene and covers you in terms of warmth, durability and utility.
- 3.5mm Neoprene Shell
- Reinforced Double – Layered Knees
- Top Entry Pocket with Fleece Lined Hand Warmer
- 200g Thinsulate Rubber Boot with Cleated Soles
- Y – Back Elastic Suspender Straps
- Built-in Gravel Guard
- Rear D – Rings for net
- Two Front D Rings for Accessories
- Thick and Durable
- Cold Weather Suitable
- Fleece Lined Hand Warmer Pocket
- Inside Netted Pocket for Valuables
- Very Warm for Summer Fishing
- Could do with more Pockets
- Can only use them with the fitted Boots
Yes, these are Bootfoot so we aren’t and we are sure you aren’t surprised that they come with a fitted boot! This is great for winter fishing as a lot of the time it is too cold to be messing around with laces and separate shoes.
Bootfoot winter suitable waders are just slip on and go. They are quite thick and the neoprene materials holds in heat well. Even though they are thick they don’t limit movement. Kneeling down to kiss a prized catch isn’t an issue.
The boots are Thinsulate and although they don’t offer as much ankle protection as a separate pair of wading or walking boots would they aren’t terrible either.
So, with all this in mind, we recommend you think about the type of fishing you do the most. We have covered you for, hopefully, all seasons.
Just remember when wading always think safety;
- Wading is a skill and takes time to practice
- Wading deep doesn’t always result in the best fish – sometimes you can scare them off
- Always wear an automatic life jacket – If you ever injure your head this will keep you afloat as you may not be able to blow up a manual one
- Using a wading stick is a good way to check depth and to lean on if you get stuck
- Be careful in fast flowing water
- Be careful if you have a net on your back – If you fall underwater it could get snagged on the rocks making it hard to get up