I want to try to buy some new waders. For this season and last year, I borrowed two pair of identical waders (pro line neoprene stocking foot w/ boots) from extended family. They were, of course old when I got them and, of course, don't fit so well (snug in the midsection and boots two sizes too big). But they also leak like swiss cheese. Aqua Seal works wonders, but every time I go in the water, I discover a new hole.
I need ONE set of waders to do double or triple duty. I need waders I can dip net in, duck hunt in, sport fish in, and possibly, float hunt in. As always with me, budget is a big deal, but if I can buy one set of do-it-all waders for less than the cost of two or three sets of waders, I can justify the pain of laying out big bucks for a pair of waders. I doubt I can justify buying multiple sets of waders. Also, I put a high priority on durability; I don't want to have this conversation again for at least 8-10 years.
Shopping around the Cabela's and BPS sites and looking at what others are using, I feel like I have two basic options. I can get heavy, neoprene waders or a lightweight, breathable (such as a fly fishing type) waders. From there, I can either get stocking foot with boots or boot footed waders.
Likewise, I have two schools of thought on this. The first is that neoprene will work well and keep me warm dip netting and duck hunting, but may be overkill and hot during summer fishing. The second school of thought is that lightweight, breathable waders can be worn over as many layers of polypro and fleece as I need for the prevailing weather. I'm not sure if either is more or less prone to punctures and tears than the other. Am I off base here?
With regards to footing, I have no idea. I have heard that boot footed waders always end up leaking where the boot top and the wader seam are glued together. Then again, one of my borrowed pairs of stocking foot neoprenes has massive holes in that same area with no boot seam there. Is there a particular style I should either gravitate toward or avoid?
Sizing. I'm not getting a handle on these sizing charts. It seems to me that none of the boot sizes match the body sizes well, or at least well enough to fit me. How do I balance needing a relatively small boot size (9-10) for needing a Santa Claus chest size (200-300)?
Anyway, these are my thoughts on what I think I need and what I think is available (correct me if I'm wrong). What are your thoughts?