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Thread: Waders?

  1. #1
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Palmer, AK

    Default Waders?

    I have not owned a pair of waders in probably 10 years since fishing in Florida all I needed was shorts! The market has CHANGED!! I am planning on getting a set for hunting/fishing and I am curious what you all are using? Before the mods move this to the gear section I SPECIFICALY want to know what you are using on the boat!! I fell in sheep creek with hip boots on as a boy and there ain't much in the way of swimming in that situation. So what are you all wearing on the boat? Do you take them off after you launch? I am not looking to spend a fortune but do want to stay dry. I would like to ba able to hunt in them but my main thought is safety. If I fall overboard I would like to be able to do something other than sink. What ya using/recommend Chest/Hips/Breathable/neoprene/rubber/stocking foot/molded boot/magical???

    If this has been covered before please post a link to the thread aparently every 2nd post on the forum references the word "wader" so the search function is purty near useless.

  2. #2


    I wear hip boots or breathable chest waders when running the rivers.
    I always wear a PFD. Normally a float coat but sometimes a vest if it's real warm or a survival suit if it's cold.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default I carry hip boots

    But they stay in the boat and only are used if I run aground or have trouble launching, otherwise I never wear them when running the river. I and everyone in my boat always wear a PFD. Generally an inflatable Mustang.

  4. #4
    Member garnede's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    soon to be back in Alaska


    I have a pair of waist high breathables. The belt at the waist prevents then from filling up with water, too quickly anyway. Last year I wore chest waiders and they were too hot for most days.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

  5. #5


    Hip boots in my opinion are just sea anchors in most cases. In very shallow water or for launching the boat is one thing, but actually wading in current over your knees is just asking for it. Again, that is only my opinion.
    Personally I have been wearing chest high breathables for years now (always with a waist belt), but am going to go with a pair of waist high breathables this year. I'm in the drift boat quite a bit and waist highs make more sense to me. I also do quite a bit of float tubing where the chest highs will come back out.

  6. #6
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    To me it just isn't worth the risk to wear hip or chest waders on a boat. I usually just wear my lowcut x-tra tuffs, but will be taking a pair of knee high extra tuffs this year.

    IMHO, if you can't stay dry with rubber boots in a boat, you are doing something wrong.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Anchorage, Alaska


    If you wear a PFD with your waders you will have no problems with the boat anchor effect.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Eagle River, AK

    Default A vot for waste -highs

    Over the 30+ yrs I've been here in Alaska I can safely say I've tried literally everything out there possible, from knee-highs to chest waders, to just plain ol' levis.
    Personal taste for me are the waste-high stocking-foot breathables. They are as comfortable as you'll probably ever get. You can jump in and out of the boat and not really worry about water flowing over or splashing in your nice dry pants. You can then use either felt-sole boots/shoes for slippery rock areas, or non-felt shoes/boots for the sandy areas.

    The knee-high guys are probably definately either S.E. Alaska guys ( where it makes great sense ) or strictly saltwater harbor and dock people. Launch, load, and land larger boats in lakes for any length of time and you'll look for something that will take you a little deeper and stay dryer.

    Hip boots are fine as long as you don't wade too deep or are clumsy.

    I'm clumsy. ( Actually--- it's the ROCKS fault!!

  9. #9

    Default Rubber boots, rubber pants

    Isn't the normal dress on a boat on the ocean, rubber boots and rubber bib pants?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    I wear breathable waders any time I'm going to be running a river and sometimes in the lakes as well, I find them to wear like khaki's and I always wear a belt...or else they are an even bigger sea anchor. If you are going to run some real skinny jet water...someone may need to be in waders to hold you in the deep water and then hop in as you hole shot it out of there, I've even done it solo. I never tried the waist high's but am so used to chest waders I don't see the advantage, they cost nearly as much and cover two thirds of chest highs.

    garnede "I have a pair of waist high breathables. The belt at the waist prevents then from filling up with water, too quickly anyway. Last year I wore chest waiders and they were too hot for most days."

    Man, I wanna visit that part of Alaska .

  11. #11


    Salt water Extra Tuffs plus bibs, any thing else let me know so can watch you go skating across the deck. In the river I would bring breath able chest waders. If something gets hung up on the motor you can get out and lean over and not fill your boots, but I also like to clam dig in chest waders. I hate kneeling down and water seeping over my knees. I seem to find the holes in the rivers that take me just a little deeper then what ever I'm wearing, regular boots, hip boots so far not chest waders.

  12. #12


    chest waders worn with a wading belt act as a life preserver. many people do not realize and panic causing them to not work properly.

  13. #13

    Default chest waders and life jacket

    breathable bootfoot chest waders and snug fit life jacket.
    I am always dry, have not got too hot, and will float like a cork.....

  14. #14
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Last civilized place on the planet


    Most times on the rivers xtra-tuffs are adequate for launching and loading, alot of times I have done it in hiking boots. Depends on the time of year and where you are going/doing, if its august count on something waterproof and its defintely a good idea to have them on the boat, ya never know and the water is damm cold here.
    I bought some chest high breathables last year and really like them, i dont put them on unless i need em and havent yet for launching, i am sure that day is coming.
    The cool thing I am kinda proud of is the shoes for the foam bottom waders, Instead of the high priced boots they sell. i went to value village, yes, with my waders in tow, and found a pair on $5.00 tennies to fit over them, yeah I think i ended up with some size 12's but so what, they work great and the price was right, hey if yer worried about looks yer feet are in the water anyway!!!!!!

  15. #15
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Eagle River

    Default Different situations, different solutions -

    High water, low water - lots of dragging... hot weather/cold weather...

    Although my float experience is still limited, I have had few complaints with chest waders + wader belt and PFD combo. On low water float with frequent dragging, wearing waders was handy. In deeper water, chest waders gave me more options (I could help push raft off boulders in deeper water).

    Two friends wear hip waders instead - with belt holstered pistols, a combo that seemed practical and was definitely cooler when the weather got warm. They also caught about twice as many fish - an unrelated fact I hope.

    Some guides seem to favor hip boots, probably also for good reasons.

    Some chest waders allow you to fold down the top, which might be handy.


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