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Waders, Waders, Waders. My waders suck.

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  • Waders, Waders, Waders. My waders suck.

    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?

  • #2
    I don't have a good answer but I recently stressed over the same basic issue. I was down to the simms g3 and Patagonia rio galagos. I found a reasonable deal at mt view sports on the G3's with their 10% off fathers-day sale. I only have a few days in the water on them but they are a world apart from any of the budget waders I have used so far. Durability isn't something I can speak to obviously but they get a 10 in comfort from me.

    Just to muddy the waters some, my buddy has some seriously hard miles on a set of High end Patagonia waders that he swears by.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by LuJon View Post

      Just to muddy the waters some, my buddy has some seriously hard miles on a set of High end Patagonia waders that he swears by.
      Yep. Patagonia makes some dang good waders, so does SIMMS, either one of those brands are the top choices. I like Patagonia for their warranty as much as their product. The merino lined feet sure are a nice feature.
      “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
      "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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      • #4
        I would buy some cheap but decent Cabelas (or similar) neoprene to dip (if from shore) in and some good breathable waders for everything else.

        I know you don't want multiple pairs, but my two cents.

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        • #5
          Probably not the answer you want but I agree with mike h. If you need warm waders then get a good pair of neoprene waders with boot feet. I have a pair from Cabela's that I have used for years duck hunting and they are great. I don't have to get all bundled up under them and usually would just wear some decent wool socks and fleece wader pants and I could stand in 33* water and be warm.

          For a pair of lightweight waders, the options are endless as you are finding. I just don't think you are going to be happy with one set of waders to do it all. However, I would go with whichever you will use more first. So, if you don't need the warmth as much as you need the light weight, go with some fishing waders and see if they keep you warm enough when it gets cold.

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          • #6
            I just pick up lightweight waders at Sportman Warehouse for $80 and they also had a pair for $60.

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            • #7
              Drake makes the best ones for hunters ice hunted fished and dipnetted in mine I sweat my ass off unless it's cold but they're dry and warm the entire time. Catch them on sale you dint regret it. They're normally around $300
              Sportsmans has some lightweight ones for under $100 right now. I picked up a pair of insulated hip boots for $60 they're money when it's hot out.

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              • #8
                I use drake for duck hunting they have worked well for me
                Is it opening day of duck season yet
                Member of Alaska Waterfowl Association

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dogbuster0006 View Post
                  Drake makes the best ones for hunters ice hunted fished and dipnetted in mine I sweat my ass off unless it's cold but they're dry and warm the entire time. Catch them on sale you dint regret it. They're normally around $300
                  Sportsmans has some lightweight ones for under $100 right now. I picked up a pair of insulated hip boots for $60 they're money when it's hot out.
                  Thanks for making my truck famous -- the red Dodge in the background. I remember dipping around you Wednesday night, and my son and I stopped briefly to chat with you and your buddy late that night as you were finishing filleting on the North beach.


                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                  • #10
                    That's awesome!!! We were zoned out at that point its always cool to meet people you know on the forums

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                    • #11
                      The OPs question is like asking what boat to buy for fishing the kenai and the barrens. The answer is neither, you really new multiple sets of waders for all the tasks you've listed, in my opinion of course!


                      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                      • #12
                        Go with Simms g3 convertible waders...you won't regret it. Didn't think about the waist highs until I bought them. I can think of one time I really had to convert them to chest highs to cross the klutina. Layer up under them and you should be fine. I wouldn't even think about a pair of neoprene. Too each their own. I would buy another paid or convertible g3s in a heartbeat. I'm not using them at all lately, so I guess I'm pro longing the life. [emoji6]
                        You know your not catching any fish when you start talking about the weather...


                        http://www.alaskansalmonslayers.com/

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bigcox View Post
                          Go with Simms g3 convertible waders...you won't regret it. Didn't think about the waist highs until I bought them. I can think of one time I really had to convert them to chest highs to cross the klutina. Layer up under them and you should be fine. I wouldn't even think about a pair of neoprene. Too each their own. I would buy another paid or convertible g3s in a heartbeat. I'm not using them at all lately, so I guess I'm pro longing the life. [emoji6]
                          I second the Simms G3 convertible. I have yet to unzip them from the pants in 3 years. You can hike in them with out getting too hot and always have the ability to unzip and turn into chest waders if the need ever arises.

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                          • #14
                            Who sells Simms waders in Anchorage? I was just in 6th Ave an hour ago and didn't see any, and I odn't recall seeing anything other than Cabela's brands in Cabela's. Haven't been into SW or B&J's yet.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
                              Who sells Simms waders in Anchorage? I was just in 6th Ave an hour ago and didn't see any, and I odn't recall seeing anything other than Cabela's brands in Cabela's. Haven't been into SW or B&J's yet.
                              Mountain view sports or mossys fly shop come to mind.
                              You know your not catching any fish when you start talking about the weather...


                              http://www.alaskansalmonslayers.com/

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