One of the most vital pieces of gear a fly fisher can have is a durable pair of waders. Without them, the angler can only cast their line from the stream’s edge. Waders allow fly fishers to stand right in the stream without worrying about getting their clothes drenched. But there’s a wide selection of them for different purposes. Therefore, you should know what to consider when choosing wading gear for the best experience possible.
Dress for the Weather
If you must deal with the heat of summer or the chilling breeze of winter, you need to be sure to have a pair of waders that can protect you from the elements. Waders can come in several different thicknesses. Each one works best for a particular season.
Make sure you don’t have something too thick during the summer, or you’ll be sweating more than fishing. Dealing with overheating in the summer or freezing in the winter isn’t good and can actually put you in danger. Dress for the occasion and have separate gear for summer and winter.
Make Sure You Have the Right Height
Typically, waders come in three different heights, and the one you need depends on the depth of the water. The shortest variation is the hip wader, which resembles chaps and attaches to your belt. Hip waders find the most use in shallow waters that are knee-high or lower.
The middle height version is the waist wader, also known as wading pants. Anglers wear these over their pants, allowing for unrestricted movement of the upper body. Fly fishers should use waist waders in thigh-high water.
The longest type is the chest wader. Its design is similar to overalls, as it buckles over the shoulders and covers the chest area. It offers the most protection from water but can prove very restrictive to your movement. Anglers need these when they wade through water that passes their waist.
Consider the Different Styles
Waders come in two different styles: stocking-foot and boot-foot waders. Stocking-foot waders come with neoprene booties, and you must wear separate boots over them. Without using a proper boot, the stocking-foot acts as the name suggests—like a stocking. You can’t maintain traction while out in the water, increasing the danger of tripping or puncturing the material.
Conversely, boot-foot waders come with the boots already attached, eliminating the need to purchase your own. While this is convenient, you may find that the boot doesn’t fit your foot correctly, increasing discomfort, especially on longer trips.
Purchase What You Need
Picking out the right fly fishing wading gear requires you to know where you intend to fish and what time of year you plan to do it. Know what to consider when deciding on waders and be aware that they may not serve you year-round. Always show up to a trip prepared with the right equipment.