Best Fly Fishing Waders

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Best Fly Fishing Waders

If there is one activity that is most associated with waders it is fly fishing. If you ask any serious angler who chases their favorite fish in the local stream, what is the one thing that makes their life more comfortable? The answer 9 times out of 10 is a good pair a waders. Finding the best fly fishing waders can be tough, but in this article I will share with you some of my favorites that have treated me well over the years.

1. Hodgman Caster Neoprene Cleated Bootfoot Chest Waders

This was one of the first waders that I have owned and I have never been disappointed. Hodgman makes a strong set of waders that holds up to almost anything I can throw at it, (Barbwire fence caught me once) all while not breaking the bank. 

The reason why this was one of my first wader purchases is mainly because of the price. But the quality is what kept me coming back to it. The Caster model has a convenient large front pouch perfect for storing any fly boxes or gear you have with you. Be careful though as this pocket is not waterproof. so all important items (wallet or phone) should not be kept here. It also comes with an inside mesh pocket that zips close. This is perfect for items that you want to have extra security. this is where I keep my phone, that way I know that if i miss the pocket it will simply fall into the inside of the waders and not into the water. 

These waders are equipped with 3mm Neoprene with an attached cleated boot. The Shins and knees are reinforced for added durability. One of the downsides to these waders is the cleated boot does not have good traction either on the boat ramp or while walking on large algy covered rocks. More that once I have tested my balance while trying to navigate to my favorite honey hole. While the 3mm thick Neoprene is must for cooler temps it can be a little to much for warmer temperatures. I wouldn’t recommend this wader if you only plan on fishing during the dog days of summer. For warmer weather I would recommend the Frogg Toggs Piot II.

Pros

  • Get a lot for your money
  • Great for cooler temps
  • 200g of Thinsulate
  • Rear D-ring 

Cons

  • Traction on cement or large rocks
  • Front pocket is not waterproof

2. COMPASS 360 Deadfall Breathable Chest Wader

Compass 360’s Deadfall chest wader is a can’t beat fishing wader. A no thrills, work horse with a budget to match makes it an ideal choice for any fly fisherman. 

The Deadfall chest waders are made of durable 4-ply Nylon on the legs and chest. These are bootie style made of 4mm stockings that are ergonomically designed to prevent bunching and conforms to each foot for the perfect fit. The knee and shin area has reinforced 2 layer protection. While these features may seem somewhat standard, what makes these waders outstanding is the 2-N-1 Chest Pocket. This chest pocket is fitted with a secure zipper storage and a  fleece lined pass through pocket allowing for maximum dry storage. You can expect to fit keys, phone and a small tackle box in this pocket with ease. The fleece lining also allows you to warm up your digits quickly to tie on your next killer fly. These waders also feature a well designed gravel guard. 

Be sure to check out Compass 360’s size chart to ensure you order the correct size. 

Pros

  • Large Waterproof Chest Pocket
  • Idea for warmer temps
  • Form fitting gravel guards
  • Neoprene booties for added insulation

Cons

  • Lack of insulation
  • Belt Loops seem to be in awkward positions
  • Only footie style, will need to bring wading shoes

3. Hogman Gamewade PVC Waders

For the fisherman on go, a must have wader set is the Hogman Gamewade PVC waders. These waders are a fantastic set for those that travel or those that hike into their favorite backwater stream. These waders come with a convenient storage bag that fits into any back pack. Made from 25 mm PVC, they don’t provide much for insulation or reinforced durability, but they serve it purpose wonderfully. 

I use this waders when I know that I have long hike into a backwater hole. Often times I have to cross barbwire or an area that has thick thorns. These areas, I would prefer not to have to worry about poking a leak in my gear. If I can leave them in my pack until i get to my destination, it is one less thing to worry about. 

Another great aspect of these waders is, whenever I am traveling for work, these fit well into my suitcase. Pair these waders with a collapsible fly rod and it makes for a much more enjoyable trip.

Pros

  • Excellent for the fisherman on the go
  • Lightweight enough to travel or fly with
  • Inside pocket

Cons

  • Lack of insulation
  • Not very durable
  • Only footie style, will need to bring wading shoes

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