Did you know that in 2017, over 49 million Americans participating in freshwater, saltwater, and fly fishing? If you're thinking about taking up the hobby, you may be wondering what kind of gear you'll need to stay cool and dry. Whether it is from pursuing a fishing hobby or whatever else gets you out into the wilderness, waterproof waders are an ideal way to stay dry near or in water.
Before purchasing a set of waders, be sure to know what they are going to be used regularly for. There simply is not a single set that can be ideal for every situation. For example, neoprene fishing waders usually run about 3mm thickness for warmer fishing but go up to 5mm thickness for colder water. Where and when the waders will be used is going to directly influence the final purchase. While light hip waders could be great in the summer season they might not be ideal in those cold winter waters. That is why tip number one for all new wader purchases is to clearly understand the environment they will be used in.
Tip two is all about the material. Different materials have different benefits and drawbacks. Rubber waders, while heavy and stiff with less comfort, are tough and less expensive. As a great choice for folks on a budget, rubber hip waders would not be ideal for someone willing to spend more on material. Neoprene is perhaps the most popular wader material due to its insulation, weight, and durability.
For the third tip it is all about style. After the season and material are identified then it becomes about wear preference. Is it a better fit for you and your needs to have hip waders or chest high waders? That determination is entirely dependent upon individual need.
Next up, it is important to choose wading boots or wading shoes. Stocking foot waders allow for comfortable footing options by being able to fit into various boots. A boot-foot wader would not offer such. There is also a lot to say about the type of sole. Felt, for example, is great for gripping power on slick surfaces but rubber is better in mud.
Bonus Tip for New Anglers: Stand Firm and Go With the Flow
Wading takes some getting accustomed to for first-timers. Beginners can greatly benefit from knowing to stand firm. Create a wide standing base when on slippery surfaces. Learn to the slide your feet.
Go with the flow as it is easier and safer. The most common reason for falling into the water is your feet slipping out. Work with your barriers as much as possible to improve energy usage, and remember to keep moving ahead. Balance and recovery are generally better moving sideways or forward. A good rule is that a starting point for river crossing is at a 45-degree angle.
So in conclusion, it is beneficial for folks to do a little studying up on their personal needs when choosing their waders. Try a couple different styles through friends and family if possible. Now get out there and stay dry.