breathable wader recommendations? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: breathable wader recommendations?

04-26-2004, 04:53 PM
Anyone have any opinions on which breathable waders to buy? I've been looking at three similar models:

- Orvis Pro Guide II ($289)

- LL Bean Wicked Tough ($299)

- Simms G3 Guide ($425)

All three of these seem to have similar features (3-ply fabric, with 5-ply reinforcement on legs and seat, handwarmer pockets, etc), but the Simms are obviously in a different price category. (Are they that much better?)

My main concern is getting tough (yet breathable) waders that resist abrasion and punctures, particularly since I wear them duck hunting as well as flyfishing . . .

04-26-2004, 10:01 PM
Only if they come stuffed with the Hardy girl.:chuckle:

04-27-2004, 12:01 AM
simms classic guide... PERIOD!

04-27-2004, 12:28 AM
Would second the recommendation for the Simms classic guide. I've used this and the G3 and would rather have it regardless of the lower price of the two!

I also hear Dan Bailey's are excellent . Orvis seems to be hit or miss with people. -mostly miss.

04-27-2004, 12:43 AM
they have several models,reasonable price,,great revues,me included,,,redshed flyshop,,,.:D

04-27-2004, 06:30 AM
What is going on here? $425 for a pair of waders !! Way out of line price wise. I'm sure you could get a pair that would do the job for less money. If you got the Orvise and they failed you get another pair free no questions asked. But I still think that $425 is a bit much for a pair of waders. Just my .02

04-27-2004, 08:23 AM
Originally posted by JDJones
Only if they come stuffed with the Hardy girl.:chuckle:
... which would no doubt get you a Hardy rod too ;)

04-27-2004, 08:51 AM
Originally posted by FishHawk
But I still think that $425 is a bit much for a pair of waders. :smokin:

Seems awfully high to me too, but if they last significantly longer than others, then the price might be worth it. I usually get three years out of a pair of $180 waders . . . but most of those three years is spent wet and uncomfortable, since they usually start leaking after a month or two. If I can get three to five dry years out of the Simms, I'll spend the extra money.

Of course, if I can get three to five dry years out of the Bean or Orvis varieties and save $125, even better . . .

04-27-2004, 08:55 AM
I've had a pair of Cabela's Premium waders for three years and they're (knock on wood) still going strong. I believe they were around $200.

North Island
04-27-2004, 09:49 AM
I have the simms now, for the past 2 years they have performed excellently. A month ago I had a stick poke right the fabric about mid thigh. Simms have an great warranty, but this is not a warranty issue. my point is no matter how good the waders are they do sustain damage in the course of everyday fishing.

Next pair of waders I get I probably won't spend the extra deniro for the best pair available. I like the idea of getting a new pair every 2-3 years. that way you get all new including the weakest part of a wader, the neoprene stocking foot. also I will be less inclined to worry about any damage which may happen.


04-27-2004, 10:26 AM
I like simms waders because I never need the warentee. thats whats valuable to me.. I fish a lot and I fish very hard. when I go bushwacking i give no consideration at all to the potential damage that they may sustain. with that type of fishing my first pair of simms guides lasted 4 years, then a tore a hole in the back of the leg walking through a bog in the Hoh.. patch kit and some aqua seal and they lasted another year and a half. though they are leaking off and on now it's not difficult to find the leaks and repair them with aquaseal Sunday I fished all day and stayed bone dry and today there is a brand new pair on my doorstep that I ordered just a week ago. I guess I have 2 pairs now.. Simms guide gortex are a bargain at full retail..

04-27-2004, 11:11 AM
in fishing waders,,aren't there some decent bootfoot camo waders out there for that,;cheap,real cheap,,,good fishing waders/boots,,,,are well worth the money spent!;)

Tod D
04-27-2004, 11:25 AM
Going on year 7 w/a pair of LLBean neoprenes. Fish, dig clams, and have gone duck hunting in them. Tried on the Bean wicked toughs a few weeks back. Very, very nice IMHO...

Had 5 pairs of Redington breathables in 5 years, have to keep sending them back w/ leaks. May be time to make the switch.

04-27-2004, 11:47 AM
Bean's toughest waders are the Bomber series, which are reinforced with Kevlar in the lower leg region. Almost as pricy as the Simms at $385/pair. The Wicked Tough waders simply have more layers of Gore-Tex in the legs, but no Kevlar.

04-27-2004, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by Hammer
don't see duck hunting in fishing waders,,aren't there some decent bootfoot camo waders out there for that,;cheap,real cheap,,,

I tend to hunt beaver ponds, which require a bit of a hike to get to. Hiking off trail through the woods in bootfoot neoprene, while carrying a bag of cork decoys, a shotgun, and a couple of boxes of shells, is hell . . .

04-27-2004, 12:56 PM
You get what you pay for{usually}and in this case it's hard to recommend anything but the SIMMS. I 've owned a few different manufacturers and have to say that these waders perform as advertised and might exceed your expectations. For frequent and long fishing these are good.

04-27-2004, 02:22 PM
This thread brings up a question that I've been wondering recently: is it possible to dye waders? Mine are tan in coloration; I'd like something green.

Dble Haul
04-27-2004, 03:08 PM
I'm a fan of the breathable waders for the reasons previously stated....neoprene can lead to sweat (even in cold conditions), and the sweat can chill a body even more.

Dyeing waders? Hmmmm, never considered that. Mine are tan/sage/hazelnut/whatever you kids are calling it these days, which are a nice nuetral color and a real bonus for a tall angler like myself. Personally I think that any neutral/natural color is good unless the majority of your fishing is done in waters with one specific backdrop color and/or very educated fish.

04-27-2004, 03:41 PM
Yup, it's the background color I was thinking about: most of the streams I find myself fishing are densely forested, and the tan seems to stick out like a sore thumb against all of the green. I may just fish these one more year then use them only for saltwater, and get myself a pair of camo waders for freshwater.

04-27-2004, 05:28 PM
one more vote for the Simms. They cost a third more and last twice as long (or longer). Hole another pair of waders, and you'll get a new pair. Sims repairs their waders. Because they can (made in USA), and because they are WORTH repairing.
North Island is the first Simms owner that I have ever heard of that wouldn't get another pair....he'll be back.

04-27-2004, 06:00 PM
I guess I'll Have to be the second non repeat Simms owner.

I've had mine for maybe four or five years. They've been back for repairs three trimes. The last time, they re-taped, repaired leaks, and replaced the booties. I was waderless for three or four weeks and it cost me $75. That was in December. Even so, I have been fighting leaks around the tops of the booties for a couple of months now.

Some will say that I've gotten my use out of them. But at $425 and with only a two year warrenty, I will opt for Cabelas, LL Bean, or someone else for less money. I suspect that todays "other brand" wader technology is as good as my four or five year old Simms, maybe better. And I would much rather have them replaced rather than repaired when they start leaking. New waders, and faster service.

North Island
04-27-2004, 06:01 PM
Hi Eddie,
I did repair the hole and still use the same pair. I don't think I've left yet.

:) N I

04-27-2004, 06:09 PM
simms vs. orvis breathable waders? Check the guarantee: Orvis is lifetime, Simms is one year. Since most of us will agree that breathable bootfoot waders all seem to leak at the bootfoot/wader seamline, why not choose the wader with the best guarantee?

beau purvis
04-27-2004, 06:24 PM
no one has mentioned Patagonia! No one have any. I have had good luck with them. Like the features, which simms has copied now>Beau

04-28-2004, 07:13 AM
You all have made good points for the Simms. But the price still bothers me. For $425 you could buy three Temple Fork fly rods!!As long as we pay that price it will never come down. Perhaps I'm wrong but I still think you could get a good pair of breathable waders for half the price. It's the same with fly lines. Come on now $60 for a flyline. Way over priced. So here is what I do on that item. When the line wears out I simply send it back and get a new one. So I guess I answered the question. Buy the Orvis with the better guarantee and send them back and get a new pair. Why spend $75 additional dollars to repair your expensive
$425 waders? I'll get off the soapbox now. Just my .02

04-28-2004, 10:43 AM
Let me clarify that. My waders were way past the warranty and in pretty bad shape.

Still, when others are offering a lifetime warranty on waders that cost $100 less it makes better sense to me to go with the less expensive waders. And after this latest go around with damned near a whole tube of aqua seal, I've been looking at the competition. And the competition looks good.

Mean Mr Mustard
04-28-2004, 11:04 AM
A cheap pair of Hodgemans and save the bucks. One caveate: buy at least one size TOO LARGE. I have found most non-puncture leaks in waders to be a result of seam breakage caused by - you got it, a too tight fit. I can fit comfortably in a Large with room to spare yet I buy X-Large and have had no failures in seams.

And if you're bush wacking, buy a pair of chaps (or make a pair yourself).


04-28-2004, 11:06 AM
Also let me clarify I cannot afford to have to use the warentee on the products I use. I don't have time to semd them back to the manufacturer The absolutely have to perform!! Simma has been the only wader that has ever done that for me. and the only wader that has lasted more than a season..

Those of you who are in manufacturing in America.. how many of your prices have gone down in the last 10 years?
Simms make The best waders on the planet , not arguably the best they are THE best, and sells them at the price the market will tolerate. thats called an excellent business.

04-28-2004, 11:30 AM
For $425 you could buy three Temple Fork fly rods!!

Yeah but IMHO waders are more important than a fly rod for the fishing I do. I could have the best rod on the planet and it aint going to do me any good if I am miserable on the water. You do not want to be winter steelheading in crappy waders.

I tried redingtons, hodgemans, and orvis and they all lasted about a year. I have had my G3s for about a year and no signs of leaks. If they last me 3 yearsuntil the warranty runs out(will most likely last much longer) I figure < $150 a year aint a bad investment.

Like Rob I do not want to deal with warranties as they are a pain in the arse. Hell, I still have a watermaster with some bad seams I have been remiss in sending back for the past 3 months. Give me something that is going to last.

They also breathe much better than the other brands out there. Did a 5 mile rock crawl down a remote stream in 80 degree weather last summer and never remeber feeling overheated. This would not have been the case in the other waders I have owned.

And you do not have to spring for the G3s if you want an outstanding wader at a lower price. The guide weights are the best deal going for a high performance wader at $325.


04-28-2004, 06:44 PM
Any thing wears out if you use it enough. Returning worn out gear is dishonest at worst and niggardly at best:rolleyes:
Who cares how many Chinese (or Korean) rods you can get for a pair of waders that will last for a couple of hard years of use.
I am impressed with the quality of the LL Bean waders, but they still don't come close to the Sims. Beans has now discontinued their better waders and picked up Sims.
Orvis waders have a terrific warrenty and don't cost too much. That's not such a great deal when they leak the first time you wade in over your knees. I have sold hundreds of pairs of Orvis and Sims (and handfulls of other) waders. Buy what you can afford, and hope for the best. Sometimes it is better to be ucky than good.
Sun glasses and waders are the two items that I would never compromise on....oh, and tippets and flys and lines and....;)

Dble Haul
04-29-2004, 07:23 AM
Originally posted by FishHawk
Come on now $60 for a flyline. Way over priced. So here is what I do on that item. When the line wears out I simply send it back and get a new one.


04-29-2004, 07:53 AM
I agree with Sean: if I'm uncomfortable on the water, it doesn't really matter what I'm fishing with.

A few years ago when I purchased my waders, I wasn't financially able to afford a "premium" brand, so I went with the most expensive ones I could afford that had what seemed to be the best features in that price range. I've just looked at the Cabela's catalog and these waders were $140, which at the time was a lot of money to drop in one bundle (I had just moved to Atlanta and money was very tight, but I had my priorities straight ;) ). I'm not sure what the warranty is on these waders, or if there was ever any warranty at all, but I do know that they've been through their share of brambles, falls, and so on and they're still kicking with no punctures at all. Denise's uncle has gone through three pairs of waders in the last year, two of them from Bean, one pair leaking the very first time he used them. Waders are a necessary evil for most of the fishing I do, and honestly if and when these waders are damaged irreparably I'll be looking at the Cabela's catalog for another pair. So far, four years for $140 is pretty good!

04-30-2004, 09:08 AM
Thanks for all the advice on waders. I've decided to try the Simms this time and see if they are really worth the money. If they last 3 or 4 years without leaking, they'll be worth the price to me. If not, then I'll go back to buying cheaper "disposables" that need to be replaced every year or so.

05-01-2004, 05:32 PM
Like most, I've gone through my share of waders, from neoprene to breathables. I tend to be a bit harsh on them, fishing 120 days a year in both fresh and salt. Here is my take: generally you get what you pay for, and for me, Simms Guide Weight have served me well. At $315, I'm not aware of a brand that will give three years of service before leaks occur.

Then you have the option to send them back for repair with new bootfoots and leak repairs for $50.

Simms, unfortunately unrelated to the company!

05-03-2004, 11:05 AM
Here's my take on this subject. If you're a professional guide or one of the privileged few who have the freedom to fish every day, buy the high priced waders. They're designed and manufactured for heavy use. But if you're like the majority of flyfishers out there who fish 3 or 4 times a month, maybe 5 or 6 months out of the year, buy the lower priced models. They'll rarely see enough use to justify $425. I also don't understand all of the problems people are experiencing with their waders the first time they use them. Given, defects do exist but I would wager that many of these failures are due to negligence on the part of the owners. I've had only 2 pair of waders in 9 years and have only experienced a seam leak around the bootie after about 5 years on one of the pairs. Both of those pairs were lower priced models under $150 from L.L. Bean.

05-03-2004, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by jayvis
I also don't understand all of the problems people are experiencing with their waders the first time they use them. Given, defects do exist but I would wager that many of these failures are due to negligence on the part of the owners.

I don't understand it either, but I was with Denise's uncle when the waders were used for the first time and he didn't do anything in them that would cause a leak. Maybe it was a deffective pair, I don't know.

05-03-2004, 01:25 PM
All of the major brands, including Simms, experience a percentage of defective product. We have to keep in mind that the percentage of Simms defects is smaller due to the relatively small volume of waders they produce, which contributes to their higher prices. I'm not dogging Simms because I own some of their very fine products. I'm just saying that nobody has seemed to perfect the manufacturing and design processes involved in making foolproof waders.

05-03-2004, 02:16 PM
waders don't need to be fool proof.. they need to be bushwhacking, brier tunneling, blackberry trompin, bog wading, mountain climbing, rocksliding idiots like meproof:D

05-14-2004, 09:46 AM
Everyone should be aware that Orvis has discontinued the wader lifetime guarentee. They are lifetime guarenteed for manufacturer defects and NOT normal wear and tear. Well, I for one, put my waders in non-normal wear and tear conditions, in fact my pair of silver labels are leaking in the butt because they are wearing thin. t's not a seam so it's not going to be rplaced, not to mention the barbed wire hole in the knee. I am checking into this but I will not be buying orvis waders if this is the case. They last less than 2 years.

05-14-2004, 02:39 PM
FlyFisha....I have had a pair of those Caby's Premium waders for 3 years and I needed to replace them due to a slight leak. At least I thought it was a leak. Caby's took them back with no questions asked. I actually upgraded to there new Guide Techs. They are awesome for the money. I just got them yesterday. If you are looking for another pair take a looky at those.;)

05-14-2004, 02:46 PM
Will do, SageBoy, thanks for the head's up.