Cold Weather Waders Advice [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Cold Weather Waders Advice

01-12-2005, 10:39 PM
New to winter steelheading, live in the Buffalo, NY area.

I'm lookiing for advice on who makes good waders for winter steelheading in cold weather and cold water.

I've done a ton of google searches but haven't had any hits for the type of conditions in my area.


01-13-2005, 07:49 AM
Bootfoots are the most important thing. Make sure the boots arde not too tight, and that there is plenty of room for socks.
I have had good luck with breathable waders and primaloft insulated pants(like a sleeping bag). But others will tell you that thick neoprene is the way to go.
The boots are the most important thing.

01-13-2005, 11:30 AM
Thanks for the tip on the bootfoots Eddie......................

I wasn't sure if that was important or not.


01-14-2005, 05:15 AM
Dave, I wear breathables all year around and just make sure that I layer up when it gets cold.

01-14-2005, 05:38 AM
If you only need waders in winter, or if it's your primary need I would opt for neoprene. I wear stocking foot goretex year-round and am quite satisfied but as Eddie says this makes things a little more complicated. For instance, I need to make sure the boots provide ample room for circulation with insulating socks; and the goretex requires a very good insulating layer.

Whether summer or winter, make sure the boots are solid enough not to bend when you put all your weight on a foot crammed between two boulders, and have a one-piece felt sole or the heel will pop off when you least want it to.

I am currently using a pair of Danners which are nicely broken in and Simms lightweights which are matched perfectly to a pair of aluminum cleat 'galoshes' for those impossible rivers and am very happy with the setup(s).

A trick taught to me by the Kaufmanns pros is to wear socks in between the stocking feet and boots if there is room, this keeps river gravel out - then wear a gaitor over the high tops and you're good to go.

I have worn neoprene, gore-tex, and pvc in deep winter and clearly the neoprene were the most comfortable but I wear goretex with hi-tech insulation because it's the same pair I wear in July with different shoes and I *really* get my $400 worth out of top-notch goretex every time I buy them, 4 seasons for about 4 years.

So in the end for me even though neoprene are the superior winter waders in terms of care-free comfort and warmth I use top quality goretex because of it's adaptability and versatility throughout my angling year.

01-14-2005, 08:11 AM
Thanks for the feedback of lessons learned in cold water/weather wading guys, I really appreciate it.

Hopefully I'll be able to make an informed choice when I put down the $$$


01-19-2005, 11:46 AM
I think that having good long underwear underneath is the key. Or, long underwear and a pair of sweatpants. Jeans bother me because you always end up with part of the bottom seam bunching up uncomfortably against your lower leg. Long underwear and sweatpants are very comfortable and don't bunch uncomfortably, or have uncomfortable seams.

01-19-2005, 12:05 PM
TJ mentioned jeans, so I will add: If it is COLD. Do not wear anything made of cotton. If you get wet (dump, hole the waders etc.) you could get hypothermia. Cotton is refered to as "death cloth" by some outdoors educators. When wet, it stays wet and provides little insuation.
As for the feet: circulation is as important (actually more important) than insulation. That is why Juro has two pairs (probably more than that...) of boots. One for a pair of socks and one for two pairs of thick socks.
My Dad used to tell me: "Son you always want to have a cool head and warm feet." words to live by.