How long do your waders last? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: How long do your waders last?

04-14-2006, 07:59 PM
Just curious... I must be tuff on em :roll:

04-14-2006, 09:17 PM
I just ruined a set on a trip to Florida. I was walking along a backwater flat at low tide and did not realize the area I was walking on got covered with water at high tide. I sunk up to my waist in mud. The rubber on my waders ripped as I was hauled out of the mud by a police officer. :redface:

04-14-2006, 09:54 PM
Man, this really varies.

I had a pair of "Bruisers" or some such moniker that Cabela's sold a century or so ago. These contraptions were made of Codura, and, while heavy, bulky, cumbersome, uncomfortable, and stupid-looking lasted me more than five years. I did patch them a couple of times with asphalt and roofing tar during that stretch, but they performed faithfully until I just couldn't face climbing into them again.

So, I bought a pair of 5 mm Neoprenes for fishing the cold waters of winter. They lasted about a year before springing a leak in the bootfoot.

Seeking recommendations for replacements, the friends I asked all said I was nuts to buy bootfoot waders anyway, since the design compromise almost guarenteed quick leaks.

So, I bought some stocking foots. Again, heavy Neoprene. They lasted less than a year before perforating in various unnerving places.

My first pair of breathables lasted less than a month. Since this pair was under warranty, I took them back and my current pair has performed dryly for over two years now.

Another very knowledgible friend of mine some years back purchased a pair of those waders that had a big, dry-suit zipper in front. Made lots of sense to an inveterate coffee drinker.

They lasted about as long as an adult may fly.

Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.

Cheers and Keep Dry,

-- Eric

04-15-2006, 08:28 AM
I'm only on the second pair of waders I've ever owned. I had a pair of boot foots when I was a kid that I didn't use all that much. For years I just waded wet no matter the water temp, though now that I use waders I don't know for the life of me how I could stand the cold water temps. My current set of Orvis breathable waders is going on their second season with no issues. They're mostly used for float tubing, though they've seen a decent amount of stream and salt water use too.

04-15-2006, 09:40 AM
I average 4 years per pair, but I have a pair of OS Systems non-breathables that are solid over a decade of hard use before I switched to breathables. There are a lot of hardcores out there with OS Systems experience, they are the toughest waders EVER made bar none as far as I know but don't breathe.

I went with Simms guide weight and have been going approx 4 years per pair with hard use although I buy the next pair at 3 years typically and the spares have come in handy when a client coincidentally wears the same size and has a leaky pair.

I buy stocking foot waders to allow flexibility with shoe choices - felt soles in the river, beach ninja boots on the sand, etc. I am considering boot foot this year for the beach even though it's an expensive proposition to buy another pair (see below).

Leaks in the legs and trunk are easily fixed on Simms waders because dabbing isopropyl alchohol makes black visual marks that are smeared over with aquaseal and you're good to go in the morning.

Leaks in the feet are the death blow to stocking foot waders unless you are able to find the leak which in my experience has not been easy. I take care to preserve the feet and buy new when the feet go. The rest of the wader is easy to fix.

Preventing leaks in the feet = keeping debris out of the boot interior and preventing wear and tear. Wearing a pair of socks between really helps in gravel. I don't step on the ground when putting them on, I find grass or stand in the bed of my pickup truck. I wear really good gaitors and will wrap duct tape for a day in big surf. I choose boots that are least susceptible.

Even though these waders are quite expensive I am going to buy another pair specifically for the beach with boot foots. This introduces a new criteria - are the boots suitable for my long-range marches? I currently have shoes suitable for walking 10 miles per day or more in sand without blisters or discomfort from the shoes. Will boot foot waders meet that level of suitability for sand walking? We shall see.

Sounds like a good thread... (which see)

04-15-2006, 09:46 AM
i get about 3 years out of mine... Mainly because i end up duck hunting in them and they find a balckberry or wild rose bush to get punctured on... If it was just fishing duty they would last quite a bit longer i think.

04-16-2006, 12:44 PM
I get a year or so out of them but I am wearing them allot. I have a Pair of Cabelas $49 Neoprene stocking foot for winter To me they are the best $49 wader on the market and then some. I also have their Premium Dry-Plus breathables. I liked the prvious version of this wader, but dont care for the outer fabric on my new ones. It is just to thin. Poped a fly back into them and the head of the fly penatrated right through the wader up to the shank of the hook. This made a large hole. Along with that most anything penetrates them I have only worn them 5-6 times and have as many patches in them. I wil go with something different next year. Their prevous version lasted till the feet went.


04-16-2006, 11:58 PM

You bet! The neoprene feet are the achilles heel of stocking foot breathables. I personally would like to see the wader manufacturers all go with stocking feet made out of the breathable materials the legs and body are made of and not use neoprene feet anymore.

04-17-2006, 11:46 AM
i have the Simms Guide Weights and have 5 yrs on them now with only a few minor pin holes in them. finding leaks in SF is hard but you can find them if you fill up a bucket with water and let air into the legs and squeeze down the leg with the feet under water and it should bubble out where the leak is

04-17-2006, 05:59 PM
Simms first Gortex waders had the feet made of the same material. It was not comfortable in your wading shoe. I used a set for about a month while my Neoprenes were in for repair.