Wader Advice [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Wader Advice

Sean Juan
11-02-2006, 10:12 AM
Another year another hole worn in the ankle of my waders. Seems no matter what I get sand in my stocking foot waders - even gone so far as duct tape gravel guards.

So I'm asking is anyone has any experience/advice with the lace up bootfoot or some other form of wader that works/lasts in the surf.

I have or had the LL Bean GQS waders, thinking about switching to the Freestone with the attched laced up boot. Or go to hair club for men, and give my feet the Frodo treatment.



11-02-2006, 10:49 AM
Been through 2 seasons with the Orvis Tailwater wader with no complaints (aside from they are getting a bit ripe), no leaks. I believe I have seen a report or two about leaking at the boot attachment (Adrian??).

LL bean and Cabella's have similar waders.

11-02-2006, 11:49 AM
Sean, IMHO, I don't think that there is any wader brand out there that is designed for what we do (surf fishing/death march flats walking/salt). I've had 2 different brands of boot foot...they had the same problem...after 2 seasons the top of the boot cracked and leaked from wear due to excessive walking.....I switched to stocking foots...they obviously get more sand in them no matter what one does...and after one season...the small amounts of sand wound up wearing the stocking foot seams with resulting leaks.
So this year I: a) prior to the season put a this coat of Aquaseal on all the seams, overlapping them by about a 1/4 inch and then b) I put a wool sock over the booties to add further protection...it has seemed to work...so far. Of course....feet can be somewhat warm in the summer (a downside).
Either way...until some manufacturer makes something specific for salt and walks longer than 30 ft from the car to the trout stream....I will continue to buy LL Bean waders because they will replace them even if you don't like the color any more :-) Plus the features are good...internal zipper pocket in chest (top), loops for wading belt, wide and padded shoulder straps and multiple sizing options....not to mention enhancing my 61 yr old "shape".
Another problem I've experienced with any brand is that the "breathability" is lost from the knees down after 2 seasons, my guess is that the salt just clogs the pores even if one hoses them down after each outing....maybe I should just draw a bath and soak in the tub with them on....now there is a sign of old age :-) Sorry for the "visual" :-)
We need a company to specifically make "Salt Waders"
PS: I have never talked with anyone who said that their integral waders/boots did not leak...but maybe I've just talked to the wrong people.
Of course we can just be "Ironmen" and rub down with vaseline and pack some 100 proof liquid in our water bottle.

11-02-2006, 11:52 AM
I just switched to the Simms L2 stocking foot waders because I do a lot of walking . I wanted a better supporting shoe than the boot that's on the bootfoot waders. So far so good. Will see how long they last . FishHawk

11-02-2006, 12:23 PM
Half your problem is the boot...

my simms guide waders last at least 4 years - stocking foot and at my level of use I consider that a bargain

however I've searched near and far to find shoes that match the requirements as best I can and enjoy the ability to use the waders while steelheading (with different boots) or just teaching casting classes in sweetwater with felt soles for algae, etc

the beach shoes I wear are neoprene hightops with no zipper, the only opening is a stretchable neoprene top that hugs my leg above the ankles

Sean Juan
11-02-2006, 03:12 PM
You know Paxton I'm feeling like a real idiot now. I have a pair of those neoprene socks that I wear in very cold water and I figure all this time I could have worn them over the bootie rather than under. Aquaseal sound like a good idea.

I figure I will call LL Bean before trying to repair them - I feel guilt about just sending them back because they are used but in all honesty I only wear them when the weather is as it is now. June-September I just wear a bathing suit, early spring its the neoprenes. Granted I'm out fishing nearly every day and most of it is death march based beach walking but still...

Juro I think you are right about the boots I have a fairly heavy pair. I think I'll look into your boot/sock thing. Probably a lot more comfortable in a kayak anyway.

11-02-2006, 11:13 PM
Fair warning - it's not easy to find boots that aren't cheesy.

I lucked out with an experimental pair Bean ordered for a season before discontinuing. I think the best production alternative might be the ones Sean Ransom suggests, the Bare primal (model?)

Actually I own a pair but they were too small at one size over. If you are a size 9.5 - 10 consider a size #12.

11-03-2006, 06:51 AM
I have the Orvis Tailwater XT and am very pleased with them. I had a leakage problem last year, but not at the boot, higher up on the right leg- same place two pairs in a row, instantly replaced. Very comfortable to walk in, good breathability and lots of sizes. I believe they only come in felt or studded felt though. Orvis used to make a lace-up boot foot with an air bob sole for duck hunting that was really nice.

Sean Juan
11-03-2006, 08:41 AM
I like the looks of that Bite Primal shoe...seems like it would be a lot easier on the ankle then the Cabelas Master Guide kick down a door boots I have now. So what I'll most likely do is just get a stockingfoot pair of waders and try the new shoe.

But since I have your attention I wanted to run something by you guys. What would you think of a set up consisting of a shoe - like the Primal - a neoprene sock and a pair of Mysterioso (or similar) pants. I figure if the goal is not necessarily to stay dry but rather to stay warm and comfortable when fishing and walking. Staying warm in the water is pretty easy, its the 30 degrees at night that gets ya.

I'm thinking the advantages would be that if you do get sand in your boots its easy enough to take them off and empty them. Walking would be as comfortable as it gets.

Disadvantage would be a possible chronic case of crotch-rot. Does nothing for my girlish figure. You would be wet, and would have to change before going for lunch or something. The billion other things I'm failing to consider.

11-03-2006, 02:50 PM
I have the Bite shoes and ran into the same problem . I got the size 11 but really should have gotten the size 12. I did not want to go through the process of returning them again as I've already done that once. So like Juro say order at least two sizes larger than your shoe size especially with stocking foot waders.