The Ideal Wader [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: The Ideal Wader

04-20-2011, 07:34 AM
Hi All...........I just returned my waders for the 2nd time in 3 yrs to a very reputable company that backs up their products forever. I would mention to company, but that may violate site rules.
In speaking with many FFs over the years, no one seems happy with their waders regardless of brand. Leakage, wear, sizing etc have been common complaints.
Given the respect that I have for the company I purchased my waders from, I decided to write them with my suggestions for the "ideal wader". My suggestions appear below.
I thought that it might be interesting to receive suggestions from others as well and or a list of complaints and "likes' regardless of brand. My guess is that if there is interest in this would be best NOT to mention the brand in your reply....just what features you like, dislike, problems, fixes, preferences and wish list I will send a follow up letter to the company with your suggestions.
My suggestions:
1. Padded shoulder harness that buckles at the chest instead of shoulders so that one is comfy and doesn't have to gear up blind;
2. Small water proof inside pocket to hold a chip type car key and a cell phone or small GPS;
3. Gotex option
4. Outside chest pocket with either velcro or zipper sides .....fleece lined for hand warming or to be used to hold a fly box;
5. Double reinforcement of belt area around waist....prevent seeping from wear and abrasion;
6. An adjustible belt that allows one to just pull an end and clamp opposed to the common type that we have to play around with depending on how bulky or not we are dressed;
7. Gravel guard design.....stretchy neoprene that goes up at least 6 inches inside the wader and covers to the ankle....this would reinforce the wader and prevent seems from separating when pulling waders on and off;
8. Bootie on stocking foot type.......protective double layer on bottom to protect wear from sand.....extended up heel at least 3 inches (site of rubbing from walking esp if boot loosened....and double layer extended around sides to protect seams from wear and separating.
9. Highly reinfored small loop at waist to secure a water bottle with holder.

OK....that's it for me. I really expect this company to response to what I have already written. Please add or subtract to the list if desired.

04-20-2011, 08:04 AM
First of all, brand names are mentioned all the time on this board. So, unless the rules have changed very recently, there is no problem at all mentioning them. However, it is against the rules, as I understand it, to provide a hotlink to that brand's website.

Secondly, what on Earth is #3-do you mean Gore-tex? That's the only thing I could come up with although your word came closer to something that wouldn't ever be needed in a man's wader.:whoa:

04-20-2011, 08:17 AM
I do believe it is called an "innocent typo" .

04-20-2011, 09:05 AM
Bib connected to top of wader made of highly breathable material instead of straps. If you are not sure of what I'm implying, envision a Farmer John type wetsuit or Polartec union suit under layer. Or, a wader made of Gore-Tex with jacket connected much like a dry suit. Surf guys would love something to protect the upper chest from water. May get a little clammy in there but with breather gussets under the arm, may be doable. Union suit waders! Stripping basket friendly. Most leaks are from stocking foot booties connection to Gore-Tex. Pulling off wet wading boots tends to stress the seams where neo meets wader fabric. I think this is why the industry is attaching wading boots. I once wore non breathable stocking foot waders with no neo booties. They never leaked. Got very clammy but did not leak.

04-20-2011, 01:28 PM
Awesome I'll take one!

Great idea to let manufacturers know what we need out there. I truly believe communication is all that stands between a great product and what we end up having to accept.

Most wader design is based on freestone angling (e.g. Simms, Patagonia, etc) and they don't necessarily understand what we face out here.

Thanks for doing that I may join you on sending such a list.

Dble Haul
04-20-2011, 02:25 PM
By having the snaps for the straps on the chest instead of blindly behind, it would be much easier to lower the waders for the occasional need to relieve oneself without much hassle. The zippered waders from a few years ago seem to have been a bit of a hot item, but in my opinion a zipper in the crotch doesn't justify the outlandish price that came with them. Easier buckling at the chest would negate the need for an expensive zippered pair.

04-20-2011, 02:43 PM
Juro...please add to the list and or delete/ comment on what you don't like on mine.

I feel that waders in general, made by any comany, are designed only for the person who drives to a stream, walks 40 down a hill and stands in one place or walks up to 100yds for 1/2 day. If I did that, my old waders would have lasted 10 years. Mine had 5 layers of brush protection, but I have yet to run into brush in Chatham. :wink:

It's nice when a company backs what they sell and replaces them at no cost....but that is not the point. Maybe to use you statement...we don't have to accept only what is on the market.

I am hoping that the company is open to suggestion and gives a message that is something other than the obligatory...thank you for writing....will find that out soon.

A wader as I describe would meet everyone's need...not just stream/river fishing folks.
Guess it can't hurt to try....more opinions and ideas would be great to receive.
Ron (aka--"wet-foot with bionic thumb")

04-20-2011, 03:11 PM
Actually there is one, Rosa Ragusa straight across from the refuge... great spot in May and September :D

Obligatory wader / relief note: I knew a med student who won a drinking contest using a condom catheter but when he was found out the frat boys punished him :Eyecrazy: If any of you flats rats tries that I claim up current position all day.

04-20-2011, 04:39 PM wife about 4 yrs ago recommendated what she called a Foley catherer....that is what one gets when a wife "beaches" while her hubby fishes......of course the right or left leg (depending on directional preference) would have to be larger...I will add that to the list :hihi:
Sort of the reverse of the "camel back".

04-20-2011, 07:48 PM
The weakest spot that I've found is the inside of the knees where the seams rub against one another while walking, this is where my last two pairs have become worn past the point of repair and my current pair are on the edge, I'm just trying to squeak another year out of them.

04-21-2011, 12:34 PM
Ron, items 1 thru 5 and 7 are there in the G3 by Simms. I know the waders you have, and as I recall, they have held up pretty well. The Cloudveil wader that CSJ60 has worn for several years have been outstanding, but like a lot of quality items, they have been discontinued. My waders usually start leaking in the crotch because of the amount of walking that abrades the seams. Now, Simms has put the seams opposite the inseam and crotch. We shall see.

04-21-2011, 04:47 PM
As with most folks, if I'm going to get a 'seep leak' it's odds on going to be in the neo bootie. I've got more than a tube of seamseal on each and still haven't found one of the buggers (on each foot). Given a preference I'd go with the 'breathable material' right to the toes and skip the neo-booty. Just use a pull on one like you'd use if you were 'wet wading.' Zippers in those to ease the on/off would be good.

Some manufactures, as noted above have already moved the seams from the inside of the leg to 'elsewhere.' Good call as that's the part of the wader that gets the most chaffing as you walk. If you're not going to/can't change the design just make the (seam) covering material at least 3" wide to really take the ongoing beating.

What I do is get tent repair tape and put another run over the inside seams when I buy the things and be done with it. The manufacturer could do it just as easily, just wider tape than what they're already using. Ditto in the crotch area, but I don't wade much over my knees so this has never been a personal issue.

As for an easy on/off belt, DB has the right idea on my waist highs. Straps that go through a wide loop and back over themselves and close up with a large velcro patch. Works a treat, and no extra bits to futz with.

Just my .02 cents.


04-21-2011, 09:39 PM
Fea.....interesting feedback...thanks!!! ....maybe a few of us should get together and design and manufacture our own :smokin:
Or just buy stock in whoever makes Aquaseal.
Eliminating the neoprene makes sense...why not?
It has helped me to wear a sock over the booties, just to reduce abrasion on the bootie seems. My last pair had more aqauseal compound on them than every seam, water still came in....looking at the bottom of the feet, I finally came to the conclusion that they were worn thin from walking and bits of sand rubbing over time. Maybe I just expect too much given the marching that is done every season.

04-22-2011, 06:09 AM
For 20 years an OR company OS SYSTEMS has been making the most comfortable and durable stocking foot on earth.

OSS attaches a soft rubber sock per US Navy Seal specifications to a wader. It is so comfortable that those of us who have used these waders dream of these feet on goretex.

Unfortunately the waders they are attached to are not breathable and unfit for summer use.

04-22-2011, 07:32 AM
Juro, maybe they do!


04-22-2011, 08:47 AM
For those who are still using Aquaeal to repair your breathables, Loon UV Wader Repiar or Knot Stuff (same thing) works great, takes seconds to cure and it's ready to go, also does not harden in the tube.

04-22-2011, 08:57 AM
Fred - I caught that and contacted them for information.

However, I see that their super-comfy Navy Seal Suit stocking feet are *not* used on their goretex product but they are not neoprene which might be nice... we'd have to find out.

I am a die-hard Simms guy and am ordering a new pair for this season 2011. They cost a little more but I get 4-5 years out of each pair so it's very economic in scale.

04-22-2011, 11:11 AM
I say it's time we all become men,man up and be like da mayor,waders who needs em ,shorts all season.:D

04-23-2011, 10:22 AM
I went through several pairs of waders in record time a few years back when I was in the habit of walking from the causeway to the tip of S Beach. The boots would develop a crack across the instep after about 15 miles of walking.

Since the seals moved in in force, I don't walk that far any more :roll:

I finally went with a cheap pair (~$150 ish) of boot-foot breathables with a second pair as back-up. They are now my goto for beach/surf and about to enter their third season which might be some kind of record - for me ...

For river work, 'rock hopping' in Rhoddy after dark or fishing the ditch, I go with my Simms guides + korkers wading boots.

04-23-2011, 03:31 PM
I think Adrian's idea of buying cheaper waders is a good one. I have thought of doing the same. My last pair was the high end Orvis. They started to leak into the second season. Orvis was good about repairing them but I had to send them back two more became an annual event. Having heard a lot of good things about Sims I bought a pair of G3s. But after reading the many comments about leaking waders, I am going to buy a cheaper pair as well. It will be an interesting experiment to see which one leaks first.

Ron....the foley catheter is an interesting idea.......why don't you make this your project...let us know how it never know, you might need a patent.....My concern is who is going to insert it? A good looking nurse? :whoa:


04-23-2011, 06:40 PM always..thanks for your kind words :)
I do not believe that the devise requires insertion...just a lot of duct tape maybe.
If you hear a loud scream, you will know the answer.
Look forward to seeing you this Spring...yak and all.
RI water temps 47.1 degrees......we are getting closer!!

04-25-2011, 12:52 PM
I went waderless for many years when I was younger. I don't know how I did it after going to waders and then trying to wet wade in spring waters. I guess I'm getting old.

The first pair of waders I ever bought was a pair of Orvis Silver Label stockingfoots almost 10 years ago now, and I finally had to retire them last summer because of so many pinhole leaks it was just annoying. I didn't really get wet in a day of fishing, it was just that my legs from the knees down got damp from more holes than you can count. I use my gear extremely hard, including lots of hiking through brush as well as saltwater, and I'm amazed how long the waders lasted.

I had to buy a backup pair of waders for a trip when those were failing, and it ended up being from Bass Pro because I was on short notice. Yeah yeah, bass pro. They work but this summer I'll be getting another pair of Orvis breathables for the next 10 years (hopefully).

04-26-2011, 07:43 AM
Teflon -

Are you still in CO? I have a trout weight Spey rod you might consider for post-surgery fishing (not too quickly of course). Let me know if you want to borrow it.

Spey casting allows you to cover a river with underhand loop casts with very little effort.

04-26-2011, 08:04 AM always..thanks for your kind words :)
I do not believe that the devise requires insertion...just a lot of duct tape maybe.
If you hear a loud scream, you will know the answer.
Look forward to seeing you this Spring...yak and all.
RI water temps 47.1 degrees......we are getting closer!!

Two weeks of great fishing here in Ct. Why wait for the Cape? Daffodils popped out in my front yard and salt water striped bass fishing started. Right on Queue. Hitting the water again today. These are resident fish from local rivers coming out to play. No sea lice. The farther west the better the fishing!


04-26-2011, 08:10 AM
Phil - if they aren't on cape by the time I get back from my bonefishing retreat I'd like to come check that out!