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Best Fly Fishing Wader 2017 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Our Top Pick
We’ve read hundreds of reviews, and talked to a lot of people who take their fly fishing very seriously, and the result is that we can recommend the Hodgman Caster Neoprene Cleated Boot-Foor Chest Waders. If you are looking for booted waders that will put up with the most extreme conditions, and keep you totally dry whilst doing it, these waders are hard to beat.
Product DescriptionUsers ScoreOverall Score
Editor choice
Hodgman Caster Neoprene Cleated Boot-Foot Waders

Hodgman Caster Neoprene Cleated Boot-Foot Waders

These are great waders which are suitable for a wide range of fishing styles. The focus with this pair of waders is ...

User Rating: 3.55 (2 votes)
2 Caddis Men’s 2-Tone Tauped Breathable Stocking Foot Wader

Caddis Men’s 2-Tone Tauped Breathable Stocking Foot Wader

Whilst, for most purposes, we prefer waders that come with an incorporated boot, we know there are many of you out ...

User Rating: 3.7 (1 votes)
3 Frogg Toggs Hellbender Microfiber Breathable Stockingfoot Waders

Frogg Toggs Hellbender Microfiber Breathable Stockingfoot Waders

This pair of waders for fly fishing represents the classic design for waders of this type, and this pair is a great ...

User Rating: 4.3 (2 votes)
4 Allen Black River Boot-Foot Hip Waders

Allen Black River Boot-Foot Hip Waders

This is a pair of waders for the traditionalist. Whilst we don’t see many pairs of waders in this design any longer, ...

User Rating: 2.8 (2 votes)

Fly Fishing Waders

Waders are a really important part of your fly fishing kit, allowing you to get the best out of the rest of your gear. However, many people try and save money when buying waders, spending $400 on a rod and $150 on a vest, and then putting up with leaky waders.

Ultimately, a good pair of waders will significantly improve your success rate when fishing. They will allow you to access parts of the river that would be impossible or uncomfortable to get to otherwise, and also allow you to stay out fishing for much longer than otherwise.

I consider waders part of an essential fly fishing kit, other required equipment includes:

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Reviews

Everybody has different preferences when it comes to choosing waders for fly fishing. If you learnt how to fish whilst wearing a particular style of waders, the it is likely that you want to continue to use this style.

Shopping around, however, can have its advantages. If you are keen to improve your catch, it is worth reading up on the different styles of waders. Depending on the conditions where you fish, you may find that changing your waders allows you to access parts of the river that would be impossible to reach otherwise.

Beyond this, in general there are a few things to look for when choosing waders for fly fishing:

  • Booted waders vs. stocking waders. Most high-end waders are now designed with an integral boot affixed to the end of the leg. This makes the waders more waterproof, because there is no gap between shoe and leg. However, in our experience it can be difficult to find waders what fit both in the boot and in the leg. Different manufacturers make their waders with different cuts, so it is worth trying on a few pairs to find the ones that fit you.
  • Comfort. During a long day out fishing, even the most well-designed waders can become uncomfortable. A particular problem is the heat of a summer’s day – whilst the river may be nice and cool, having your legs completely encased in material can mean that you overheat quickly. Some waders are thicker than others, so choose a design that fits the climate you fish in.
  • Materials. Whilst it might be tempting to go for the cheapest waders available, be warned that less expensive items often use inferior materials. At best, these will wear out quickly, and you will need to buy another pair of waders. At worst, sudden rips and tears can wreck a day of fishing.

Ultimately, there is no substitute for trying out these waders yourself. If you are lucky enough to live close to a good fishing store, pay a visit and see which style works for you.

In our opinion, however, you could do worse than checking out these waders for fly fishing:

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Editor’s Pick: Hodgman Caster Neoprene Cleated Boot-Foot Waders

Hodgman Caster Neoprene Cleated Boot-Foot Waders

These are great waders which are suitable for a wide range of fishing styles.

The focus with this pair of waders is adaptability, and if you are frequently visiting different spots to fish, or make use of a wide range of accessories, these waders are great. The neoprene used here is the same grade as that commonly used in wetsuits for cold seas, and as a result you will be able to fish in even the coldest conditions.

Having boots attached to your waders, as in this design, also has advantages in terms of waterproofing.

Hodgman Caster Neoprene Cleated Boot-Foot Waders

The neoprene used here is the same grade as that commonly used in wetsuits for cold seas, and as a result you will be able to fish in even the coldest conditions.

In addition, this pair of waders comes with a host of other advantages:

PROS:
  • The reinforced knees on this pair of waders are advantageous in two ways. First and foremost, this feature means that you stay comfortable when crouching on the rocky bank of the river, and that if you slip over you will not graze your knees. Secondly, the extra thick neoprene on this area means that these waders will last longer.
  • The top entry pocket on these waders is also a great feature. This pocket is insulated, which is a real life saver on those cold winter mornings. It is able to carry an impressive amount of gear, also, so your stuff will always be close to hand.
  • The boots offer a nice level of grip, even on slippery rocks, and are built using thinsulate material to make sure your feet stay warm even in the coldest river.
  • The people we spoke to for this review were all shapes and sizes, and many praised the fit of these waders. Neoprene is a great material for waders, offering enough elasticity to mold itself to anyone’s body.

CONS:
  • Very few. If you are looking for waders for fly fishing that offer superior value, this is the pair to go for. Whilst these are not the cheapest pair of waders available, the little extra money you spend on them will quickly pay itself back.

 


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Caddis Men’s 2-Tone Tauped Breathable Stocking Foot Wader

Caddis Men’s 2-Tone Tauped Breathable Stocking Foot Wader

Whilst, for most purposes, we prefer waders that come with an incorporated boot, we know there are many of you out there who prefer this type of stocking wader. If you have a pair of trusted boots, and are looking for a pair of similarly reliable waders to pair them with, these are a great option.

The breathable material used here is a marvel, also. Waders like this can sometimes get uncomfortably hot in the Summer, but these waders suffer from no such problem. Even on the hottest days, you will not get too sweaty.

Caddis Men’s 2-Tone Tauped Breathable Stocking Foot Wader

If you have a pair of trusted boots, and are looking for a pair of similarly reliable waders to pair them with, these are a great option.

In addition, these fly fishing waders also have several other advantages:

PROS:
  • The materials used here feel really sturdy. The fabric is a little thicker than on your average waders for fly fishing, and we are confident that this pair of waders will provide many years of reliable service.
  • The doubled-over fabric on the knees of these waders mean they are suitable for the most demanding fisherman. If you find that you have quickly destroyed the paird of waders you have owned in the past, putting holes in the knees after just a few trips, these are the waders for you.
  • A common problem with this kind of stocking waders is the waterproofing at the bottom of the legs, where the waders tuck into your boots. Unless this seal is complete, you will end up with wet feet after just a few minutes. The double-taped construction used with these waders avoids this problem.
  • The pockets on this pair of waders are capacious, and have more than enough space for all the gear you need to have close to hand.

CONS:
  • Very few. As we said, in our opinion the superior waterproofing of boot-footed waders is to be preferred in most cases, but if you already have a pair of trusted boots, and just need the waders to pair with them, these are the best of this style available.


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Frogg Toggs Hellbender Microfiber Breathable Stockingfoot Waders

Frogg Toggs Hellbender Microfiber Breathable Stockingfoot Waders

This pair of waders for fly fishing represents the classic design for waders of this type, and this pair is a great example of why this style became, and remains, the most popular.

The Nylon microfiber used here is incredibly tough. Whilst it does not offer the thermal protection of neoprene, it is undoubtedly more rugged. The people we spoke to for this review praised the longevity of these waders, which they said they had seen last for many years.

This is partly due to the tough nylon used in these waders, but also the fact that the knees are doubly reinforced. This means that even if you are often kneeling on gravel or rocks at the side of the river, you can be assured that your waders will not suddenly develop holes at the knees.

Frogg Toggs Hellbender Microfiber Breathable Stockingfoot Waders

The Nylon microfiber used here is incredibly tough. Whilst it does not offer the thermal protection of neoprene, it is undoubtedly more rugged. The people we spoke to for this review praised the longevity of these waders, which they said they had seen last for many years.

In addition, these waders for fly fishing come with a range of features:

PROS:
  • The neoprene booties supplied with this design really add value to these waders for fly fishing. The mix of materials used in these waders – with nylon up top to keep you cool, and neoprene on your feet to make sure they don’t get too cold, ensures that this pair of waders are truly a year-round item.
  • The wading belt on these waders is fully adjustable, which makes them comfortable. It also incorporates several belt loops, so you can attach your kit directly to your waders. In comparison to a pocket, having waterproof items floating next to you in the river allows you to access them more easily.
  • These waders are also really light weight, and drie quickly. Whilst getting a lightweight pair of waders may seem a little odd, given that the weight of your gear, it makes a real difference. Any ounces you can shave off the weight of your kit will ultimately allow you to stay comfortable, and therefore stay out fishing, for longer.

CONS:
  • Very few. The classic design of these waders mean that they don’t have quite as many pockets as some modern designs, but for some of the people we talked to for this review this was actually an advantage – it greatly simplifies your setup, allowing you to find the right tool quicker.


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Allen Black River Boot-Foot Hip Waders

Allen Black River Boot-Foot Hip Waders

This is a pair of waders for the traditionalist. Whilst we don’t see many pairs of waders in this design any longer, the simplicity of hip waders can have advantages, especially if you are an experienced fisherman.

First and foremost, these are the lightest waders we tested. If you are serious about your fly fishing, we’re going to bet that you are already carrying an awful lot of gear with you out on the river, and that you don’t need a pair of waders that will weigh you down further. With the design of these waders, this is not a problem.

Allen Black River Boot-Foot Hip Waders

This is a pair of waders for the traditionalist. Whilst we don’t see many pairs of waders in this design any longer, the simplicity of hip waders can have advantages, especially if you are an experienced fisherman. First and foremost, these are the lightest waders we tested. If you are serious about your fly fishing, we’re going to bet that you are already carrying an awful lot of gear with you out on the river, and that you don’t need a pair of waders that will weigh you down further. With the design of these waders, this is not a problem.

Of course, in addition to the advantages conferred by the no-nonsense design of these waders, they also have some other advantages:

PROS:
  • The materials used in this pair of waders for fly fishing, whilst somewhat basic in comparison to some other items on the market, are extremely rugged. The two ply construction of the top part of the waders ensures that even if small holes develop, they will stay waterproof for longer.
  • The boots on these waders are actually the best we tested. If your fishing spots are particularly rocky, then this pair of waders could be a good option, because the boots offer a good level of ankle protection and feel secure even on slippery river banks.
  • If you are particularly big, this style of waders is great. It can be difficult to find boot-footed waders which fit both in the shoe and around the waist, and obviously with this design you need not worry about that.

CONS:
  • None, for the price. Some may want a few more pockets, but overall this is a good minimal solution that really comes into its own on hot days.


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Conclusion

So which to choose?

Well, your choice of waders for fly fishing is yours alone, of course. Everybody fishes in a different way, and uses unique equipment. Your waders should be carefully chosen to suit your style and needs.

In our opinion, though, if you are looking for a great fly fishing vest, we can recommend the Hodgman Caster Neoprene Cleated Boot-Foor Chest Waders. If you are looking for booted waders that will put up with the most extreme conditions, and keep you totally dry whilst doing it, these waders are hard to beat. These are also a great choice for any hunters who need new equipment or gear. 

Summary
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Best Fly Fishing Waders
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