Getting wet is the nature of fly fishing.
For most of us, catching a good fish far outweighs staying warm and dry.
And who really notices the chattering teeth and shivering legs, when you’re holding up a big catch for the camera?
Okay right, I think it’s a bit difficult staying still and fully enjoying the experience!
That’s where fly fishing waders come in so useful and are a major part of keeping you warm and safe on the water.
So let’s take a look at this list of the 11 best fly fishing waders for 2021 and see if one can make your fly fishing experience a whole lot better than before.
Let’s dive in.
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Table of Contents
- TOP 11 Best Fly Fishing Waders in 2021
- Redington Men's Sonic Pro HDZ Fishing Wader
- Orvis Men's Ultralight Convertible Wader
- 8 Fans Men’s Fishing Chest Wader
- Tidewe Men's Cleated Bootfoot Chest Wader
- Orvis Women's Ultralight Convertible Wader
- Redington Women's Sonic-Pro Wader
- Redington Women's Willow River Wader
- Dark Lightning Fly Fishing Wader
- Ouzong Bootfoot Chest Wader
- Tidewe Bootfoot Chest Wader
- Hisea Fly Fishing Stocking Foot Wader
- How to Choose the Best Fly Fishing Wader for You
TOP 11 Best Fly Fishing Waders in 2021
How to Choose the Best Fly Fishing Wader for You
There is a great deal of fly fishing and general fishing waders on the market today and it can get a little daunting trying to find one that suits you the best.
So let’s go through some of the most important things that should be considered, before buying a wader for fly fishing.
First things first:
Why do You Want a Wader for Fly Fishing?
This is always a great question to start with, as this will determine what type of wader you want.
Firstly, let’s look at the benefit of having a wader for fly fishing?
If you’re looking for a way to fish longer and to reach the more inaccessible portions of a section of water, then waders will certainly help you do just that!
This will help improve your fly fishing experiences overall and can lead to some great catches.
Waders also allow you to go deeper into the water, without getting soaked or washed away. They do this by keeping you dry, warm, and safe from the natural elements.
There are other things to consider:
Do you want a wader for regular fly fishing or for an ‘every now and then’ fishing experience?
Are you generally fly fishing in cooler or warmer conditions? Do you expect to get very wet?
There are a lot of questions to take into consideration. So make sure you know exactly all the why’s, where’s and when’s around your fly fishing.
Now onto the nitty-gritty stuff:
What key characteristics are you looking for in a fly fishing wader?
For further insight, be sure to check out the different types of fishing waders you can choose from.
Waders can be made with a variety of fabrics. Some are even constructed with a combination of fabrics.
If you generally fly fish in cold conditions, then you will want to go for a neoprene wader. These come in different thicknesses and are perfectly suited to keeping your body warm and comfortable.
However, they can be limited in terms of movement and may be quite heavy. So if you’re expecting to walk long distances, you might want to go for another type of fabric or a version that provides better movement around the legs.
What about the thickness of the neoprene waders?
If you usually experience moderate weather, with the occasional cold spell, then it is worth getting a 3mm thick wader. This also allows you to walk a little easier over longer distances.
Those who predominantly experience colder conditions would be better suited to having a 5mm thick wader.
Other waders are made from nylon or polyester, which are way more lightweight and are often treated with a waterproof coating. It’s always good to check how breathable these types of waders are, as they can be very hot to fish in on warm days.
Then rubber waders are also available on the market. While the price of these is often very attractive, you will be needing to compromise on flexibility, breathability, and weight.
Then finally and certainly not least, there are breathable waders.
You might be wondering why your friends keep hanging back?
Well, maybe it’s the smell, mate!
Okay, jokes aside – this is important. It really isn’t fun when waders cause you to sweat most of the time.
That is why finding a breathable fly fishing wader is very important.
Breathable waders are made of different permeable membranes, such as Gore-Tex, which keeps the water out, while allowing your body sweat and heat to escape.
So if you generally fly fish in a wide range of environmental conditions, then it’s best to get a breathable wader.
Some of your slightly more expensive waders will offer better breathability than the cheaper varieties. So if you have money to spend, and would like to keep some of your friends around a little longer, then breathable waders are a must!
Sizing is very important.
Some brands will fit differently to others, so be sure to do your research before purchasing a wader. Often, it is worth contacting customer care who can walk you through selecting the right size. You can give them your height, weight, and shoe size and they can guide you through choosing the right one.
Choosing the correct size will also determine the longevity of the wader.
If you get one too big, it will lead to considerable wear and tear. Waders that are too tight will also cause greater stress at the crotch area or near the seams.
If you don’t get the size right, it will lead to a lot of discomfort and will limit your movement on the water.
It’s always good to leave space in the wader so that you can pull on some extra layers underneath. So a wader should never be too tight.
Pockets and Accessories
Who doesn’t love a neat pocket or accessory?
Some waders come with useful pockets, including molle straps, Velcro patches, or D-rings.
Sometimes, the double-sided, fleece-lined pockets are just what your hands need to keep them snug and warm on a chilly day.
If you’re storing valuables in pockets, it’s always good to check how durable the zippers are.
On the other hand, if pockets and storing your gear in close reach is your thing, nothing quite beats using a high-quality fishing vest.
For the fly fisherman or woman who’s serious about finding a wader that lasts, you’ll need to be prepared to pay the big bucks!
You really do get what you pay for.
In most cases, the more expensive fly fishing waders are built to last. So if you have the cash and plan to use waders regularly, then it’s worth purchasing a wader that will give you a good innings.
However, some mid-range waders still have a lot to offer in terms of quality and durability. It might just mean you need to take extra care of them.
For the beginner, I recommend that you get your hands on a cheaper bootfoot wader.
These are always good to start with, as they keep your feet and skin safe, while also protecting you from the elements.
Then if you do damage your waders (which happens to the best of us), it won’t be that big of a deal. Should it happen to one of the top more expensive waders, you might end up crying or pulling your hair out.
And that won’t be fun.
Most importantly, it’s all about having fun in your first wader.
How do you know what size waders to buy?
Start by looking closely at the size chart provided by the manufacturer. Depending on the brand, these are often reliable.
Then get more in touch with your body, mate:
Whip out a measuring tape and measure the following key areas in inches:
- your girth (chest, waist, and hips)
- your inseam (crotch to floor)
- and your shoe size.
If you’re shopping for a bootfoot wader, it is often best to choose one size bigger than your normal shoe size.
However, be sure to get in touch with the manufacturer’s customer care, as they will guide you through the sizing process.
Then you want to make sure the waders have enough space for you to add a jersey or any additional layers.
Here’s a helpful video to see how the measurements are done:
What is the best material for fly fishing waders?
It really depends on when, where, and how often you plan on using your waders.
Neoprene waders are generally the most popular type, due to their high durability and great insulation. You can also select different thicknesses, based on your common weather and water conditions.
However, breathable waders made from special compounds, or permeable membranes are growing in popularity. This is due to their wide versatility as they can be worn in both warm and cold conditions and can keep your body comfortable for longs lengths of time.
Do you need waders to fly fish?
No doubt about it – you can fly fish without waders.
However, you will be limited in terms of where and when you can fly fish.
Waders allow you to venture deeper into water bodies and to cast out to areas you usually can’t reach from a riverbank or shoreline. You can also stay longer in the water, as the cold water will not affect you as much.
Waders provide the perfect protection from the elements and keep your skin safe from abrasions or any other unseen damage.
Who makes the best fly fishing waders?
There are a lot of fly fishing waders out there that can offer you a great experience.
Take a look at this video to see what the experienced anglers have to say about the best fly fishing waders for 2021:
Now where to from here?
This list of the best fly fishing waders in 2021, should keep you very comfortable and safe on the water.
Be sure to let me know in the comment section, which wader you fancied the most and why – I’d love to hear from you.
But best to get out there now and give those waders a good go!
Happy wading my friends.