How to Choose Fly Fishing Waders and Boots

September 20, 2019

Fly fishing waders can make all the difference between having a good day fishing and winding up a soaked-through mess. Waders make it possible to reach the best fishing spots and keep you dry. However, if you choose low-quality waders and boots, or choose products that fail to fit right, you risk taking in water and finding yourself in a bad (and soggy) situation. Here is what to consider when choosing boots and fly fishing waders in Fraser, CO:

  • Length: Waders come in three lengths: hip, waist and chest. Many anglers prefer chest waders because they secure well with overall-type straps, and they cover more so you can stay dry if a sudden current or wave hits you. Hip waders come in two pieces and extend to the upper thigh. They are made for shallow waters. Waist-high waders fit like pants and offer more coverage than hip waders. They are less restrictive, but shouldn’t be used in deeper than mid-thigh water.
  • Foot type: Chest waders come in boot foot and stocking foot varieties. The boot foot type has boots attached so you do not have to buy separate boots. However, they are considerably heavier, and those with very large or small feet may have a hard time finding a good fit. Stocking foot waders come with water-proof socks attached and require that you purchase separate boots. This works great to ensure both your waders and boots fit right, rather than hope you get them both correct with one garment.
  • Materials: Waders come in neoprene, nylon, rubber and waterproof-breathable options. Neoprene is the same material as wetsuits and is standard in cold waters. It is offered in different thicknesses depending on the season you plan to fish. Nylon is less expensive. but only good for beginning anglers. Rubber is strong and waterproof, but also heavy. However, none of these options are breathable, meaning if you sweat, it is all trapped inside. Waterproof-breathable is usually nylon with an air-permeable membrane to allow for moisture wicking. If you plan to fish often, waterproof-breathable is a good investment.
  • Soles: There are four types of soles for wader boots, including felt, rubber, hiking and cleated. Felt was once the most popular option until it was discovered that it brings in invasive species. Some states ban felt soles, but they are legal in Colorado. Rubber outsoles offer superior grip on algae-covered rocks and are easy to clean. Hiking soles are a good option if you plan to hike a while to get to a fishing spot. Some soles allow you to add screw-in cleats, but keep in mind that these will damage boat decks if you plan on floating a river rather than walking it.

Our suggestion is to try on several combinations to see what fits you best. Poor fit will reduce warmth and safety and leave you vulnerable to river mishaps, so it is important that you buy fly fishing waders and boots at a reputable dealer.

Winter Park Flyfisher offers a vast inventory of boots and fly fishing waders in Fraser, CO. Visit us today and we will help you gear up for your next fishing adventure.

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