Orvis Fly Fishing
Should I Get Bootfoot Or Stocking Foot Waders?
Waders—who needs them? If you’re new to fly fishing, this is a question you’re probably asking yourself. Top-quality waders aren’t cheap, and at the end of the day, they’re another piece of gear you need to drag along and take care of. So why bother?
Simple, because waders keep you dry, comfortable, and on the water longer. These three things make you a better fisherman.
If you’re used to wearing jeans or work pants on the water, the first time you try a pair of waders will be a revelation. Waders insulate your legs so your ankles and calves won’t ache in cold water. And because waders don’t soak up water, they don’t slip and droop like soggy jeans. Best of all, when you take your waders off at the end of the day, you’ll be dry and ready for a relaxing ride home.
As you begin your search for waders, you’ll find two major categories to pick from: Bootfoot and stockingfoot. Both keep you dry and both have advantages. So why choose one over the other?
Bootfoot waders: Have heavy-duty rubber boots connected to them. Because of this, there’s no need for you to purchase separate wading boots.
Bootfoot waders are:
Stockingfoot waders: Have sock-like booties attached to the ends. When fishing, you wear a pair of wading boots and gravel guards over these sock-like booties.
Stockingfoot waders are:
Wetsuit or rain jacket?
Along with asking yourself bootfoot or stockingfoot, something else to consider is if you should go with neoprene waders or ones made out of a breathable material.
Neoprene is the thick, insulating, waterproof material used in wetsuits. It insulates your body and helps you withstand extremely cold temperatures. With the right neoprene waders, you can stay warm and dry through blizzards and arctic-like temperatures.
Breathable waders are made from thinner, waterproof materials, They’re more like rain jackets than wetsuits. Breathable waders are preferred by most anglers because they’re lightweight and versatile. In the winter, you can layer up under breathable waders. In summer months, you can wear shorts so you don’t sweaty or clammy.
Breathable waders release some of your body heat, helping to keep you cool and dry. This is great in warmer weather. In conditions like these, neoprene waders can become sweat factories. And if you were fishing under a high Wyoming sun, neoprene waders would be working full time to make you feel uncomfortable.
Fit always comes first
When the time comes to upgrade to top-quality waders, you should consider the benefits offered by different types. If you want to spend hours on the water in the winter, picking up a pair of bootfoot models can help you stay warmer longer.
If you plan on doing some serious hiking to get into some secluded fishing spots, getting a new pair of stockingfoot waders is a great option. Then you can buy a wading boot that is more comfortable to hike in.
Whichever you choose, make sure the fit is good and you are comfortable throughout a wide range of physical motion.
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