Fly Life Magazine

There’s no “designer” runway for waders

The Wading Lab Shouts Out Their Picks – 4 Best Fly Fishing Waders

Next to a good fly rod setup, a decent pair of waders might probably be the most important piece of gear a fly fisher can have. With all those different options and features available today, choosing the best fly fishing waders can certainly be time-consuming. We try to shorten that process for you, so you can spend more time on the river and less time in front of a screen.

What You Have To Know

When it comes to choosing the best fly fishing waders, there are a few things you should take into consideration. While some waders might perform perfectly on a cold winter day, they could be a horrible choice for a nice day in spring. Therefore we highly recommend to choose accordingly to the environment you plan on using your waders in. The three aspects that affect their performance the most are the following.

Patagonia makes for women only waders. Patagonia image.


Back in the day, rubber waders were the way to go, but you will hardly find anyone using them on the river anymore. They got slowly replaced by more breathable fabrics and the better insulating neoprene. Whatever you plan on doing in your waders, those two choices outperform rubber every time!

When you should choose neoprene:

Do you plan on fishing in extremely cold temperatures? Do you hike through thick brushes to get to your desired fishing spot? Well neoprene might be a good choice then. It generally keeps you warmer than it’s counterpart and is definitely more durable. You can choose between 3.5mm, 5mm, and 7mm, and the latter is certainly nothing you want to wear until temperatures reach sub-zero.

When you should choose a breathable material:

Is it not snowing all year around in your state? Do you want to fish even during warmer days? Then breathable is the way to go. Since you can always level up your insulation with a few layers underneath, you will pretty much sweat to death with 5mm neoprene waders once the winter is over. Breathable waders are definitely more popular among fly fishers since they just perform better in a wider range of temperatures. They are also generally lighter than neoprene and therefore fit great into the whole ultralight fly fishing movement.


Two things to choose from here, bootfoot and stockingfoot. Bootfoot waders come with already attached boots (who would have guessed) and stockingfoots offer a neoprene sock instead. Since you can’t really wade that good in socks, stockingfoot waders require separate wading boots.

When you should choose bootfoot waders:

To find out which are the best four waders – read more . . .

NOTE: Featured Image is courtesy of Redington – female angler model waders in all sizes.

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