Fishing Waders – You Need To Know These 4 Things When Choosing

Fishing Waders – You Need to Know These 4 Things When Choosing

Fishing waders are important for any fly fishing trip. Without a good pair, you’re left soaked up to your waist.

Your boots fill with water or dirt. It’s a mess and you’re cranky by the time you get home.

And a high-quality pair of fishing waders are hard to come by. Not any old pair will do. You need a pair that is strong and durable. They need to protect you from as much water as they can.

Before you buy a pair of fishing waders, you need to know what to look for. These are the 4 things you need to know when choosing a pair of fishing waders.

Types of Fishing Waders

If you’re new to fly fishing, you might be imagining heavy overalls as fishing waders. While this is one type of wader, it’s not your only option. And each type of wader has its’ place in fly fishing.

Hip Waders

Hip waders go up to your hips. Most are like extra long boot waders that stretch up to your hips. The boots turn into the fabric and you attach the waders to your belt loop.

They’re perfect for the shallow end when you’re fishing. They work well in slow waters but not so well in faster waters.

They’re also easy to put on and take off at the end of a day of fishing.

If you’re looking for a pair of waders for a relaxing fly fishing time, hip waders are your best choice.

Waist High Waders



Waist high waders look like a pair of pants with socks attached to them. These waders are waterproof to protect you. The material is also breathable to keep you cool.

Plus, they’re lighter than chest waders so you don’t sweat when you’re out in the heat.

Waist high waders are also made for shallow water fishing.

Chest High Waders

These are the waders you’re imagining when you see fishing waders in your head. They go straight up to your chest and look like heavy-duty overalls. Which they are sort of heavy-duty overalls.

They keep you warm when you’re out fishing in cold and wet weather. They keep you dry from water.

They’re what you need for fly fishing in deep waters. And they can stand up to fast streams too.

Material of Fishing Waders

There are so many choices of material when it comes to fishing waders. They’ve been around for a long time and the material used has progressed and grown over that time.

Some types of material are better than others. They can take the weather elements and constant submersion in water.


Canvas is heavy-duty and gets the job done when you’re fly fishing. Canvas fishing waders are either loved or hated.

They’re almost impossible to damage. They’re so thick it’s hard for anything to puncture or tear them. This is why the supporters of canvas waders are always singing their praise.

They’re insulated, making them perfect for super cold weather. But they’re not breathable. If you swear inside of them, there’s no way for that moisture to escape.

They can also be too stiff and hard to move around in. Which is why some fishermen hate canvas waders.




Gore-Tex is a beloved breathable fabric used for many things, including fishing waders.

The fabric is breathable so it can let out any sweat and moisture building up underneath the waders.

The thicker the better. Not only are these waders warmer because of the added thickness but they become more durable. They’re not going to fall apart over a little damage.


Neoprene is well-known for being lightweight. You can wear neoprene fishing waders and not feel weighed down the entire time you’re fishing.

Most neoprene waders are thin, though there are thicker choices. The thin choices offer you flexibility. You can move around without being stiff or having to break them in.

They’re super warm. So, they’re a great fabric choice for fishing in colder climates. But they aren’t very breathable.


Rubber waders are a traditional and old school choice for material. It’s a heavy-duty material that’s going to last for a long, long time.

And if they do receive a little bit of damage, they’re easy to patch up.

But a reason they’ve fallen in popularity is due to how stiff they are. They’re hard to move around in and can get uncomfortable.


What environment do you fish in? We all know it can differ from day to day. But on average, what kind of environment do you fly fish in?

When you don’t fish in deep waters, you should stick to hip waders or waist high waders.

Chest high waders are pricier between the type of material and how much material used. So, you don’t have to spend that extra money if you don’t need such a high or heavy-duty wader.

Of course, if you fly fish in deep and harder waters, a hip wader or waist high wader won’t do.


Weather is so important to consider before you buy a pair of waders. You have to factor in whether you fish in colder weather or warmer weather.

Cold weather needs heavier fishing waders. Insulated is always a bonus to keep your legs and feet warm.

Hot weather needs lightweight waders. They should also be breathable so sweat can seep out of the waders.


Fishing waders are essential to fly fishing. You might as well be naked if you’re running out in deep waters or on a cold day without a pair of waders. But it’s easy to choose a great pair of waders as long as you keep these 4 factors in mind.

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Roy Ericson

Roy Ericson started fishing when he was just a boy, like many of us did. He spent far too much time on the piers not being able to catch anything, until his uncle brought him deep sea fishing, out to the lakes of Michigan, where he lived, and to the various ponds in neighboring states. He’s been all over, caught over 400 different species of fish, and doesn’t believe you should embellish your stories. He’s just here to teach you about his absolute favorite thing in the world: fishing.