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Waders and boots brand preference

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I have the Korkers BuckSkin boots. Got them on eBay for $120 and they've held up great for the last 18 months. I bought kevlar laces off Etsy for $10 and then just got the Korkers Triple Threat carbide spikes. If I had to buy another pair, I'd go with the Korkers Wraptr boots.

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I have always good luck with Orvis Silver Sonics, got 5 years on my first pair. Now going into year two on my second pair. As far as boots I like the Simms, I want to say they they are River Trecs or something like that.

 

I use them in Salt all the time and very seldom do I have any issue with sand which I attribute to the fit of the boot and a extremely well designed gator on the Orvis waders.

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Waders are a bit of a con. They're typically way too expensive for the longevity one should expect. Buy a nice fly rod for $300 that lasts a lifetime; spend the same on waders and get 2-3 seasons? Rip off.

 

I look for sales always. Just snagged a pair of Beans Kennebec with the zipper for $90. Good waders and I don't care if they die after two years.

 

 

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I have a pair of Simms stocking foot waders that have lasted longer than any other waders I've owned (about 4 years) and they fit pretty well. I also have a pair of Bean Zip Fronts that have held up well for about 2 years, although I did have to patch a puncture hole in them last year. The Beans are comfortable but they don't fit quite as well as the Simms. The Simms are a slimmer fit, the Beans have kinda baggy legs. The zip front is awesome though. If Simms does a zipper version at some point I will be all over it. 

As far as wading boots I am just about at wits end. I use felt bottoms for my local area here and I fish alot from late winter thru early summer and I am hard on my boots, plus I'm a pretty big guy at 6' 2" 235 lbs. Nothing seems to hold up. I've had Hodgeman, Frogg Toggs, Bass Pro, Aquaz X 2, and Simms, and some others I've thrown away and forgotten. They all failed at some point. The felt soles peeled off of every one of these except the Simms which are sewn on. However the Simms BOA laces failed on a recent Steelhead trip. I ordered "field" repair kit and restrung them, which was not extremely difficult but not a job I would try to do along the creek or in the field. I've gotten 2 full seasons out of the Simms so I guess they're the best I've found, but looking mine over, they look pretty beat. I doubt they last another season. So I've been researching wading boots trying to find a good option and if you read the reviews online they're all garbage. I am tired buying these things! I will never buy another pair that do not have sewn on felt bottoms. I was looking at the Orvis Clearwater ($149.....ouch!) but the reviews are saying the eyelets fall off. So maybe Simms again? ......IDK......frustrating. 

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Waders, I like Simms the best, But I have a pair of Bean waist highs I love. Boots I like Beans, they fit me better than my older simms and Chaotas.

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What I have found out about waders are : how you take care of them after use is the key .

if you leave them rolled in your car trunk or not a quick ronce after use and hang dry after use they will leak and will not last .LLBean and Patagonia are both I have and hold up well . 

 

ive been wearing these Orvis under wader pants for cold water and they are great . Fishing the winter waters of the Catskills and spring CT LI Sound are perfect 

 

Chota / Orvis Clearwater boots are what I wear 

85F58F4B-89CB-4C8A-B660-5A4F7404EED5.jpeg.212984852dbf108c74661c9927c1955a.jpeg

Edited by Hook I

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I try not to post too much of my opinions on this board as I think it best for me to just be quiet, read, and learn from those who probably fish a heck a lot more than I do...

 

However for the past several years, this wader thing has been a thorn in my side and at many other times, pricking my waders (ugh... sorry for the bad pun attempt). 

 

Moreover, I actually think I may have jinxed myself :beatin::) after writing about the virtues of the Simms G3s and G4s some years back, and then thereafter getting a bit gushy about "man"-ing up to the G4Z.

 

My mainstay for the past 3 years has been my Simms G4Zs.  I've only worn them on 5 trips with 2 being extended trips.  During their first trip of the very first season, they leaked.  Ironically, this happened during a trip to Montana and I was actually able to "drive-by" Simms in Bozeman for quick repairs.  By the way...those guys at Simms were great with service.  Well... where I thought it may have been at most two (2) leak locations, upon return to me, I noticed that there were at least 6 little goo spots of aquaseal and 1 bigger patch.  I looked at the factory manager with the "What the F&$k" look and I guess he knew exactly what I was getting at.  He instinctively started explaining to me that it's not necessarily about the premium grade of the waders and/or how new they are as they can all leak under certain circumstances.  I did not necessarily believe that I had been rambling amongst thorn infested jungles along the Madison River but I actually understood where he was coming from... no such thing as bulletproof no matter how expensive...sounded like decent common sense.  To wit, the manager explained that many folks have holes in their waders and don't even realize it as all of the "wetness" they feel can get convoluted with a whole bunch of their own slimy sweat.  He further elaborated that this happens more often than one would think unless the obvious...the hole turns out to really be a gash vs. a pin-prick.

 

Fast forward to 2018... I decided as sort of a back-up...which seems to make less and less sense to me these days... I purchased a pair of the new Patagonia Rio Gallegos Zips.  Guess what... literally the very first hour, on the very first maiden outing... my shin is "soggin" & "sloppin".  It was a good thing that I brought along my leaky pair of Simms G4Zs as a back-up.  By the way...Patagonia was awesome too when they replaced my waders without so much a peep... none of that "hipster - save the world - tree hugging - barely out of the teeny bopping stage" associate behind the counter trying to be a clever little "sleuth" assessing how this could have happened...  A few months later, back out in Montana, I went back to my Simms G4Zs.  Well wouldn't you know it... another leak in one of my shins.  Another "drive-by" through Bozeman and another patch.  Oddly enough, I randomly ran into a Simms tech designer out on the Gallatin, and he told me that in 4 years of "roughing it" with his G4Z... not a single leak... 

 

OK... so what am I getting at, what is the point, and what I have learned from all this?  I think you just don't know what is going to happen, and price is no guarantee that nothing will ever happen especially when it comes to waders.  Would some less expensive pair of waders resulted in 12 little goo spots of aquaseal as opposed to only 6?  Who knows?  Upon reflection, I think I picked these waders more on features, fit (btw...skinny calves - Simms; melon size calves - Patagonia), customer service, and the perception that since they "felt" more durable... well damn it...they must be more durable.  But as I've learned, a pin-prick by any other name is is still a pin-prick.  The flip side?  Them Godsend zippers...it ain't just about easy peasy pee-pee.  All the breathability in the world won't matter on 90+ degree days, especially in the east with them muggy, breathable membrane clogging summer days.  Unzipping allows that build up of "stank" to escape and pollute your fishing partner's air space.  As for customer service... I recall that the Simms Manager was NEVER defensive... may be slightly awkward if anything as he muttered something to the effect of, "Well... considering the price of these, the least we can do is take care of everything right away so that you can get back out there..."

 

In the end, I've been chalking up the leaks to maybe some bad luck, my unwitting thrashing in briar patches...whatever... Now however, as opposed to preparing to get pissy if the waders leak (which I will probably do regardless), I've just come to concede that I may actually have to whip out that patch kit now and then.  There is one other peeve that I should mention... and this is really just my peeve.  I noticed a "rough and scuffed" area within one of the upper leg sections of the Simms.  For the life of me, I could not figure out how this happened.  After a pow-wow amongst several Simms folks, one of them looked at me and inquired if I'd ever wore jeans under my waders.  I wondered if this was a joke?  At the time, I guess the barbarian in me did not know that I am not supposed to wear jeans under waders.  In all fairness though, when I "upped" from the G4 to G4Z, I was in all likelihood in full-force middle age mode, and opted for the "slim" fit smaller size.  Be that as it may, I'm gonna have a tough time with this one partly because: 1) I thought the whole point of ponying up $$ is so that I wouldn't have to worry about something like that; and 2) probably EVEN MORE so after having witnessed several pale, hairy, fat-asses in tighty-whities stumbling & bumbling to switch out of pants into leotard-like fleece leggings, and usurping valuable fishing time. 

 

As for boots... I think there is nothing like a great pair of "one-piece boot + sole" set-ups.  Having said that, I've been using the Korkers modular systems for the past few years.  I think the ability to interchange has outweighed the occasional, "stuck-in-muck" quandary.  I do wish that the "metal" clad soles as well as the boots overall, would last a little longer... I still have my original pair of Danner boots from the late 90s... I also try to stick with "manual lace-up" models: 1) I've found the "boa" thing not as good of fit for my feet; 2) The boa repair kit is one too many things to remember to throw in my vest; and 3) I just feel down-right lazy every time I look at my boas vs. other folks' laces... 

 

AS FOR BRANDS... I guess I still like the Simms and Patagonia if for no other reason - my customer service experiences.

 

Unrelated...well maybe a little related... I recently broke out of the Simms and Patagonia wading jacket molds after nearly 20 years, and stepped into a Filson.  The "thick-skull" that I am, it took me a long time to realize that IT'S PERFECTLY OK to try different brands.  I suppose this is something to remember the next time I go looking for waders... 

 
Regarding the Filson:
 
1) Very pleasant surprise - the Filson is on par with the best of them with respect to serious fishing performance.
2) What makes the Filson great is that it truly works as an everyday jacket vs. something that looks like...well... a fishing jacket...  

 

However, in one of those goofy fisherman gear moments and since I really like the jacket, I bought a duplicate thinking that I may need one in the event that something goes wrong with the first.  But let's face it...when does that actually happen?  Especially with high end quality fishing jackets?...perhaps other than leaving it on a large tree stump to "empty" the bladder and then forgetting about it (from a past experience by the way).

 

Hipster - Happy New Year 2019.png

Edited by Wasque921

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I really miss my Red ball masters boot foot chest highs..........still have a pair that has more patches than original.

They were quality made for the long term. Heavy and sweaty ,but that's the way it was.

 

FT

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1 hour ago, Wasque921 said:

2) probably EVEN MORE so after having witnessed several pale, hairy, fat-asses in tighty-whities stumbling & bumbling to switch out of pants into leotard-like fleece leggings, and usurping valuable fishing time. 

That's an image that's going to be hard for me to get out of my mind.

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7 hours ago, Wasque921 said:

I try not to post too much of my opinions on this board as I think it best for me to just be quiet, read, and learn from those who probably fish a heck a lot more than I do...

 

However for the past several years, this wader thing has been a thorn in my side and at many other times, pricking my waders (ugh... sorry for the bad pun attempt). 

 

Moreover, I actually think I may have jinxed myself :beatin::) after writing about the virtues of the Simms G3s and G4s some years back, and then thereafter getting a bit gushy about "man"-ing up to the G4Z.

 

My mainstay for the past 3 years has been my Simms G4Zs.  I've only worn them on 5 trips with 2 being extended trips.  During their first trip of the very first season, they leaked.  Ironically, this happened during a trip to Montana and I was actually able to "drive-by" Simms in Bozeman for quick repairs.  By the way...those guys at Simms were great with service.  Well... where I thought it may have been at most two (2) leak locations, upon return to me, I noticed that there were at least 6 little goo spots of aquaseal and 1 bigger patch.  I looked at the factory manager with the "What the F&$k" look and I guess he knew exactly what I was getting at.  He instinctively started explaining to me that it's not necessarily about the premium grade of the waders and/or how new they are as they can all leak under certain circumstances.  I did not necessarily believe that I had been rambling amongst thorn infested jungles along the Madison River but I actually understood where he was coming from... no such thing as bulletproof no matter how expensive...sounded like decent common sense.  To wit, the manager explained that many folks have holes in their waders and don't even realize it as all of the "wetness" they feel can get convoluted with a whole bunch of their own slimy sweat.  He further elaborated that this happens more often than one would think unless the obvious...the hole turns out to really be a gash vs. a pin-prick.

 

Fast forward to 2018... I decided as sort of a back-up...which seems to make less and less sense to me these days... I purchased a pair of the new Patagonia Rio Gallegos Zips.  Guess what... literally the very first hour, on the very first maiden outing... my shin is "soggin" & "sloppin".  It was a good thing that I brought along my leaky pair of Simms G4Zs as a back-up.  By the way...Patagonia was awesome too when they replaced my waders without so much a peep... none of that "hipster - save the world - tree hugging - barely out of the teeny bopping stage" associate behind the counter trying to be a clever little "sleuth" assessing how this could have happened...  A few months later, back out in Montana, I went back to my Simms G4Zs.  Well wouldn't you know it... another leak in one of my shins.  Another "drive-by" through Bozeman and another patch.  Oddly enough, I randomly ran into a Simms tech designer out on the Gallatin, and he told me that in 4 years of "roughing it" with his G4Z... not a single leak... 

 

OK... so what am I getting at, what is the point, and what I have learned from all this?  I think you just don't know what is going to happen, and price is no guarantee that nothing will ever happen especially when it comes to waders.  Would some less expensive pair of waders resulted in 12 little goo spots of aquaseal as opposed to only 6?  Who knows?  Upon reflection, I think I picked these waders more on features, fit (btw...skinny calves - Simms; melon size calves - Patagonia), customer service, and the perception that since they "felt" more durable... well damn it...they must be more durable.  But as I've learned, a pin-prick by any other name is is still a pin-prick.  The flip side?  Them Godsend zippers...it ain't just about easy peasy pee-pee.  All the breathability in the world won't matter on 90+ degree days, especially in the east with them muggy, breathable membrane clogging summer days.  Unzipping allows that build up of "stank" to escape and pollute your fishing partner's air space.  As for customer service... I recall that the Simms Manager was NEVER defensive... may be slightly awkward if anything as he muttered something to the effect of, "Well... considering the price of these, the least we can do is take care of everything right away so that you can get back out there..."

 

In the end, I've been chalking up the leaks to maybe some bad luck, my unwitting thrashing in briar patches...whatever... Now however, as opposed to preparing to get pissy if the waders leak (which I will probably do regardless), I've just come to concede that I may actually have to whip out that patch kit now and then.  There is one other peeve that I should mention... and this is really just my peeve.  I noticed a "rough and scuffed" area within one of the upper leg sections of the Simms.  For the life of me, I could not figure out how this happened.  After a pow-wow amongst several Simms folks, one of them looked at me and inquired if I'd ever wore jeans under my waders.  I wondered if this was a joke?  At the time, I guess the barbarian in me did not know that I am not supposed to wear jeans under waders.  In all fairness though, when I "upped" from the G4 to G4Z, I was in all likelihood in full-force middle age mode, and opted for the "slim" fit smaller size.  Be that as it may, I'm gonna have a tough time with this one partly because: 1) I thought the whole point of ponying up $$ is so that I wouldn't have to worry about something like that; and 2) probably EVEN MORE so after having witnessed several pale, hairy, fat-asses in tighty-whities stumbling & bumbling to switch out of pants into leotard-like fleece leggings, and usurping valuable fishing time. 

 

As for boots... I think there is nothing like a great pair of "one-piece boot + sole" set-ups.  Having said that, I've been using the Korkers modular systems for the past few years.  I think the ability to interchange has outweighed the occasional, "stuck-in-muck" quandary.  I do wish that the "metal" clad soles as well as the boots overall, would last a little longer... I still have my original pair of Danner boots from the late 90s... I also try to stick with "manual lace-up" models: 1) I've found the "boa" thing not as good of fit for my feet; 2) The boa repair kit is one too many things to remember to throw in my vest; and 3) I just feel down-right lazy every time I look at my boas vs. other folks' laces... 

 

AS FOR BRANDS... I guess I still like the Simms and Patagonia if for no other reason - my customer service experiences.

 

Unrelated...well maybe a little related... I recently broke out of the Simms and Patagonia wading jacket molds after nearly 20 years, and stepped into a Filson.  The "thick-skull" that I am, it took me a long time to realize that IT'S PERFECTLY OK to try different brands.  I suppose this is something to remember the next time I go looking for waders... 

 
Regarding the Filson:
 
1) Very pleasant surprise - the Filson is on par with the best of them with respect to serious fishing performance.
2) What makes the Filson great is that it truly works as an everyday jacket vs. something that looks like...well... a fishing jacket...  

 

However, in one of those goofy fisherman gear moments and since I really like the jacket, I bought a duplicate thinking that I may need one in the event that something goes wrong with the first.  But let's face it...when does that actually happen?  Especially with high end quality fishing jackets?...perhaps other than leaving it on a large tree stump to "empty" the bladder and then forgetting about it (from a past experience by the way).

 

Hipster - Happy New Year 2019.png

1st off I think your opinion should be around more often , your knowledge is appreciated . Good point about the dungarees or jeans worn under the waders . I'll also agree that the breathable material may not be the best in longevity almost everything made today is disposable . I hope to get to Montana someday as my fishing partner goes there annually Thanks for your words !  

Edited by Hook I

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Just as a heads-up......I ended up snagging a pair of Simms Rock Creek felt bottom wading boots yesterday on eBay for $70 + shipping. (new in box). That model apparently is obsolete and is being sold at clearance prices by fly shops and on Simms website and also eBay. I'm not going to give any kind of recommendation on these because I haven't used them yet, however these do have sewn on felt soles and a minimum number of lace grommets. Less things to go wrong. So for anyone looking for a pair of wading boots, these might be a good option and definately a good price for Simms. 

I considered giving the Korkers a try, but my local trout stream here is full of mud and muck. Often I step into what looks to be ankle deep water and immediately sink into mud thats over my knees.and I've heard that can suck the interchangeable soles right off of these boots. If I fished mostly rocky creeks I would definately try the Korkers, but I think I'm asking for trouble with those. 

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I've complained to Korkers about losing soles in muck and they replied with some good advice:

 

"Wading in deep mud. If you do find yourself in deep/sticky mud, it's important to NOT pull your foot straight up. The suction in this manner can pull the sole off of the shoe. It is better to roll forward on the ball of the foot slowly to release the foot from the mud."

 

I've used that technique and it works. It's still an issue though, but for me it's manageable, and I like being able to change soles for different conditions. However, I've mostly settled on using the studded vibram soles for all my fishing and I carry a spare pair of soles in my fishing kit just in case.

 

I'm thinking that next season if I'm fishing in muddy conditions I may use a wrap of amalgamating tape around the instep of my boots and soles as an additional guarantee against losing a sole. Amalgamating tape is made for sealing leaky pipes, etc. It doesn't rely on adhesive to stick, it bonds to itself. It can be applied under water or on wet surfaces since it doesn't use an adhesive. I've used it for plumbing repairs and it works great. Once you wrap it around itself it's like one continuous rubber band. It should provide an additional layer of security to the sole and I figure if I have to I can just cut it off at the end of the day's fishing.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hi Smath... 

On 1/2/2019 at 0:02 AM, smath said:

That's an image that's going to be hard for me to get out of my mind.

:box: Yes... image certainly etched into my brain... especially whenever I "roll on up" to a fishing parking/access and think there might be folks getting ready to change into their fishing outfits... 

 

And...nifty idea regarding the "amalgamating tape..."

 

 

Hi Hook I...

On 1/2/2019 at 5:48 AM, Hook I said:

1st off I think your opinion should be around more often , your knowledge is appreciated . Good point about the dungarees or jeans worn under the waders . I'll also agree that the breathable material may not be the best in longevity almost everything made today is disposable . I hope to get to Montana someday as my fishing partner goes there annually Thanks for your words !  

Thanks for your kind thoughts.  I know it's more or less now become akin to one of them flyfishing cliches but YES!... Get out to Montana!  Montana is still great in that: 1) There is so much water; and 2) There are so many different ways to do Montana and over the years, I think it's become easier & easier with respect to DIY options (my preference).

Edited by Wasque921

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