Fishing Waders Guide: Everything You Should Know When Choosing Fishing Waders

William Adams
 min read

This fishing waders guide is helpful to the novice and experienced sportfishermen.

Fishing waders guide: Everything you should know when choosing fishing wadersWhich fisherman has never experienced standing at the water’s edge and just barely being able to reach your fishing line stuck in a plant?

As a whole, fishing waders allow you to go further into the water and are usually made of PVC or rubber. The material determines the price, as well as the boots and sole type. Furthermore, it is important to clean the wading suit properly and store it well for a longer life span.

Even if you have boots on, the water may just be too deep. Or you see a great spot where there is sure to be fish, but you just can’t cast to it from the shore.

Then you could really use a wading suit. Find out everything you need to know about this handy fishing equipment below with this fishing waders guide.

Fishing waders guide: Introduction

A wading suit allows you to walk in the water up to chest height without getting your clothes wet.

Wading suits are also commonly used for chores in your garden pond or for specific construction work.

Nowadays, many brands have included wading suits in their range. But you need to be on your toes if you purchase one because they are not all good.

How do you recognize a quality wading suit? And what features should fishing waders have?

Material of fishing waders

The main difference between a cheap wading suit and a somewhat more expensive wading suit is the material used.

Cheaper wading suits are almost always made of PVC, while the more expensive wading suits are made of neoprene.

You can see and feel the difference between these 2 types of material immediately.

Wading suit made of PVC

PVC fishing waders are similar to a rain suit but thicker. They are waterproof but otherwise not very insulating, and they can leak pretty quickly.

Because it is thinner than a neoprene wading suit, it is easier to store and dries quickly, easier to clean and easier to repair.

But precisely because it is so thin, it offers absolutely no insulation. And when you step into cold water with a PVC wading suit, you feel it immediately.

Thus, a PVC wading suit is either only used in summer or with a pair of thermal pants underneath.

Do not underestimate Mother Nature and don’t underestimate her in spring when the birds start singing again and the sun feels warmer because even then, the water can still be frigid.

Neoprene wading suit

On the other hand, you have absolutely no problems with cold water with neoprene fishing waders.

A neoprene wading suit is easily 0.12 to 0.16 inches thick and so it has an insulating effect (unlike a PVC wading suit).

Neoprene also tends to last longer than PVC, and this material is good to use all year round.

Nevertheless, neoprene is not necessarily always the best choice as neoprene is more expensive, and it is also less repairable if repairs are required.

But when you have the budget, it is definitely recommended to choose neoprene fishing waders instead of PVC fishing waders.

Of course, it also depends very much on what you intend to use the wading suit for. Is it just to take an occasional step into the water? Or is it more likely to clean the pond once a year? For these situations, a PVC wading suit is basically sufficient.

However, do you want to use the fishing waders weekly or monthly and possibly in colder times and seasons? Then you’re better off investing in a neoprene wading suit.

Fishing wading suit boots

There are a few things to say about the boots of a wading suit.

For example, sometimes you’ll see 2 neoprene wading suits that are almost identical, including thickness, but still differ quite a bit from each other in price. Well, that’s because of the difference in the quality of the boots.

Fishing waders are fitted with PVC or rubber boots, but the versions with rubber boots are more expensive.

PVC boots

A PVC boot is cheaper to make but has some drawbacks. In fact, unlike rubber, PVC is much less able to withstand sunlight.

And even without exposure to sunlight, PVC dries out faster than rubber, making it brittle and eventually causing the boot to leak.

When PVC gets cold such as during contact with colder water, it becomes stiffer and is no longer as flexible.

Rubber boots

With a rubber boot, you have much less of this, and so it will be much more comfortable.

Again, the main thing to consider here is how often you will wear the wading suit. If you are only going to put it on sporadically, then a PVC boot will do.

On the other hand, will you often put on the fishing waders? Then it definitely pays to select fishing waders with rubber boots.

Sole type

Fishing waders with boots equipped with ordinary rubber or PVC soles may not provide adequate grip. The bottom in the water can be really slippery with such standard soles, making an accident happen quickly.

Especially when the surface consists of clay, you have to be really careful not to slip.

You have a better grip on clay with felt soles, and won’t slip as easily.

Also in water with a stone or tiled bottom, you have a much better grip with soles made of felt. These soils are often entirely greened out and speckled.

It is very tricky with fishing waders with a regular boot, but it is a lot less dangerous with felt soles.

You can’t use felt soles for just walking down the street because they will wear out way too fast. So a sole with felt is ideal for use in the water.

The size of the fishing waders

Once you’ve decided which type of wading suit is best for you? Then you just need to choose the size of the fishing waders.

For wading suits, the suit is a one size fits all, and only the shoe size is indicated.

The sizes are pretty accurate, but it is better to go up a size if you are unsure. For example, you can always use a thick pair of socks to compensate for the slight difference. Moreover, you will have nice warm feet right away.

Three tips for a longer life of your fishing waders

Buying a wading suit can be expensive, so when you buy quality fishing waders, you spend quite a bit of money, and you want to use them for as long as possible.

But even if you buy cheap fishing waders that will be used sporadically, it would be a shame if they were to last only a short time.

Therefore, below are 3 essential tips to enjoy your fishing waders for longer.

Clean the wading suit correctly

When you have used the wading suit, you must clean it before storing it.

This is best done in the shower with the showerhead and your bare hands using cold to lukewarm water.

Do not use soap or hot water for this! Hot water can weaken the bonding of the seams, and therefore you run the risk of getting a leak in your wading suit.

Never wash your fishing waders in the washing machine.

Store the fishing waders in the correct manner

When storing the fishing waders, do not hang them on a coat rack in the closet.

As a wading suit also has integrated boots, it is far too heavy to be hung up like this.

If you hang the wading suit on a coat rack, you have a good chance that the seams between the boot and the suit will tear, causing a leak.

Fold or roll the fishing waders loosely and store them in a dark and cool place.

A hot attic or a car trunk where it can get sweltering hot are not good places and definitely do not benefit fishing waders.

Do not dry the wading suit in the sun

Unfortunately, numerous anglers leave their fishing waders to dry in the sun after the fishing session.

This is just bad for the material (both PVC and neoprene).

The UV rays dry out the material, which you definitely want to avoid.

Let the wading suit dry on both the outside and inside. You can do this outdoors in the shade or indoors.

If you always let fishing waders dry in the sun, you have a good chance that the material will dry out and become porous.

Hanging a wading suit over a heater is not good for the suit either.

Should the fishing waders get wet on the inside, you can also let them dry inside out without any problems.

Special heaters for wading suit boots can be purchased at winter sports stores that allow one to dry and/or warm ski boots and that might also sell special winter fishing clothes in a particular aisle of the store.

You put these tools in the boots of the fishing waders which will ensure that the boots dry out properly.

Fishing waders guide: Conclusion

A fishing wading suit can be expensive, so hopefully this fishing waders guide can point you in the right direction.

Subsequent care is as important as the purchase itself, so make sure you apply the maintenance tips we’ve shared.

Happy fishing and wading!

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About William Adams

I’m an engineer and a happy plus-size individual myself. I love to blog online if I can have a positive impact on the lives of others. I help other plus-size people with in-depth product guides to make shopping for products and services less stressful in their busy lives. Read More