Wading in…


An option for this season?

About this time last year I was thinking about getting myself a set of breathable chest waders and there was certainly a fair few offerings out there. Trouble was that most were, and still are, aimed at the freshwater salmon and trout market and not specifically designed for the rougher treatment the saltwater environment serves up. Some are very pricey as well and I just couldn’t justify spending money on kit that might not necessarily stand up to the rigours of lure fishing while rock hopping around the Dorset coast. In the end I went for the cheap option and found some Bison chest waders on a well known auction site and to be honest last year they served there purpose extremely well. After one season they’re well worn but for the sub-£100 I paid for them that was money well spent and I would certainly go for them again over some of the more expensive chest waders on the market.

However, the question I’ve been asking myself is whilst there is no doubt I need waders do they need to be chest one’s?  I rarely wade over thigh level so waist waders are starting to make more sense for this season. The main advantages I can see are:

  • More freedom of movement for the top half of my body
  • Generally more comfortable to wear
  • They’re on the whole cheaper to buy
  • They makes things easier when nature calls!

If I need waterproof protection for my upper body I can just throw on my Palm kayak cag which I’ve done in the past very effectively. There are a couple of options I’ve found out there from Scierra and Snowbee but it’s something I’ll be researching further in the next couple of months to see what other choices are available.

Would be interested to know what others’ opinions are on the subject!?!

Until next time…

6 thoughts on “Wading in…”

  1. Personally I like chest waders, stops those splashes going up your back and down the back of your waders. This is particularly a problem in my kayak, as I'm generally sitting in a pool of water (don't plug the scupper holes), and if I move it has to go somewhere… one trip was enough to stop me wearing just my dry pants on future outings!!

    I've used a 4 layer Orvis pair (think they were their top end ones at the time) for 3 seasons – still going strong, they can really take some hammer. And they're cooler than a drysuit in the summer – so even now I sometimes switch to wearing them. They can roll down to become waist length waders if you want, but for kayaking it's better having that extra length.

    I used to wear them with a Palm drytop, which works but doesn't really keep you dry for long if you tumble in. You want to keep your belt pretty tight if you get some, and then a belt over the dry top. The velcro tighteners don't really stop much from getting in if you're in the water for longer than 30 seconds.


  2. Thanks for the response Kester – good points made. I was really thinking about lure fishing from the shore in respect of the waist waders as I couldn't agree more with you on the need for a more substantial solution for on the kayak…. when I'm on the yak I use the Palm cag in conjunction with the Palm Sidewinder bib and that seems to work well for me. I wouldn't want to use the bib from the shore though as invariably I'm hopping over rocks and knowing me would snare them and then I'd be less than happy!

    That's why I was looking at the waist waders for shore use really – something a bit more flexible and comfortable for clambering around rocks in….but maybe I'm going in completely the wrong direction with my thought process on this!?!


  3. I'd say you're not as mobile in a pair of waders as you would be in a pair of dry pants, but the waders are much tougher. Make sure you try your waders on and bend down in them or try and lift your leg up as if you were getting over a stile – you might be surprised how restrictive they can be. Dry pants probably better if you have to walk long distances, but waders with socks are so much more convenient. Most dry pants have latex ankle seals.

    But whatever you go for, I'd get some felt soled wading boots with titanium studs. Nothing else cuts through bladderwrack!


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