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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Lets talk waders for a moment...

    I own a pair of neoprenes and a pair of breathables. I had the neoprenes first, but when I got the breathables I figured I would keep the neo's for colder water and long-term wading, like in a float tube. But honestly, I haven't touched them since I got the breathables. If it is cold, I just find myself dressing like I would for skiing; long underwear, warm socks, a mid-layer and the waders.

    Now, I went bargain shopping when I got my breathables and bought some Hodgeman's for under $100. I know they say "you get what you pay for", but thus far I have been really impressed with my purchase. What am I really missing by opting out of the Patagonia, Simms, Orvis, etc.? I guess time will tell with durability, etc. But if I get a few good years out of sub-$100 waders, why not buy them again?

    And do you find yourself still using or occasionally using your old neoprenes?

    edit:
    I have heard really good things about the Cabela's $79.95 breathable outfit as well...
    Last edited by 72Twenty; 04-18-2007 at 08:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Juneau, AK
    Posts
    79
    Good call on the Hodgeman's. Who says all them other kinds are better or worse. They (orvis, simms, etc) sure seem worse when they fall apart. I have Orvis guide series waders because I got tired of shredding my neoprene calcuttas on the rocks and barnacles up here. Will they stand up? Maybe. Probably not. But I'll see soon enough. I paid too much for em but they sure are comfy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    WYO
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    Then I see the Cloudveil waders that sell for like $500 and I'm thinking, "why the hell would anyone spend that kind of money on a pair of waders?!?!?!" Maybe I am just old school. Seriously, what makes those waders over 5 times better than what I have?

    edit:

    I misspelled Hodgman above. Oops.
    Last edited by 72Twenty; 04-18-2007 at 08:21 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    SLC
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    1,355
    I just retired a pair of Hodgman waders and they are still in excellent shape. I'm really surprised how well they held up. Over 5 years I've stomped through miles of brush with them and not one single leak.

    Now I'm sportin' the Simms RiverTek pant waders. Absolutely love them. They seem to be extremely breathable and if you ever need to get in over your waist they will extend up just like regular waders. The only downside is they are very expensive and it was hard to justify the purchase. But after one use I was sold.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    WYO
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    I can tell you one thing, I don't think your waders should cost more than your rod.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Juneau, AK
    Posts
    79
    ^^^ One rebuttal to that:

    Alot of the streams up here are so remote, that your outerwear (waders, poly's, boots, jacket) almost better cost more that your rod. I would use the rod to start a fire if I had to, but my waders had BEST keep that damn water out.

    I spelled hodgman wrong also. oops.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    WYO
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    I really think these will be my next purchase, if and when my Hodgman's wear out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    SFO
    Posts
    84
    Never been a fan of neoprenes, uncomfortable for me and they take way to long to dry out. I borrowed some Simms GTXs for a summer and loved them but I got a deal on some Patagonia waders and haven't looked back since.

    BTW - There's a pretty good deal on wader on the Patagonia 'web specials' site right now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    la la land
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    720 – I’ve been down the same road too. When I first started fishing I bought Hodgman’s and returned and replaced them 3 times under their “life time” warranty. It just got old having to deal with leaks at the worst possible time (usually in the winter). In Hodgman’s defense, I’m pretty sure the leaks were due to sticks, hooks, rocks, etc, but the leaks were usually in the knee and butt area and due to not being reinforced. Since then I’ve started buying Dan Bailey’s and have been getting 2-3 years out of them (100ish days) before they start leaking at the seam where the neoprene meets the breathable material (always at the same place). The difference is, the leaks in the Dan Baileys are usually slow forming and therefore, give you a little time to deal with it (i.e. send them back under their “life time” warranty.) The high end DBs are around $200-250, have a built in gravel guard, reinforced knees and no seams on the inside of the leg (nice when walking long distances). After a number of days on the river fishing and duck hunting, I haven’t found a better wader for the money.
    BTW, IMO I would not buy any Simms other than the Guide Series. The rest of them leak. Yes they will replace them, but why spend top dollar for something that leaks?
    FWIW – I don’t have any experience with Cableas or Patigucci and ALL waders leak. Period.
    `..><((((>`..`..`...><((((>

    "Having been Baptized by uller his frosty air now burns my soul with confirmation. I am once again pure." - frozenwater

    "once i let go of my material desires many opportunities for playing with the planet emerge. emerge - to come into being through evolution. ok back to work - i gotta pack." - Slaag Master

    "As for Flock of Seagulls, everytime that song comes up on my ipod, I turn it up- way up." - goldenboy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hyperspace!
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    1,037
    I wear waders for 100 - 140 days a year for work. Here are a few things I have noted over the years.

    Cabela's - their lightweight breathable waders will fall apart after about 2 months (or less) don't bother with them. (edit - this refers to <$100 group, haven't used any of their higher end breathables)

    Cabela's / Hodgman / any 3 mm neoprene - (boot foot) are okay but construction varies greatly, have had pairs that make it 1.5 seasons and pairs that make it 1.5 days. Usually a crotch and/or knee leak. The stitching pulls in these areas, keep a repair kit ready or suffer trench crotch.

    Cabela's / Hodgman / any 5 mm neoprene - Really freaking warm if you are in temps over 50. I'm usually not. Started wearing these last season, lots of standing in cold water often while it is snowing. They hold up much better than the 3 mm, I think they have multiple layers of stitching in the critical areas. Great durability, but a 1km walk can cause you to overheat.

    Had a project that involved miles of hiking through remote headwaters in western Ak, picked up a pair of 2-ply Simms Guide series something or other. Warm temps and lots of bushwacking is no place for wearing neoprene pulled these on and got chased by a moose first thing. Great mobility, breathed well, held up great, I wore these for 100 days straight and they never leaked or got torn until I jumped into a skiff and caught them on a piece of rebar. Fixed that then they slowly generated a knee leak. My favorite waders to date, although they are not warm (at all) enough for what I do so will stick with the 5mm, 1000 thinsulate for the time being. Still keep these around for personal use (hunting, dipnetting, etc.)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    On a Sunday Morning Sidewalk
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    721
    I am a fan of Dan Bailey's Lightweight breathables. I wouldn't pay anymore than what these cost.
    "I don't feel tardy"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Alco-Hall of Fame
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    3,059
    I hardly fish but I do a pretty decent amount of duck hunting

    I have a set of hodgmans that I got for 20 bucks at a gun show years ago that leaked immediately on the seams (hey…what'd I expect for 20?) but once I seam gripped them they've been fine ever since. Nowhere near warm enough (feet) for me though, stockingfoot just doesn't do it below 35*s for me. Still use these if I go fishing only somewhere with a rock bottom or if it's really warm for hunting.

    Went through a phase with some impossibly heavy but insanely puncture proof 3-plys (WARM!)

    Now I have some Lacrosse Alpha Swampfox that I like a lot. Seem pretty durable so far and strike a nice balance between warm feet (600gm TL) and breathability. They have armoring on the fronts.

    Also, for cold weather I have some inexpensive cabelas fleece wader pants that are great. Those plus long johns will keep me okay down to -10F and not too hot up to about 35(fleece only)
    "It is not the result that counts! It is not the result but the spirit! Not what - but how. Not what has been attained - but at what price.
    - A. Solzhenitsyn

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    7,804
    ive been absolutely fine for 4 years with a pair of bass pro breathable whatevers with the neoprene feet I bought for 70$. I do take care of them and be mindful of high wear spots, such as when im kneeling on a rock or something.

    http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/st...=SearchResults
    Last edited by pechelman; 04-19-2007 at 08:25 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Up the Canyon
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    1,883
    I have the Simms Blackfoot and they leak. Aqua Seal has taken care of the leaks on the seams, but I dont think they will last me throught the spring.

    I will be on the prowl for some new waders soon.

    As far as duck hunting waders, I have a pair of Hodgeman 5mm with the armorflex(?) and they are bomber. I wear regular socks with them because the 1200g Thinsulate in the boot makes my foot sweat.
    Bush got C's.... Obama probably failed lunch

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    On the water.
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    2,089
    I wish I could afford these....



    but for $700.00... I think I'll pass.
    Since then it's been a book you read in reverse, so you understand less as the pages turn.

    The things you find on the net.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    Gare du Lyon
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    4,912
    I guess my question is....

    Do you really prefer the chest waders to the knee waders?

    I have a pair of (relatively) inexpensive hip waders and save for a few topological errors in judgment, have rarely ever felt the need to have chest waders. Plus I like the ability to peel them off easily and not make a huge mess.

    For duck hunting where I am in a blind and want to move around certainly, but do you find that you are using the chest waders quite a bit while say... fly fishing?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Denver, CO
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    7,804
    it depends where you fish, but chest waders are pretty much a neceisity back east where I fished. Havent found too many time id needed the full chest out here, but i never complain about the extra height.

    also most chest waders you can undo the suspenders and turn it into a belt so you can fold the top half down to make it a bit more summer friendly.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Tetons
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    5,882
    If you're current waders keep you dry and somewhat comfortable.....don't worry about spending more. The price jack-up in the $300+ category comes first from the NAME, second because most are "from fitting", requiring more work, and last because they are more durable.
    If you're not putting holes in the waders you have, don't spend the extra cash. Personally, I don't like the "form fitting"waders. They are too constricting and if you buy them to fit with a thin pair of long-johns and no socks, chances are that when it is real fuckin cold and you need multiple layers they will fit like a sausage casing. Buying extra big doesn't seem to be the ticket either.


    My .02

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    3,059
    Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
    I guess my question is....

    Do you really prefer the chest waders to the knee waders?

    I have a pair of (relatively) inexpensive hip waders and save for a few topological errors in judgment, have rarely ever felt the need to have chest waders. Plus I like the ability to peel them off easily and not make a huge mess.

    For duck hunting where I am in a blind and want to move around certainly, but do you find that you are using the chest waders quite a bit while say... fly fishing?

    One thing I would like to have: camo breathable hippers for jump shooting and shallow creek hunts. Pretty much ones just like my Alphas but hippers.

    edit- although I'm sure no joe-cool fishing nerd would ever be caught dead in a set of mere hip waders.
    "It is not the result that counts! It is not the result but the spirit! Not what - but how. Not what has been attained - but at what price.
    - A. Solzhenitsyn

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    WYO
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    heh. I use full chest waders because I spend part of my time wade fishing in our local small lakes and like to get a ways out most of the time. But yes, sometimes I roll them down to the wading belt and wear them as pants when on the river and it is low.

    Only problem with hip waders, sometimes I like to kneel in the river to sneak up on a hole and hippers would be a problem. I could see using hippers on a little spring creek, but then why not just have the chesters rolled down to pants-mode?

    Advantage to hippers? They don't trap the farts in.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    2,178
    I'm on year 8 with my Orvis Silver Label waders. Replaced one pair of boots but with the exception of a couple patches these are still gong stong. I figure they'll be up for replacement in the next year or so but I thought that 3 years ago. These convert from a chest to waist really easy and have proven to be far more durable than I expected. That said I'm not a huge Orvis fan, bought these as a factory second and to this day I can't figure why they didn't make the retail floor. I've fallen in these, slid down countless banks, hiked through more brush than I care to remember, and have only sealed two leaks. My advice is to always stick to the middle of the range with waders and save your money for the high end rod.

    Jay
    Five minutes into the drive and you're already driving me crazy...

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Heh, sometimes when I fish into the evening I just jump in the truck to drive home with my waders still on and take them off in my driveway or garage, especially if it is cold and the wind picks up and I'd rather just get goin'. It's always fun when I stop at a gas station for a snack on the way home.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    la la land
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    5,621
    IMO these are the biggest POS ever made.

    `..><((((>`..`..`...><((((>

    "Having been Baptized by uller his frosty air now burns my soul with confirmation. I am once again pure." - frozenwater

    "once i let go of my material desires many opportunities for playing with the planet emerge. emerge - to come into being through evolution. ok back to work - i gotta pack." - Slaag Master

    "As for Flock of Seagulls, everytime that song comes up on my ipod, I turn it up- way up." - goldenboy

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    bozone montuckey
    Posts
    4,352
    i have a pair of the ll bean wicked tough waders that i got a couple years ago. and they rock. i have no idea how many layers of gore-tex they have in the legs, but the shrug off brambles and have never had a leak. i think i have 3 seasons on them. i do lots of boat fishing, but also lots of fishing out of kick boats and stream/river hiking (beartrap canyon for instance).



    i use lots of ll bean gear, my brother works for them and gets me very good discounts. but i would buy these again even if i had to pay full price.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
    Ben Franklin

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    935
    I haven't worn neoprenes in years. Obsolete. I fish mostly a spring creek, Silver Creek in Idaho, from a float tube. When it's cold I'm layered up with fleece. When it's hot I'm comfortable with just nylon pants underneath. I use Patagonia's. Yeah, I know, Patagucci. Got 'em at close-out prices when they changed styles.
    My buddy who is an outfitter on the Missouri said he would wear them too if he didn't have a contract with Simms.

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