Part of the fun of fly-fishing is knowing that there’ll come a point where you need to get into the water to have the most amount of fun. There’s also the added benefit of having better casting if you wade into the water, so it's pretty inevitable that you’re going to get wet.
With that in mind then high-quality waders should be the priority for any fly-fishing angler, and while novices sometimes decide to try fly-fishing without waders or cheaper ones, at some point you know you need the best fishing waders you can find so that nothing can stop you from getting into the water if you have to.
Waders need to be comfortable and let you move around easily in the water, so you have the best chance of catching great haul. They also need to protect you from the cold and the wet and some will be more suited to specific environments than others, so the weather conditions and location of your fishing spot are important to keep in mind when you’re on the lookout for new waders.
It can be overwhelming to see all the different types of waders available from all different brands and finding the one that suits you can be a struggle. You don’t want to waste time you could spend outside on the water looking for waders, so we’ve done the legwork and put together a few of our top picks to get you going.
We’ve even noted a few of the most important factors to think about before buying, so you have everything you need to make your choice.
Top 5 Best Fly-Fishing Waders
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
If you like to get your gear from well-respected and trusted sources who know what they’re doing than you’re not going to go far wrong with picking Hodgman.
With over 2 centuries of expertise behind them, their waders are known to be of excellent quality and durability. They have all sorts of options available, in different styles and materials but these are a great choice if you’re going to be fishing in cold water or cold conditions.
This is a great option for those needing to stay warm and dry due to the neoprene construction which has excellent insulating properties to keep you warm even in wintry conditions, and as it’s most commonly used in diving suits it’s waterproofing is pretty outstanding.
The features like a fleece-lined handwarmer pocket show the care and thought that has been taken into what anglers need during a long day out on the water, and there’s plenty of storage for the tools that you need while on the job with a D-ring for a net and 2 front D-rings plus and internal rear pocket so that you can keep what you need close at hand.
The excellent pocket design will stop any water from coming in and prevent anything you put in there from getting water damage. The neoprene design has a thickness of 3.5mm which doesn’t impede movement or comfort do you can still cast easily.
The waders are also comfortable to wear for extended periods, and the included rubber boots make this the full package and excellent value. The knees are reinforced with a double layer as your knees are a high impact area while fishing, this reinforcement increases the durability of this option and offers extra protection from sharp stones while kneeling.
The included boots are of excellent quality and provide great traction through mud or slippery surfaces due to the cleated soles which give you a sturdy stance even while wading out. This pair of waders will keep you warm up to your chest and their well-insulated and durable enough to last you a while.
They’re good ones to walk in as they offer an excellent range of movements, and the Y-back elastic suspender straps have opposing buckles so you can find the best fit for you. These are a good choice for anglers who prefer cold rivers and lakes.
If you’re headed for freezing temperatures than you’ll want something a little heavier duty, and you won’t want to wear them in any kind of heat. But if you’re expecting chilly or cold conditions than these are a great value pair of waders to have.
- Great for cold weather with features like fleece-lined pocket
- A great amount of storage
- Excellent amount of movement
- Great insulator
- Comfortable and durable
- Socks are needed to prevent chafing on the ankle
- 3.5mm neoprene shell
- Reinforced double-layer knees
- Top entry pocket with fleece-lined pockets
- 200g Thinsulate Rubber boot with cleated sole
- Y-back elastic suspender straps with opposing buckles
This is another great option from another well-respected brand with a reputation for creating lightweight and comfortable waders that consistently rival more expensive products.
This pair is no exception to that reputation, and this is a good one to look at if you like waders with some style to them. These are another option for those who like to brave cold weather and they’re a very popular product among anglers for their durability and the quality of their design and construction. Made from a 3.5-millimeter neoprene fabric with a robust polyester jersey shell these waders are fully prepared in terms of both insulation and waterproofing for fishing in cold water.
They’re designed to stay comfortable and warm without impeding movement so they remain lightweight even in the water, so you can focus on the finer tasks of angling without growing uncomfortable with damp. The included built-in wading boots make this a great option for those looking for a full wading package without needing to buy boots separately.
The boots feature 600-gram Thinsulate Ultra Insulation so you can rest easy knowing you won’t have a freezing surprise inside your boots while you wade out. These boots are durable and will go a long way to keep your feet warm and dry and you won't get cold waiting for the fish to bite.
The camouflage design will help you not to spook the fish, and they look pretty cool even for those who doubt that the camouflage will give you the element of surprise. The soles include an 8mm wool felt midsole and cleated outsole which gives you outstanding traction on a range of surfaces.
The waders will keep you warm and have included features like a fleece-lined chest front pocket to help keep you comfortable and out on the water. The seams on the waders have all been triple finished meaning they’ve been glued, stitched, and taped which makes them more durable and increases their waterproofing and insulation properties.
The suspenders have been Velcro straps which are easier to adjust so you can get a comfortable and secure fit, and the knees are reinforced to help protect against punctures and make the waders more durable. The waders have a selection of D-rings and plenty of storage so you can take whatever tools you need to out into the water with you, so you don’t waste time making shore visits because you’ve left something behind.
A dry pocket inside your waders can hold any essential items you need to keep safe and dry, and these are generally a pretty robust set of chest level waders that will keep you warm and dry even if you end up going deeper than expected.
These are well-constructed waders that will keep out the cold weather, at a good price. Beginners looking for their first set of waders will be impressed by the quality and affordable price tag of this option.
- Comfortable and easy to size
- Stylish and available in 2 colors
- Robust and durable
- Excellently designed
- Great storage
- Those with shorter legs may struggle with sizing
- 3.5mm neoprene upper
- High-back design for deeper wading
- Neoprene suspenders with adjustable hook-and-loop attachment
- Handwarmer pocket
- Reinforced knees
We’ve already had a Hodgman on this list so a second is a testament to the quality of the construction and design of their products.
This is a great option for those on a budget but who still want something that’s going to consistently perform for them. The design of this nylon and PVC option gives it a great range of movement thanks to the lightweight construction. Unlike rubber which is much heavier, these waders chafe far less and are comfortable to wear for long periods without irritation.
The PVC coating gives this option its waterproofing and it’s far more efficient than rubber at keeping light while keeping you dry. This is another good option for buying all the wading gear you need for fly-fishing as it includes a pair of durable PVC boots which slip on and off easily, and offer excellent traction over a range of surfaces thanks to the cleated soles that also make it easy to trek or hike between spots, while simultaneously offering great protection in the water.
There’s plenty of storage for useful tools in the internal pockets, and the waders are comfortable to wear thanks to the suspenders and buckles which help get the best possible individual fit. Even when you go into deep water these waders will keep you dry and they’re a great option for amateurs wanting to have fun, stay safe, and not break the bank.
- Lightweight and easy to wear
- Comfortable and durable enough to take a lot
- Easy to adjust
- Heavy-duty boots with no leaks
- Good storage
- If headed into cold water layering up is recommended
- Lightweight bootfoot chest fishing waders weigh 35% less than traditional rubber waders
- More flexibility and less chafing than rubber waders
- Tough nylon shell fabric effectively seals out water
- Cleated PVC boot is 25% more durable than rubber
- Adjustable suspenders and internal pocket for convenience
If you’ve been looking for something lightweight and breathable than these might be just what you’ve been looking for. This option from Caddis comes in a two-tone taupe color with CaddisDry technology including CaddisDry material that is both breathable and waterproof.
There’s also a polyester outer layer that works in combination to keep you dry but let perspiration evaporate to keep you cool and dry in hot weather. This is a chest level wader that lets you go into deeper water and remain dry and comfortable and is designed to give you a great range of movement.
The seams are triply secured, and the feet have been double taped glued and stitched to give maximum waterproofing and protect against leaks. The four pocket systems are large and easy access to keep handy tools close by for when you need them, and the whole setup is designed to be as comfortable for you as possible and includes the adjustable suspender straps for a more personal fit.
The knees have been double layers for added penetration protection and to make the waders last longer and more durable.
This is a great all-rounder and the included gravel guards on the stocking feet are a great way to keep sand out of your footwear by easily clipping for a tight seal. The buckles and zippers are all very durable and easy to operate and they can be trusted to stay secure while you focus on more important things.
The waders are easy to get on and off, and they’re versatile enough thanks to the stocking foot to let you easily wear your broken-in boots over them, so your fully prepared for your home ground. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more comfortable or breathable set of waders and they’re great for using all year round, as you can easily layer in colder weather so you can fly-fish whenever you want to.
- Very lightweight and durable
- Wide range of sizes
- Looks great and is very comfortable
- Accessible price point
- Suitable for all-weather
- Socks can run a little large
- Comfortable 2 Tone Taupe stocking foot Breathable waders with double knee's, adjustable deluxe suspenders, new Quad pocket and attached breathable gravel guards.
- Works great in all weather conditions to keep you warm and comfortable while fishing, clamming or working in your pond.
- We use only the highest quality breathable material with a durable Poyester outer using CaddisDry technology that allows perspiration through, but keeps water out.
- The feet are double taped glued and stitched to make sure your feet stay warm and dry. Boots should be purchased separately.
- This family of waders has more adult sizes than any other wader series in our line. Men and women of most body sizes are addressed here.
There’s very little to say that hasn’t already been said about Caddis’ exceptional comfort and quality and if you’re a beginner looking for a quality set of waders that will function exceptionally but not cost an arm and a leg than these might be just what you’re after.
Just because they’re designed with beginners in mind doesn’t mean that they sacrifice on quality or durability. There’s plenty that even seasoned anglers will find to like about this pair of waders, and most would be impressed by how lightweight and comfortable they, as well as the quality of the waterproofing. This pair is constructed from CaddisDry breathable and waterproof technology and heavy-duty polyester fabric on the outer layer which makes them suitable for most weather conditions with the added benefit of being able to be used all year round.
This is a pretty robust option and beginners will immediately see the difference between using these on the water and having no protection. The Stockingfoot offers you a degree of protection, and they’re easily paired with wading shoes or boots if you feel you want to wade out deeper or want the additional comfort or protection. Your comfort has been designed for, with an included handwarmer pocket and easily adjustable suspender to achieve the best fit for you.
The lightweight material keeps them from getting heavy so you can spend more time on the water, and the zippered front chest pouch means there’s plenty of space for the essential tools. This is a great value option, that’s very well-made and an excellent introduction to the kind of comfort and protection waders can provide. This pair fists very well and is comfortable to use thanks to the innovative breathable design.
- Good sizing system
- Well-made and durable
- Comfortable and breathable design
- Lightweight and at an accessible price point
- Great for beginners
- More pockets would be useful
- Lightweight, corrosion-resistant frame & sideplates
- Multi-disc, carbonite drag System
- Aluminum handle arm with Ergo grip handle knobs
- ALC: Rigid diecast aluminum frame and handle side plate
- Multi-disc, Carbonite drag system
Best Fly-Fishing Waders Buying Guide
Hopefully, you now have some idea about the kind of waders that might suit you and the sort of thing that you’ll feel comfortable in. There are plenty of options available, so keep in mind your needs and your budget, and you certain to find something that’s great for you.
If you’re still struggling though, here are a few of the features to look out for.
If you’re going to have comfortable waders than it is imperative that they fit as well as they can. A bad ft can reduce your movement, the features that you picked your waders for, and just generally inhibit your performance.
Taking the time to check the sizing chart from the brand is a good start, and keep in mind that it may take a few goes before you hit on the right option, especially if you want waders with feet. If you know what your measurements are going in than the whole process will be much smoother, but also keep in mind where your fishing.
You might want to leave room inside your waders for layers if you’re heading for colder climates so get a size bigger to pad up.
Waders come in all sorts of materials and making sure you pick one suited to the kind of place your fishing is an important thing to consider before choosing. Most commonly used are rubber or neoprene, but there are plenty of other combinations of materials out there.
Neoprene is generally a great idea, but it can get very hot in the summer so check out materials like Nylon if this is something that will massively irritate you. Pair the material to the environment and you won’t go far wrong.
This is only a small thing to look out for but remember that getting waders you like and feel comfortable in will help you get out on the water more, especially if you’re a beginner. Camouflage or muted colors are the norm as some think that brighter colors scare the fish, but if you feel you want something a bit bolder than go for it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I get waders?
It’s hard to tell you all the benefits that waders give you, but anything that can make you more comfortable out on the water has to be a good thing. If you stay warm and dry you’ll spend less energy fighting off the cold and more focusing on catching fish.
Keeping warm will also mean you can spend more time on the water and if you’re using techniques where you’re likely to get wet like fly-fishing staying dry is always a good thing.
When should I use waders?
One of the great things about waders is that if you want to you can use them all year round. You’ll need the right ones of course, and there may be days where you don’t mind getting wet. If you’re fishing from the land of course then you won’t need to bother with them.