The increased popularity of fly fishing has benefited the industry by placing an emphasis on both comfort and function. This new trend is most evident in the advancement in wader technology. Neoprene waders, commonly referred to as Rubber Pants, are old technology. Today, the fly fishing industry overwhelming prefers breathable, lightweight waders. Not only are these waders more comfortable, they are also more functional during various fishing conditions and locales.
Top of the line lightweight waders features Gore-Tex® linings for increased comfort and breathability. The Gore-Tex® lining helps wick away moisture to keep you cool during the summer and warm in the winter. Moderately priced lightweights use a waterproof coating to mimic a Gore-Tex® membrane.
Many anglers believe neoprene waders will keep them warmer during winter fishing; however, using proper layering with lightweight waders will keep you warm and comfortable even in the coldest temperatures. Similar to modern ski wear technology, lightweight waders use your body heat to keep you warm.
When fitting lightweight waders, you should have enough room to comfortably crouch to land a fish or be able to traverse a fence. Be sure to have enough room throughout the waders to add extra layers for more warmth.
Once you choose a pair of waders, you need to select a quality pair of wading boots. Your boots should be comfortable enough to hike into a river and to wade extended hours. Besides comfort, your boots need to have ample room for wool socks and room to wiggle your toes to avoid numbing. Finally, the boots need to offer sufficient stability to secure your ankles over unstable terrain and slippery riverbeds.
The sole of a wading boot aids your ability to safely wade various riverbeds. Traditional felt soles are the industry standard and provide traction on all surfaces. AquaStealth® technology is the newest sole for wading boots. This traction technology collects less mud and snow and grips even the slipperiest rocks. Both types of soles can be fitted with metal spikes for even more traction to cut through slime covered rocks; however, metal spikes will ruin the inside of a drift boat, so you need to remove the spikes before a float trip.
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