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How to Choose the Best Waders for Fishing – And Tips for Using Them


Article Categories: Fishing | Fishing Tips
Article Tags: Fishing Gear | Fly Fishing

Waders are one of the most common items you will spot in angler’s store. They are helpful for just about all types of fishing from shore. By enabling anglers to get deeper in the water, and closer to fish, they will increase the odds of a successful day on the water.


What Type of Waders Should I Choose

It is important to understand each type of waders before buying the right type of waders for you. Some waders are great for ease of use, others are for comfort and traveling distances, and each have their own price ranges.


Hip Waders

If you are not so much into fishing, hip waders will most likely fit the purpose. They are great for hunting or fishing in shallow waters such as the streams and creeks. These are often the least expensive option and the easiest to put on. They also have the smallest use cases, but are great for those looking specifically for shallow water protection.


Chest Waders

If you are an angler who frequents dangerous and tough conditions, or even just a new angler getting into fishing, the chest waders will wade be great for all situations. Chest waders are also useful when dealing with big games or large fish. They are excellent attire when going out on a rainy day in deep waters. This is the most common wader for most anglers. Chest waders are broken into two categories: stocking foot, and bootfoot waders.


Stocking Foot Waders

Stocking foot waders are often the most comfortable waders, and are the best choice for anglers or hunters that will need to cover distance. When purchasing stocking foot waders, you will have to purchase wading boots as well. This is great to make sure your feet are comfortable, but you must also be prepared to lay out extra cash.


Bootfoot Waders

These are the most convenient option for anglers on a budget. You buy the wader already attached to the boots, so no need to worry about getting an extra pair. They are popular with hunters who want to keep warm during the cold months. These are often less comfortable than stocking foot waders, but you still have the potential to find a pair of waders that suits your needs very well.



You can choose between neoprene and breathable material. Most fly-fishermen use the breathable material because of the nature of the fishing environment, and the need for breathability. Many anglers have more than one set of waders to deal with changing temperatures through the seasons. A breathable pair of waders can be extremely cold in the winter months.



It is of course important to weigh your monetary investment. While you often get what you pay for in waders, sometime all you need is something to get you through a couple days here and there.


Making The Choice

By now, hopefully you know what you should look for when buying a pair of waders. Your fishing environment and budget determines the type of wader to buy. You need to think about how long you will spend on the water and if the material of choice is suitable. The best way to get the correct fit is to go straight to the store and buy something that fits well to avoid dealing with over or undersize boots purchased in an online store. If purchasing online, it is often helpful to have a return policy to ensure you are getting proper fitting boots.


Tips for Using the Waders When Fishing

These below tips will help you keep your fishing experience more enjoyable and safe.


Use a Wading Belt

A belt is a mandatory piece of equipment when using waders. It is helpful in controlling the flow of water into the legs and helps if you ever dip below the surface of the water. A wading belt can save your life in a dangerous situation.


Go Easy

Going easy on a wading suit means being careful and make sure you have the best evaluation of the currents and know the condition of the unfamiliar territory before getting in. Every movement made while fishing should be slow and controlled to minimize falling. Never forget the power of water-flows. Even a small stream can knock you off your feet and put you in serious danger.


Be Firm on the Ground

Create a wider base to stand on especially if you are working on a slippery surface. Widen your stance by keeping your feet shoulder-width apart. When moving in deeper waters learn to slide your feet and never attempt to cross your feet. In most cases, the reason why you may fall is when your weight buckles under your feet.  


Foot Placement and Balance

These two are some of the critical elements of safe wading. Make sure your foothold is firm and flat on the surface. Make adjustments inwards, upwards, outwards depending on your movement to distribute your weight equally. It is often impossible to see below the water, so getting used to feeling around will be crucial.


Go With the Flow

When crossing to the other side of the bank, it is easy and much safer to move downstream with the current. Trying to fight the current and move upsteam can be extremely difficult. Then learn the basic tricks of wading in shallow water with fast flowing current and deep waters with slow currents.

When moving as you fish upstream, use the current breaks, or take advantage of the slow-moving currents to make your moves.


Always Move Sideways or Forward

You can quickly recover and get your balance when moving in the said directions as your line of sight is also clear. If you must turn, use the lead foot that is away from downstream currents by securing it and bringing the trailing foot into position.

Brian Lange

Brian Lange

Brian Lange is the founder of Fishing Pax, a fishing blog dedicated to providing honest fishing tips and information. He aspires to help his readers achieve their dream fishing day experience by sharing personal tips learned through both years of experience and thorough research. Check out fishingpax.com to learn more about Brian and his work.