Do some thinking before you buy a pair of chest waders. Are you buying them just for fishing or you will use them when you duck hunt as well? If you intend to do fishing more than you will be hunting, in that case, the type of wader together with the thickness and color of the wader will be of the essence.
You need to figure out the kind of fishing you will do. Obviously, if you are fishing from a boat, you don’t need any waders. What temperature of the water is going to be the largest part of the time when you wear waders? It’s better to be a little warm on a hot summer day than very cold on a chilly one.
There are more than a few types of materials waders are made, which gives you more options to pick out.
Neoprene is perhaps one of the most popular wader materials. It is incredibly durable; it can survive a fair amount of abuse. It is available in different thickness and colors. You can select from the more traditional green to dark brown, blue and even camouflaged. However, color does not make a difference. It is your liking that counts.
Breathable waders have become very popular over the last several years. In some cases, they are completely replacing the Neoprene waders. Breathable waders are made from a permeable membrane such as Gore-Tex. It means that moisture can escape through the wader even in the water. Another huge benefit of the breathable wader is the fact that you can wear it in the hot summer days and sweat won’t be a problem. Also, you can wear it in the freezing winter days with warm clothing underneath and stay dry and warm in the water.
If you are a novice fly fisherman, nylon waders are also a good choice. They are much better option than the rubber waders that most beginners use. These waders are lightweight, keep you warm and dry, but there is one big problem – they can get hot since they are not breathable. Hypothermia is another issue because of the extreme cold in the winter days or even in the summer when standing in a freezing mountain stream for a long time.
Rubber waders are still an option, but they are becoming less popular because the cost of the Neoprene and the breathable waders is no longer high. However, the price can be appealing to people on a tight budget. Rubber waders have three main disadvantages: they are not breathable, there is no flexibility, and they usually weigh more than the other types of waders. You should always wear a belt with rubber waders. Belts are considered necessary for all the waders, but especially for the rubber ones.