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Welcome back to the new NEFF. Take a break from Twitter and Facebook. You don't go to Dicks for your fly fishing gear, you go to your local fly fishing store. Enjoy!

My winter fishing waders review


Dries, wets, nymphs and streamers...it's all good!
My thoughts on several waders I have tried on the SR over the last year.

I will go from worst to best. The first 2 waders being a tie for the crapola award.

1. Orvis Silver Label bootfoot waders. Fly Fishing Waders / Silver Label Bootfoot Waders -- Orvis I went through 2 pairs of these waders in a short amount of time. The first pair started to leak at the neoprene/boot junction after a few outings. They sent me a replacement pair and after a few times in the water, the drain pocket above the boot filled with a huge amount of water without my knowledge and made wading near impossible and dangerous. The boot also compresses around your toes making for poor circulation and unbearable January wading. I called Orvis, the upgraded me to the Tailwater XT bootfoot waders......

2. Orvis Tailwater XT bootfoot waders. Boot Foot Fishing Waders / Tailwaters XT Waders Bootfoot -- Orvis Even worse waders, although more expensive as their sale appears to have ended. The first pair of Tailwaders were fine until I waded up to my crotch..........they leaked. Ovis replaced them with another pair and after about 7 uses, the felt started to come unglued from the boot. My buddy has a pair of these waders and his boots started to fall apart as well. He has a new pair, so far so good. I on the otherhand am sick of their waders and requested my money back and they gave it to me, which I can't complain about. I love their large arbor reels and fleece gear, but the waders are not worth 10% of their cost.

3. Cabelas dry plus bootfoot - out of production. Cabela's Premium Dry-Plus® Breathable Bootfoot Waders - Regular I picked up a used pair of these waders on ebay for $40. When I receIved them they had a small leak in the stitching where the wader and neoprene meet. A little aquaseal and they are fine. These waders have given me no trouble since the repair and I have worn them many more times than the above Orvis waders. The boot is firm and does not compress, allowing for my toes to wiggle and circulation to continue. The only negative is the boot itself is not comfortable, even with an added gel insole. The sole is too hard and my feet often ached at the end of the day. They are a backup/loaner pair of waders.

4. Simms ExStream bootfoot. Simms Fishing Products : : Exstream? Bootfoots - Felt What can I say except awesome. These waders have the warmest boots imaginable on the, My feet typically get cold in any wader I wear, in these, they don't. Muck knows how to make boots and these are rated at 40 below. They were pricey, but worth the money (the Orvis refund helped) The quadralam is thick and there is a good amount of storage in these waders. I have an email from Simms saying it is OK to put their hardbite studs in the felt muckboots. I love these waders and have now bought a 2nd pair on sale with lug soles for when I am in the driftboat & have the korkers just in case. A friend bought the Simms G3 waders and had them put the muckboots on his, they are rated at 20 below. I tried both boots and thought the 40 below was more comfy and wanted the added protection.

Another friend just bought a pair of Cabelas Spring Run neoprene bootfoot and is very happy with them. I am too tall for these waders, and any neoprene I have tried on. He loves the warm, but admittedly sweats in them when walking any distance.

Since I not have the Orvis waders I would trout fish in, and the exstreams are too hot for spring/summer/fall fishing, I just picked up a pair of Simms G4 pro waders for much less than msrp Simms Fishing Products : : G4 Pro? Stockingfoots and the korkers guide boots with the boa lacing system and omnitrax interchangable soles Fly Fishing | Guide Wading Boot | Korkers Be aware you need to go up 2 sizes when ordering these boots. We shall se how they perform come the spring dropback action on the Salmon!!!

So there we have it. I officially endorse Simms waders with muckboots, specifically the ExStreams.
I am confused. She bought you a pair you don't want and will be selling or a pair that is not 2 sizes up from you standard shoe? If she saved the receipt, you should be able to bring them back (if you haven't worn them) and increase the size. You could also call korkers as they actually answer their phone.
I had a very similar experience with Orvis waders. Tailwater XTs that leaked in the seams after a couple months usage. I exchanged them for Pro Guide 3s that leaked in the seams after only a couple of uses. From what I can tell, the problem stems from bad stitching. The store didn't want to replace the Por Guides, but sent them in for repairs for free. I have received them back but haven't seen them yet (they're at my mom's place in Cincinnati). It remains to be seen whether they actually fixed the problem. I'll definitely never buy Orvis waders again.

Patagonia on the other hand has been excellent. I have a pair of the Watermaster Lights that have held up much better than either of the Orvis waders and when I got hung up on a stump and tore through them Patagonia replaced them, all I had to pay for was the shipping. My next pair of heavy-duty waders will definitely be Patagonias or LL Beans.
unfortunately i've gotten them wet already. they're only 1 sz up, and very tight w/ heavy winter polypro/wool socks.
i wouldn't expect that korkers would do anything for me since i got them wet.
I fish with a guide who swears by patagonia gear. I have a couple pairs of their various layering pants I wear depending ont he tempurature love them.

As far as the boots go. You might want to put them up on ebay for a buy-it now of $150, but make sure you explain the 2 size up scenario. If you explain this is why you are selling them and have only worn them one time, someone may be interested if it saves them $20-$30. You might also want to offer free shipping. It's better the get $150 for them then to wear a pair that is too tight which in turn will make your feet get cold quicker and are not comfy. These boots in right size feel great. I was on the fence between these and a pair of simms rivershed vibrams, until i tried both on. I have been watching ebay myself for the guide boots in my size and had no luck so I ended up buying them from a store. I would have paid $150 for a used one time pair. Put a post up on here as well and a few other boards as there is no fee.
You know I just gotta ask....

Andrew Y. from Buttsville didn't have anything to do with it ... did he?

nope. managed to get them wet all by myself.:)

I am interested in meeting Andrew again. We had a very pleasant, but short conversation.

I would think that someone who's been flyfishing the Pequest (and surrounding areas) and tying his own flies for over 60 of his 80+years might teach me a thing or 2...

Of course, that would hardly compare to real master like you, AK.

BTW, Buttsville is home to your favorite Warren County weiner.

(Go ahead, I just lobbed a few in their for ya...it's slow here at work today)
Orvis has a history of quality problems with their waders as myself and probably everyone else can attest. During a recent telecom with one of their Customer Relations staff, I learned they are switching factories because of this. Perhaps this explains why they recently put their Tailwaters XT waders on sale for just under $200...to get rid of them and start anew. I bought a pair on sale as a backup, and the toe piece is coming off already after three wearings.

Question for LyNcH: Don't you have trouble with snow build-up on the bottoms of your felt soles? That was a problem I used to encounter when I wore felts during the winter.
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Question for LyNcH: Don't you have trouble with snow build-up on the bottoms of your felt soles? That was a problem I used to encounter when I wore felts during the winter.

The snow build up has been a pain in the butt. This year, when the exstreams went on sale, I bought a pair of lug sole exstreams and then a pair of the korker k5000's. Those things are amazing in terms of rock/ice/snow traction and there is no build up. I don't find them to be a pain nor too heavy and would choose to wear that set-up over felt bottoms in dead winter for the snow build up reason. So the felt exstreams get worn for pre and post snow cold weather fishing, or when in the drift boat (water has been too low this year for that), lug soles with korkers for this time of year.
LyNcH: I'm looking to dump my neoprenes as they are too heavy and seemed to have shrunk, making them difficult to put on. Your post, and a recent post on Whitaker's site, have got me interested in the Extreams. I'm thinking that if Simms would replace the felts with the new studded rubber soles, the snow build-up problem would be solved and we might have the ideal winter steelhead wader without wearing Korkers.

I haven't seen the 2010 Simms catalog yet and hope they haven't discontinued them.
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It's my understanding that they are discontinuing them for at least now. If you search the web, they are becoming more difficult to find. I had the same feelings about buying the lug soled and wearing the korker k5000's but after 3 days of fishing and having warm feet and awesome traction, it didn't much matter anymore. Although the korkers feel heavy in hand, I couldn't even tell I had them on, and I did a good amount of walking. If you used to neoprene and their weight, the breathable Simms with korkers should be like walking on the moon!!

It appears that until/if Simms lands a deal with another bootmaker willing to use their vibram soles, you better buy the exstreams now or you will be out of luck. I am not seeing the link on their site anymore regarding their custom boot program either, which involved muck boots as well.

While pricey, they are worth the money IMHO.