Waders are part of our basic equipment for us fly fishermen just like fly rod, reel and line. Because no matter whether on the river or the coast: wading is (almost) always done! And because we spend a lot of time in our waders it is even more important that we find the right model for us. That starts with the size.
How do I find the right size?
Beside known specifications like small, medium, large etc. most manufacturers offer size tables for their models, which should help us to find the right size. However, these centimetre specifications are not always 100% sufficient, because you should allow for some air in the foot, leg and upper body - first and foremost for better freedom of movement, but also to be able to use warming underwear in winter (in the so-called layer principle). And quite honestly: sometimes the manufacturer's specifications do not always correspond to reality. To bring a little light into the "waders jungle", we have put together some information for you here.
In principle, the following rules of thumb apply:
- Short leg: If your legs are a little shorter than your body, then you are best advised to wear a "short". Instead of taking a normal L, for example, you could use an LS (Large/Short).
- Long leg: If your legs are a little longer than your body and you are more the slim type, then you should go for a "long". Instead of using a normal L, for example, you should use an LL (Large/Long). Some manufacturers, e.g. Hodgman, use "Tall" instead of "Long".
- Belly: If your legs are normally long, but you have a belly, then you are a King and the King version is the right choice, e.g. LK (Large/King)
- Short leg and belly: If belly and short legs are present, there is also a solution, e.g. LKS (Large/King/Short).
- If you are very, very tall, the TALL models at Hodgman, for example, are very suitable for you. Alternatively the waders from Orvis in the sizes "L XLong" and "XL XLong". Altogether, however, almost all manufacturers offer models with longer legs.
The right stocking foot
In addition to the leg length, the feet are particularly important: there must be no pressure here! If you wear a 47 in your street shoes, then it makes no sense to order a waders with feet in 44-46. On the one hand it will press very fast, on the other hand the material of the footwear is constantly stretched and overstrained. And last but not least you will get cold feet very quickly when the water is cold, because the blood cannot circulate unhindered.
If your feet are really big, Simms is the only manufacturer to offer the service of retrofitting the waders with larger feet. This is possible with all GoreTex waders such as Headwaters, G3 and G4. Simms charges about 80€ for this and it usually takes 4-6 weeks. But if you have very big feet, then it is worthwhile to take advantage of this service. In this case you can contact us and we will arrange everything for you.
Extra tip for very slim fly fishers
If you are very slim, we can recommend the waders from Guideline. Because Guideline is the only manufacturer who tailors "slim". Other well known manufacturers of waders like Simms, Patagonia, Orvis, Hodgman or Vision are more normal and sometimes even a little further. However, as the measurements of new models sometimes change and the cuts tend to be slimmer, it is always worth taking a look at the measurement tables as a first clue! You can also send us your body measurements with your order and we will find the right size for you. Or you can contact us by phone and we will be happy to advise you.
Do the delivered waders / wading shoes fit me?
Often we get the feedback from customers who have never owned a breathable wader before: The wader is too big! During the consultation, however, it turns out that there is a thought error regarding the fit. Because: Waders must not fit tight. Fact is: If a breathable waders is too tight, you will not enjoy it for long, because it will break quickly. The breathable functional material does not give way and any strain is transferred to the seam, which will leak sooner or later. Therefore our tip: If you try the wader on at home, you should wear a fleece bib or your fleece pants and thick socks. That is the kind of underwear you would wear on cold days by the water. Only then you can judge the fit correctly.
Waders with zipper yes or no?
You are standing in the Baltic Sea, it is raining, there is no shelter far and wide and you feel the urgent need to urinate. At least now you would be happy about a zipper on your waders. Because at 1 ºC and continuous rain there is hardly anything more unpleasant: Take off the wading jacket, take off the waders, do the business and then put the jacket back over the wet fleece. At the latest then everything is clammy and you really freeze. A zipper makes things much easier here! But we often hear from customers that the zipper is a weak point! Based on our experience and looking at our returns and repairs, we cannot confirm this prejudice. Today's zippers (such as a TiZip) last forever if used correctly and do not cause any problems. Regarding comfort we recommend models with zipper without restrictions.
If you use a zipper properly (i.e. either open it all the way or close it all the way and never stand halfway up) ,then you won't have any trouble with him. Even if you want to make it easier to put on and take off the waders, a zipper has many advantages. You simply get in and out faster and easier. Unfortunately, waders with zippers are usually much more expensive. Our insider tip here is Guideline. The waders are affordable, look great and last forever. In addition, they have ultrasonically welded seams.
How do I store my waders correctly?
After fishing is before fishing. The same goes for the waders. After each fishing session the waders should have a chance to dry. The best way to dry them is to put them on a hanger so that they are open at the top and can air out well. Rolling up the sweaty pants and then leaving them rolled up in the car for a few weeks is a no-go. Because that's how mites spread in the trousers, they start to get mouldy and stinky and void your warranty claims to the manufacturer.
You should also avoid damp storage. The garage, cellar or carport are not the best places - also because of the risk of damage from rodents.
Even on vacation with the daily continuous use of the waders: Give your equipment the chance to dry overnight. Otherwise the sealing tapes on the feet can become loose in case of "permanent wetness".
How do I care for my waders / wading jacket?
In addition to proper drying, you can also give your wading equipment other care. But be careful: We strongly advise against washing in the machine! If you have the need to clean your waders, then give your waders or jacket a gentle hand wash in the bathtub, using special care products such as REVIVEX Cleaner. And to get the full pearling effect after the mild wash, the REVIVEX spray is absolutely recommendable. Simply spray on the still slightly wet trousers and dry with a lukewarm hairdryer. Done! We advise against drying in a tumble dryer.
Guarantee and service for waders
Despite proper care and fit, your waders may break. Now it depends on the manufacturer. Here is an overview of the warranty processing of the prominent brands:
Guideline, Vision and Hodgman are very straightforward and do not repair waders. You will receive a new pair of waders free of charge for up to two years after the date of purchase. Perfect! If, for example, a seam leaks after 23 months, you'll get a new pair of waders. For the new waders, however, only the warranty period from the date of purchase remains, so not another 2 years. If you have a hole or tear in your waders (e.g. thorns or barbed wire) this is not covered by warranty. Small repairs can be done by yourself, for example with Stormsure products. At the glue experts from England you will find the right thing for every repair! Also we can help you here with pleasure.
The company philosophy of Patagonia is based on sustainability. Accordingly, waders are repaired in our own service center - if possible. If the waders cannot be repaired there is a free exchange. So far Patagonia has never looked at a date. Whether the waders are more than 2 years old or not: Everything will be repaired! Since the repairs are not charged except for the postage costs, Patagonia is from our point of view the winner in service and sustainability.
Orvis will exchange within 60 days of the date of purchase. Repairs will be carried out after this period. The repair service can also be used after the 2 years, but is always charged and takes about 4 - 8 weeks.
With all GoreTex waders (from Headwaters and more expensive) you can use the repair service up to 10 years after date of purchase. We send the waders to the repair center in Norway and take care of the handling. But attention: This service is not free of charge, but will be charged by Simms. And the 10 years are only valid for pants that are still in a repairable condition. If you have e.g. 250 fishing days per year, the trousers would not be repairable after 10 years in any case. So it happens that two new feet are attached to an 8-year-old waders for 80€ and the waders continue to give much pleasure afterwards. In the end, this will be decided on a case by case basis. This means: If a Simms wader is sent to the service department, it will be checked and everything that is found will be repaired and calculated. So it can be, for example, that we send in the trousers for new feets and there are still so-called pinholes removed and calculated. Pinholes are micro holes, which are so small that you don't have a wet spot in the underwear, but you get a clammy feeling. These pinholes are usually created by walking to the water, through bushes, shrubs, etc. With new feets, pinholes and other things, Simms can charge you 150 euro and more. We have no influence on that and can hardly tell you the exact costs before. A repair at Simms takes 4 - 8 weeks depending on the season.
When is the Simms service no longer valid?
- You got mites in your waders.
- You bought those waders in America.
- You have tried to repair a leaking seam with glue yourself (you can't get the glue off anymore!)
- The waders are worn through and a repair is no longer worth it.
- Low-priced Simms waders will not be repaired but replaced free of charge under warranty.