A reliable pair of waders is exactly what every fisherman should have in his angling arsenal. There’s nothing like going knee deep, casting a line, and immersing yourself in the wonders nature has to offer. The following review is a collection of all the information you need to know in order to get the best waders possible without having to spend hours researching yourself.
Best Waders for Surf Fishing Comparison Chart
Allen Black River Bootfoot Hip Waders
Best Waders for Surf Fishing
Ouzong Bootfoot Chest Waders
no!no! Chest Waders
Frogg Toggs Bull Frogg
Best Bootfoot Waders
for Surf Fishing
Hodgman Caster Chest Waders
Best Chest Waders
for Surf Fishing
Are Waders Important While Surf Fishing?
There are a few obvious benefits to wearing waders whilst fishing, including being able to fish in water for hours on end with proper protection from the extreme cold and wetness that can make you uncomfortable and cold very quickly. Waders work as a protective layer between you and the icy water.
The reason most people use waders is that some fish are easier caught when in the water rather than from fishing on land. Some prefer to use a boat, however, waders give you the ability to move in places that boats can’t access. You could fish in your regular clothes which get heavy bulky when soaked. Another alternative is to strip down into your underwear but that wouldn’t be very practical in any weather for long periods of time.
There are a few downsides to wearing waders, like cleaning them regularly after every fishing trip. There is a particular way to clean them effectively which we will run through later on in this review.
Another downside is that many porous, felt-soled waders are banned by several US states due to their environmental impact. These waders can harbor many invasive species which can then be unknowingly carried between states and could pose a serious threat to local native species’ of fish.
How to Choose Waders for Fish Surfing
There are a handful of features that every angler should look for when buying new fishing gear. These features vary depending on the product and trying to find the best possible product with so many variables that dictate whether its great or not can be confusing, to say the least. Here are a handful of important features you should be looking out for when choosing your next pair of waders.
Style of Waders
There are two distinct styles of waders. There are chest-high types and waist-high types, both very different in terms of their ability. Chest-high waders make it very unlikely any water will spill into your waders. Waist-high waders are restricted to shallow areas of water which could limit your potential fishing locations.
Boot-Foot or Stocking-Foot Waders
Boot-foot waders are those that have boots attached which you just need to slip into. These are mainly used for speed, as you just slip them on and head off to fish. However, they can become quite uncomfortable when walking around on sand or rocks due to the boot’s material and can be prone to leaking for the same reason.
Stocking-foot waders are more complicated to use, however, won’t make you uncomfortable if you get the right ones. These waders have a neoprene sock attached at the bottom which should be waterproof, meaning you will not only need to find wading shoes in your specific size but also ones that will accommodate for the additional thickness, which will provide a really comfortable experience compared to boot-foot waders.
There are two types of materials used when creating waders, the first being neoprene that was introduced back in the 1980s and was a huge success as before this many anglers were using rubber or canvas made waders that weren’t as durable.
However, this material has a tendency to make you unbearably warm when walking long distances. With recent technological advancements, new breathable material was introduced and with a few more years of improvement made these a fisherman’s favorite.
Review of the Best Waders for Surf Fishing
Now, we get into the details of some of the best waders that are currently on the market, we will analyze their features, what makes them unique and worth being on this list.
1. Best Waders for Surf Fishing: Allen Black River Boot-Foot Hip Waders
These waders are no doubt the best for surf fishing, able to let you stand at the shoreline without worrying about getting soaking wet. These waders give you a comfortable, snug fit, keeping you warm when casting your line on those cold, wet days.
Easy to slip on and made to maximize your time on the water, the waders are made from nylon material, giving them a strong, durable feel that is built to last. The cleated sole also offers a sturdy alternative compared to other waders on the market.
Some people do recommend getting a shoe size larger than normal as you might need to add an extra layer on your feet as the boots do not offer the best insulation. Another complaint is that because the shoe is a boot-foot, you will feel every rock you stand on. However, it shouldn’t be too bad if you are standing on dirt or sand.
The best waders for surf fishing on the market, these are perfect for anglers that are casting a line near the shoreline and aren’t going too deep. They’ll keep you warm and dry, just what you’re wanting on a cold day. The lightweight nylon material makes them an easy, snug fit.
2. Runner-up: Ouzong Boot-Foot Chest Waders
Coming in at a close second, these chest waders are a strong contender for the best waders but just miss it by an inch. Made from lightweight, waterproof nylon, these waders will keep you dry and are perfect for deep water fishing. The main problem for chest waders is that they make you too warm but with this breathable material, it’ll keep you cool on hot summer days.
The addition of a wading belt with a chest pocket makes it convenient to add any extra gadgets or gear needed for your time on the water. A popular feature of these waders is that the suspenders have a quick release feature.
A popular pair of waders with fishermen, these will keep you warm, yet cool at the same time with the breathable nylon material. They are purpose-made for those looking to going into deeper water rather than shore fishing. A great alternative to other rubber waders as they aren’t as bulky and make it easy to carry additional other fishing gear.
3. Second Runner-up: no!no! Chest Waders
These waders are 35% lighter with their nylon/pvc chest material, don’t cause any chafing, and allow you to be far more flexible than with most other waders on the market. The waterproof seams and boot-foot rubber boots keep you from getting damp and are reliable to keep working at the highest standard for years after you purchase them.
Like the previous two waders, they have a quick release feature that allows for an easy, fast change back into your normal clothes. It also comes with a few external pockets, like one on the chest to keep phones or other gadgets safe.
If you don’t feel totally comfortable with these waders or you need another size, the company offer a 100% money back guarantee or a replacement.
These lightweight waterproof waders allow you to fish in deep water. These waders have a few added features like extra external pockets for gadgets like phones, as well as a quick release feature. This is a customer friendly company that offers you a 100% full money back guarantee or full replacement if they don’t live up to your expectations.
4. Best Boot-Foot Waders for Surf Fishing: Frogg Toggs Bull Frogg
These waders are the best boot-foot waders for surf fishing, as the features are far more advanced than any other on the market. The foam cushioning gives you an extra layer of comfort when standing for long periods on the water and the wool felt mid also keeps your feet warm, unlike other uninsulated boot-foot waders.
The steel shank, hard toe cap, and heel kicker give you an extra level of protection when walking and will be less likely to make your feet hurt when walking over rocks, a common problem for many boot-foot waders. The cleated soles also keep you upright and sturdy when walking over slippery surfaces.
Undoubtedly, the best boot-foot waders on the market, these waders give you that next level comfort and protection from the elements, as well as eliminate the many problems faced by normal waders. The only concern you will need to address is if you have wide feet you will need to adjust your size. Also, the canvas is bothersome and makes it hard for your legs to breathe, causing you to quickly become sweaty.
5. Best Chest Waders for Surf Fishing: Hodgman Caster Chest Waders
This multi-purpose chest wader is perfect for all types of fishing, from surf fishing to deeper water fly fishing. The material used is also canvas, making it 35% lighter than most other waders made from rubber. Having a comfortable fit that allows you to move without any restrictions is an important aspect of fishing.
The strong materials make these waders stand the test of time and will withstand a beating from the elements. The cleated soles provide you with great traction in the fastest of currents, along with a great insulated boot keeping your feet warm and dry, as well as a fleece-lined hand warmer, a rare feature for most waders. These waders also come with three D-rings that you can clip extra gear to and three external pockets for phones and other gadgets.
A strong pair of waders that deserve the title of best chest waders for surf fishing, the extra features like the D-rings are what make this product so unique. They are also 35% lighter than most waders out there.
The heavy insulation of these waders is also a huge advantage for those fishing in colder regions or during winter, the only downside to this would be fishing during the summer, as you might get too warm. Regardless, these are a great pair of waders for any angler and will the least likely pair to fail on a fishing trip compared to many other waders currently available.
Cleaning Your Waders
With every new piece of gear you get, you want it to last a long time and ensure it works perfectly each time. The same goes for your waders. Here’s a step-by-step list on how to clean your waders properly.
- After arriving home after your fishing trip, the best thing to do with your waders is to hang them up by the straps to air dry in a well-ventilated room. Turning them inside out allows the sweat that has accumulated inside to dry. Avoid hanging up near a radiator and drying them in direct sunlight.
- When you decide to fully clean your waders, you can either hand wash them or stick them in the laundry. However, each set of waders should come with a summary of how they should be cleaned.
- If machine washing is recommended, zip everything up, remove straps, and wash them in cold water. You can also hand wash them using the same technique ensuring you rinse them properly to remove all of the cleaning detergents. Do not use any powdered detergent and no softeners.
- To get ready for the next fishing season you will want to replenish your wader’s DWR, or durable-water-repellent. Lay out your waders when still damp on a flat, clean surface and saturate the waders with either Nikwax or Revivex. Then wipe with a damp cloth and do the same for the other side. Once done, hang them up to dry.
For a more in-depth step by step list, please refer to the video posted below.
To conclude the review, remember that you should always be looking for the main features described above to make your decision on which waders to purchase. These features are what make a great or poor pair of waders. Just remember, if you are comfortable, aren’t restricted in movement, and they won’t leak, you have a great pair of waders.