Saturday, June 2, 2018

Waist or Chest Waders




As I get older I find there are a lot of things I tinker with that makes my day and life easier. Fly fishing waders is one of those items I’ve played around with to make my day on the water a little more enjoyable. My first waders I fished with were some chest waders bought at Academy Sports years ago. They lasted me one year before the leaking started. Since then I’ve gone through numerous pair of chest waders all from Cabelas.

Fishing the Caney Fork River three years ago convinced me that I needed to try some waist waders. It was a hot humid afternoon and I was melting in my chest waders fishing knee deep in cool water. I never fish any deeper than knee deep when wading; I’ve convinced myself that if there is a trout deep enough for me to wade into water above waist deep then it should be taken by someone else.
My solution to the heat that day was to convert my chest waders to waist waders, by letting the shoulder straps and upper portion of the waders hang below my waist belt. That help cool me off quickly but the shoulder straps and the rest of the upper portion of the waders were so cumbersome that I kept loosening and tightening my waist belt all afternoon. I knew I had found a way to make my day on the tailrace more comfortable. The question for me that day had nothing to do with trout but what to do with the issue of belt tightening concerning my newly found waist waders.
 
That Caney Fork trip that day convinced me I needed to purchase a pair of waist waders. I tried on my first pair of Cabala’s breathable premium waist waders the next week and liked them. The test now was to try them out that week on the Sipsey, wading in its 58 degree water even on the hottest days. Guess what, they met the test, with one exception I still had to pull at the waders most of the afternoon to keep them in a comfortable position around my waist. So, problem was solved the next week when I was visiting our local Bass Pro Shop in Birmingham. I was on a mission to find some adjustable suspenders that I could clip onto my belt to keep my waders in place around my waist. I’m glad to report the Redhead Suspenders I found worked to perfection. Amazing how a little tinkering with items can make my fly fishing a little easier. I’m curious what’s your preference waist or chest wader? 
 
 

20 comments:

Mark Kautz said...

I started out with chest waders too. I got stocking foot ones that work great in the float tube and if I want, can use them in the creek with boots. Much later I got a pair of hip waders (again stocking foot because I have the boots) for the creeks since I rarely went deeper than about thigh depth. I think you're going in the right direction.

Howard Levett said...

When I first started fly fishing I used chest waders because I fished bigger waters and tubed as well. I'm not even sure they made waist waders at the time. As I've "matured" I now fish smaller waters and rarely even wade anymore unless it's only ankle deep. I haven't worn any waders in years. Cutoffs and sandals for me.

Ralph Long said...

I try to stay as low as possible. Went to a pair of Caddis waist highs last year as well.

Brk Trt said...

Bill I dumped the chest waders years ago. I now use LL Bean waist high and have used them for a couple of years with no leaks.
This year I picked up some Chota "Hippies" they are super for small streams.

Bill Trussell said...

Ralph
The waist waders will be with me the rest of my wading days. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Howard
I've tried wet wading once on the Sipsey, where the water is rarely below 58, couldn't take the cold. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Alan
I could see using the waist waders on any of the small streams you fish there. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Mark
I see more seniors using waist waders as opposed to chest waders on the Sipsey and the Caney. Thanks for the comment

Walt Franklin said...

Bill,
I always used to prefer waist-high "breathables" but Cabela's always wore out way too fast for me and, after finding that other brands were difficult to locate, I switched to a Simms chest-high wader. Yeah it's a little more expensive to begin with, but I find that the new waders last much longer even with the bushwhacking that I do. As soon as the weather gets real warm, however, I shuck the waders and go in wet with wading shoes.

THE RIVER DAMSEL said...

I am a Simms girl, through and through. I have tried Cabelas and Patagonia. Went back to Simms. Breathable chest waders over waist ones for me. Even if it is warmer. I just roll them down. Getting ready to pack them up in a few days for a weekend in Montana. Wish me luck!

Kevin Frank said...

I've struggled with this for years. I rarely wade above my waist but I like the option. I feel safer some how in chest waders as well.

Bill Trussell said...

Walt
I could see where ruffing it through some of the terrain you fish in would take a toll on average waders. The waters in the Caney and Sipsey are too cold for me at 55 to 58. . Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Emily
I know those Sims waders will be put to good use, wish I was going with you--will be looking forward to a report. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Kevin
Chest waders would be my choice if I was younger, waist is much more comfortable for me now. Thanks for the comment

Lester Kish said...

Bill, I like the idea of waist highs. Invariably though I end up wading to crotch level. If a guys in that deep, water can push up to waist level. So, it's chest waders for me, at least for the time being. Either that or wade naked, not a pretty sight or without hazards!

Becks and Brown Trout North Yorkshire said...

Chesties for me , way to Many deep holes waiting in our Northern Streams , and the water is always cold,

Michael Agneta said...

As a small stream guy, has always been waist highs for me. A good choice!
Although, this time of year is screaming wet wade!!!

Bill Trussell said...

Lester
Have to admit I feel more comfortable wading with chest waders but at my age now the waist waders is what I will end my fly fishing days with. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Michael
Can't do the wet wading thing anymore---thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Becks
Chest waders adds a bit more security---thanks for the comment