Everyone used to like my old neoprene waders. In fact, not just everyone, but every rodent, too! Yep, my beloved chesties got ratted in the garage and, having attempted to launch a boat in a pair of thigh waders, I decided that I needed a proper pair again. Wet legs and cold sea air don't make for the most comfortable day's fishing.
Although the neoprene chest waders were comfortable and warm, they weren't the easiest to get on and off. The only time I wear chest waders is when launching and retrieving a boat – the salmon run in Suffolk isn't up to much – so they stay on my feet for about ten minutes at a time and need to be put on and taken off in cramped spaces and often on damp surfaces. Simplicity is the key.
After asking around, I decided to plump for the Fladen Nylon Boot Chest Waders, which seemed too cheap to be any good!
These waders slid on so easily. It was like a breath of fresh air! There's a strap that goes over your shoulders, two quick-release clips to clip together and that's it. No writhing around, no grunting and no falling sideways off the tailgate of a car onto the floor (which has happened before!). Nope, this was as easy as....well, putting on a pair of shoes. Without laces.
Then it was into the water with the boat. I didn't expect them to leak and, of course, they didn't. If I was writing a rod or reel review right now, I could perhaps be talking about progressive actions or smooth retrieves. However, I'm writing about a pair of waders for launching a boat and they didn't leak, end of story.
Once in the boat, the plan is to remove the waders and put on shoes or boots, depending on the weather. This is usually the 'fun' bit on a small boat, but the nylon waders don't cling to you like neoprene, so it was a breeze. Job done. Being light and easily folded, they are then tucked away and forgotten about until coming back into port.
If you catch the waders and puncture them, Fladen have thoughtfully provided a spare patch of material and a tube of glue. These things do happen, so that was a nice touch.
Although I do very little fishing in waders, these would be perfectly adequate for most warm weather fishing.
So, if you want a cheap pair of waders, check out the TackleBargains website, where the Fladen Nylon Boot Chest Waders waders themselves are for sale at less than £30 at the time of writing! There's also a selection of other waders and wading boots to suit most circumstances and budgets.
Elton Murphy, March 2009