My friend Paul Forward and I have a little saying ‘sensible use of waders’ and it always brings a smile as it was a caption used on a photograph in a magazine photograph of him many years ago, and Paul practically lives in waders.
I too am a great advocate of rubber leg wear and I have many sets of various types. In fact, I currently have a set of wellington type boots, a pair of thigh waders and some of the new TF Gear Hardcore chest waders all in a pile in the back of my truck and I rarely leave home without all three.
Our sport is a wet one but there is really no need to suffer it by getting ourselves wet and many opportunities and circumstances will require that we get into the water to one degree or another.
Using waders to hand place baits into the margins is a method that has caught me countless fish over the years, scuffing my feet along the bottom to locate cleaned off gravel spots or little depressions in the lake bed.
There have also been many occasions where I could not actually fish the areas I wanted without wading out with long bank sticks and having the rods out in the lake due to the lack of actual swims.
The safe retaining of fish is another area where chest waders are a ‘must have’ item as you often cannot just sack a fish in a shallow margin and a bit of depth needs to be found slightly further out into the lake.
Even on the bank a set of chest waders can be a huge advantage, particularly when dealing with a lively fish in cold and wet conditions for photography. A decent, flexible set of chest waders perform like a set of waterproofs and keep all your clothes nice and dry and warm, allowing you to return to bed in comfort rather than dripping wet.
I mentioned ‘flexible’ because there are, obviously, different types and grades of rubber used in waders and it is important to choose correctly.
A thick or stiff set of waders will be uncomfortable and eventually crack whereas a nice soft and flexible pair like the premium TF Gear Hardcore waders, will be far more comfortable and allow you to wear them for longer periods of time.