Reviews Of The Best Waders For Surf Fishing
Staying Dry In The Surf
Chances are that you’ve been doing a lot of reading and looking around for a good pair of saltwater waiters that you can use surf fishing. Unless you’re fishing the surf in the warmest parts of the world, you’re going to want a good pair of fishing waders. The problem is, there’s a lot to choose from with lots of different features, which means you can pay as little as $35 to well over $500 for a pair of saltwater fishing waders.
I prefer simple. And that’s exactly what I’m doing in this post. I’m reviewing for you what I believe to be the top 3 surf fishing waders for the money.
So I’ll get right to it…and after the reviews, be sure to check out the section on what to look for when selecting a good pair of fishing waders, whether you’re using them for surf fishing or fly fishing.
Best Surf Fishing Wader (Quick List)
[tcb-script src=”https://api.tablelabs.com/t/rciwgej9.js” defer=””][/tcb-script]
1. COMPASS 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader (Top Pick)
My top pick for the best surf fishing waders are hands down the COMPASS 360 Deadfall breathable chest waders. The reason these make great waders for surf fishing is because they’re a solid mix of quality, comfort and most importantly, affordability.
These surf fishing waders are a simple, yet ergonomically designed wader that’s suitable for a wide variety of surf fishing anglers and other saltwater and freshwater conditions.
The COMPASS 360 Deadfall breathable chest waders feature a double front pocket, one of which is fleece lined. These integrated pockets are ideal for organizing surf fishing gear as well as warming cold finger tips that comes with standing in the waves.
In addition, the waders feature a flip out internal pouch to protect water sensitive items, like your cell phone that you’ll want to use to snap a picture with when you pull that surf perch out of the swells.
The 4-ply nylon construction keeps the waders lightweight and breathable and the double reinforced knees ensure protection on those high wear areas.
Overall, this is a well designed surf fishing wader for those on a budget. Are there better fishing waders for surf fishing out there? Sure. But for the combination of quality and price, I don’t think you’ll find a better breathable chest wader for surf fishing.
You should have no problem getting several seasons of hard use out of these waders.
- Combination of affordability and quality
- Three separate pockets, one of which is water proof.
- Extra layers on legs for durability which results in extended lifespan
- The number of sizes that are offered are less than with other brands
If you are looking for quality waders for surf fishing on a budget, look no further. The COMPASS 360 Deadfall waders offer anglers a breathable wader that is easy on the wallet. If you appreciate a hand warmer pocket and extra storage, these waders feature just that. These are my vote as the best surf fishing waders for the money. You won’t be disappointed in this set of fishing waders.
The Sonic Zip wader by Hodgman incorporates exciting new technology in the wader world, which bodes well for those of us looking for a good pair of surf fishing waders.
These fishing waders incorporate Sonic 2.0 double welded seams throughout the design of the entire setup. What this does is eliminate the thousands of stitching holes that you’d otherwise find in other types of fishing waders. In turn, all of those potential small leaks are eliminated.
These breathable waders feature a waterproof 4-layer upper torso section and a more durable 5-layer protection on the legs and seat of the waders. Hodgman knows how much abuse and wear a set of surf fishing waders takes and they’ve reinforced those high wear areas.
The Hodgman Aesis Sonic Zip Stocking Foot Waders also come with a few extra convenient features for the surf fishing angler. To make slipping in and out of the waders an easy process, there’s a fully waterproof vertical front zipper to make that entry and exit from your waders nice and smooth. This is especially nice for those of you that fish the surf in colder regions like the Pacific Northwest and must wear extra warm clothing under the waders.
Additionally, these waders are designed to be quickly converted to a waist high style. This is a feature I appreciate if I plan on doing any extensive amount of hiking up and down the beach while wearing my waders in search of better surf fishing spots.
- Breathable as well as extra durable where specifically needed
- Front zip makes for easy on/off
- Convertible to waist high style waders for easy hiking
- Anatomical right and left booty to ensure optimal comfort
- Higher quality and better features come at a higher cost for these surf fishing waders
The Sonic waders by Hodgman are full featured and high quality waders for the dedicated surf fishing angler. Every aspect of these waders as been well thought out and engineered to suit many fishing environments, including surf fishing. For comfort, durability, and convenience; these waders by Hodgman are high on the list.
The Crosswater Wader by Redington makes a great surf fishing wader for entry level and experienced saltwater anglers alike. Coming in at a very nice budget minded price point, these fishing waders are lightweight, breathable and designed to keep you dry even in the extreme conditions we encounter fishing the surf.
The all around 3-layer designed will be well appreciated by both surf fisherman who fish warmer waters as well as those that fish in colder surf. The lightweight design is perfect for days when you spend time walking up and down the beach or need to throw the waders in a backpack to hike to your fishing spot.
Redington does an excellent job of providing you with a proper wader fit by offering a staggering total of 13 different size combinations. these waders are able to suit all sorts of body types out there.
Another nice feature of these waders are there ability to quickly be worn as waist high waders by using the suspender straps as a belt. A wonderful feature on those warmer days and when hiking in search of better surf fishing locations.
- Budget Minded Price
- Lightweight and very Breathable
- Large Selection of Sizing choice
- Lacks durability and other features when compared to higher end surf fishing waders
The Redington Crosswater wader might be one of the best value surf fishing waders available. It’s a no-frills fishing wader that does it’s job of being lightweight, breathable, and most importantly fully waterproof. The large diversity of sizes is difficult to find in a budget wader such as these. Long-term durability may be an issue but for a price of around $100, the Redington Crosswater is hard to beat.
What To Look For In A Pair Of Surf Fishing Waders
Before I get into what you should look for in a good pair of waders, I just want to mention that even if you spend more time jetty fishing than you do fishing the surf, it’s not a bad idea to have a pair of quality fishing waders.
The reason is because if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself crawling down on the rocks to get a little closer to the water’s edge where you can drop your line just to where those sea bass, greenling and lingcod are lying and waiting in the rocks. And it does happen…a large rolling swell will make its way up over that rock that you’re perched on and absolutely soak you. So consider a set of fishing waders even if you’re a jetty fisherman.
Ok, so what to look for in a pair of fishing waders…
Fishing waders are a common piece of equipment for those of us that enjoy surf fishing in locations where cold water is the norm. For me it’s the Pacific Northwest. Here the water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean average 53 degrees (F). For those who may find themselves surf fishing waist deep in these kinds of cold water, fishing waders are essential to staying warm and dry.
With all this talk about cold water, you might be surprised to see that I haven’t included any neoprene style fishing waders in this list of surf fishing waders. And I did that for a reason, and it has to do with the first item on my list of what I like in surf fishing waders.
1. Fishing Waders That Are Breathable
Yes, neoprene waders offer superior warmth in the coldest of surf fishing situations. But the trade-off is that they just don’t breath well at all, and can actually be quite miserable in warm weather fishing scenarios or when you’re out of the water. I’ve found that even in the colder waters that I fish in that I get sweaty and miserable in neoprene waders.
Neoprene fishing waders are also much heavier and virtually un-packable.
Instead, I prefer to use breathable fishing waders.
Breathable waders are much lighter and offer superior comfort in both warm and cold weather locations. Breathable fishing waders are made out of a lighter material and are designed to breath, so they’re much more comfortable to be moving around in, especially when working to maintain your balance out in the surf.
Breathable surf fishing waders are a much more versatile option as you’ll always have the ability to add insulation layers underneath the waders in the colder surf fishing waters.
And that’s exactly what I do. I much more prefer to dress with warm clothing underneath my breathable waders than use neoprene. With layers of warm clothes, I can always remove or add more as needed. With neoprene, you have what you have and those things are not going to breathe…and you can count on sweating in them!
2. Choose Stocking Foot Over Bootfoot Fishing Waders For Surf Fishing
You’ve probably seen that fishing waders come in both “boot foot” and “stocking foot” bottom options. The boot foot waders which have the integrated rubber boot, make slipping your waders on and off quick and easy. Though for surf fishing, I prefer to use the fishing waders with the stockingfoot.
While a boot foot wader is convenient, they simply lack adequate foot support and shape. And I’ve found that this is often the case when doing a lot of hiking up and down the beach or moving around on beaches with rocky bottoms.
So if you plan on hiking in waders or will find yourself in unstable footing situations, pairing a stockingfoot with proper fitting pair of wading boots will go a long way in keeping you from stumbling or falling.
3. Wader Height
Fishing waders are also available in several different heights, which each pretty much are designed to meet the needs of specific kinds of fishing.
The shortest waders that are available are hip waders. Hip waders are made up of two long boots and generally have an integrated boot attached to the bottom. These are easy to slip on and off for quick and easy fishing. The next step up in height would be a waist height fishing waders. Think of these as waterproof pants. They’re similar to a pant but will keep you warm and dry.But in my opinion, the best surf fishing waders are chest waders. Chest height waders offer near total coverage to keep you dry in all kinds of conditions. And I’ve found this style of fishing wader to be the most versatile.
Worn like a pair of overalls, these fishing waders keep you nice and dry in water nearly up to your armpits, which is ideal when the surf sneaks a high one in on you. The other benefit of using chest waders for surf fishing is that these waders are better at keeping you warm when it’s cold and windy by giving you an extra layer of waterproof and windproof fabric up around your torso.
So, I want to end this post with a personal story…about surf fishing…with waders…and a sneaker wave.
The first time I ever went surf fishing was less than graceful. I went with a group of friends and it’s a trip that I’ll never forget. I wasn’t in the surf longer than 10 minutes before a sneaker wave came and washed up over me and filled my waders full of water. And this was in January…in Oregon…and the water temp was 52 deg Fahrenheit. The wave knocked me down and I tumbled over and over while being pushed up to the beach.
The good news is, however, that I was able to keep my rod and reel up above my head and out of the surf. At least so I thought, because when I got home to wash off and clean my rod and reel I found that my real was absolutely crammed packed full of sand and was completely beyond repair.
So what’s the lesson I learned here? Always, always, always wear a belt cinched nice and tight around the top of your waders. I didn’t have on on that day and my waders filled with water. This can take make you sink like a rock. I was fortunate that time, so don’t ever forget your belt!