Well perhaps unsurprisingly they are still going strong - these Bassboots waders (here) feel almost bombproof and I can't help but think that a number of shore anglers might benefit from having a look at them. Against this though, I can't get away from the complete lack of breathability with these waders being the principal factor in me not being able to use them all the time for my fishing - partly it niggles me because I want to be able to use them and not have to worry about sweating underneath them and ending up sometimes pretty damp, but on the flip-side I accept that this lack of breathability does actually produce one tough pair of waders that are also incredibly light.
I have noticed on the Bassboots website that you can now buy an off the shelf pair of their chest waders for £235 - go for the lightest weight material (still incredibly tough, it's what I've got here) and get them with the neoprene socks, pick your size and that's the price. I think about some of the lightweight waders I have fished with over the years and although over £200 is not exactly a small amount of money, I personally think that for what you are getting, these waders represent good value for money. Without a doubt these Bassboots waders are lasting better than anything else I have tried and in some respects they are just ideal.
On Saturday morning we go and check out a newish spot, chuck a few lures around, and then I suggested to Mark that we walk back the longer way round to have a look at a few other potential spots. OK, so I was kinda economical with the truth when it came to how far it was going to be, but I knew Storm would love it and it was a pretty nice morning for a walk. Let's say that the entire walk from car to fishing spot and back around to the car was in the region of four miles, and as Mark knows, I have only two paces - stop and go. I walk fast.
I'm wearing a new pair of the newly updated Simms G3 waders, and although they are some pretty hideous money, they are in a different league to these Bassboots. The new Simms fit as well as my Simms G4 - as in I have never come across waders that are cut so well - they are just awesome to wear and move around in. My Bassboots are cut pretty well, but they aren't in the same room as these Simms. Now I can't give you a review of these new Simms after only a couple of outings with them, but apart from a bit of dampness around the neoprene sock area that you would of course expect after a decent yomp, there was not one single little hint of moisture on my Under Armour leggings (and yes, I was born to compression gear!!). Breathable chest waders? Well something's working, albeit at a serious price. Pretty good if you ask me, and please bear in mind that I have worn a number of different lightweight chest waders over a number of years now, and the word breathable is not one I would actively use in conjunction with many of them.
But then Bassboots are not meant to be breathable. I do know if I had done that walk on Saturday morning in my Bassboots waders that I would have ended dripping wet inside from sweat. Some people say to me that waders can't actually be breathable, but I would then ask what on earth is going on when I am dry as a bone underneath my Simms? The sweat has got to be getting out somehow, and I'm walking with my camera rucksack on my back and it's strapped up fairly tight across the shoulder straps - so it's not as if much is getting out of the top of them.
I can't really fault these Bassboots though. Sure, they might be a little bit rough and ready when compared to many lightweight chest waders from the fly fishing market, but that might actually be the point here. I am lucky in that I have spent a lot of time around fly fishing over the years, and I see a lot of the gear and how it gets used - but if you know nothing about fly fishing and buy fly fishing waders for your saltwater fishing, then you might be in for a bit of a surprise at how the stuff is just not designed for what we are putting it through out on the shoreline - but oh how some anglers still complain, to which I say, if you buy stuff that is not meant for how you are using it, what right do you have to complain about it when it fails? Would you ask a Porsche to go off road?
Which is where these Bassboots are making so much sense to me. They are tough as you like but very lightweight chestwaders that are designed and built for shore fishing in the UK and Ireland. If I had come to these Bassboots via those horrendous neoprene chestwaders and missed out on ever experiencing lightweight chestwaders from the fly fishing world, then their lack of breathability would most likely never have been an issue - because, let's be honest, anything is better than trying to walk any distance in neoprene waders. But I have spent many years in different kinds of fly fishing chest waders, and although the Simms ones are head and shoulders above anything else I have used, they are also head and shoulders above anything else when it comes to price - and they are not bombproof.
Which once again brings me back around to these rather brilliant Bassboots waders. A lot of the time I can easily live with their lack of breathability, and I am not aware of anything from the fly fishing world that is going to outlast them. Use them, abuse them, yet they still keep on going. Mine have had a hammering and they are as good as new - can I ask for much more? OK, so I would love a pair of breathable Bassboots waders that were cut as well as my Simms yet still cost £235!! Sorry.........
A huge thanks for all the comments, emails and FB messages/posts from my blog post last Friday - I have lots to digest and think about. It has always been my aim to keep this blog freely accessible to those people who are kind enough to read it, but perhaps I do need to look into a bit of "properly done" advertising and even think more seriously about You Tube channels, online publications etc. I've got loads of ideas, but perhaps I need to try and find somebody who can help take those ideas and content and formulate them into something more.
There is a good chance later this week that I will be able to get a rather kind person from FiveTen UK to come on here and answer any questions you might have about these Five Ten Canyoneer SAR boots that I have been using as wading boots (see here and here). As with waders, I have used a lot of wading boots, and although I wish it were different, if you aren't going to spend some serious money on them then you're buying "budget" boots that will for the most part last accordingly. But not with these Five Ten Canyoneer SAR it seems, and so far I am of the opinion that they are the first viable alternative to wading boots that I have ever come across, and at a price that is just outstanding when compared to "budget" wading boot. Far more comfortable, far lighter, and the grip is just unreal - might be fun to be able to ask FiveTen UK some questions, and especially since these boots are not actually designed for fishing.å