Granted, chest waders may well not be the most exciting thing that any of have in our fishing tackle collection, but for mobile bass fishing they are in my mind about the most important thing to get right. Being dry and comfortable whilst being easily able to roam around is so important to our fishing, and I know that decent chest waders help me catch more fish and also get a whole load more photos than I would without them. I wear chest waders for so much of what I do, both fishing and photography wise, indeed using them for bass fishing is just a part of the hell I put them through.
A lot of people know that I do some work with Hardy & Greys Ltd., and these people will also know that I am always honest and forthright in my opinions on fishing gear. I am not about to use anything that I don't reckon works properly, whoever makes it. So, bearing in mind that I do some work with these guys, logic decrees that I should be telling you that the most expensive Hardy EWC waders are my favourite for bass fishing, and that you should go out and buy them. Yes, they are fairly good waders, but are they what I tend to turn to for my own mobile saltwater fishing ? No, not generally.................
There are a couple of ways to look at buying chest waders for bass fishing (and if you are clever, for a hell of a lot of UK shore fishing) - either spend serious dosh on a top of the range pair like the Hardy EWS, or various Simms or Patagonia models. They will be awesome to use and they will last very well over the course of many years' regular fishing if you look after them.
But when was the kind of bassing a lot of us do ever going to be regular fishing ? It is easy to slip over on rocks and weed, and I am sure you will agree that sharp rocks rip and tear expensive waders as easily as they do somewhat cheaper ones. Believe me, I am talking from experience here.
So my theory tends to be to use really good cheaper breathable chest waders - easy to patch up with either the excellent Aquasure stuff (see here) or else simply use a load of good old fashioned gaffer tape. Better still, don't slip over in the first place, but that is often easier said than done !! The good news is that there are a lot of good quality chest waders out there from lots of manufacturers such as Greys, Orvis, Snowbee, Wychwood, Vision and Scierra.
But without doubt the standout pair of chest waders that I use for my bass fishing more than any other are the outstanding Greys G-Series ones - these are the cheapest waders the company does, and I really like using them. I am not paid to say this if that is any help, but I stand by how good they are, and that they are excellent value for money. A really good tip for the G-Series waders is to buy one size larger than you would usually take - for some reason they are cut slightly differently to other waders that I have used, and while I tend to take an XL in virtually everything I wear, in the G-Series I use an XXL, and I find them far more easy to move around in for long hours and many, many miles. Get hold of the excellent Hart Fly Shop right here and ask them to get you a pair.
So there you have it - my favourite waders of 2008. Not very sexy, but vital to lots of us. A bunch of guys I fish with also use and abuse the G-Series waders to great effect. As for wading boots, well in my mind the jury is still out on this one. I am hugely in favour of some kind of studded sole, whether it be on rubber or felt, but I am not completely sure if I believe in either buying the best you can afford because they will be more comfortable and durable, or otherwise buying cheaper and accepting that they will not last so long. Sounds a bit like my thoughts on the chest waders I know, but the wading boots issue is a bit different (they don't tend to tear and then leak for starters). I wear shoes and boots very hard anyway, so I go through most things eventually. Still to decide..............