Team Vass 700 chest waders review - £89.99
A while ago I could never have imagined myself actually using and then reviewing a pair of distinctly non-breathable, boot-foot chest waders, and especially for my shore based bass lure fishing, but here we are in the middle of 2019 and I find myself turning to these Team Vass 700 chest waders for at least some of my fishing. You can buy a pair of these waders for less than £100 which doesn’t even buy you a “proper” pair of wading boots to go on the end of a pair of lightweight, breathable chest waders, so what’s the story with these Vass waders then?
For many years now it has been breathable waders and wading boots for me - or hiking/safety style boots pressed into service as wading boots and so on - but we all know that however much you choose to spend on a pair of breathable waders, they are not going to last a huge amount of time with that a lot of us put them through. My use of them though is based around what is generally a fair amount of walking, scrambling and wading - but what about those times when your lure fishing doesn’t require a decent walk and the surfaces you are fishing from (sandy beach?) don’t really require what lightweight waders can give us?
A couple of years ago now a few of us were having a yap on a fishing trip to the south coast of Ireland (complaining about too many pairs of breathables failing on us too many times!), and it’s noticeable how these trips that some of us do together have changed over the years with night fishing especially becoming part and parcel of them. The one thing we don’t really need to be doing is targeting rougher conditions and hard to fish from locations for this night fishing, and it’s usually the same for me here at home. The main crux to me about night fishing for bass with lures is that I can reliably target bass when it’s calm and clear, and much of the night stuff I do is either from beaches or from easier to access shallow reefs.
And when I dial down and think about this kind of lure fishing, a lot of it isn’t actually requiring a long walk and/or fishing from more difficult to access locations - and it was a mate of mine on that Ireland trip who started asking whether we really needed breathable waders when fishing like this, and would investing in a pair of far cheaper boot-foot waders make sense? So easy and quick to get on and off, they should hardly holding you back when a long walk or scramble isn’t part and parcel, and by buying a pair of considerably cheaper and tougher chest waders, you then get to “save” your breathables and hopefully get a bit more life out of them by not then wearing them quite so much.
So we came to these Team Vass 700 chest waders, or rather my mate Steve bought a pair and seemed to get on with them really well from the off - and I then followed suit the next year I think it was. This is a very simple review in some respects, because whilst as I said earlier I never really entertained the thought of using waders like these Team Vass 700 ones, in fact they have now become an almost indispensable part of my bass fishing - but for certain locations and conditions only, for me at least. My mate Mark now has a pair of them as well, and it’s noticeable how much more Steve and Mark are wearing these waders for more and more of their bass lure fishing. Both are in the same boat and have owned and trashed multiple pairs of breathables, and both are now doing as much as they can to “save” these more expensive waders and wading boots in a quest to prolong their life.
This is the blurb on these waders from the Vass website: “As part of Vass’s constant development Vass have introduced the ‘Team Vass 700’ edition of the tried and tested Vass-Tex 700 chest wader. The ‘Team Vass 700’ chest wader boasts designer looks along with extra features such as D-Rings to hang tools and double reinforced knee area. Features also include the tough Vass boot which has a wider calf and foot fitting for comfort. This Vass wader range uses the high quality ‘Vass-Tex 700’ smooth PVC outer (Titanium Grey) with a soft polyester reverse (slight stretch for comfort but also acts as a shock absorber on the seams). The body is fused with our New ‘Vass Boot’ Tough Chunky Yellow Soled boot offering comfort, reliability and reinforced hard wearing properties. Benefitting from Vass’s usual high standard of manufacture and materials the Team Vass 700 wader also includes features such as Quad-Welded Seams, Elasticated & Box stitched brace loops, Easy repair material (see our repair guide) and internal draw-cord in the chest wader for safety and comfort. This wader is a great balance between the Vass-Tex 740 and 700 wader!”
What are these Team Vass 700 chest waders like then? Well they are pretty heavy when you pick them up which I guess is a little unfair in comparison because when we pick up a pair of breathable waders it’s the waders only - without boots which we then put on after the waders, obviously. As with a lot of things in fishing, give them some time and after a while they feel just fine - not as comfortable or as easy to wear as say my go-to Vision Ikon breathable chest waders, but these Team Vass 700 chest waders are made from some tougher PVC that is holding up to this kind of fishing just fine.
I can’t pretend that I particularly enjoy walking about in these Team Vass 700 chest waders a huge amount, but with a thicker pair of socks the attached wellie boots on the bottom of the waders are fine. You can buy a more expensive “Mega Stud Sole” version of these Vass waders which I haven’t personally seen, but with the sort of bass fishing I tend to use these non-breathables for I am kinda fine with this regular wellington boot sole (cleated) here. The more surf lure fishing I do from the beach during daylight hours, the more I seriously like a pair of boot-foot waders and how a “fixed to the wader” boot obviously means that no sand can get into a pair of wading boots which believe me will happen when you’re out there banging lures out into the wind and waves.
In some respects then a pair of heavier duty chest waders like these really good value for money Team Vass 700 chest waders have become pretty invaluable to me. You do need to know that they don’t come quite as high up your chest as a pair of breathable chest waders, and of course the heavier build and material means that if you do end up walking a decent distance in them that sweat can be a problem. I don’t remotely find any of this an issue though, but for there are some serious caveats here which I must address…………….
If you are happy moving around a lot in these considerably cheaper waders then you could save yourself a lot of money in the longer term. But, and it’s a huge but for me which I can’t avoid and I have to talk about - I seriously, seriously do not want to end up in the water in any boot-foot, heavier material style chest waders, and especially not with how much trouble I saw Ben get into when he jumped into that RNLI training tank in a pair of them. Ending up in the water in any chest waders is not something I want to happen anyway, but even with a an auto-inflate lifejacket on I don’t like how quickly these boot-foot waders fill up with water and then seem to hold you down that bit too low which in turn makes trying to keep your airways clear either that much harder with a lifejacket on, or essentially impossible if you are not wearing a lifejacket and there is any kind of chop on the water. I chose to ignore this increased safety stuff for too long and I can’t exactly turn back and ignore what I now know.
The people I mostly fish with are grownups and I am not about to try and tell them what to do, but I can’t sit here and review a pair of what are in fact some rather useful chest waders and not get across to you why there are very distinct locations and situations when I would simply never entertain wearing a pair of chest waders like this for my fishing. It’s not remotely the fault of the waders, rather it’s us anglers either not knowing what happens if and when we end up in the water, or we do know but because we are predominantly blokes here we tend to know best and the shit hitting the fan always happens to somebody else doesn’t it? Try telling that to the poor family of the two brothers who died whilst fishing off the north coast of Cornwall a few years ago. What I simply will not avoid these days is the fact that I do know a hell of a lot more now than I ever used to, and I would be remarkably stupid to have that information and not act upon it. I can but write about it on here and let you make up your own minds.
So on the one hand I happen to think that these Team Vass 700 chest waders are now an invaluable part of my lure fishing for bass. It’s so handy to literally ease in and out of them without any hassle at all, and for my beach and some shallow reef work where I am not having to walk very far, I really like how less than £100 is buying me a bloody good and much tougher pair of chest waders which in turn are then helping to prolong the life of my somewhat more expensive breathable chest waders due to me not using them quite as much.
On the other hand though I am at pains here to try and get across to you that there are a number of situations where I will not wear chest waders like these. A lot of places I go bass fishing it is often some very shallow water and if I fall over I can simply get back to my feet and have a quick check that my mates didn’t see me and aren’t wetting themselves with laughter, but if I am fishing some slightly deeper water and/or the conditions are remotely bouncy, and if where I am going requires a decent walk then waders like these Team Vass 700 chest waders are a complete no-go for me. You wouldn’t expect the same lure rod to subtly fish small surface lures in a quiet estuary and then be pressed into banging 40g metals out into a raging surf, so for those of us who fish a lot and fish a load of different kinds of locations and conditions, should we be looking at different kinds of waders? I do now thanks to these rather good value for money Team Vass 700 chest waders.
Disclosure - if you buy anything using links found in this blog post or around my website, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you any more to buy via these affiliate links - and please feel entirely free not to do so of course - but it will help me to continue producing content. Thank you.