Stay dry, warm and mobile, plus a few items of gear that you should seriously think about not buying for saltwater use.
Patagonia Ultralight wading boots
Do not buy these wading boots if you fish in saltwater.
Not remotely “ultralight” and like the Simms G3 Guide boots, totally unsuitable for any form of saltwater use. I talk from bitter experience! Wash these Patagonia Ultralight wading boots down in freshwater as much as you like, but with saltwater use the eyelets are going to corrode and rot away, as per the photograph, and for a not remotely cheap pair of pretty damn heavy wading boots I find this unacceptable. Please take it from me, do not buy these wading boots if you intend to use them in saltwater, and I explain more about it right here.
Climb 8 Moy chest waders
Around £100 buys you are a pretty serious pair of lightweight and relatively breathable waders. Sure, there are a few minor things that if changed I think would make these already good value for money waders even better, but in reality you can’t go far wrong for £100. There is always a strong argument that it makes more sense to keep on buying “budget” chest waders for lure fishing as they are somewhat easier to replace, and at the end of the day the really high end waders just don’t last a whole heap longer. See my review here.
Dunlop safety boots as wading boots
As from October 2016, these are what I am using as wading boots. Why? Because these cheap as chips Dunlop safety boots are doing brilliantly and they won’t break the bank when they go and fall apart and I need to buy a new pair. All details can be found here and here.
Redington Crosswater waders
If you don’t want to spend a stack of money on lightweight waders then I reckon that these Redington Crosswater waders are worth a serious look at. Have a look at what I think of them here.
Scierra C&R wading jacket
A good wading jacket for a decent price - what more can you ask? Well thought out, comfortable to wear (I went for one size larger than I would usually take with this jacket), this Scierra C&R wading jacket has performed really well for me in all sorts of mainly saltwater conditions - and yes, I love the fact that the zips aren’t showing any signs of saltwater damage as they can on so many other jackets. I just like fishing in this wading jacket and I can’t say much more than that really, save for the fact that yes, it keeps me dry in ‘orrible conditions! See my review here.
Simms G3 Guide boots
Do not buy these wading boots if you fish in saltwater.
The Simms G3 Guide (wading) boots are wonderfully comfortable, not remotely lightweight, and very expensive - and they are also totally unsuitable for fishing in saltwater. Why? Look at the photograph - those eyelets will rot away however often you might wash your wading boots in freshwater after saltwater use, and I talk from bitter experience here. You’ll be fine with these Simms G3 Guide boots for freshwater use only, but forget about any kind of saltwater use. See some further thoughts of mine on this matter here.
Simms G3 Guide jacket
Not remotely cheap and I am sure that many anglers will wonder what on earth is the point, but the simple fact that this ridiculously well designed Simms G3 Guide jacket just does everything so incredibly well is enough for me. If you want a waterproof fishing jacket that feels like it has actually been designed for fishing then you need to see this thing. I absolutely love mine. Very light to wear and it keeps me dry in any weather. It’s worth every single penny if you ask me when I compare it to virtually anything else that I have worn for my fishing. Serious class is always going to cost, and Simms are right up there. The better and more efficient my clothing, the better I feel I can move around and fish.
Simms G3 guide waders (2014 version)
On the one hand I think these Simms G3 Guide waders are the best things since sliced bread, but having uses Simms waders a lot for my lure fishing especially now, I can’t help but think that they aren’t quite worth the expense. By far the best cut chest waders I have ever worn, they are a sheer joy to move around and fish in, but they are not remotely impervious to annoying little leaks appearing out of the blue - and there is always the argument that for the price of them you could buy at least two pairs say of the excellent Vision Ikon waders. Simms make awesome waders at some eye-watering prices, but for the kind of fishing that a lot of us do here, don’t expect them to magically last for an eternity.
Simms Guide boots (pre-2014 version, discontinued)
I reckon about the most comfortable wading boot I have ever worn. Nope, they are not remotely cheap, but so far I am convinced these Simms Guide Boots are the best wading boots I have used so far. Mine have the Vibram soles and I have put studs in them for extra grip. I take a size 11 shoe and I find that one size bigger works well for me with these Simms boots (UK size 12 for me).
Simms Rivershed Boot (discontinued)
A very good, heavy duty wading boot, but not at all too heavy to wear and these Simms Rivershed Boots last well considering what we put them through. Mine have the Vibram soles and I have put studs in them for extra grip. A great pair of wading boots with just about the worst pair of laces I have ever come across. Serious money buys you serious boots, but trust me and buy a spare pair of laces as the ones that come with the boots might not last a whole day they are that pathetically rubbish.
Simms Slick jacket
Awesome, just awesome, but it’s Simms, and Simms doesn’t tend to come cheap. Perhaps the best waterproof jacket I have come across for the sort of fishing I do the most, this Simms Slick jacket just works. It doesn’t get in the way when I fish and walk, scramble, wade etc., and of course it’s fully waterproof and I reckon pretty breathable. I don’t need endless pockets and pouches that you get on most fly fishing wading jackets, and this Slick jacket is paired right down to work with you and keep you fishing (and dog walking) through the absolute worst of it. Complete class with a price tag to match.
Stormr Fusion waterproof jacket
Over in the US they tend to do the outdoors very seriously, and this Stormr Fusion breathable and waterproof jacket is a serious bit of kit. Designed and made for some of the worst weather that US striped bass anglers might face, I reckon this Fusion jacket works pretty damn well for much of our fishing. Check my review here.
Under Armour (baselayers/under-wader wear)
I have tried a whole bunch of different base layer type garments for wearing underneath my waders when I go fishing, but I keep coming back to the outstanding Under Armour Heat and Cold Gear because I can’t find anything that works as well. I love this stuff. The Under Armour Cold Gear especially is just amazing for wearing during the colder months - I have no idea how it works so well, but it does, and although it’s not designed as fishing clothing, nothing else I have come across works anywhere close to how well this stuff works. Come the warmer weather and I wear the Heat Gear leggings under my waders (men in tights), and then sometimes the compression style Heat Gear top. Nope, I was not designed to wear compression gear, but it’s some brilliant stuff.
Vision Ikon waders
I can’t think of a better pair of chest waders around the £200 mark that I have come across yet - these Vision Ikon lightweight chest waders from the fly fishing world do a pretty damn good job. Light, comfortable, good neoprene socks and straps, well thought out, I reckon these Ikons represent good value for money. See my review here.
Vision Kust waterproof jacket
Designed for saltwater use, this Vision Kust jacket works very well for me and my lure fishing. It’s properly waterproof (as indeed it should be), it’s very well cut for fishing, the sizing is right, and I just like the minimalist approach with the lack of annoying pockets sticking out all over the place. No saltwater damage to the zips as well. Fantastic. See my review here.