Sunday Classic/ Call Me Simms Boy, I Love My G4Z Waders

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Photo by Kent Klewein

Photo by Kent Klewein

By Louis Cahill

Editors Note: I do not usually re-run a gear review as a Sunday Classic but six years later I am still wearing these waders and still in love.

When our BF Goodrich video finally comes out, and we are told it will be soon, you are going to notice Kent and I wearing a lot more Simms gear.

Simms, generously, stepped up and outfitted us for the shoot. This has lead to at least one of my friends calling me Simms Boy, but I don’t care. It was great having the right gear for the trip and knowing we could count on it but for me it was something more. It was a first. Believe it or not, I’ve never owned a pair of Simms waders.

I’ve used a ton of Simms products over the years and gotten really good service out of just about all of them but I’ve never ponied up and bought a pair of their waders. I know they are the best and the most durable and the most comfortable but honestly, I’m just a cheap bastard. More to the point maybe, I’m a poor bastard and $799 for a pair of waders has always seemed insane.

If Simms had not given me a pair of G4Zs, I don’t know if I would have ever known what I was missing. Sure, they are comfortable. They fit great, they’re really well designed but the thing is, I think they are a better bargain. Really! Even if I’d paid for them and I’ll tell you why.

Durability and Value

Only time will tell if I’m right but these waders feel indestructible. You can feel the quality pulling them on. The five layers of actual Gortex, that come to the waist, feel like the sheet metal of a 1960s American made car. Thanks to the the front and rear center seams the legs move freely and the new Gortex is 25% more breathable. The result is a pair of bulletproof waders that fit Iike pants.

The material in the sock feet is thick. Really thick, and the sole continues up the back of the leg in an hour-glass design that enhances both freedom of movement and durability. The combination of smart design and made-in-America craftsmanship pays off in a wader that wears like armor and feels like pajamas.

Best of all is the YKK waterproof zipper. Just like the YKK zipper in my leather jacket, which I have worn for twenty-five years, you feel the quality. I have been wearing zip front waders for about the last three years and I will never go back. Zip front is just the way to go and not just when you have to go. But here’s the thing. For the last three years I’ve been wearing another company’s zip front waders ($399) and in three years I’ve been through three pairs. One the sock feet wore out and two the zipper broke.

So what the hell have I been thinking? That’s $1200 in three years for waders! If my instinct is right these Simms G4Zs will last me three years easy. That saves me $400 and I will enjoy them a lot more in the meantime. How can that be anything but a bargain?

Design

The thoughtful design of the new G4Z waders shows a real understanding of the conditions encountered by anglers on the river. This is a wader designed on the rivers of Montana not in a factory in China. Every need has been anticipated to ensure that the G4Z performs when and where you need it. When fishing we alway struggle with less than ideal conditions. Simms has made sure we don’t have to struggle with our waders. Here are a few of the design features that I like.

5-layer Gortex seat

In the process of shooting photos, I spend a lot of time mistreating my waders. I crawl around on my knees, slide around on my ass, climb through places where I don’t belong and it all takes a toll on my waders. The 5-layer Gortex lowers on the G4Zs give me optimum protection all the way to my waist. I love that.

Perfect fit

There are two components that make the G4Z waders the best fitting wader on the market. The pattern this wader is made to, offers an impressive range of motion. Features like the front and rear leg seams and hourglass ankle panel show that Simms has really given some thought to this issue. The result is a wader that is really well articulated, so when you’re squatting down to hide from fish or climbing over a deadfall none of your ‘essential gear’ is getting pinched or pulled. In addition, Simms offers 12 stock sizes so if you have an irregular body type, you basically get a custom wader. Bottom line, you can’t beat the fit.

Zippers

There are six waterproof zippers on the G4Zs. Five pockets and the big front zipper. The pockets are all waterproof to the very top so if you have water in your pockets you have water in your socks. The front zipper is extra long so when you’ve got to go there’s no unwanted zipper involvement. All of the zippers are of the highest quality. Good waterproof zippers are expensive and that’s a lot of what you’re paying for. When other companies offer cheaper zip front waders, that’s where they’ve cut the cost. I spent a miserable week steelheading in Oregon with a broken zipper in February. I don’t recommend it.

Pockets

The G4Zs have five zippered pockets. Four on the outside, including two lined with fast drying micro fleece for cold wet hands. There is also an inside pocket that looks conspicuously as if it were made for an iPhone. The pockets are nicely laid out and very useful. There are also tool docks designed for nippers, hemostats, fly patches and even a net.

Suspenders and belt

The suspenders on the G4Z are the nicest I’ve ever seen. They have adjustable pads to distribute weight that feature breathable webbing underneath. They are extremely comfortable. The belt is heavy duty with just the right amount of stretch. The fasteners are all quite beefy. Touches like this are a testament to Simms’ determination to make the best wader possible.

Breathability and Versatility

When you add it up, the G4Z is incredibly versatile when it comes to keeping you comfortable, no matter how the day turns out. Enjoy the fleece-lined pockets in the frosty morning and be ready for a sweltering afternoon with new Gortex, 25% more breathable than before, and the a front zipper to really let the steam out. It’s the perfect year-round wader.

So call me Simms Boy. I don’t mind. I can take anything in my new G4Zs.

 

Here’s a great video review.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
www.ginkandgasoline.com
hookups@ginkandgasoline.com
http://www.ginkandgasoline.com/hosted-trips/ 
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5 thoughts on “Sunday Classic/ Call Me Simms Boy, I Love My G4Z Waders

  1. I will second your comments Louis. I am on my second pair of these waders, and I have never had an issue with them. The first pair lasted 8 years and were only retired due to too many pinholes.
    The fit is the best I have ever had, the ease of getting in and out of waders with a zipper front, is far superior to any other wader I have used. As I get older and less flexible, this option is crucial. I once walked into a barbed wire fence in long grass and did not even get a puncture! I do like the waist belt from the earlier generation of G4Zs better than the one that came with the new pair last year. It is made of neoprene and is more comfortable.
    They were my first purchase of a Simms product, and has led to me purchase more of their products.
    Love the blog, keep up the good work!

  2. Indestructible, ha! What a joke. I know more than a few folks who won’t wear them because they won’t hold up. My $60 pair of Cabela’s breathable waders last 4 times longer than my $450 Simms Guide waders. Guess which one I buy now?

  3. I have tried a number of sub $200 waders and I have finally found the brand that is as good if not better than those pricey designer brands. I fish a lot and I’m hard on my waders. You can take this advice to the bank, literally:

    Compass 360 Deadfall
    Can be had for under $100 if you search
    I cannot recommend these more strongly – even if you don’t have a tight budget.

    I am not a paid troll, just trying to help those who can’t or won’t spend $400 – $800 on waders.

  4. Both of my sons wear the Simms waders. They’ve been in their’s for about 5 years, now and they’re still working fine. Unfortunately, I’m afraid to try a pair. It seems that recently, I’ve developed an allergy to neoprene. A really nasty allergy. It’s impossible to buy a pair of waders that don’t (currently) use neoprene in the manufacturing process – even boot foot waders have neoprene in them. I’ve come up with a method of protecting my feet and legs with boot foot waders, but its a pita, though it seems to be working.

  5. I bought a pair of Simms for under $200 from Sierra Trading Post, since I was getting tired of the annual ritual of buying cheap waders which did not last a season.
    So far so good, noticeably better built than the cheap ones, and holding up well.

    My old Red Ball stockingfoots lasted twenty years, but apparently it’s no longer possible to build waders like that. Odd.

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