OK, this is a gear review, but first I’ve got a little something to get off my chest. There are fly fishers out there who are always on the lookout for a way to distinguish themselves as cooler than everyone else. If you’ve read much of my rambling you know that this makes me crazy. One of the latest fads is the “too cool for waders” crowd. I don’t know how this got started but I hear it more and more. Some how the idea got out that “real fly fishers” don’t wear waders. I had a kid working in a fly shop in Wyoming this summer tell me he doesn’t even own waders. “Waders are for tourist”. I sarcastically replied, ” well, you must be one tough SOB if you wet wade all winter out here!” Call me a tourist if you like, but I fish every month, hell every week, of the year and for most of the year I’m pretty happy to be warm and dry doing it. Get over yourself and buy a pair of waders hipster. If you feel like a tourist put on a damn Radiohead tee shirt or something.
Now that’s out of my system, on with the gear review. I have always had a fairly pragmatic view of waders. A view based in the belief that all waders eventually leak and they can leak for $600 or for $200. For years I wore Orvis silver labels, until Orvis willfully ruined the design. Say what you will about Orvis and their dog beds, they have great customer service. Still, I can’t stand their new waders. So a few years ago I started wearing Redington waders and I’ve been very happy with them. They are well made, the fit is comfortable and they hold up extremely well. Tough waders are important to me because I spend so much time crawling around on my knees shooting photos. I used to cut up my old waders and use patches and Aquaseal to reinforce the knees of my new ones, but with the Redingtons I haven’t found the need.
The coolest thing about being a fly fishing photographer is that generous folks once in a while give you gear and Redington recently sent me a new pair of Sonic Pro Zip Front Waders. Thanks guys! I would likely not have splurged on the zip fronts if I had bought them. That would have been a mistake. At $350 they are a bargain. OMG! I love these waders. First of all, you can feel the quality of them. Especially in the zippers, which are fully waterproof. The zipper pockets are handy and the fit is nice. I know Redington has a lot to say about the sonic weld technology, but I’ll leave it at this. They don’t leak and I don’t really care why, I just like being warm and dry. What surprised me is how much I like the zipper front. I always thought zip front was a gimmick but it’s not. It’s really cool. They are so easy to get on and off and of course it’s great when the morning coffee catches up with you. I used to really put off taking a leak on the river but now I don’t even have to take my chest pack off. An even better benefit is climate control. I was out on a local tailwater the other day when the weather surprised us. It got unusually warm and I was over dressed. The fish were eating on the surface and I really didn’t want to take the time to strip off a layer. I unzipped my waders and was quite comfortable without missing the hatch. Call me a tourist, but I think that’s pretty cool.
Most folks realize, but I should say that Redington is a client of mine. However, I would not praise there products here if I didn’t really like them. I promise not to do that.Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com firstname.lastname@example.org Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!