Waders - Great Advice - Which Waders to Buy & How to look after them
What Size Waders should I buy?
Troutcatchers offer the full range of Snowbee Waders, of which Snowbee offer the largest range of Waders and Sizes in the UK. You will find size chart picture next to each of the Snowbee waders listed on this site so you can be confident when ordering. The Boot sizes are UK Size. Also against each listing you will find a drop down menu of each size in that particular range. The Fuller Body (FB) range, offers the same features as Snowbee's standard models, but with Body sizes approximately 15% larger. These new FB Models are available in an extended range, including our top of the range Prestige, the Neoprene Waders and 150D Nylon Chest Waders. If buying stocking foot waders always buy a boot to match at least one size bigger than your normal shoe size to allow for the extra thickness of the neoprene stocking foot.
If you need further help with measuring yourself along with tips on how to prolong the life of your waders, follow this link for help and advice.
What is the best Wader material for me?
This is a tough one and depends entirely on the conditions, the weather, temperature and how much you want to spend! Starting at the entry priced models, the Hi-Elastic PVC material is used on the economy range. It is a basic PVC which in light to medium use will perform well and is lightweight and comfortable to wear. Being a simple PVC construction the puncture or abrasion resistance is low, so if where you fish is overgrown, this is NOT the material to choose. The next up in the range is the 150 Denier Nylon material. Lighter, tougher, more durable and more flexible than PVC, so offers the wearer greater protection, coupled with added wearer comfort. The tightly woven 150D Nylon outer resists thorns and abrasion like no other wader of this weight, while the inner PVC coating ensures they remain 100% watertight. For added strength, the seams are double stitched and heat sealed on the inside. Breathable Waders - these offer the ultimate in comfort, as they eliminate the build-up of perspiration and condensation, associated with normal PVC or Nylon waders. All of the above waders are relatively thin, so if being used in cold water conditions, it is an advantage to use some form of thermal clothing underneath. This option of course now comes with the zip front option for optimum comfort and ease with taking them on and off. Neoprene - this is the best material to use in cold water conditions, especially if deep wading. Even fishing still-waters in Thigh waders, the water temperature can remain fairly low even in summer, so Neoprene can be a great advantage, insulating you from the cold. The only drawback to neoprene is that it can be too hot, when you are out of the water or walking to or from the beat. For this reason, the Snowbee Neoprene Granite Chest Waders have a "roll-down" facility, so they can be rolled down and converted into a waist wader, to help keep you cool. (Also now available in a zip front option).
How can Waders be Breathable?
Breathable Clothing I can understand, but how can Waders be Breathable and still breath underwater? It does take a bit to getting your head around it. The Teccy bit; Snowbee Breathable range feature a Vapour-Tec® System - totally new materials, with tough outer shell and Breathable Inner Membrane, allowing vapour transfer to keep you dry and comfortable all day - Confused? All we can say is that it really does work! As you heat up inside the waders, you produce a hot, humid micro-climate inside, relative to the outside. This raises the vapour pressure inside which forces moisture, in the form of perspiration and condensation, through the PU Breathable membrane, leaving you cool and dry. The crazy part is, the colder it is outside, the faster this transfer becomes, so when you are standing in relatively cold water, the moisture transfer will be faster than if you were on the bank in relatively warm airy
What type of Wader Sole is best for me?
Snowbee produce a range of soles, each designed for a specific purpose: - Cleated soles are most suitable for general use on sand, mud, shingle etc.- Snowbee's unique Combination Sole incorporates a Felt-Sole and Deep Cleated Heel. The heavy duty heel digs in on wet grass or muddy banks, whilst the Felt-sole gives unsurpassed grip in the fastest of rivers. Trials have shown that there is no loss of grip in the river by not having a felt-heel, because if you are unsure of your footing, you naturally transfer the weight to the balls of your feet, so your toes can flex to give you balance - this is where you need the grip. - For conditions where studs can be an advantage, Snowbee have number of options: Full Felt-Soles with studded heels or Snowbee's amazing "Spike-Sole" on the new Granite and Prestige Waders. Full Studded Cleated Soles on the Snowbee Neoprene and Prestige Breathable Waders. Additionally, Snowbee's Screw in Studs can be added to the heels of Felt-Sole or Cleated sole waders, for additional grip.
Can I screw Studs into any type of Sole?
Snowbee produce packs of Screw-in Wader Studs for additional grip. However, care must be taken when using these. In general Troutcatchers recommend these are screwed into the Heel section only. If however, studs are required in the Sole area, then care must be taken, due to the length of the studs and the thickness of the sole. If studs are screwed into the sole area & you should step on a sharp stone, right on the stud, there is the danger that the point of the stud could be driven right up through the sole of the boot, causing a leak.
If studs are required in the sole, we recommend you avoid the main weight bearing area of the ball of the foot and only fit them around the toe area and perimeter of the sole. If there is any doubt as to the thickness of the sole, then it is an idea to start screwing the studs in, to open up the hole, then unscrew them and snip or file off the sharp point of the stud, then re-affix. This should avoid the sole penetration possibility. Golden rule - if in doubt, leave them out!
Can I replace my Felt Soles?
Yes you can, using the Snowbee Felt-Sole or Studded Felt-Sole replacement kits, which are designed for use with all Snowbee Felt-Sole Waders. If they are to be used with other brands of wader, it may be necessary to trim the edges of the Felt-Sole to fit the profile of the boots. The adhesive supplied with the Felt-Sole Kit is designed for use with PVC BOOTS. If you are replacing Felt-Soles on RUBBER BOOTS, it is recommended that you use an Impact Type Rubber adhesive (such as Evostick). Please follow these simple instructions, to ensure your replacement Felt-Soles adhere correctly.1. Remove old Felt-Soles by peeling back off the boots. If they are still well adhered to the boots, it may be necessary to pare them away from the sole, with a sharp knife, taking care not to cut the bottom of the boot.2. Remove any loose strands of felt from the bottom of the boot, with the sandpaper supplied.3. Apply a thin layer of adhesive to the sole of the boot and a thicker layer to the new Felt-sole, as the felt is absorbent.4. Leave this to dry thoroughly, and then apply a second thin layer of adhesive to both surfaces.5. Allow this to partly dry, until it is tacky to the touch, then press soles firmly onto the bottom of the boots. The most important aspect of replacing Felt-soles, is to ensure that the new soles are firmly stuck around the perimeter, to avoid them being torn off on rocks. We have found the most successful method of doing this, is to cut a number of lengths of adhesive tape, approximately 12-14" long and gripping the boots between your knees, apply the tape across the bottom of the Felt-sole and stretch down tightly, either side of the boot, to firmly pull down the edges of the felt-soles. Then leave the boots for a minimum of 12 hours to dry, before use
How should I care for my Felt-Soles?
Snowbee have been selling Felt-Sole Waders in the UK for over 20 years and during that time, they have come across customers who have worn out a pair of felt-soles in less than a season and those who have had 7 or 8 years service, from the original soles! This is nothing to do with how "hard" they are on their waders, it is all about how they look after them. When you wade with Felt-soles, the "Felt" (which is in fact a synthetic Nylon material) absorbs water and with it, fine particles of mud. If you leave this in, what happens is that the water evaporates from the soles during storage, leaving the mud particles. With repeated use, these mud particles build up, slowly "clogging" the open texture of the felt, until the point where the sole takes on the appearance of a digestive biscuit and becomes hard to the touch, where the mud has become solidly packed in. Once this stage is reached, the sole quickly wears, as it has now become a hard, solid object, rather than a soft resilient material. It quickly wears away and needs replacing. The simple solution to this is to hose the soles down with fresh water after use. A normal garden hose, set on high pressure will do this and you will be amazed to see how much mud is blasted out! The sole quickly returns to its normal, white fluffy appearance and will give more seasons of use.
How do I extend the life of my Waders?
Unlike Rubber Waders, which being a natural material, tend to crack and perish, Snowbee Waders are manufactured from synthetic PVC & Nylon materials, which do not deteriorate with age. However, a few simple points will extend the life. Always hang the waders up after use, preferably upside-down, using a Snowbee Wader-Rack. This will prevent unsightly creasing, which does not directly adversely affect the waders, but sharp creases are more prone to chaffing. Keep the waders OUT of direct light. Sunlight is one of the few things, which WILL cause synthetic materials to deteriorate. If using in Saltwater, always wash off with fresh water after use. This is simply to remove the salt, which would otherwise crystallise and cause abrasion damage, next time you wear the waders.
How do I detect a leak in my waders?
Unless it is obvious where the leak is, from the "tell-tale" damp patch on your trousers, the simplest way is to dry the waders, hang them up and fill them with water. Care must be taken, as a pair of chest waders FULL of water is HEAVY! Make sure they are well supported and if necessary recruit some extra pairs of hands to hold them up. The water pressure built up inside the waders, will soon find all but the most obstinate of leaks and you will see either a trickle of water down the outside, or a small bead of water, if the leak or puncture is small. Once located, mark the leak with chalk, a wax crayon or felt tip pen and empty the waders. Alternatively, for breathable waders, you can use Snowbee Leak Doctor (SLD) on most breathable materials to detect leaks. On dry waders, a small spray from the pump action dispenser, onto the offending area, will usually show the location of a small puncture as an immediate dark damp spot. Mark the spot with an indelible pen. Once located, apply Stormsure or similar wader repair glue to the spot and the repair should be complete when dry again. For immediate quick drying repair and emergencies even on wet waders at the water side, always carry a tube of quick drying UV sensitive 'Suncure' as a back up!