I’ve recently been called out for fishing too much. Without naming any names they can suck it. The truth is, if it’s possible to fish “too much” for your own good I’m probably there. Whether it getting up before work to hit a blueline for an hour, or staying up to late and pushing homework to the side for some night fishing, I’m guilty. It’s a glamorous lifestyle living like a hobo and looking like the Walking Dead from lack of sleep.
The only thing that really sucks about this lifestyle is I go through gear way to fast. I break rods, crack fly lines, destroy boots, and rip waders at phenomenal rates. I have been called a “bag whore” and a “gear junkie” more times than I can count. One of the only good things that come from being on the water so much is I know what the hell I’m talking about when it comes to gear. All the way down to the ykk zippers, fabrics, speed of a rod, or taper of a line. The only bad thing is I actually have to buy my stuff. On a college students budget that’s not always the easiest thing to do. I can’t always buy the high end gear but what ever I get has to work, and hopefully it lasts longer than what I had before it. Which brings me to my point, my newish waders are beasts.
I won’t drag this next part out, ill only give you what you need to hear. Some people call it a gear review; I’m just letting you know what’s up with what I’ve put through the ringer for the past year. I have been rolling out of drift boats this past spring, sliding down waterfalls last fall, wading steelbows in the Pennsylvania ice, and staying dry in the rain this summer all in these waders. But really the best part is they’re Orvis. Sonic welded awesome of the Silver Sonic Convertible-Top, 4 layers of nylon durability. They have a pocket on the outside, a flip out pouch, and a waterproof pouch on the inside. The name says “Convertible” and they didn’t lie, it’s as easy as three clips and a slide to have waist highs.
Now for what you can’t read on the website. These are super simple waders; I’ve fished these in 4 seasons now in every condition possible. They breathe awesome and convert, so over heating hasn’t been an issue, even when hiking. Slide the clips up and add a base layer or two and you got yourself a decent pair chest highs for when the river is freezing around you. The booties aren’t the thickest but have plenty of room for extra socks. They also fit the curve of your right and left feet just about perfect. The inside flip out pocket and outside water resistant pockets are big enough for all your crap, a box or two, bobbers, and panther martins. The dry pouch will hold keys, phone, and a wallet. They flex well allowing you to hop a boat, or do high knees on boulders on your favorite blueline. They pack down to basically nothing in the mesh bag they come with, and still don’t smell bad after never turning them inside out. I’ve slept in them a few times so they work well as a sleeping bag, and the gravel guards have yet to come loose on me. The gravel guards even have drains in the rear so less water ends up in the drifter when you’re in and out all day.
But as everyone knows nothings perfect right? When you ask me a question about something I’ve used, you get the good and the bad. So here you go, the outside zipper pocket tab sucks. They look cool and say Orvis but for some reason they pop off after a little use, and require you to clamp them back down. If you’re looking at them because of the convertible option you may want to know this. The back clip is hard to reach and clip up when you have them on and strapped over your shoulders. Slip one shoulder strap off, reach around, and you’re golden. Maybe I just need to stop being a little girl, who knows? They don’t have hand warmer pockets but my wading jacket does so when it’s cold enough to need them I usually have my coat on over them anyway.
Coming full circle cause my Taco Bell from earlier is doing the same, overall an A+ wader from the guys at Orvis. They aren’t G4s or even their big brother the Silver Sonic Guide Wader (which are freaking awesome too). But they are super simple and in my price range at $279. They have really been beasts all round. I expect nothing less than to get another winter and summer out of these. But when the day comes that I put another pine limb that could be used as a prison shiv through them or a seam fails like what happens to all waders I will be looking at Orvis again.