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Apparel Review (Built for Fly-Fishing)

A new level of durability and breathability, the Simms "Guide Weight" Stockingfoots

Date: 3/18/02
Tackle type: Clothing
Manufacturer: Simms
Reviewer: Buzz

Total Score: 8.75

Introduction: Whatever type of fishing you do, the choice of waders can be absolutely crucial to your enjoyment of the sport.  There are many different types of waders on the market today.  Having the right waders for your type of fishing and preference may not necessarily mean more fish brought to hand, but will definitely increase your level of comfort and enjoyment while fishing.  With recent advances in technology, new materials have produced fishing waders that are lighter, more breathable, and more durable than ever before.  The Simms Gore-Tex Guide model stocking foot waders are some of the most advanced waders on the market today.

Simms Guide Wader Specs

Material Gore Tex 5-Layer fabric
Sizes Available Small to 3XL
Color Sage Green
Fastening (Adjustment) Nylon X-Strap, Plastic Buckles
Price as tested $375.00

Before trying the Simms Gore-Tex Guide model breathable waders, I had extensive experiences with typical neoprene waders.  After trying these on in the shop, and using them the very first time, it was evident that the advantages to these lightweight waders were incomparable to any other waders I have tried.  The range of motion I found in walking through river is better than the constricted feel I have observed in neoprene waders.  Simply trying these waders on in the store will allow you to see the difference immediately.

The Simms Guide Waders features an X-Strap suspender design that allows easy conversion of sizes

Features: Constructed from immersion Gore-Tex technology, these waders serve as the top of the line fishing waders in the sport.  From the thigh down, these waders are re-enforced with 5 layer Gore-tex laminate.  This helps prevent punctures and holes from dreaded thorns, barbed wire, and of course barbed hooks.  The micro-fiber outer fabric also keeps noise levels to a minimum while stalking fish in the stream.  The stocking feet are constructed of high-density neoprene with a rubberized seam tape to prevent the splitting of any seems for the life of these waders.  Simms Guide chest waders are held up by an adjustable “X” strap suspender that is easy to adjust to your body, and a synch to convert into waist highs for fishing those hot summer days.  Every pair also comes with a wading belt, and a patch kit should a puncture occur.

The "Blackfoot" stockingfoot is made with high-density neoprene and is the seams are rubberized to be abrasion resistant

What are breathable waders??  Anybody who has ever fished with neoprene waders knows that when you are finished your legs and socks are doused with sweat and moisture from your own body.  Often times we are left so drenched that we wonder if our waders are actually leaking.  The rate of which moisture passes through your waders refers to “breathability”.  As a result, the more “breathable” your waders are the drier and more comfortable you will be while stalking fish.  When moisture gets trapped to your body, the garment being worn cannot keep you insulated against the frigid environment that you might find yourself in.  The result is that you will feel wet, uncomfortable, and possibly at risk to hypothermia.  It is proven that when the human body is wet, we loose body heat many times faster than when we are dry.  Finding a material that repels water from the outside is only part of the solution.  Simms Guide waders not only do this, but successfully use Gore-Tex to bring you the most waterproof yet “breathable” fabric available.

Tests: I have had the luxury of testing these waders in many conditions while fishing the great waters of Montana and Northern California.  In my opinion, breathable lightweight Gore-Tex waders can be used to fish a wide variety of waters under any conditions.  With the right combination of undergarments, you can keep the moisture wicked off your body.  This will allow the waders to pull the moisture away from you as they are intended to do.  Choosing the right long-underwear for your condition will be essential in getting the absolute most from these waders.  Garments made from 100% polypropylene or 100% polyester are both outstanding at performing this function.  Depending on conditions and your preference you may want to keep both on hand until you find what works best for you.


Simms Guide Wader Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Gore-Tex Micro-Fiber construction with 5-layer Gore-Tex laminate from mid-thigh down. 10
Performance Outstanding durability, quiet in the water, offer wide range of motion. 9
Price $375.00 MSRP isn't cheap, but cheaper waders are not built with the same materials 7
Features Adjustable “X” strap suspenders, easy conversion from chest waders to waist highs.  Stocking feet made of high-density neoprene.  Flip out chest pocket,  nylon wading belt and chest pocket included. 9
Design (Ergonomics) Excellent all around design from stocking feet, all the way up to Gore-Tex material.  Could have straps that are more durable than nylon, and thicker male and female buckles.  Sometimes current buckles slip forcing user to re-adjust strap tension while fishing. 8.5
Application Excellent for all summer and spring fishing.  In winter it will be a necessity to have a good combination of socks and undergarments to stay warm.  9

Total Score (avg)


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J 5 Layer Gore-Tex L Price
J Good Wader Durability L Strap Durability
J Great Construction  

Conclusion: These waders are absolutely the best for summer and spring fishing.  They will keep you dry from the outer elements, as well as your own perspiration.  Simms Guide model Gore-Tex waders make covering water easier than conventional waders.  The difference between this model and the Gore-Tex lightweight stocking feet is mainly the extra layering from the thigh on down.  If you only fish occasionally they are a great alternative especially at the price.  However, if you fish 50+ times a year I would recommend forking over the extra dough for the extra layering.  If you have only been fishing with neoprene waders you must try “breathable” waders.  You will find that you will be fishing longer days and more comfortable days.  After all, the longer your line is in the water, the more hook-ups you can expect to have.









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