We always find it interesting to note which product categories feature the hottest competition. Some years it’s rods… some year’s it’s reels or fly lines. This year we think it is going to be waders. Not that there will be a lull in rods or reels this year—Scott’s Sector saltwater fly rod is an absolute hum-dinger, and we hear good things about a new Paradigm rod series from Thomas&Thomas (more on all rods from the casting pond coming this week). But three major manufacturers of waders have already launched brand-new, revamped product lines…
Simms has sent us the new G4Pro Series waders. We’ve worn them in the river, and they are exceptional. Sure, it’s kind of a pass-fail test in terms of staying dry, but the G4Pro is great in terms of comfort and functionality.
Orvis is out with its own PRO waders, and what we like about these are integrated knee pads that offer a little extra cushioning in places where your climbing through the bushes or scrambling over rocks. And the PRO boots are hands-down the best wading boots Orvis has ever made.
Patagonia has, um, also waded in with the announced launch of its Swiftcurrent line of waders. These also feature better range of motion and comfort, and employ the use of more recycled materials, which appeals to the environmental conscience.
These are all high-end performance wader lines that will collectively transform the market in 2020 and beyond. Time will tell which ones prove toughest on the water. But it will only be a couple days before one of them wins top honors at the IFTD New Product Showcase, and we’ll be watching that vote most closely of all… it will be interesting indeed.