By Kirk Deeter
I said last year at IFTD that the most hotly-contested new product category was waders. With Simms’ new G4, Orvis’ new Pro models, and Patagonia’s Swiftcurrent, we have three major players jumping in with radical new designs and materials.
Now, admittedly I have yet to wear the Orvis Pros in the water. But I did buy a pair of Patagonia’s Swiftcurrent waders, and I will say that they are the most comfortable, pliable, natural feeling waders I have ever fished in, in my life. I was skeptical at first, but when I pulled them on, it literally felt like I was putting on a pair of jeans. I love the seam layout, love the cushioned knees, love the boot foot, even like the uppers. (Usually I roll down waders when I’m rowing a drift boat, but these I never felt compelled to roll down.)
Now, the real test of waders is a “pass-fail” deal in that you want to see how long they go before they leak. I expect at least 100 hard fishing/rowing days out of waders to pass the test. I’m only five days in on these, so I cannot give you a grade yet. But I have no reason to doubt. Seems to me that Patagonia got very serious about these waders, and matched with their Danner collaboration boots, I think it’s fair to say they’re starting to corner the durability niche.
One other thought… I like the colors. It’s nice to wear waders that don’t look like every other pair of waders I have worn since I was 11 years old. But that’s just me.