Patagonia waders and boot review

IMG_8694I do the vast majority of my tenkara fishing in a pair of shorts and my Simms sandals but this year the rivers got high and cold before Labor Day and I was forced into waders.  My old Simms waders were leaking like a sieve so I bought a new pair and I wanted a more secure boot too since I am heading out to the Deschutes next week and with my numb feet I need all the help I can get wading.   I had seen the Patagonia boots at the Fly Fishing Show in February and had decided that was my next pair of boots so I bought them and a pair of their Skeena waders.  The last few days I’ve been using them in somewhat treacherous conditions on the local rivers and I must say, these boots rock or at least stick to rocks well.

IMG_8699The Foot Tractor Wading Boot as they call it is the most secure boot I’ve ever waded in and my old Simms boots were literally maxed out with studs.    The bottom aluminum bars seem to cut through any and all slime and make every single step feel rock solid.   The boots are amazingly light for as big as they appear and actually have pretty good feel to the fact you are walking on metal plates.  The only thing that didn’t feel as secure as my sandals was boulder hopping but with these boots I’m so secure in the water that I don’t need to boulder hop as much (though I enjoy boulder hopping a lot.)

Tho boots have good drainage panels in the side and a nice eyelet for hooking up gravel guards.     The tongue is very soft and padded and the laces are just the right length and feel secure.  I am really happy with these boots.

The Skeena Wader is their mid-range wader and seems adequate given I do over half my fishing without waders.   They are made with the Patagonia H2No fabric which I have on several Patagonia jackets and absolutely love.  The waders feel really light and water just sheds off them as soon as you get out of the river, they are almost dry by the time you do a short walk back to the car.  The built in gravel guards are nice as is the wading belt.  The suspender system is a bit different and took some getting used to adjusting it but once I got it adjusted it seems fine.   I like the waterproof inside pocket so I can stop putting my keys in a waterproof bag around my neck.

Next week I’ll see how all this handles the Deschutes which is one of the tougher to wade rivers around but given how secure I’ve felt in the Middle Fork and Tolt this week I think I’ll be just fine on the Deschutes.    I’d highly recommend these boots especially to anyone that has very slippery wading conditions and/or has compromised feeling in their feet.