Updated June 16, 2020
Looking for the best fly fishing wading jacket? Whelp, you’re in the right place! Check out our wading jacket reviews below.
In this guide I’ll cover:
- Buyers Guide | What To Look For When Choosing a Wader Jacket
- Wading Jacket Factors | Important Components
- The Best Fly Fishing Wading Jacket (Reviews)
Let’s dive in!
In the world of fly fishing, some of the most basic gear has been adapted to fit the unique purpose of fly fishing. One of these is the wading jacket which is becoming more popular and useful among fly anglers.
A wading jacket is a breathable and waterproof jacket that fits over your waders to protect against splashing water from streams, rain, wind, and cool temperatures. Wading jackets come in handy, especially when fishing in rougher waters where splashing is more likely, and in rainy/cold environments.
Wading jackets are unique to fly fishing and different from a typical rain jacket. Wading jackets tend to be shorter to prevent from being submerged under the water. (similar to how a fly fishing vest is shorter and hangs above the waist).
Wading jackets are made from layered breathable materials like nylon or polyester, with an extra water-resistant coating and oftentimes a polyurethane membrane for added water resistance. These materials are crafted to withstand tough fishing conditions and are designed to keep the wearer dryer and warmer than a standard raincoat.
Lastly, wading jackets are fastened with extra bells and whistles, such as large pockets for ample storage of fly boxes and other equipment, sealed wrist cuffs, and warming pockets.
What To Look For When Choosing a Wading Jacket
- Budget – If you’re new to fly fishing or a long time veteran you’ll know how expensive fly fishing equipment can get, and like most aspects of fly fishing there are ranges in price and quality to fit every budget and need.
- Breathability – This refers to the amount of moisture the jacket is able to expel from the inside while still keeping everything dry from the outside. Different materials will have better breathability. When fishing in wet damp conditions humidity from sweat and condensation develop, and having a jacket with good breathability will help you stay dry and comfortable.
- Water Resistance – Wading jackets are not necessarily designed to be submerged in water, however, they are meant to deal with the harsh weather conditions along with splashing from rough water and netting/releasing fish. You will want to make sure the jacket you’re looking for has strong water protection, especially around the wrists, arms, and neck. These areas are more susceptible to water.
- Wind resistance – Like we just mentioned the wading jacket is designed with cold, wet, and windy conditions in mind, making wind resistance a key feature when searching for a wading jacket.
- Mobility – Casting and maneuvering around rocks and other terrain can be challenging as is, but adding an insulated wading jacket can make these tasks all the more difficult. It is important to find a jacket that can still offer the desired insulation and water protection but also does not inhibit your casting motions.
Wading Jacket Factors | Buyers Guide
- Materials – As mentioned above different materials offer different levels of water protection, breathability, warmth, and mobility. It is important to find a jacket that has materials to fit your unique needs, fishing environment, and fishing style.
- Storage Space – When wearing a wading jacket you will most likely not be able to wear your vest or pack, making the jacket’s storage space a necessary component.
- Sealed cuffs/neck area – Another important component in wading jackets is their ability to provide water protection in the most vulnerable areas; being around the neck and wrists. It is very important for wading jackets to offer added protection in these areas through pull cords or velcro straps allowing the wearer to tighten these open areas as best they can
Best Fly Fishing Wading Jackets (Reviews)
This is our opportunity to wow you with our suggestions 🙂 Below you will find our top 7 wading jacket reviews (2020).
When it comes to Simms it’s hard to beat; they have mastered the art of waterproofing and their waders show for it. The Simms Freestone fly fishing wading jacket is definitely top of the line, and has many awesome features. This jacket is made from 3 layers of Toray fabric (a combination of nylon, polyester, and other synthetic fibers) and waterproof tape on all seams
This jacket will withstand very cold temperatures and brutal rain conditions. The jacket has an adjustable waistline cord to cinch the bottom tight around your hips. The Simms Freestone has velcro wrist cuffs that tighten to prevent water from rolling up your arm while casting. Finally, the jacket is equipped with two large exterior pockets big enough for fly boxes and other tackle, with an additional interior pocket for added protection for phone or wallet.
- Pros – High-quality breathable fabric, very waterproof, velcro wrist cuffs, lifetime warranty, insulated
- Cons – Expensive
If you’ve read our best waders article you will know that Aquaz, although not very known, have been the main wader producers for Patagonia’s waders for years. The Aquaz Trinity ranks near if not equal to Simms. This jacket is made from 3 layers of breathable yet super waterproof fabric and coating. It is warm enough to keep you comfortable through cold and rainy days.
The Trinity has large fleece-lined hand warming pockets to keep your hands dry and comfortable, plus rubber-lined cuffs to prevent any moisture from entering your arms. There is a large hard-brimmed hood that is removable to keep the rain out of your face. Finally, the jacket is equipped with two large exterior pockets for all your tools and other gear, with one large cargo pocket located on the back of the jacket.
- Pros – Tons of storage space, breathable, waterproof, rubber-lined cuffs, hand warmers,
- Cons – Expensive
Orvis’s Pro fly fishing wading jacket is a dream to wear and with its lightweight design and superior water protection it’s hard to tell you’re wearing a jacket at all. It is made from windproof and waterproof 3 layer Polyester and polyurethane core and coated with durable water repellent.
A cool feature about the Pro is it has zippered sides for moisture ventilation and access to your waders. The wrist cuffs are made from synthetic materials that tightly form around your wrist and won’t let water penetrate even when submerged landing a fish. There are 2 waterproof exterior pockets and 2 internal pockets. Orvis’s Pro has a laminated brimmed hood for added water protection and a rear D-ring attachment for a net.
- Pros – Durable, waterproof, lots of storage, sealed wrist cuffs, zippered side vents, D-ring for attaching a net.
- Cons – Expensive
A more affordable wading jacket from Orvis, the Ultralight still features durable wind and waterproof that’s a little easier on the wallet. It has 3 layers of nylon for consistent water protection, with waterproof tape on all of the seams and durable water repellent coated on the exterior of the jacket.
Like the name the ultralight is not insulated and packs up nicely. Because of this it’s not the best for really cold temps, but alternatively, has better breathability and mobility. This attractive jacket has 2 large breast pockets, sealed cuffs, and a rear D-ring for a net. This awesome little jacket packs up small and is easy to throw in your pack for backpacking or camping.
- Pros – Lightweight, breathable, durable, d-ring, sealed wrist cuffs
- Cons- Not insulated
Caddis Men’s wading jacket is the most affordable wading jacket on our list and marks up below $100! It is made from breathable and durable polyester fabric that will keep you warm but still allows sweat and condensation to escape. There is tons of storage in the Caddis with a fleece-lined hood for added warmth.
Unfortunately, the wrist cuffs are not completely sealed, and there are no added side vents. The Caddis wading jacket is straightforward and affordable, a good jacket for someone who is wanting something simple and inexpensive.
- Pros – Affordable, breathable, fleece-lined hood, lots of storage
- Cons – Lesser quality materials, and lacking exterior water repellent, no air vents, or sealed wrist cuffs
Hodgman, a trusted name in fly fishing waders is recognized as creating the first pair of waders in the early 1800s. The Aesis wading jacket is breathable, waterproof, windproof, and looks good. Made from 3 layers of quality fabrics and waterproof taped seams, this jacket will not let any moisture in. It has a unique hat brim that allows for better peripheral vision without sacrificing water and wind protection.
In addition, there is a removable magnetic patch on the exterior for quick and easy fly placement when changing your rig. Hodgman’s Aesis is also designed to wear under your waders if you desire, and there is a special waist loop that attaches to your pants, keeping your jacket in place when putting on waders.
- Pros – Affordable, durable, breathable, very good mobility and range of motion, magnetic patch, rear D-ring for attaching a net, good peripheral vision
- Cons – limited wrist cuff protection
The point guide comes with tons of storage space and has two fleece-lined hand warming pockets. Like some of the others, this jacket will offer superior water protection without costing an arm and a leg. A nice, durable, and straightforward wading jacket.
- Pros – Affordable, breathable, optimal water protection, hand warming pockets, tons of storage space
- Cons- Lower quality hardware, bulky
Overall, wading jackets make a nice addition to your waders and shouldn’t be overlooked as a useful piece of equipment. Whatever your fly fishing needs are, we hope this article gave you insights into what to look for when choosing a wading jacket and provided some great options for shoppers.
Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what was helpful or could be improved.