(This wader review first appeared in the 2020 Gear Guide, now on sale at bookstores and fly shop nationwide, and also at osgnewsstand.com.)
Orvis is always pioneering new technology and pushing the limits of design to build some of the best fly-fishing products available. The new Pro waders series, available in both men’s and women’s versions, is the best wader they have ever produced. These waders are “designed for anglers, built for athletes” and after 9,000 hours of guide testing these waders can take some serious abuse.
The proprietary Cordura fabric shell tops 5 layers on the bottom, and 4 layers on the top, providing a durable exterior that is highly resistant to punctures and abrasion. Low-profile seams and a gusseted crotch allow for a wider range of motion and less stress on the seams. Anatomically correct neoprene stockingfeet have less bulk and fit more comfortably inside your wading boots. Water drag is a common problem with poor-fitting waders. Orvis negates this by making the Pro wader a trimmer fit. The waders also have gravel guards with PU reinforced mesh in the rear that stretches and grips the heels of your boots firmly, making you more streamlined while wading.
To say this wader is feature-rich is an understatement—it’s a tool-docking and storage dream. The front pocket has a YKK AquaGuard water-resistant zipper, fly patch, and rubberized daisy chain. A flip-out removable pocket acts like a small chest pack with its two pockets and rubberized daisy chain. A kangaroo-style fleece-lined handwarmer pocket with AquaGuard zippers creates a deep pouch and cozy place to warm your hands. A stretch mesh internal pocket lays flat when it’s empty so it doesn’t interfere with your layering. An interior hook-and-loop patch accommodates the Orvis waterproof pocket (sold separately). OrthoLite removable knee pads offer protection and stealthiness when you are kneeling to cast to wary fish—competition fly fishers will like this addition. Adjustable elastic suspenders have opposing buckles for waist-high conversion. A small D-ring is on the rear connection of the suspenders.
The women’s Pro wader is also an athletic fit, cut for women, and offers a total of 14 sizes, which includes subcategories of petite, regular, or tall. All features are available on both waders. The men’s version comes in 14 sizes. $500 | orvis.com