Sunday, April 22, 2007

Come on in the water's fine

I’m beginning some new product development and want to include you in the process. I’m looking for your thoughts, ideas and comments about waders. This is a conversation that I’d like you to consider open and ongoing. If you know someone who has an opinion on this topic please encourage him or her to join the discussion too. Comments can be broad or specific (zone focused). Tell me what you like, hate and wish for. Tell me a story if that helps convey needs more clearly. Come on in the water’s fine. Photo by Jeff Leopold

143 comments:

rj said...

I know I am not a Designer but I must throw in my 2 cents...
Please don't put a zipper in the front like SIMMS. Don't follow that possible crazy trend. That's a recipe for failure and then of course I would have to deal with all the issues of them coming back ;).

Salty said...

I'm going to second RJ, re: zippers. All a zipper is is a built in failure point. What I'd like to see, in Zone 2, would be a pocket on the inside of the upper chest (not sure if most waders have these, mine don't). Built in gravel guards are also a nice touch in that it saves me from having to buy another piece of gear, they are one less thing to lose/ leave on the tailgate. Also, and not sure if this is technically feasible or not, would it be possible to add "sacrificial" nylon codura to the front of the legs, from the ankle to mid thigh, for protection during bushwhacking, kneeling, falls, etc

kbarton10 said...

The first set of neoprene waders I got was years ago from the O'Neil wetsuit company.

They had a really nice shoulder strap system made from neoprene and velcro. It was easy to wear, wide - so that it distributed the load across the bulk of the shoulder, versus the narrow straps of today.

Most importantly, the resulting waders were higher, warmer, and if you went arse over teakettle into the river, shipped no water inboard. Only your shirt collar and armpit area would get damp.

I would love to get a set of waders with this arrangement again.

Tom Chandler said...

Design them with the realization that many anglers wear their chest waders as "waist waders" a large part of the time. Some waders are better than others at handling this reality.

My other suggestion? Sell the waders with a few pinhole leaks already in place.

This short circuits the agonizing wait for the inevitable first pinhole leak.

It’s like trying to slowly work your way into a cold swimming pool. Just dive in and get it over with.

See how helpful the blogosphere can be?

Frank said...

Make waders to fit real people. Some people such as myself have a 60" chest and only a 36" waiste. So for me to get a pair of waders I have to by a pair that has a 50+ in waist to get a pair that will fit my chest. Also, when buying a pair of boot foot waders, just because you have a big chest doesn't mean you have huge feet! Let people choose the foot size to correspond with the the rest of there measurements. I am sure that I am not in the only one who is tired of wearing a size 13 shoe when you are only a size 11.

kbarton10 said...

On another front, a good camoflage pattern would extend your market far beyond fisherman.

Simm's had one on their debut, I wore it until it fell apart many years later.

Anonymous said...

I've been using Patagonia’s waders for several years now. I'm a very happy customer and I put LOTS of time on the water...

1. Seams around the boot foot -- where the wader meets the boot foot. These seams have now twice started to slowly leak. While I am fairly sure that you guys will replace them a 2nd time -- given Patagonia's SUPER stand behind their product warranty... whatever we can do to improve these seams would be great.

2. Fit. My waders fit fine w/ just the wading belt but I have a long torso and the hike up w/ the suspenders. I think longer and more adjustable suspenders would help.

3. Boot foot sizes. I know its a costly decision for a manufacturer, but varying sizing for different size feet would be nice. I have size 13 feet and w/ a thick sock the feet get a bit tight.

4. Look at separating the wader, boot foot and gravel gards as Simms is doing w/ their travel waders. It makes the waders easier to get into, pack and components may be mixed and matched, i.e., it sizing on the boot foot neo-socks is not "Standard" for a particular size of wader. It is also nice if you start off a day needing waders and it gets hot and want to wet wade.

5. Better pocket design(?). Perhaps a external-ish pocket and maybe a sub pocket specifically for keys.

Anonymous said...

make the ankle/shin area wider so my pants don't slide so far up my leg and when they do there would be enough room for me to reach down to push them down

Anonymous said...

loose fit waders----- I tend to rip my crotch seams due to a little "sag" , more "guide pant" style waders for the casual day of fishing

razmaspaz said...

It would be great to see lighter waders. I'm not talking about lightening the average pair of waders, but a backcountry version of waders that sacrificed a little durability for weight (say down to 2 lbs), would be great. I could go 5 years and only wear a backcountry pair of waders 10-15 times, so the durability is less of an issue. This would also be nice for a pair of boots. Maybe getting a pair that weighed closer to 20 oz.

Salmo said...

Hmmmmmmm . . .

1) I like my Patagonias, only suggestion would be for better built-in gravel guards. On the last two pairs I've owned they've come up short, literally. Add a few extra inches of length so they're not constantly unclipping and riding up.

2) A word on style. I prefer loose, casual, and relatively plain, clean lines and colors as opposed to nut-hugging, multi-colored, and full of useless bells and whistles. I sampled a pair of Cloudveil wading pants last season. Felt like fly fishing in a pair of high-end ski/snowboard pants. Excellent fit and material selection.

Brambor said...

1. Make the knee area and the crotch area from stretchable fabric for easy kneeling and maneuverability.

2. Make the foot area aasy to slip on and off as sometimes one has to step on the heel to pull tha waders off and that over time damages the neoprene at the heel.

El Pescador said...

Very good group of comments everyone. The humour is appreciated too. Let me try to address a bunch of things in one swoop if I can as they relate to the current Patagonia Watermaster ll and Light waders and the groups comments:

1) Both these styles use a proprietary fab./barrier pkg. that actually does a good job in the case of pin holes. The Hydrostorm barrier is elastomeric and does have some "self healing" qualities. The barrier has the capability to recover, similar to the way rubber soles close up after a sheet metal screw is removed (see studded sticky post). This is not the case with some other barriers which I will not name at this time. Other barriers without elastic qualities will always have a pin hole once punctured. I'm sticking with this fab./barrier pkg. for now.

2) Zippers worry me. I've tested several and my faith has been shaken either by leaks, the stiffness they create or just plain weight. I like the boldly simple system of internal suspenders and a roll down function. I can provide pix of the various heights achieved with the current Watermaster ll if anyone wants to see them (even pee height). The Watermaster Light can turn into a waist high as well due to a different suspender arrangement.

3) The gravel guards have been lengthened on the current wader models because they were too short and snug. The improvement is immediately noticable.

4) The new Watermaster ll has an improved pattern in which the inseams have been moved out of the wear zones (inside the legs). Long walkers were rubbing the thread crown down and this new positioning eliminates that problem.

5) Reinforcement fabric has been focused to just the seat and knee zones on the new Watermaster ll waders. This makes the mobility much better than the previous version. This also helps avoid stiff areas.

6) The overall wader fit has been changed. The new Patagonia waders have a more noticable difference between sizes and lengths. We now fit the range of anglers better, including the NBA fisherman and WWF chested angler. Frank, please check this out (king) and tell me if you fit.

7) Booties have received a lot of attention. The grading and construction are better. I am still looking into improving the point where the wader and bootie interface. Others have had occasional leaks in this area. I'm looking at ways to smooth this out going forward. I am also working on custom bottie capability so stay tuned.

8) Stretch fabric is of interest and is in testing. Stretch poses it's own set of issues but for now things are looking pretty good.

9) Note that both ll's and lights are almost tonal. This aesthetic seems in line with some of the comments. Everyone is moving toward stark color blocking. For now I'm sticking with a more subtle approach.

10) Can the suspenders get more comfortable? The answer is yes so work is being done to achieve this. Can the pocket get better? Yes. I'm working on it too.

Ok, that's enough for now. Let the conversation continue. Thanks again everyone.

Tobin said...

BigSkyTaku: Zippers are great for dry suits, but on waders? Fugetaboutit. Two pairs of waders stand out in the last twenty years for me, a pair of O'Neils (neoprene) and my current Simms (going on three years). Both have lasted long days/years with no leaks. Two other friends have had problems with bootie leaks, so working on that is prime for fixing. The roll down funtion on the Patagonias is great, and if you are working on the size and fitting, that's what I have the most trouble with. Wide shoulders, narrow waist (not as narrow as some years ago!) and large quads (too many years of football and hockey), so looking for a "king" fit without having it be a Zeppelin around the waist has been pretty bleak. Also, I second thinking about having some made in a camo pattern. I wear my waders fishing and for waterfowl hunting in warm weather. It would be nice to have only one pair to cover both, plus cut down on the impact to the environment in manufacturing. And finally, keep up the great work!

El Pescador said...

Thanks for the comments Tobin. Let me know your measurements so I can understand what might fit you best (height, waist, chest, inseam and foot size).

jared said...

In this age of alarms & "smart" keys...I'd suggest making the pocket waterproof.

RJ said...

I second Jared.
A waterproof zipper pouch would be a spledid addition.

How about Hip Waders?
Is there a market for this?

Steven Jarvis said...

I'll second a few things, just for the record:

1. a waterproof interior pocket, smallish, for keys (or maybe a cellphone --- booo!)

2. A *better* exterior pocket. Simms went too far on the G3 (and I won't get started on the terror that is the G4!). A microfleece lined pocket big enough for both hands or a medium flybox. A place to clip some hemos and/or pin a retractor.

3. I DOUBLE second the idea of being able to order custom booties. Not even "custom" but say I want a medium bootie on a pair of XL King waders --- mix 'n' match from existing parts.

4. Lighter is better. Sure, tough is good, too, but I do more hiking (in and out of the water) than scraping and sliding and bushwhacking through thorns.

thanks for starting this discussion!

Steven

Taco Meeuwsen said...

Steve,

I would like to second strongly what has been said about that queer zipper trend that is going on. Do not zip up your new waders. The sealed zipper could however be used to include a truely 100% waterproof breastpouch (als suggested earlier). That would be an asset. I'm now introducing a Simms watertight mobile and keys pack into a Patagonia breast pocket. Cumbersome and tricky :-)

Taco Meeuwsen said...

I was taking a more closer look at this photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/airtaxi/434103695/
Do you per chance have anymore comprehensible photos showing the Watermaster II (or any other Patagonian wader for that matter) in its various stages from chest to hip wader? Already this one shows nicely the benefits of the double push buttons (the second pair being deep inside the wader). I would think you could communicate these handy features more clearly on the Patagonian website, don't you agree? Also this is a feature that could be develloped further in future waders I believe. I find it very pratical and useful. Again: tall persons can wade way deeper than the average flyfisher and are prone to roll down the torso half of the wader wherever and whenever possible. I can do streams with a hipwader my buddy cannot negociate without a good chestwader.
I found your photo of flyfishers using a ladder and that brought a big smile on my face :-)

Thanks,

Taco

Anonymous said...

kneepads for stalking wary trout. a removable foam kneepad could slid up into an extra layer of tough fabric over the knee if the bottom seam of the extra fabric is left with the center portion un-stiched. I think Carhart work pants have this option.

Sinjin Eberle said...

I agree with most of what everyone said...and I fished in my Pati Wadermasters yesterday, which was stellar! I have had them for a couple of years and absolutely love them.

But a couple of comments...I have a wear pattern going on the inside of my gravel guards - I think from rubbing together as I walk. Good mountaineering pants have a reinforced area here to guard against crampon rub. May be an idea for those who walk in their waders a lot.

I am a tall (6'1") individual with an athletic build (slim but not skinny, muscular). I would like a more form-fitting fit and would be especially attracted to the stretch fabric mentioned above. I do a lot of kneeling and crawling along small streams, so that flex would be great. I also carry a point and shoot camera and techie keys, so the waterproof pocket is a great idea.

One thing, sorta unrelated to waders, that I would like to suggest are fleece pants with stirrups. Nothing bugs more than pulling on waders and having your fleece pants skootch up. I know Simms makes a set, but I would like to give them as little of my money as possible. With Pati's wool line, a set of AxuWool stirruped tights would be totally cool! Something to think about.

Sinjin

Matt said...

I love the ability to convert my Watermasters into waist highs, but I'd love a small clip at the top to hook onto the shoulder straps when I am wearing them chest high- just something to keep the waders there without having to cinch down the top.

I'm also going to second the suggestion of "customizable" bootie/wader combos. I wear a Patagonia medium but have a size 13 foot- My last pair of Watermasters were XL's to keep from killing my feet, but they look like a circus tent on me.

I could go either way on the "handwarmer" pocket- it's great for a flybox when traveling light, but I just put my hands inside my waders when I actually want to warm my hands up.

-Matt

El Pescador said...

Knee pad comment noted Anon. I'm curious what others think about a feature like this.

Sinjin, good to know that your original Watermasters are getting the job done. Gravel guard wear point noted. Extra attention will be paid to inside ankle abrasion.

Regarding fit, as stated in my previous comments, the new Watermaster ll has had a fit revision. I'd be curious to know your thoughts are on this as it relates to your "form fit" desire. I'm 6'0" with a trim build (185lbs). I fished this morning in a production pair of ll's (medium regular). This size fits me like a glove. I can also wear a large reg. and that size might be my choice for more layered up conditions. Let me know if you can try on a few new wader sizes. I'd like to get your feedback on the ll's.

Last comment is on the stirrups. This year we introduced our new Insulator Pants. While exploring new insulation fabrics for a basic under-wader pant we discovered some interesting things. Many of the newer fabrics had “hard faces” or high lycra content. The “hard face” which does allow layering fabrics to slide over it didn’t actually slide very well against wader scrim. Fabrics with high lycra content didn’t dry very quickly. We took another look at our tried and true double-sided 6 oz. Fleece fabric and found that it worked extremely well when put up against the slide and dry criteria. We worked on a leg taper that would hug the lower leg/ankle and resist the ride-up problem. No stirrup required!

I wear these fleece pants regularly and don't have to pull my socks over the cuffs to keep them in place....but you can if you want. Give the new Insulator Pants a try. They’re made of eco-friendly, 51% recycled-polyester as well.

El Pescador said...

Thanks for joining in Matt. Can you expand on your clip/hook idea?

Sinjin Eberle said...

El P...

Thanks for the thoughts. I can say for certainty that the Wadermaster IIs are way better in terms of the trim fit I am looking for than my previous Orvis waders, which made me look like the Pilsbury Dough Boy...Maybe given the way the fabric is, a true 'form fit' will never really be possible, especially for those of us in places where we fish in the winter and need to layer underneath commonly (like Saturday when the water temp on the South Platte was 39 degrees...sheesh!) I will look into the Insulator Pants as well. This is a great discussion - I like that the Product people are getting input directly from the customer base, and in this case, many of the customers who actually USE the product, not just have it hanging in their garages.

Sinjin

Matty & Laura O'Connor said...

Steve,
I just got off the Gray Reef after spending a week in the new Watermaster II.
Fantastic re-design all around. Things of note: I am almost 6'2"and wore the Medium Regular size all week. They fit perfect - the waist belt sat where I wanted it, the rise was appropriate and comfortable, as were the suspenders. The booties were comfortable and streamlined in my boots. PLEASE - no zipper! The
fully-snapped suspender system made nature's call easy to answer. Unsnapping the front of the suspenders also makes this newer design easier to pull on - a nice
touch. The beefier multi-pocket hung in the right spot when the waders were rolled down. The pocket provides adequate organized storage for fishing from a drift boat - a fly box, tippet, indicators, etc. Clean AND more effective.

On another note, this pair was more comfortable in a deep knee bend or crouched position - my last pair was pretty tight. I noticed immediately the first time I
tried them on as I always do a knee-bend to force out the air before clipping up the waist belt - great job there. The gravel guards were also improved. They stayed in place lower on my boot lacing (2nd lacing "X" from the bottom on my Riverwalkers) covering the laces completely and reducing line
hang-up.

Finally, I thought they looked great. Not that I go clubbing in my waders, but I thought the fabric contrast was a nice touch overall and set them apart.

My 2-cents.
Best,

Matthew O'Connor
www.mattyocandlaura.blogspot.com
Boulder, Colorado

Matt said...

El Pescador-

The clip I'm envisioning would be mounted on the inside of the wader right at the top edge and would have something on the inside of the clip surface to grip the suspender strap.

The clip I had in mind when I suggested it is the type used to control backpack straps, there's a picture of one here http://www.crumplerbags.com/Cart/Views/productpagev2/popupImage.php?img=/Cart/Resources/CartResources/207_res/b207_o10311_ai641.jpg&caption=CU-02A%20rear%20detail the clip is shown on the waist belt.

-Matt
www.mattboutet.com

Matt said...

It looks like blogger truncated the address of the page I tried to link to.

A picture of something similar can be found here(maybe):
http://www.backcountrygear.com/images/lekisecurityclip.jpg

-Matt
www.mattboutet.com

Porter said...

A thought on wading pants. My Army issue black fleece jumper stops at mid calf and they don't ride up at all. Plus they add that extra bit of insulation to the torso.

El Pescador said...

Matt, thanks for the link. Correct me if I'm wrong but you are looking for a way to secure the upper part of the wader when rolled down, correct?


Porter, I'm curious about the calf height on the army issue jumper. Why was the design meant to stop at one's calf?

Matt said...

El Pescador,

I'm actually looking for a way to secure the upper part of the wader when up. I don't really like cinching the drawcord at the top tight, which seemed like the only way to keep my old ones up there.

-Matt

p.s. We seem to fish a lot of the same areas, maybe I'll catch you out on the water and I can explain in person.

El Pescador said...

Got it Matt. I am looking at ways to improve the drawcord adjusment at the top of the wader. It actually works very well if you pre-set your desired closure. It's in the field where the system can be a bit more cumbersome when trying to do a quick adjust. Thanks for the follow up. If you are in my area please don't hesitate to call me. I'm in the book.

Porter said...

I have no firm idea why the Army designed it that way. My guess is that the Army loves clean lines above the boot (BDU pants are bloused with ties, bootlaces tucked in, socks rolled over boot tops, etc). I think it is a general safety issue, nothing to get caught up while jumping in and out of HMVEES, 5-tons, birds, etc. But I will say they work well with any type of booted activity, skiing, hiking, wading, etc. The only gripe I have with them is that they should be a tad bit more form fitting than what they are now at the calf.

Taco Meeuwsen said...

Feedback on Anonymous' kneepads suggestion. A great idea I think! Not only for stalking on all fours. I like to kneel when talking pictures of the trophee fish only my buddy catches...I don not bow, I kneel for him. In the most ridiculous places, so pads would come in handy then too. As well as in in using your knees to negotiate a steep gravel bank. Which happens. A lot. When you're getting older.

Anonymous said...

Light, Light, Light make them light, the good trout and in deep backpacking distance

El Pescador said...

Thanks Porter. My assumption was that the calf high design was boot related....and wise.

Taco and Anon., I'm curious if aftermarket knee pads would be better than building them into waders. Tile setters and roofers use beefy versions to meet their all day/every day protection needs. Knee pads on the outside would also provide very good abrasion and puncture resistance....plus you can remove them. Thoughts?

Anon., light is my mantra. The gear we currently offer is some of the lightest in class. The Watermaster Light Wader weighs a touch more than 2lbs. I do weight comparrisons of competitors often and find that the current Patagonia waders combined with a pair of Riverwalker or Canyonwalker boots usually beats the competitive counterpart by pounds, not ounces. Light will continue to by the criteria.

Anonymous said...

A built in belt that can't fall off in the weeds and get left behind, like my last 3 wader belts would be great. A belt with a soft edge that doesn't dig into your side when bending over to release the "big pig" would be nice too.
Keep up the great work and thanks for letting us add our 2 cents.

El Pescador said...

Noted Anon. Check out the last two comments under the "Stripping Baskets" post. They apply to some your belt desires/needs.

steelie Jan said...

1. Elastic on built-in gravel guards often is too tight. Makes slipping the foot in difficult. Perhaps inserting a covered zipper on the guard would allow the foot easy access. A hook at the end of the zipper could hook onto the laces.
2. Breathable feet. I suffer from cold feet and find my waders with breathable feet much warmer. My waders with neoprene feet make it hard to wear two pair of socks and don't slide into my boot with ease.
3. Chest pocket with zipper on the outside of wader for easier access. Or at least at the top of the current chest pocket so I don't have to flip it out to open.
4. double fabric over knees and the butt. Helps with crawling over boulders and going through briers.
5. I'm a woman and find the current sizing for women don't fit me. By the time I get the foot size big enough I'm needing to buy men's. Wouldn't mind waiting a little longer for delivery if I could custom order foot size and wader size.
6. Ok, I'm vain. But two colored waders make me look chopped up. I'm only 5'5".
7. And what the heck would I do with a zipper in front???
Thanks for asking.
Jan

ESOX LUCIUS said...

Steve, aftermarket knee pads would be just as good as building them into waders. I just thought the design suggestion Anonymous gave were rather smart (you could choose not to insert the pads and still have a stronger fabric around the knee areas). Then again, if Patagonia designed a pair of adjustable and loose kneepads for breathable waders, I have no doubt they would sell across the current labels. I now use volleyball cushioned kneeguards inside the wader and those make you sweat that much more.

Lol @Jan's zipper remark.
Cheers, Taco

El Pescador said...

Comments noted Steelie Jan:
1) I agree that if gravel guards are too tight they become problematic. The Watermaster II and Light gg's are longer and a touch more relaxed than the previous specifications. I think we've found the sweet spot for our gg's. The zippered idea sounds similar to ski pants. I'll investigate the design potential but for the salt I'd be worried about a zip.
2) In 1999 we offered both fabric and neoprene feet. For many there were concerns about a fabric foot because of durability but I wonder how much of that was fact. Know that I'm investigating that option/addition again. Your comments about double socks though made me wonder about boot fit and circulation. Too tight a fit can often be the cause of less than optimal warmth levels, especially for hands and feet. I'd like to know what your sock combo is. Please advise.
3) Chest pocket design will evolve. Opening location suggestions appreciated.
4) More knee reinforcement noted. This seems to be a group wide suggestion.
5) I'm hot on the trail of having the ability to customize bootie to wader. I'm curious if you've been able to try either of the new women's waders? Bootie sizes were regraded. Let me know.
6) Agree on the chopped up look. That's why the new II's are practically tonal.
7) Brilliant comment!

Thank you SJ.

John said...

My 2 cents:

1. No zippers. They're waders. Eventually the wader will fail. No point in adding something to increase the likelihood of failure. Plus, I fail to see how these fancy zippers are going to save me any time on the stream. Maybe if it was just a zipper fly, but as was already pointed out, that isn't going to help our women fly fishers at all.
2. I agree on the gravel guards -- need to be snug but comfortable fit.
3. It's just cosmetic, but I too prefer soft natural wader colors, and no two tones. What the heck is with that new trend? They're waders! Make me blend in, not stand out.
4. Any reinforcement of the knees, bushwacking areas and seat are always welcome if it can be balanced with the desire for lightweight, comfort.
5. Personally, I don't care for the inside pockets, but if you're going to include one, I do like the idea of a small zippered, easy access keys pocket. Maybe put it offset to one-side (rather than dead-center) so you might be able to get to it without taking a vest off.
6. Feet/booties... I agree that the booty should be breathable. At the same time, I can attest that waders without neoprene feet can have wear problems at the seems of the booties. What I've found to be the best, most comfortable compromise is a gortex footed wader paired with sock combination(s) of choice + using a separate neoprene sock over the gortex bootie. I get sufficient breathability, added comfort due to the padding of the neoprene and I wear the inexpensive neoprene sock out rather than the waders. Also, using an external neoprene sock seems to fit much better than preformed, stiff neoprene wader booties. The way I've been using the gortex wader+ neoprene sock feels just like I'm in hiking boots.
7. The cinch and issue at the top of the waders... I currently do not own Patagonia waders because of the way the top of the waders fit -- and more importantly, tend to ride down. I understand what your comment about settting the cinch first, but that's just inconvenient and still doesn't work well. I wade deep. Primarily because I find the big fish are always out of reach and also that I'm 5' 5" (so I'm always deep!). I can't use waders that might dip or ride down at the top. I've found no other waders that do this like yours. I think it's because of your suspender system. As a fix, what about an approach similar to how some manufacturers build in adjustments for waists on pants? Have it so you can pull tight an adjustment on each side near the armpits. Easy access for adjustments. Make that adjustable strapping mechanism out of something elastic and it would probably be a comfortable fit.
8. Wading belt. I'd actually prefer an elastic wading belt of some kind. I too don't like the hard edges. I think something that could expand as you breath would be more comfortable as well.
9. And for reference, I think the L.L. Bean Gortex GQS waders are THE best wader made to date. The combination of comfort, weight and durability in my opinion is unmatched. The only issue I've ever found with them (I'm on my second pair and have worn this model for something like 8 years) is that the foot is Gortex. It's very comfortable but as I mentioned already, this type of wader has wear problems at the seems of the feet (primarily the heel). Once I figured out to combine it with a neoprene sock, the waders are pretty much unbeatable. I wear them year-round. I bushwack without second thought. I've even taken a number of falls down rocky banks in which somehow I've cut my leg but never actually punctured the wader.
10. Wader suspenders... The most comfortable I've found have again been from Bean. Check out their neoprene suspenders. They're broad so disperse the weight. They're light.
11. The calf-height wading pants is a great idea. I've tried the stirrup kind and while better than pants riding up, I think they make you stuff too much material down around your lower calf and ankle.
12. Custom-fits is a great idea, but only if it's economical enough for the masses.

El Pescador said...

Thanks John. Comment time investment appreciated and all content noted. For now here are just a couple of responses to particular points:

Your "ride down" comment (#7)concerns me. The cinch at the top of the Watermaster II's can create a very snug fit and with the Houdini Drawcord system there is no tag end exposed nor is there anything on the outside of the wader to catch line. Can any II users out there comment on this?

(#8) Check out our Stretch Wadeing Belt (standard on all models). It's stretch polyester (minimal water gain) and no hard edges. It's will be sold individually come July.

(#11) Also check out the Insulator Pant. It's not calf height but it's minus stirrups and low bulk.

Once again, thank you for conveying your thoughts John and for visiting Way Upstream.

Big Sky Taku said...

Regarding the pants riding up. I made a pair of neoprene straps from an old pair of waders.
Cut the neoprene about 2" wide, sewed some velcro on and they have been working for some years now (somehow haven't managed to lose them!). I have had stirrup type pants before and am not a fan due to bulk issues around the ankle, plus I can use the neoprene straps with any type of pants I happen to be wearing at the time.
As for knee pads, I would say at make them removeable as was previously suggested, cutting bulk and weight unless you absolutely want the pad is is important to me. Cheers.

El Pescador said...

Way to take design matters into your own hands BST. Be on the lookout for the new Shelled Insulator Pants coming in July. They have a smooth, tabbed hook and loop closure at the cuff that I think you'll like.

Matt said...

I've seen a few posts here about inside pockets. My Bean's West Branch waders have a zippered inside pocket that I use quite a bit, but I've never liked the zipper idea- it really requires 2 free hands to unzip, which is one more than I usually have available.

I'd prefer a sandwich bag type flap or even a magnetic closure. Even hook and loop would be better than a zipper.

Greg in VT said...

Lots of good suggestions here. I would agree that sizing can be a challenge. My Patagonia waders (1st generation) are too small for me. I had to modify the suspenders so they wouldn't ride-up on me. I used the sizing chart which put me in a small. I should have been in a medium for length, but it probably would have been too bulky around. My other big complaint with my older-style waders is durabilty. This issue seems to have been well addressed in later versions with re-enforced areas. I quickly wore small holes in the knees and butt.
Some hypothetical suggestions: How can we elimate or reduce the STINK? I always hang my waders to dry, but the insides are always pretty rank. Maybe some of the anti-stink technology in new Capilene. Maybe a thin Capilene lining on the inside. Or a wool lined version for colder water like the new Patagonia wetsuits. Could the waistbelts be eliminated by some sort of drawcord/cinch device built into the waders. Something like a gusset or wrap around powder/spray skirt thing built into the inside. You could still roll the top down over it like traditional belts, but it would seal-out water better and be less abtrusive than an external belt.
My other suggestion is not wader related. A fishing wader/wetsuit geared bag. Something that would have mesh panels in the top for breathability, drain holes in the bottom. Also indivudual compartments for boot, wader, extra clothes (a waterproof compartment) and external organizer pockets for reels, flies, board wax, etc.

Randy Harward - Patagonia Quality/Lab Dept. said...

There's been a few comments on our Wader fabrics so I'll add to the dialogue.
Patagonia wader fabrics are quite unique, the result of many years of formal R&D and good old tweaking. The trick is to create a material that has good abrasion resistance, puncture resistance, breathability, and fast dry times, without letting it get heavy and stiff. It's a hell of a challenge actually. We make the tightest doubleweave face fabrics on the market for puncture and abrasion resistance, and use an incredibly resilient partially self repairing membrane, trying to perfect the package of fabric, membrane, scrim and adhesives that hold it all together. Hundreds of lab and field tests show we have a good balance, but we're always trying to make our fabrics even better. Technically, making a more puncture resistant fabric is possible, but it's difficult to do without making the fabric stiffer which actually creates the worst wear problem of all... edge abrasion along stiff wrinkled or gathered fabric. We have some ideas though and are considering some changes to fabrics and wader design that will make them softer and more durable. Stay tuned. Now back to work.

Anonymous said...

Big Sky Taku: It's always difficult to get good flexibility with abrasion/puncture resistance. I tend to go to the side of flexibility and being careful on the puncture side, plus keeping a tube of AquaSeal or whatever handy. I have had very good luck with repairs, so my main concern is with seam waterproofness. It's lot's harder to reseal a stretch of seam than a hole in the fabric in my experience. Keeping the seams bombproof is a big one for me.

El Pescador said...

Randy, thank you for weighing in. Your comments are good for Way Upstream readers to see and I'm sure they appreciate hearing it from the Patagonia Quality Dept. Add your voice as often as you can.

BST, Much attention was paid to making seams "bombproof" and still flexible. Too hard a seam crown can end up being more of a problem than a flexible one. Seams on the Watermaster II's achieve the desired traits and have been moved out of wear zones to prevent crown abrasion. This is a big feature but may not appear obvious.

Ian said...

Hopefully you won't mind a candid review.

I haven't really been happy with the performance of any of the Patagonia fly fishing products I've owned. None of them have been "guide durable." I'm willing to accept that nothing is going to last me more than about a season and a half, but none of the Patagonia items I've owned from waders to wading boots have made it through more than half a season.

Watermaster Waders
(I haven't handled any of the Watermaster 2's so these might have been addressed.)
1. Drop the crazy pocket scheme. It's too easy to leave a zipper on one side open, flip the pocket thinking both are closed, and lose everything inside.
2. Build in a retractor of some kind.
3. Pattern the waders to have downward curves under the armpit to make rowing more comfortable.
4. The button clasps on my watermasters are about as durable as a wet piece of paper.
5. The neoprene/hypalon bootfeet are cut too big.


Riverwalker Boots
I know you're not asking about the Riverwalker boots, but those things are a disaster from the top down.
1. Laces break easily.
2. Felt bottoms come off way prematurely. I've written a letter every time I've returned a pair and thus far there's been no response.
3. Double up the stitching on all the seams.
4. Change the rubber around the toes and heel to a less "grippy" type of rubber. Fly lines stick to the rubber if you're in a situation where the boots aren't underwater.

On a separate but related note, I've sent a number of comments on Patagonia products and have yet to receive any sort of response from Patagonia. I'm not asking for a personalized thank you note, but some sort of confirmation would be nice, otherwise I can't help but feel that I'm wasting my time telling Patagonia anything to improve their products - it's not a one way street. At least you're heading down the right road with the blog.

El Pescador said...

Candid comments appreciated Ian. Thank you for taking the time to share your views here at Way Upstream. I'm sorry to hear that your former suggestions were met with silence. That won't happen here.

Know that the purpose of this wader post is to gather just these types of comments.

Most of the issues you raise were keenly focused on with the Watermaster II Waders and Riverwalkers. Seams, snaps, fit and booties received the most attention on the wader. The bar has been set on boot sole bond strength too. Review the comment string for some additional details.

Regarding the laces, we use "flat" polyester for minimal water absorption. They stay tied better that cord, especially when wet. Where are you seeing breakage?

Ian, shoot me a separate email when you get a chance. There are some further questions I'd like to ask you about the Patagonia fly-fishing products that you've owned. I want you to be satisfied.

Good luck out there on the water.

Yvon said...

Thanks for the input.

Patagonia was the first company to work with Gore Tex as a potential fabric for waders. Tests were done by New Zealand guides and I took a pair to the Russian far east where I wore them to search for Siberian tigers in swamp wet conditions. When I returned I counted over 80 pin holes in the leg area. The NZ guides also had similar experience. We decided then that if we came out with this product we would create a nightmare of returns. So we gave the idea back to Gore, who then worked with Simms.

We went on to develop waders using our own H2No Storm fabric package which we continue to use today, of course in vastly improved versions.

Year in and year out I personally use our waders as much as anyone. More than most guides, because I don't fish from boats and prefer to walk in usually pretty tough terrain - covered with rosa mosqueta in Chile to "devil's club" in British Columbia.

Gore Tex is a laminate put on a face fabric and, when punctured with a rose thorn or a size 22 hook, will leave a clean hole that stays open and results in leaks. Which is why Gore Tex waders must have multiple layers of tough fabric to protect the Gore Tex laminate.

The Patagonia waders are treated with a breatheable waterproof coating which is flexible. So, when you have a tiny puncture from a thorn or even a small hook, the hole seals itself. In the last three years of abusive thrashing around prickly bushes, I've never had to repair one leak.

The other big advantage of Patagonia waders for me is the fact the shoulder straps are attached to the waist part of the wader and I can let the top down when hiking in hot weather. But, best of all, I can relieve my aging prostate without taking off my jacket while it's raining - or even have to get out of the river. No zipper needed!

El Pescador said...

YC, Thank you for sharing the history behind the Hydrostorm fabric/barrier as well as your personal experiences in the field. I know that Way Upstream readers appreciate it. The information you provided here at Way Upstream can't be found in catalogs, workbooks or on hang tags. These are parts of the story that our customers, pros and guides don't hear. Please continue to join Way Upstrean conversations regularly. Your experience and thoughts are valuable. Thank you once again.

Ketan Mody said...

I personally love the watermaster dos waders, I had a pair from patagonia from 99 that i wore until fall of 06. Those waders took years of hard abuse while wet picking cranberries, shuffeling for quahog's with no booties on, and last but not least trying to decieve fish of the northeast multiple times a week. Finally my growth from a young boy to a man forced me to get a new pair of waders, and of course I chose the new watermasters. I LOVE EM! so comfy, tough as nails, and the buttons make all the difference in the world in terms comfort and "relief". One thing I love about patagonia products is the details...in the watermaster II's the light colored reflective material used on the inside help when trying to dig around at night in my waders. SOOO cool! and the same design detail is carried across to their packs as well.

Less is more, and the more pockets and doodads that are added onto fishing items, the worse fisherman we all become. When you take the "whole tackle box" with you, less time is spent analyzing your environment, keeping the fly in the water, etc.

Fishing with only a spool of tippet and a small box of flies is a joy!

Steve keep up the good work, the design ethic in patagonia's products have always been spot on!

Remember to have fun fishing everybody!

Ketan

El Pescador said...

Good to know that you've got the II's in testing Ketan. Keep me posted on their performance as time goes by. Good luck on the Cape. Get me some pix for a post.

Wayne Thompson said...

There is an inherent problem of a few sizes fit all in sizing when we go the route of small, medium, large etc. I bought my first set of waders using the criterion of how the legs fit when I was sitting down or crouching. As a result I now buy "longs" to allow for bending at the waist and knees. This sometimes means that the top of the waders is around my neck and that the bootie portion might be a little large.

Bottom line, calculate the longer leg length due to bending and flexing.

El Pescador said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Pescador said...

No question that fit is critical Wayne. Sizing and grading are where some of the most intensive work happens. Patagonia currently offers 4 sizes in Short, 5 sizes in Regular, 3 sizes in Long and 5 sizes in King for men. For women we offer 5 sizes in Regular and 2 sizes in Full. The suspender system on the "II's" has adjustment on both front and back that allows the wearer to dial in rise and torso comfort. Both our waders (II's and Lights) have articulated knees and we spec enough fabric in the leg to allow for deep knee bending or high stepping but are careful not to have excess. It's a difficult balancing act. Let me know your measuremnets Wayne and I'll suggest where you would be on our scale. Thank you for weighing in.

Ian said...

Out of curiosity, any chance the welded seam technology used on other Patagonia products will be migrated over to waders?

El Pescador said...

Sorry for the response delay Ian. Welding and gluing has been in testing for two years now (regarding waders). Challenges have been prevalent but ground is being gained. These construction techniques have been very successful in jackets, especially where fabrics are lighter and flexible (look for a new fishing jacket with welded shoulder seams in S8) but wader reinforcement fabric still poses challenges (see Randy Harward's comments)...but we're on it.

Climber said...

One of my pet peaves with waders are the thickness of the neopreme booties. I often fish creeks and walk for miles and I want to wear my hiking shoes. Well by the time you get a pair of socks and the waders on they don't fit.
I also don't like the fact that so many waders are made for fat people. As an outdoor company I would hope that your waders could be sized to fit athletic people too.
And keep the zippers out. For that matter I never understood putting a pocket in them, I pretty much always have a vest on and the pocket is unavailable anyway. Lighter and simpler are better. Let those other guys follow the bloated wader path.

El Pescador said...

Pet peaves noted Climber. Our team has worked very hard to grade booties so that they fit as cleanly as possible but I'm sure there are customers who will fall outside the lines. Customized bootie options are one of our goals in the short term to address this.

Regarding fit, this is an area that we are proud of as it relates to the Watermaster II and Light Waders. We've got a size range that takes into account diverse body types. Athletic builds will appreciate our REG, SHORT and LONG fit. Bigger folks will like our KING range. I would encourage you to try them and if you do please follow up with comments. If you email me your measurements I'll suggest a target size for you. Note that there is more information/feedback on these wader issues, including zippers, in the comments string.

Lastly with regard to being lightweight, we are beating the competition in our class by pounds, not ounces!

Thank you for weighing in.

Anonymous said...

just a few comments here - recently stumbled on to this site...
re: Boots. Patagonia wading boots are lightweight, comfortable, and nice to hike in (rocker?), but after having multiple pairs fail I've gone to Brand X. Failure was consistent (two times) at the felt sole to boot attachment point. Why not stitch the felt on? Also, the studs aren't "sticky" Maybe a softer metal would bite better. Also, they could be a little bit bigger. Make a better boot and I will happily switch back. John

El Pescador said...

Thanks for wading in John. Felt coming unglued has been an area that has dragged down the Patagonia name among guides and other anglers. I've been able to trace the issue to a bad batch of Spring 2005 production felt soled boots. We took steps 6 months ago to recall and replace existing dealer inventories. Our dealers and customer service representatives will take care of any return immediately. Were you able to return your boots without a problem? S6 and S7 styles are exceeding bond strength tests. For S8 a rubber carrier has been added to the bond process plus the felt will be stitched on for added insurance. Our S7 Canyonwalker boot is also exceeding bond strength tests. The current stable of Patagonia wading boots are the lightest in class and as tough as a bag of rocks. Please email me John and let me know if you still have any of the defective Riverwalkers so I can determine if they were S5. If I can be of any service please let me know. I want you back in our gear and satisfied.

Wayne Thompson said...

Regarding the sizing of waders. As I said earlier, I will pick one criterion, in my case, a longer waist while a friend of mine who is on the stout side goes the "stout" route. When I go with the "long" sizes, often the booty is a size or two larger than I wear. This means that getting the boots on becomes a bit of a chore unless I can soak them first so some sort of gusset in the toe box of the wading boots would be handy.

It would also be beneficial to have a size comparison chart of the various vendors.

El Pescador said...

It's hard for me to determine if your fit comments pertain to just Patagonia waders or all waders Wayne. Have you tried on our new Watermaster II's? Email me your measurements (chest, waist, inseam, shoe size). I'd like to help.

jimmyo said...

The wademasters and their predecessor are the best. Patagonia waders in gen. have been the most trouble-free for me. I would have to agree with tom chandler about how they are worn. I would like to add to your video. I always enjoy the ability to roll down when it gets hot, but additionally wad up and tuck my jacket in the the roll around back. It may look mid-evil but it feels like a lumbar support. I have tucked water bottles, italian sub sandwiches, even an extra reel into the roll. Built in 360 fanny pack.
My only request is to find a way to retain durability while utilizing a softer, quiet, and more flexible material. I have an old pair of Simms that fall short in many ways, however I must say they are quite comfortable and quiet. I fished recently with a pal who was wearing a brand new pair of Columbia waders. Yikes, he might as well have worn a hefty bag.
Just a minor issue, Its hard to pick at near perfection.

El Pescador said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Pescador said...

Excellent feedback Jimmyo. Are you currently in the Watermaster II's?

I'd love to see pix of you with the 360 degree wader roll pack in use.

If you have specific ideas on what you'd like to see in a wader video please share them.

Thank you for your Way Upstream comments.

DB said...

First, excellent dialogue, it's great to the ability of the user community to comment openly like this. I've been a Patagonia user/fan since I was little and my dad gave me a pre/early Capilene old zip-T of his from Austria -- probably my most treasured piece of gear and I still wear it. For that matter, what year did Capilene come out? I'm guessing this top is 18 years old, kind of like exped weight interior, smooth exterior, really tall collar.

As for my preferences for waders-- it depends. I don't think any one wader can do it all. I like to have an everyday wader -- good fit, tough, maybe some simple frills like a zinger or chest pocket, good gravel guards. Should be able to take abuse, shin, knee, butt and maybe even crotch reinforcements for when you're straddling logs.

On the other hand, I want the simplest and lightest wader possible for backcountry trips. Nothing but the lightest fabric, fabric booties included. I've put countless hours in a Kokatat drysuit with Gore-tex booties scrambling, scouting, portaging and kayaking, with nothing but Teva neoprene booties or Gamma's on, and they are (surprisingly) still OK, and no gear will last forever anyways - warranty replacements would probably be low or relatively cheap for new booties. For gravel guards, maybe something as simple as the newer Silnylon type fabric with a bungee cord and pull-tab closure.

And perhaps just cause I'm fond of bringing a fly rod on extended whitewater trips and am known to fish in a drysuit, maybe an entirely new product along the lines of a 'fly't suit'. A one-piece wader/jacket combo with built in suspenders so you could roll down the jacket top if you wanted. Make it in military green too. I want credit for the name though!

Damon

El Pescador said...

Thanks for dropping by Damon. I'm very glad that you appreciate the open dialogue. Join the Way Upstream conversations anytime and often. Subscribe if you are so inclined.

First I wanted to comment on the Patagonia impression that your dad made on you. That's a pretty cool story, and even cooler that you are still able to wear that Capilene zip-t that he gave you. Capilene came out in 1985. Just from your description I'm guessing that you have an old expedition weight product. Send me a picture of it if you get a chance. I still own and use a "wallace beery" style "x-wt" piece to this day...and love it.

From your comments about waders I'd say you fit the bill for our current wader styles - Watermaster II and Watermaster Light. Both are lightweight, tough, minimalist and guaranteed. Have you seen or tried either of them?

Now as far as the "fly't suit" idea goes, it may not be as far fetched as you think. Is the market ready for it? That's a question I will ponder.....and if the name is ever needed then you will get the credit.

Damon said...

El P,

I have sent you a pic. Enjoy.

I recently acquired a pair of Watermaster Lights. It's wet wading season on the small stuff here in VT so I haven't tried them yet, but am looking forward to it. I think there is future opportunity there in some minimalist luxuries -- ie, zinger or small chest pocket, or new fabric to make them even more packable.

A Fly't Suit would be a fringe product to test in the market for sure, but that market is also getting younger and younger and style/function preferences are changing. The technology is all in place, question of price point and acceptance of risk really. Thanks for the credit:)

Even though this the wader forum, wanted to drop a note on the Double Haul here too. I like it, but the rod tube attachment doesn't really work that great -- the size of the buckles in relation to the radius/curvature of a tube makes the angle of the webbing going into the buckle too great -- so basically, they won't hold when tightened. You can deal with the issue by always stuffing the back pouch very full, or some SeamGrip on the webbing adds enough friction to keep it from sliding. Would be good to fix that in the future with either smaller buckles, pre-curved buckles, or those rod-tube bungee clips some other manufacturers use.

D

El Pescador said...

Damon, once you get some time under your Watermaster Light wading belt let me know your feedback.

I did get your picture and it sure looks like an old expedition weight zip-t. I expect that will continue to last you for a while.

Regarding the Double Haul, that product has already undergone some significant redesign. It will hit the market in January 2008. Look forward to seeing it then. Thanks for adding your voice.

Anonymous said...

Im a fly fishing guide and the perfect wader dosent exist.
If you ask me, what i will look like a Patagonia waders:
- Good quality, like Simms.
-Inovationin Desings, Like Cloudiviel.Maybe try new colors all the waders in the market are the same.But keep it simple, more pokets and details more hevy, more longer takes to dry, less fun for travel with.
-Waders for hard core wading, that means confortable for wadding all the day, and not bulky.Easy for taking of for a leak with out building a zipper.
Ask to the FF guides they will give you lots of info.
I hate waders, any time that the sun is out I do wet wading. So make some products for that, for fishing in a drift boat and wading in the summers of Montana o Patagonia, my land.
Good Luck
Carlos Araya
-

El Pescador said...

Thanks for taking the time to provide wader feedback/advice Carlos. I would like to know if you've tried the Watermaster II Waders. Your comment "comfortable for wading all the day, and not bulky.Easy for taking off for a leak with out building a zipper" describes them well.

Both Watermaster II and Light waders can be turned into waist highs so they do offer drift boat comfort. check out this link to see them in action - http://www.flickr.com/photos/airtaxi/580594286/.

Regarding the competition, I keep a close eye on them all the time. Keep sharing your thoughts on specific features and details. I would appreciate it.

One note on perfection - "In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away."
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Brian said...

I would like to get my 2 cents in for some of the "larger" folks around.

Please do not forget that, despite our 46-48" waist size, there are still people who like 5-6 mile hikes through tundra, brambles, and alder thickets to catch big fish. We're big, not dead! It sure would be nice to have waders, underwear, and jackets that meet the realistic size needs of all folks who like to play in rivers and streams.

I've been a Patagonia fan since college lo' these many years ago and now I find myself being "sized" out. It makes me sad. To see an XXL being considered a 40" waist is ridiculous in today's world. I run, I hike, I mountain bike, I pole a boat, I fly fish. Just as there is a saying that today's age 60 is yesterday's age 40, please ask your designers to take into consideration the fact that biger folks are more active in certain areas than they used to be.

Thanks for listening!

El Pescador said...

I hear you loud and clear Brian. The 40"-42" size chart range border does limit. I have heard other's 2 cents about fit who are petite, short and tall on occasion. That's why the fishing team offers waders that go beyond "standard sizing" (short, reg, long and king). Have you tried on our Kings? Please let me know.

I will share your comment with the design group. Consider making similar comments on Patagonia's company blog too - www.thecleanestline.com. There are several product posts that you could make your case for "larger" sizes. Thanks for adding your voice here at Way Upstream.

nusiva said...

Hi: nice to see you are getting input from your customers, i know you get input from the blue ribbon folks too. So not sure what i can add but here's a couple things, I have your waders and a pair of your boots. I really like the suspenders attached at the waist that lets you fold them down to waist highs. This is a great feature, gives a guide pants/chest waders convertible to chest wader purchaser. So what to improve? Sounds like you've addressed the gravel guards, the elastic in mine is still way to tight. The length never really bothered me as long as they stayed clipped and keep stuff out of my boot. I much prefer having attached gravel guards, even with too tight elastic in them. Don't need to be chasing more gear parts just for my waders.

Don't need zippers in waders.

On the subject of pockets, one of the best uses of pockets is a place to put or hook your hands. One of the most comfortable waders i had were the most comfortable just because i could slide my hands into the handwarmer pouch behind the chest patch pocket. Not because my hands were cold but just because i like putting them there.

Wasn't that big a deal but in a long day on the water suprising how often you just want to hook your hand in and rest your arm a bit. Or if you're standing and talking, its kind of a natural stance to take.

I didn't have any specific use for the small patch pocket itself, which was on top or in front of the hand warmer pouch. I usually just stuffed garbage i'd pick up along the river in there, but nice to have a place to put something if you do want to bring something back with you and don't want to risk having it disappear in your vest or bag.

I would suggest you try a chest pocket of some sort that gives you a place to slip your hands or hook your thumbs, and then watch when someone trys them how long it takes before the wearer has his hands resting there. Its a comfort thing, as much as a function like hand warming. Sort of like an arm rest in a car door, don't really do anthing but gives you another position to fit into and be comfortable in your surroundings. I would suggest part of the resurgent attraction of "hoodies" is as much the pouch pocket as the hood. If you put one on your waders i think people might like it too.

mojoman said...

Nice to see you getting feedback from people in the industry. I work in Product Development in the sporting goods industry (not flyfishing, another industry) Anyway alot of information for you to sort through here. Anyway here are a few thoughts.

I personally like having pockets to put some stuff in, not overboard but some pockets to store a few things in are nice. I dont think Simms went overboard with the G3 pocket I like it, G4 yea of course that overboard. Something to keep the daily essentials some tippet, splitshot maybe a small flybox, different compartmenst are nice too. I might think about a waterproof pocket on the inside of the waders for a camera or wallet but keep the flop out pocket for gear stuff. Even if the waterproof pocket is not submersible it should work just to keep the camera out of the rain. Throw a couple D rings on the front of the suspender straps. I actually ran a couple small carabiners through mine so I can clip stuff to it. I clip the lanyard for my carmera so I can grab and it take some quick pics if I see an eagle crashing into the ater to catch a fish. I also use it clip my net on when I am fighting a fish, so I unclip from my back and then clip in on the front.
I like the suggestion of some kind of side pocket, I always put my hand in the side of my waders outside the suspenders not sure why but its comfortable.
Make sure the BACK is higher than the front, if someone is going to go over their waders they can see the front, they can't see the back. Doesn't have to be a lot just a bit higher so you dont accidentally go over.
I've had trouble with sliding my waders on when they have built in gravel guard so I prefer seperate one's but to be honest I'm not sure how your WMII is.
When are you going to make a wader using SONIC WELDED seams like the waterproof bags. I guess it will take time but please tell me you're working on it!! Then we don't have to worry about seams leaking.
Colors, maybe try something a bit darker, I know we're trying to stay cool but gotta change something.

Good luck!!

El Pescador said...

Thanks for the feedback Mojoman. There's definitely a lot to sort through...and i have. Suffice it to say that waders are tricky beasts to design well. There are so many parts/zones. With that said, I'm very happy with the Watermaster II waders and Lights so far.

Here are a few specific points based on your comments:

Pockets and external attachment points - Working on it.

Higher back - Good idea.

Sonic welding - Easier said than done for waders. I'm still working on this as well as stretch.

Color - Clarify "a bit darker". would you like to see green, brown, gray....? Let me know.

Thank you once again for adding your views. Here's a reminder for other readers, the past product conversations (waders, sticky rubber, sst, etc) are still active so keep the conversations going.

Anonymous said...

have plenty in stock. Always sold out which forces me to buy elsewhere and in a different brand

El Pescador said...

Inventory comment noted Anon. If you ever have a hard time finding a pair of our waders (or any product) let me know. We have a wide network of dealers across the country. If a search is needed know that I'm committed to helping track what you need down.

Smithhammer said...

Caught on to this late, but here goes:

There's a trend in wader design these days toward increased complication - additional pockets, handwarmers, zippers, gear clips, etc. Honestly, I think most of this crap is just thrown on to justify charging $400 + waders.

All I'm looking for in a pair of waders is real h20-proofness, serious durability (esp. in knees and butt) attached gravel guards and the ability to easily wdrop the chest and wear them as pants in warmer weather. My (original) Watermasters have fit the bill perfectly.

We sell the Watermaster II's in our shop, so I've checked them out, but haven't used them yet. However I immediately noted the movement of the leg seams, which is a smart idea. I'm a little dubious about the lighter fabric, though I know that lighter doesn't always mean less durable.

In short, keep it simple,functional and dependable and back it up with a good warranty (which Patagonia does). They're waders, and I plan on bushwhacking, crawling, stumbling, spilling beear and wiping fish slime on them, not a fashion statement.

El Pescador said...

Better late than never Smithhammer. Thanks for expressing your views. Know that bold simplicity is at the root of my personal design philosophy. That applies to my fly tying, painting and cooking as well. Unfortunately it's easier said than done....but i'm trying.

Let me know when you get a chance to try the II's.

For everyone else out there, the posts regarding waders, SST, fly boxes and others are still open for comment. Join the conversations. I value your opinions. I'm listening.

Anonymous said...

The new vest looks sick....when are we going to get some previews of the other new products?

Am particularly interested to see the new gear bags....have my eye on the Simms wet/dry wader bag, but want to see what you guys come up with first.

Also, I love my sunshade shirt...any chance you'll do some new colors. I fish primarily for trout...sun isnt really an issue, but the sunshade shirt is a perfect second layer in the spring/fall.

How about an olive or tan version - with a trout logo on the back instead of a tarpon?

Thanks!

El Pescador said...

Glad you like the looks of the GW Vest Anon. It's a departure. Check out the press from MidCurrent - http://www.midcurrent.com/articles/gear/cutchin_fourfeet_08.aspx.

Regarding bag development, for S8 we'll introduce the new Guidewater Duffels (two sizes). These duffels have coated, floating baffles that separate wet and dry gear so your wading boots won’t soak your “coming home” shirt. Tough Uretek fabric, high-airflow mesh, coated, water-resistant zippers and rod tube attachment points combine to create the ultimate angler’s duffle. Better yet, they meet domestic airline carry-on requirements, eliminating worries of arriving waderless. These pieces are based our original wet/dry gear bag designs.

You'll also be glad to know that the M's Sunshade shirt will come in 4 colors for S8 - White, Retro Khaki, Fresh Clover, Aquatic Blue (shown on Alan Caolo in the El Pescador returns post). These are good trout colors and are fine for the flats. No trout logo yet though. It's still the tarpon. Oh, and ladies, we've got a specific W's Sunshade Shirt now for you too.

Anonymous said...

I picked up a pair of Watermaster II's in early January and have put about 20 days in them already. I can't imagine a better fitting wader with simple clean lines and just enough features. I have always been a fan of Patagonia gear because it just plain lasts. I'm 30 years old and still have Patagonia long johns bottoms and an old Wallace Beery expedition weight top from middle school that are going strong. No holes or tears after 15+ years of abuse.

At any rate, I had a thought regarding the waders. I'm noticing a bit of wear at the stress point where the snap attaches to the suspender strap at the chest. I'm guessing it may eventually warrant a repair if the wear continues. What about a suspender system that completely detaches from the waders? Instead of the suspender strap being welded to the wader in the back, maybe there could be a hook and loop type strap closure or something along those lines to allow removal of the system. Then in instances of suspender failure/repair, they could be easily swapped.

Great product and I look forward to years of use!

Cheers,

Micah Lauer
Boise, ID

El Pescador said...

Thanks for you patronage and feedback Micah. All of us here at Patagonia are driven to make the best product and do the least harm to the environment. One of the things that helps do the least amount of harm is to make a product that lasts. It's good to know that you have been served well by our gear. When those 15+ year old Capilene pieces finally die please send them back to us for recycling.

Regarding the "Dos" wader snap wear, shoot me a separate email with pix and an explanation of how you think it's occurring.

Lastly, though the removable suspender system has merit, many Patagonia wader users stow the suspenders inside and allow the stretch belt to serve as the sole support device. This way they are always attached when needed. Check out these images showing the technique:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/airtaxi/1581083229/in/set-72157600026869077/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/airtaxi/485388726/in/set-72157600026869077/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/airtaxi/485388720/in/set-72157600026869077/

Anonymous said...

I'll take a few photos and send them your way. Thanks for the reply and keep on making great gear.

Riverwalker boots arrived today and they'll be heading to the river with me in the morning.

Micah

Anonymous said...

I know that I'm a little late to the discussion, but here is my two cents.

I worked for 15 years for a patagonia dealer as a store manager, so first let me say thankfull I am to be able to own the patagonia gear I do and how incredably long it lasts on the whole.

As far as flyfishig goes, I have been doing it since before I could walk, and just last year had the pleasure to be there for my daughters first bluegill on the fly, so I have some expirence in this area.

First, please no zippers, velcro (too loud), overdone pockets (just enough for a small box, some tippet, etc.), no handwarmer pocket (just a place to empty water when I wade deep.

I currently own WMII's and many of the design elements that I would change have been taken care of, however I do have a few suggestions:

1 plese eliminate the double sided zipper on the pocket, I dont know how many times I have put my truck keys in the pocket, flipped the pocket into the waders, only to dump my keys into my waders (I guss I could also be a little smarter considering the number of times I have done it).

2 A true place on the outside to clip my hemos would be great. I currently am just wearing out different spots along the top hem cliping them on now.

3 A truly selfish request, but you asked for it, foot size options bigger than 12-13. I squeeze my size 15 pups in but it is getting tight. (by the way I am 6'6" and patagonia is one of the only waders that fir everywhere else)

4 Any kind of streach would be great. I fish over 100 days a year and stalking fish would be much easier with some streach)

5 Last anything that can be done to beef up the seat and knees I'm a fan of. Fishing as much as I do, and being as big as I am if I want to pack or walk in to fish, which I almost always do, I personaly will shave weight somewhere else.

Thanks for all you do as a co. and thanks for the oppertunity to sound off.

El Pescador said...

Almost all Way Upstream discussions are ongoing Anon. Thanks for adding your voice. I look forward to hearing more as future waders hit the water. Your management experience and time spent on a retail sales floor gives you a unique perspective. I found it reassuring as I read your opinions/suggestions. I think you'll be pleased with what we bring to market. I'm also glad to know that you are in Watermaster II's now and that you appreciate their updates. Send me a shot or two of them in action if you get a chance. Come by and introduce yourself at FFR in Denver this Fall if you're there.

Greg Max said...

Currently a WMII owner for a bit over a year. Think they are great waders. I want to begin by supporting the idea for some sort of removable knee pad. That would be great for stalking fish in the clear waters of the rockies. Second, the lace clip at the bottom of the gravel guard is constantly coming undone from the laces of the boots. This allows the gravel guard to ride up, which doesn't really bother me, but also the clip snags the line in the water a lot. Always foils my attempts to double haul when the line shooting stops because the thing is attached to my waders! Finally, I always find myself wiping fly dressing excess on my waders. I am sure that this isn't very good for the membrane or the fabric in general. Do you think that you could incorporate some sort of a removable piece of fabrick that one could use to wipe off gunk on their hands. That way it could be seperately washed. Good luck designing. Keep up the great work. See you guys out on the water!

El Pescador said...

Thanks for the wader comments and suggestions Greg. I'm glad the II's are keeping you dry. Regarding the lace hook, the coming undone/line catching issues are most certainly bothersome. I have heard others complain about that issue. Try this, take a pair of pliers and pinch the lace hook closed a bit...but not too much. Try to get it so the gap closes up some. I learned this little customization method from another Way Upstreamer. Also make sure you are getting good tension when hooking your guard down. Move to a lower lace cross if your guard will allow. Drop me an email and let me know if this improves things. I want you to be satisfied.

Your suggestion to offer a "gunk wipe off spot" is a good thought. I know others who wipe a good amount of gunk off on their wader leg or upper over time, especially guides. I'll try to devise some future "gunk wipe off spot" concepts. Try using the flip out pocket fabric for this purpose for now.

Greg Max said...

El...
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll give pinching the clip a shot. I find that if I hook the lace set below the one I normally go to, it will increase tension on the clip, but this tension also decreases my mobility in my waders. It's harder to scramble and crawl through beaver ponds and brush when the fabric from your ankle to your waist is taught. Because of this, I usually end up sacrificing lace clip tension for the added mobility of some slack through the knee. I was also considering modifying the clip with some tube webbing and strong magnets. I would sew flat magnets into the webbing about a half inch apart and attach one end to the waders. I could thread the lowest magnet under the laces fold it back up, sticking it to the upper magnet. May not hold, and may gunk up with iron from the water... If I try it, I'll let you know. Tight lines

Greg

Anonymous said...

I have a comment & question. First off I have been fishing in patagonia waders for a few years now and aside for my preference for bootfoot waders, they have been fantastic.
My question is does anyone know if I will damage the waders by spraying them with Ultrathon, Repel, or Bens insect repellent? Spending time around the water (both fresh & salt) in New England is becoming very dicey due to Lyme Disease. I think we all know what happens to a flyline when it comes into contact with repellent but can the waders hold up?
Thanks

El Pescador said...

Thanks for the thumbs up on Watermaster II's Waders Anon and very interesting question regarding bug repellent. Spraying bug repellent on waders may "repel" insects but it will also mask your DWR (Durable Water Repellent) or worse. You state, "I think we all know what happens to a flyline when it comes into contact with repellent..." My guess is that you are refering to DEET. I'd reccommend that you avoid spraying anything on waders that will mask the DWR and limit performance. It's important to keep waders as clean as possible. Check out this link regarding wader care - http://moldychum.typepad.com/moldy_chum/2008/03/im-fixin-a-hole.html

Regarding DEET, here are a few excerpts from Wikipedia's page on the subject:

DEET was developed by the United States Army, following its experience of jungle warfare during World War II. It entered military use in 1946 and civilian use in 1957.

DEET is an effective solvent and may dissolve (part of) some plastics, rayon, spandex, other synthetic fabrics, leather, and painted or varnished surfaces.

As a precaution, manufacturers advise that DEET products should not be used under clothing or on damaged skin, and that preparations be washed off after they are no longer needed or between applications. DEET can act as an irritant in rare cases, it may cause skin reactions.

A study that examined the risk factors for testicular cancer found evidence that use of insect repellents "mostly containing N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET)" were associated with an elevated risk of testicular cancer.

Although few studies have been conducted to assess possible effects on the environment, DEET is a moderate chemical pesticide and may not be suitable for use in and around water sources. Though DEET is not expected to bioaccumulate, it has been found to have a slight toxicity for coldwater fish such as the rainbow trout and it has also been shown to be toxic for some species of freshwater zooplankton. DEET has been detected in significant levels in waterbodies as a result of production and use, such as in the Mississippi River and its tributaries, where a 1991 study detected levels varying from 5 to 201 ng/L.

To see the whole document on DEET click here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DEET

Adam said...

I would like to see a bootfoot waders that have the same arch-support and cushioning as wading boots, but provide the warmth and convenience of bootfoot. Probably a difficult prospect.

Second, in regard to the hip or waist waders, I just do not seem to wade up to my chest very much. As my father once told me, "there are plenty of fish on your side of the river." I thought the Cloudveil "wading pants" were a pretty cool idea.

Just some thoughts. Thanks for listening.

Erik said...

Please, please make the Watermaster II wader in OD or foliage green.. or a coyote-like brown.. And shoes to match. Maybe it's just me, but I find it to be a bit odd, to say the least, that a lot of "flyfishing" clothes (whatever those may be) are light or brightly coloured.. Including waders.

Blending in with the background, I think, is paramount when stalking paranoid fish in tight, clearwater conditions..

And on wader-design: stick with the KISS formula.

El Pescador said...

Color comments noted Erik. We've been running with the "Marl Tan" color since 1999 and we did blend a darker "Mud" in with the original Watermaster. Marsh Green (current color or the Riverwalker Boot) is being investigated for future seasons and the idea of limited edition options is being researched. The reality is that we have to pick one color that meets all needs (mostly due to the proprietary nature of our multiple denier polyester microfiber) in order to be efficient and minimize waste.

JD said...

A sizing question:
Is there a difference between the L Long and XL Long in inseam and foot size? I find varying information depending on web-site, patagonia.com states that the only difference is chest size.. sounds strange.
Being tall and not overweight - 6 ft 6 inches tall, weight 200 pds, inseam 36-37, foot size 13, chest 42-44 I'm not sure whether to go L or XL. I'd appreciate some advice.
Thanks
/JD

El Pescador said...

Hi JD, I'm glad you asked for advice. You have read the size chart correctly and given your measurements I'd suggest the L Long. It sounds like you don't need the extra torso fabric of XL Long given your chest size (extra fabric is not good from the standpoint of fabric creasing and wear). As a 6"6" angler I think you'll be pleased that our Long wader sizing really addresses long inseams like yours. Once you get them, take the time to adjust your suspenders (front and back) to dial in the exact fit (height/rise) for you. Let me know how it goes.

In addition, here's one little try on trick for you. After you get into your waders, do a deep knee bend to expel all the air from the inside before clipping your stretch waist belt. Now stand up and clip your belt. This gives a better read on fit than with waders full of air.

Anonymous said...

Great info, thanks a lot!
/JD

Adam said...

I just received a set of Wademaster IIs for my birthday yesterday. Trying them on, I noticed that the neoprene booties are a bit small for my feet. Does the neoprene expand at all in the water? If not, what size do you recommend for a guy who is 5'7, 148 pounds, and has a 10.5 size foot? I initially received a medium-short.

Thanks

polaire said...

Lot's of discussion about bootie size. I chose my WM11 for body fit, but had to sacrifice the bootie fit. The bootie is way too big for me and so I end up with a big wad of neoprene stuffed into the heel of my boots. Very, very uncomfortable, as you can imagine. Any chance I could send my waders in and have the booties trimmed/modified to fit my foot correctly? I'd be happy to pay for that.

Also, I have to agree that a slide in knee pad sleeve would be a great idea. I often stalk & fish from keeleing position.

El Pescador said...

Adam, neoprene does have some potential to expand when wet but in the case of the bootie it will only be subtle. Help me understand what you mean by "a bit too small".

El Pescador said...

Polaire, what are your measurements and what size wader did you get?

Regarding knee pads, have you tried any aftermarket solutions like the pads that are used for various sports or that carpet and tile setters use?

Adam said...

Thanks for the response. My toes touch and curl slightly at the end of each bootie. Motion is also somewhat restricted when I lift my knees up to my chest (a surprisingly common motion in streams with big boulders). I wonder if there is a "break in" process or if the booties expand at all in the water.

I would not be so anal about these things, but these waders represent a substantial investment and I want to make sure the fit is right.

By the way, the suspender system is brilliant. The ability to convert the waders into waist-height is great.

El Pescador said...

Adam, note that I'm wearing a M reg wader (M bootie) in the Car Pool photo (Before the runoff). I'm 5'11" with a size 10.5 shoe and have a midweight sock on. I fall on the border of the M reg and L reg wader. I don't have toe touch or curling issues but if you are then you'll have to use your best judgement (What sock are you wearing?). We can put the next size up bootie on your waders for an upcharge. As far as the knee-to-chest move creating restriction, check your back suspender adjustment and drop the rise a tad. That should help. Let me know.

Adam said...

I broke in the Watermasters yesterday. Loosening the back strap helped with mobility. Booties still feel a bit cramped, but are better in the water. Ironically, they feel like they have more space with socks on.

A very impressive wader. I was amazed at how quickly they dried and shed water.

El Pescador said...

Glad to hear your waders are in the water. Appreciate the compliments. Keep me posted on the bootie and any wader feedback. Thanks Adam. Catch anything?

polaire said...

Thanks for the reccommendation about tile-setter's knee pads.

My old Reddington waders had an internal sleeve with a removeable thin pad. Very handy.

Any chance I can gey MY booties resized for an upcharge? They are too long for my feet and tend to ball up in the boot.

El Pescador said...

I'd be interested to see a photo of your old Reddington waders with sleeve and pad Polaire. Seems like a pad on the outside would offer puncture resistance and cushion.

Yes we can replace your wader booties with the next size up. What size wader do you have now and what is your foot size?

polaire said...

I am 5'- 8" and weigh about 180. My shoe size is 7 1/2- 8. I bought Short size. They fit the best. The wader fit is perfect.

Adam said...

A trout and a smallmouth bass. One can catch both in some Virginia streams.

2wildtrout said...

Hello Polaire,

I would like to chime in here regarding switching out booties.

We do in fact replace booties in our Watermaster and Watermaster II waders.

From the sound of it, it looks like a size Small bootie would fit you best.

You are more than welcome to send those waders to our Reno distribution center where we can customize your waders. We charge 45 dollars and the turn around time is 6-8 weeks including shipping in the US. Generally speaking, it usually doesn't take that long but we like to have a realistic buffer in case we are abnormally busy in the repairs department.

Send your clean and dry waders with a short letter explaining what you would like done and contact information to:

Patagonia Returns c/o Bootie Replacement
8550 White Fir St.
Reno, NV 89523

Check out this link for more in-depth procedures for shipping here: http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/patagonia.go?assetid=5175


If you have any questions, reply back on the blog or you can shoot me an email at rj_hosking@patagonia.com

Cheers,
rj

mfly said...

Most of the time I don't even use the suspenders of my 5yr old (SST?) Patagonia anymore. But they do end up bunching around my waist.

If you can make the bottom snaps of the suspender male on one side, and female on the other, you can then wrap the suspender around your waist and snap them together.

Would make for a nice waist high, especially during the summer.

I love my Patagonia wader and it's still going strong. Just wish it could do that.

El Pescador said...

Adam, send me a Virginia shot of you and your new waders in action sometime.

El Pescador said...

Good to know that your SST+ waders are still going strong Mfly. There are others who have the same style in use and love them. I think you'll be happy to see what's cookin' for S9.

Regarding the Watermaster II suspender system, you actually don't have to have it on the outside if not worn. You can leave the suspenders on the inside either in the small of the back area or down a leg. The waist belt then serves to hold your waders in position. I have several pix to illustrate this "wading pant configuration".

http://www.flickr.com/photos/airtaxi/485388720/in/set-72157600026869077/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/airtaxi/2273806201/in/set-72157600026869077/

Note that the Watermaster Lights do have the male to female buckle idea you mention.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/airtaxi/2489721724/

Anonymous said...

Saw the post on the SST+ waders and thought i would chime in. Have the last gen. SST+ (with snaps, flip out pocket, etc) and used them mostly as back up or for lake fishing (i usually fish waist highs). Long story short, the waders are in good shape, but the seams are shot--especially the booty connection. they have some years on them--so not whining here--but they should still have some life in them and was wondering if it is possible to re-tape the seams? Already have lots of seam sealer on there and still getting wet socks.

Also--on a seperate note, why no gg keeper hole on the riverwalkers (like on the Canyons?)

El Pescador said...

Thanks for question about your 5 yr old SST+ Waders Anon. Have you tried the process of filling the wader leg with water to really see where the seepage is occurring? This may shed light on what seams may be "shot" and what can be repaired. Advise. I assume you've seen the repair post - http://www.wayupstream.com/2008/04/hole-story.html

Regarding the Canyonwalker slot, that is so low on the boot that it's more of an aesthetic detail rather than a hooking spot. I suggest hooking your gravel guard to the first or second lace crossing below where it's tied.

Tim said...

From Calgary, Canada...

I am on my 2nd pair of Watermasters - also have boots, multiple bags, jackets, gloves, etc - all from Patagonia. The ONE thing missing is a Patagonia wader/boot bag (apre fishing). The Guide Duffle does not have enough room for my dirty wading boots and waders at the end of the day. Perhaps a dry-bag style would work to keep the mud and dirt off of all gear in the back of the wagon. A dry-bag would also be much easier to hose out at the end of the day... Sounds like an easy thing to design and sell at a 55 margin...

Thanks very much and keep pumping out the incredible products.

El Pescador said...

Greetings Way Upstreamer from Calgary. Thanks for the rundown on your product quiver, the brand support and for the "dry-bag" suggestion. Let me clarify though that the two sizes of GWDs (reg and large) are both designed to hold waders and boots. The regular GWD dimensions are 15.5" X 11.5" X 10" which is basically the size of the two boxes that the waders and boots come in. Are you having trouble fitting them in (without the boxes of course)?

I use the regular GWD frequently for just the purpose you mention and appreciate the fact that there is dry, wet or mixed storage capability. I also like it for a wetsuit, booties and a towel. The GWDs use welded construction so they are essentially dry bags and the baffle/divider is welded in so you don't transmit water between compartments. The large GWD will hold two sets of waders and boots if need be (21" X 12" X 10"). I often use the large size for air travel. Note that for S9 we introduce the next size up - GWD Max which is approx. Black Hole Bag size. They all can be cleaned easily with the garden hose.

Last one, I wish I could agree that designing any product was "easy", especially one that hits price and margin targets. My experience is that accomplishing that goal is always difficult.

JME said...

Must have just missed you on the Boulder last April. Remembering the weather conditions during the week or so I was there brings this to mind.

Is there a way to incorporate the waterproof technology from the new Storm Front Pack into a new version of the Hip/Chest Pack? Maybe my H/C is so old that it no longer even water resistant.

On another note. Is there any chance that the new Storm Front will be available before Nov.? Mine is backordered through Patagonia mailorder and would love to have it before visiting MT again in mid-Oct.

Sorry if this question ends up in the wrong place. Looks as though all of the comments regard waders.

El Pescador said...

Thanks for the suggestions JME and no worries about comment placement. I'm working on exactly what you mention. The Stormfront Pack has spawned a few additional product ideas and a hip/chest version is on the drawing board.

Unfortunately the Stormfront Pack won't be available for your October trip to Montana but it will be ready for all your watery adventures after November.

Thanks again JME for your comments and for visiting Way Upstream. Have a great trip to MT.

lilredrasta said...

I am very interested in the idea of a Hip/chest with some waterproof capability but am concerned about the difficulty of access via the current crop of waterproof zippers/roll-down, etc. 95% of the time I have one (or both????) hands full when I go for a fly box or tippet spool in my pack. I can open the current, conventional zipper, grab my stuff and zip back up with one hand but I envision a struggle with a waterproof zipper. What about a main compartment that is highly water resistant but easy to access and a smaller compartment for the stuff (camera/cell phone{ugh--I know}/wallet) that absolutely has to stay dry?

El Pescador said...

Team Fish is focused on developing some key waterproof packs that are functional and accessible Lilredrasta. In November we will release our new version of the Stormfront Pack which uses welded construction and the latest T-Zip. We selected this closure type because it's water and air tight, corrosion-proof plus it's easy to operate. The only sticky part is the "ramp" which seals the end. The entire main compartment of the pack is waterproof.

A Hip/Chest pack with similar traits is now on the drawing board so stay tuned.

As to small compartments for phones and such, I feel like there are a lot of aftermarket choices that are more functional (and cost effective) than a built in pocket but I'm looking at them closely for potential pack adaptation.

Stop by the Patagonia booth at FFR and lets chat further.

El Pescador said...

Now that S9 has been revealed to the dealer base we are starting to get some press. Here's a piece that showed up on MidCurrent - http://www.midcurrent.com/news/2008/08/patagonia-wades-in-for-2009.html

Rick S. said...

Sorry El Pescador if its been covered I started reading all the posts but it was alot longer then I had thought. I run a mountain fishing website in Colorado, here are some features I'd love to see on some waders.
Better shoulder strap system, I wear backpacks probably 85% of the time I am fishing and the nylon straps of the waders under the pack can cause issues a couple hours into my trip. I would love to see a LBV vest (military vest do a google search) style shoulder strap... this would add some weight so I'd like to see a mess style like the simms fishing vests to lower weight if this makes any sense, I think it will if you see a picture of the LBV.
I also spend alot of time bushwacking and kneeling casting to spooky fish I'd love to see extra knee padding maybe not so much for comfort (which would be good too) but for extra toughness.
An idea on the internal pocket instead of a zipper pocket which sometimes my fingers dont work well in the cold a magnetic pocket would be great, so all I have to do is pull it apart to get what I need instead of trying to unzip it.
The booties, why cant some kind of thin gortex sock be used here? It would cut down on some weight and wouldnt be so uncomfortable in a boot.
90% of my fishing I never go deeper then waist deep why not a lightweight backpacking wading pant for the backcountry.
Lastly a good waterproof compression bag to help save space in my backpack and keep my stuff dry when it has wet waders stuffed in it.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post and I love this idea of design.

El Pescador said...

Thanks for weighing in Rick S. I appreciate the wader suggestions, some of which have been discussed (like knee pads). The idea of reintroducing a non-neoprene sock/bootie gets kicked around a lot (though we aren't using Gore-tex at this time). We'll see. On the wading pant issue, all our wader versions (present and future) turn into pants plus we are always conscious of weight. We are using magnets on some packs but mostly for tool and hook capability. If they are used in the chest area then you need warnings about potential pace maker issues. Lastly, noted on the LBV vest. Maybe we can kick ideas around on a vest post? Interesting concept. Thanks again for making your voice heard on Way Upstream.

Erik said...

Hi,

Not a comment on the waders, but some feedback on the Riverwalkers. I really love them, but.. Why not put an extra set of lacehooks on the spot between between the forefoot and the shaft? Like on hikingboots. They will keep your ankle/ heel firmer in place in the back of the boot and could provide even more stability. It wil also eliminate sliding forward in the boot, and the need to really pull hard on those laces so that circulation lessens and my toes go cold after a while.. Just a thought..

Erik

El Pescador said...

Thanks for the comments on footwear Erik. I've got a new footwear project underway now. Look for more on the subject in the months ahead. Note that there is a Riverwalker boot post so add feedback specific to that style here - http://www.wayupstream.com/2008/05/wading-into-position.html

Erik said...

Another point for improvement, in my opinion, could be a slightly more pronounced footbed on the insoles. The first couple of times I wore my Riverwalkers all day long, the balls of my feet and the muscles in my footarch started to hurt . My professional experience told me this was the effect of too little arch support. I changed the insoles with some cheap athletic brand's and voila: no problem. I do not have extremely flat feet, so I wonder if anyone else has had the same problem?

Erik

El Pescador said...

Arch comment noted Erik. This is a tricky area. I'm starting to think about custom orthodics for wading boots, especially for hiking anglers since there is no way to build one insole that will serve all feet. These are common in the ski industry but have yet to trickle into fly fishing. You might try finding some after market solution with a higher arch support to improve your feet needs. Thanks for the feebdack.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for a pair of fleece stirrup pants for a tall, but slender man. He's 6"8" tall with a 38" inch waist and an inseam of 36" to 37". Extremeley hard to find anything to size. Help!

El Pescador said...

That's a tall order Anon. Though we offer a variety of bottoms in the waist size you mention, none come in that long of an inseam and none have stirrups. You'll have to look for a supplier that offers extra-long. Note that our Long waders would work for your tall man though.

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve! Pancho from Chile here. I just got a new pair of Watermasters Light and i am looking forward to put them to work. I have one question though. Is there a "right way" to turn them into waist high?
I will send a proper review as i put some miles, rivers and luckily fish on them.
Keep up the good work.
Talk to you soon.

El Pescador said...

Thanks for the note Pancho. Watermaster Lights are made of tough yet light 5oz polyester microfiber. This fabric package incorporates our unique combination of Deluge DWR and H2No HydroStorm barrier for protection and comfort. The suspender system on these waders makes use of an opposing buckle system that allows for secure roll-down capability. Orvis uses this same system on their Silver Label waders. Check out this Hook.TV video (http://www.hook.tv/player.php?key=D9646B9A57E8493C) of the Orvis wader and at the very end you'll see a good example of how the opposing buckle system works. The Watermaster Light system works this way. If you want to see how the Watermaster II waders roll down system works, click here - http://www.wayupstream.com/2007/05/watermaster-ii-wader-demo.html

Anonymous said...

haha, it couldn´t be easier. Thanx!!

Pancho

El Pescador said...

Note that you can also just roll the whole suspender system inward and rely on the stretch belt to hold the "pants" up. Enjoy the waders Pancho.

sourceoutdoor said...

Design them with the realization that many anglers wear their chest waders as "waist waders" a large part of the time. Some waders are better than others at handling this reality.

El Pescador said...

Thanks for the comment SourceOutdoor. When it comes to Patagonia Waders, roll-down capability has always been a core attribute...and still is.