"Entry level" breathable waders

I posted this in the general forum, but I fish the salt more than anything, and I value a lot of the opinions within this board. So, my 3-year old neoprene Hodgmans finally sprung a leak, and I got a freezing cold leg last weekend. I now have a good reason to convert to breathables. I know I'll hear, "buy the best you can afford", but I'm not a big spender when it comes to anything. So, I've come down to Cabela's Premium Dry Plus and the Frogg Toggs Hellbender. Anyone have experience with either of these? I do much more fishing in the salt right now, but I'm anticipating a move which will make river access much more likely. Just wondering if anyone out there has some good info on these specific models.


Connor H

Bobbers n Beadz
The Cabela's stuff is pretty good, But I can't judge the other due to the fact I have never heard of them! Do you fish the salt in the summer alot?
I live fairly close to a beach, so I fish the salt whenever I get a chance, including summer. But, the beach I have easiest access to is also a popular jogging, walking, beachcombing, etc spot, so summer can be a bit of a bitch for fishing.

Connor H

Bobbers n Beadz
I was just wonderin'... I think that investing in really nice waders just makes you look cool! lol BTW, I just bought a pair of william joseph waders for 250!!! I look cool...
For under 200.00 you cannot beat Dan Bailey's light waders with the cool "Simms G3 type" front hand pockets and untouchable warranty. Also made in Montana,USA.

Way more praise on these waders than I've ever seen..


Active Member
Orvis has there Clearwaters on sale for 79.00 reg 129.00 (I have these and they are over 5 years old, rivers/lakes/saltwater...no problems yet.)
But better are the silver labels which are on sale right now for 129.00 ...and I think these use to retail for over 200.
I can't comment on all the waders out there, lots of good ones.
Proline stocking-foot breathable waders and a pair of Hodgman neoprene boots (no metal parts, I think they might be called beach boots or something) from Outdoor Emporium work just fine for me. I spent about $160 for both. The waders have a nice moleskin handwarmer pocket. If only to get another layer and a bit more foot room I may go retro with some boot-foot neoprenes (one size too big) for salt. Does anybody make boot-foot breatheables?

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
I have used my Hodgeman waders for several years now both on the beach and the salt and they still work. I put hodgeman lug boots over them. I was worried about the salt on the boots, but so far a quick rinse is all that has been needed.

I never wash my waders - just rinse them off with water. I recently found a second pair of hodgeman waders at the Goodwill for $12. They were newer model but now that I have them I see they don't have the gravel guard. That is important for preserving the neoprene sock I expect. Also, no big pocket on the chest for a fly box. bummer

After buying the "New" pair, I see the old pair does not shed water like the newer pair. They don't leak, but it's time for a treatment of Nikwax or some product like that.

I only use these waders 25 days/year I'd guess. When I fish the beach I often just wear rubber boots.

You ever see that youtube fishing video with the kid in AK showing his big fish - he put ductape over the hodgeman label and wrote SIMMS in black sharpie- cracked me up. That's my style Ha!
Do those boots have a nice firm sole on them?

Yes, the Hodgman "Wading Shoes" have a firm rubber sole that's molded on, covers the toes, and comes up about 1 1/2 inches up the sides and heel. After 20 or so outings in salt water they don't seem to be wearing at all. No tears, no separation. A good $30 investment.