Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Redington Sonic Fly Wader Review
When my dad started fly fishing in the late sixties he bought himself a pair of Seal Dry waders that were like wearing latex gloves for your pants. They were a big deal for him because our family was poor then, and with four kids and a wife to take care of, every penny counted. He could not afford waders for the rest of us so we wet waded in cut off Levis, even during the cold months. My first pair of waders were the James-Scott brand bought by my dad in 1974, I strutted around the rivers of northern California like a proud rooster.
I soon upgraded to the Simms brand in the mid eighties with the classic brown neoprenes, and kept with the brand for another 30 years. One pair of my G3 guide waders lasted 8 years with no problems except minor leaks caused by my own abusive style of fly fishing, and wading. My next pair that I bought in 2013 developed a major leak after a few weeks where the neoprene booty welds to the Gore-Tex. Being on the water 24/7 I had no time to send them back, so I repaired them, which I'm really good at. I'm not bashing The Simms product at all, they make some really cool innovative gear for the fly angler. Maybe I got a bunk pair, but who knows?
I was ready to try something new, and after talking to factory representatives, I was graciously given a pair of Redington Sonic Fly waders, and a pair of Prowler boots (I'll be reviewing these in the months to come). First off the fit of the waders were very comfortable, and there was no struggle with putting them on, even where the booty/wader junction meets. The fly is the greatest thing on earth, as us men age, we got to take a leak more frequently then when we were younger. With the fly I do not need to remove my jacket, or my vest, just unzip, clip off the belt and go. The wading belt itself is very nice because it is wide, and when unclipped it does not fall out of the retaining straps. One of the best features are the pockets. There are two inside pockets with velcro closures, I like to keep my GoPro camera in one, and a snack in the other. The front pockets offer a zippered waterproof on one side, which I keep my phone in, and a mesh zippered pocket on the other. The shoulder straps are very comfy and keep their elasticity quite well.
On November 6th I was on my boat guiding a guest at Lake Davis when I turned the key over to start the motor a very loud "pop" erupted. The #1 battery had exploded with both ends of the battery sheared away, exposing the core. It was a freak accident and luckily there was no fire, and nobody was injured. The blast was contained within the battery box, and all the acid from the cell was held within it. After getting on dry land I had to remove the battery from the storage area and in doing so dripped acid all over my Sonic Fly's. I did not get a chance to rinse them for another hour. The following day I noticed that areas of the fabric had a slight melt look to it with obvious white blemishes. I've since used them several times and still there are no leaks from those affected areas of damage. Even on the inside you cannot tell there is any evidence of battery acid. That says a lot to me about the durability of the Redington Sonic Fly Waders. 187 days on the waders, no leaks, minimal abrasion, no delamination, and no troubles. I'm very impressed with them, and I have decades under my belt when it comes to wearing waders. Check out a pair of Redington waders at your local fly shop, try them on, and you too may be struttin' around like a proud rooster. You can also check out the entire line of Redington soft goods and rods by clicking the link below - J.