Saturday, December 27, 2014

Orvis SS Wader review

As I promised a month ago, it's time to provide a quick review of the silver sonic waders I purchased from Ozark Angler in Little Rock, AR.  When I was deciding, I immediately appreciated the welded seam technology.  I compare it to my 25 yr old riveted aluminum matter what I do it's always going to leak.  If I were purchasing a new aluminum boat I would only look at welded models.  So that thinking led me to just a few options.  Nothing against the others but I chose the Orvis brand b/c they were slightly less expensive and were in stock at my favorite fly shop (trying to support local small business).

The review:  Keep in mind I've only used these on 4 outings but I'm very satisfied with them. Besides the welded seams, I wanted something I could wear while paddling my kayak.  So the quick release convertible-top feature was what really sold me on the purchase.  Being able to drop the top when paddling, but easily raise when I want to wade was key!!

Top up

Great fit - stocking foot is only about 1 size bigger than my foot.  With thick socks, liner and size 13 boots they fit perfect.  I can stand in my kayak and fish all day w/o any discomfort.  Actually, they are more comfortable than standing barefoot or wearing my Brooks running shoes (I wear the same shoes I run marathon's in when sight fishing reds in LA marsh for comfort).

Seat in Low position...needed to move pegs back to paddle effectively.  Or just hang'em over the side!!

Something unique to kayaking is the seated position and how your legs extend straight out.  So depending on the seated position High/Low, I must adjust the pegs closer to me.  No big deal.  Sitting in a kayak and wearing these waders is easy to do and very comfortable.  Never feel like my movement is restricted...even when using the stand assist strap to pull myself up to a standing position or lowering back to a seated position (that's a tricky endeavor).

In my experience exiting a yak is easier than exiting a drift boat

My favorite performance feature is the convertible top.  I drop it when paddling to keep from getting too hot or sweating.  And when I'm ready to wade it's easy to raise back to chest high.  I love this feature.  Only bad part is I can't re-attach the back snap it's placed between the shoulder blades and unless you have 3 arms or double jointed it's not going to happen w/o taking the straps off the shoulder and re-attaching.  As it is, I don't disconnect the back.  I disconnect the front 2 and lower.  No biggie!

Drop Top action - if wearing in NOLA be sure to yell throw me some beads Mr.!!
Durability - The fun times!!!  I have never fallen out of my kayak in almost 5 years of standing and kayak fishing (native ultimate 145 and cuda 12) not to mention 25 yrs in canoes/bass/ski boats and 6 yrs in the Navy.  However, my only exit from a drift boat...I went down hard.  Yep, few trips ago, we were beaching the boat for some wading and I did the...nah, I don't need a hand getting out, jump from the boat in 2 foot of water.  Both feet decided to mutiny and left me falling on my a$$.  Luckily, years of experience conditioned me to hold my fly rod up and I feel against the side of the back and back side softened the landing.  Only my ego needed further attention. The waders, didn't help me stay up, but they didn't show any signs of failure pinch or wear mark from sliding down the side of a drift boat.  A fish brought to hand and my fragile ego was all good also.  Big thumbs up!!

Wet exit from the craft
These are great for active anglers.  Not to mention, the unmentionable, but when you got to's a snap!!

Other gear reviews:
Orvis Encounter 9'/8wt/4pc
Orvis Clearwater 9'/6wt/4pc
Orvis Recon and Hydros SL review


  1. I don't wear waders often because I fish primarily in the warmer months and prefer wet wading even in cold mountain streams. I bought my wife a pair of these and she loves them.

    1. I'm with you on wet wading. I offered to buy my wife a pair, thinking some cool look'n gear would get her out on the water. Nope, she's not a warm or cold weather fisherwoman. But I'm not giving up....just haven't found the right incentive, yet!!

    2. Promise to take her once a year to a lavish hotel with room service. Usually works like a charm. ;)

  2. Good review
    I've been kind of looking to replace my tired old leak-a-lots.
    I'll have to check em out.

    1. Anything would be better than old leak-a-lots, but I'm very happy with them.

  3. Very nice review, Drew. I didn't know there was a clip in the back, as well. So, far this has me leaning towards These and the Orvis Encounter. I appreciate your input, because, we do most of the same fishing....wading and kayaking...and mostly both at the same time. These were at the top of my consideration, because, of the fact they can roll down, and I can cool off in the kayak while paddling.