A few months ago I received a pair of Redington Sonic-Pro zip front waders and soon after a pair of Skagit Wading Boot with sticky rubber soles. My plan for reviewing these was to put some miles on them before talking about them on here. I’ve finally done that and feel comfortable reviewing these two pieces of gear that, for most every angler, is an investment.
Not long after I received these, winter kicked in to full gear and being that a lot of my fishing is for warm water species I was shut down close to home. I did manage to get up to Lake Michigan a few times, but this was an odd winter and for me personally, fishing sucked. Because it was the winter of the skunk, I spent a lot of time in these waders walking, sliding down hills, climbing over trees, and traipsing through the woods in the Midwest and South searching for the fish that eluded me. I’ve done a few 7 mile hikes in these waders and boots and was comfortable minus getting pretty warm. It was in the mid 20s and I was in thermals so there’s that. I’ve done my best to beat them up to be sure that they will stand up to most any fisherman. I have to say, I’m really happy with the abuse these waders took. I’ve fallen over logs, I’ve slid down hills on my butt, and I’ve tripped and hit my knees pretty good on rocks. I’ve treated these harder than I’d normally treat my own gear and for good reason; I don’t want people to buy gear they can’t trust. I feel like if these can take my abuse then Redington did a damned good job with them.
I was psyched to finally try out waders with the zip front and now that I have, I will not go back. I’d be hard pressed to at least. Zip fronts means easy on and off for me. It also means I can pee after too
many beers much coffee without stripping off gear in cold weather. I’m a big fan of all the pockets that are on these waders. I love being able to sort what goes in them. No more dumping everything into one big front pocket. The two breast pockets are sweet. I keep tools in the right one and put my cell phone in the left when I’m wading shallow (The exterior pockets are water resistant). The interior breast pocket is where my cell phone goes when I wade deeper. The hand pockets even zip up which is a really nice touch. The waders are true to size going off the sizing chart. Granted I’m not a huge guy being 6′ and 180 pounds so I’m hard pressed to find waders that make me look like a fashion model, but I like the way these fit like regular clothing. I received the medium-long waders, but I’m guessing medium would have also worked. Make sure you find a shop and try a pair on to ensure perfect fit. The small amount of extra room makes cold weather wading nice because I can wear more layers comfortably under the waders. The sonic seam technology is awesome. No sewing means no holes in the fabric to start off with. Which means potential leaks aren’t there right off the bat. There are two plastic loops on the front of the waders above the pockets to hang nippers or your lucky rabbits foot. I haven’t used them yet but to be honest, anything hanging off the front of me gets tangled, so I doubt I will ever put them to use. I’m pretty pro at hanging up on anything that I shouldn’t. The waders, as expected, have nice gravel guards that fit nicely and have a clip to make sure they stay put all day. The waders also come with a wading belt. I’ll probably replace mine with a sturdier one for my back, but it’s nice to see waders come with this sort of safety measure right out of the box.
Paring these with the Skagit wading boots was perfect. I’ve worn these boots on rivers and lakes in Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, and of course Indiana. They’ve gripped perfectly anywhere I’ve used them. I was hesitant at first to trust rubber again over my felt boots. I had a pair of cheap wading boots with rubber soles that lead to some painful falls in rivers, so I had zero trust in rubber and for good reason. I was pleasantly surprised at the grippiness of these and I don’t have metal studs on them. These boots do just as well and in my opinion feel better grip wise than my felt boots. They don’t get ratty like felt (mine were pretty nasty), you don’t have to wait forever for them to dry after cleaning them, and they’re not banned in some places as felt is. All pluses in my book. If you need to upgrade and update your wading boots, check these out.
So, would I recommend these waders? Yes, without a doubt they are great waders at a good price. You can do two things when purchasing waders. You can go super cheap, spend $100 on waders, and replace them after a season. I used to do this. It was dumb. You can avoid mistakes I’ve made in the past and invest a bit more to get waders that will last you much longer. All waders will eventually leak but it’s been my experience that when you go cheap, you get cheap. The same goes for wading boots. Spend a bit more and make sure you’re happy. The $400 price is damned good for these waders and they are comparable to waders that cost a few hundred more. You’re going to be the one spending your time on the water in them. Make sure you’re comfortable doing it.
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As with all reviews on www.PileCast.net, this review was written based on my opinion and my experiences with the Redington Sonic-Pro zip front waders and Redington Skagit wading boot. The waders and boots were received free of charge to review.
Art M. said, I’m in my 3rd year with these waders and I’m 100% onboard with this review. Best design, best fit ever. You’re right. Once in zippers, always in zippers.