first stupid question really. this season will be my first real lure season. Fishing the Sussex and Dorset coasts in the main. So I know there are some reefs in Sussex and a fair few rocky places in Dorset, but I always see everyone in waders... do I really need them or can I fish without getting my feet wet? Apart from the usual oops moment.
If I just fished on warm calm days I wouldn't bother but as Matt says they keep you dry when it's rough or raining, I normally go ankle deep when returning fish, they keep the wind out (and in) and keep you a bit warmer during the cooler months. Chesties restrict movement a bit but keep your middle warm so in the summer I wear waist waders and chesties during the colder months.
The back end of last year was off a shingle beach mainly around high tide. They are fairly steep so not to much of a problem, but anyone who fishes the Sussex area may know more about the East Sussex area where I have not ventured.
Waders are almost the most important bit of kit for me and made the biggest difference
in my fishing success. Staying on that rock 1/2 hr longer on a flooding tide or taking 'risks' on the ebb has gained me so many bass, indeed some marks would have been discounted/not risked.
I had the very same question when I first started out, I tried without at first and soon realised if I wanted consistent results that waders were almost as important as my rod. After a year out I'm back in the situation of having everything except waders and I'm once again just prolonging the inevitable and thats even with knowing a couple of quality dry marks. Without waders your fishing days will be limited to calmer dryer conditions and we all know that bass prefer it a little lively
There is something amazing about being in the water that you don't appreciate until you start wearing waders. It might just be me but it changes my whole perspective on the water in front of me. I noticed it first when fly fishing and then when bass fishing. You become aware of fish moving and topping that you never seem to notice above the water. It seems to really heighten the senses all around. Waders were an absolute game changer for me. Without wanting to sound like a grumpy bu**er it is also amazing how reluctant passers by are to want to stop and talk even when you are only up to your ankles in the water!
You could always go the spearfishing strides route?
Some thermal under armour rash pants, boots with studs and done. Lots of the Japanese rockshore anglers and USA surf guys who swim out to rocks take this option.
Quite often think about this myself Lee and one of the reasons I've still not got waders, trying to decide. I'd catch more fish with the wetsuit approach but not sure how comfortable it would be. The other thing with the wetsuit, I'd be looking at more rods and a VS to go with it!!!
I've been fishing the Sussex reef for a few years now and have never owned a pair of waders. Prime time for bass on the reef is usually late June through to the end of October and for most of that time the water is warm enough to wet-wade in.
Just being in a foot or so of water can increase the amount of water that you can cover and make a difference to the catch rate. I wouldn't want to be in water much over 2 feet on the reef though, there's too many holes with sharp bits of flint in them.
Try a pair of the relatively cheap vass polypropylene ones, waist, with studs. They last for ages and grip well, but you'll sweat heavily in them in the summer. So convenient to keep you dry in rain or splashing, hopping from rock to rock through pools, kneeling in the sand, grass, rock pools. Don't need to rinse them or dry them. If you get on with them, you could move up to a more expensive and fragile but not so sweaty pair of breathables (and then complain, like the rest of us, about their short life span)
I've managed to get by for many years without waders, either with wearing walking boots, wellies or as I did most of last year in neoprene diving shoes and shorts. These all have big advantages and disadvantages, this year i'm going to get some waders, probably the tough and sweaty Vass jobs and see how i get on although I can't see me wearing them on those lovely warm summer days and nights.
Saw a really cheap pair in go outdoors. Waist Ron Thompson for £24.00. May try them.. at the moment I am torn between the get wet with shorts and dive shoes or those. Need to work out some marks first I suppose.