Simms Flyweight Waders and Guide Classic Wading Jacket
We review the New Simms Flyweight Waders and Guide Classic Wading Jacket, intended for the serious shore angler.
Simms has been manufacturing fishing gear for the outdoor enthusiast for many years.
With the introduction of the new Sims Flyweight Waders, the serious wading angler (or a novice looking for functional gear) can stay outdoors longer, walk further, and have a better opportunity to catch fish than ever before. The Guide Classic Wading Jacket lives up to its nickname “Wet Weather Workhorse” and is perfectly compatible with Flyweight Waders.
I tested this combo during the late spring and summer fishing seasons, and wanted to share my thoughts as the cooler fall weather approached.
Fly fishing enthusiasts will appreciate the lightweight and versatile waders, equipped with the best wader mobility ever of a professional level neoprene chest wader. Fans of traditional fishing will be even more excited by the breathability and light feel of the legs of the Flyweight Collection. These are made for just about any angler who wants something that will stand up to use, the elements, and some serious fishing.
Let’s take a look at the specs Simms measured and determined for their new products, and express some of my thoughts regarding their performance, fit, and comfort. I know Simms have been making great fishing gear for over 40 years, but this was my first meaningful experience with their gear. I have walked away regularly impressed, and here’s why.
Watch the Simms Flyweight Stockingfoot waders
At first glance, the Flyweight Waders don’t look like your typical pair of waders, thanks in large part to the HEXGRID pattern on the chest, which is actually a product of 5.11 Tactical and their multi-directional modular tactical gear attachment system. The range of chest pockets includes this HEXGRID load support system as well as a dual access dump pocket and rear zippered storage pocket, making them even more efficient.
GORE-TEX Pro Stretch crotch panels and zippered side gussets create a perfect fit for any user that can be customized: you can opt for an open, relaxed fit or a more athletic fit option for rigorous fishing. They’re made to move with the angler rather than against them, and really seem to give each individual a personalized, relaxed fit. For me, it was exceptional.
Each neoprene sock foot features new Hex Air Gravel Guards to prevent runoff particles from entering your boots. It also makes them pretty easy to pack. The waders are fully designed for full compatibility with all Simms Flyweight pods and accessories, manufactured exclusively by the company in Bozeman, Montana. The shell is made of CORDURA 420 / 1000D nylon laminate with 2X PU and DWR coating.
Classic Simms Guide Wading Jacket
First launched in March 2021, the Guide Classic Wading Jacket features a three-point adjustable storm hood, fairly advanced in terms of hoods, and an elongated collar to wick away rain. I haven’t tested it in torrential rain, but it looks like it will do. There’s also a hook-and-loop front patch (for drying flies or holding lures), a center back D-ring for your landing net, two decent sized chest pockets for standard fly boxes, and a chest pocket zipped interior for the rest of the things you will need.
This wading jacket comes in all base sizes from small to amazing 4XL, but it still features a waist hem that pairs well with Flyweight waders. Believe it or not, the drawstring mechanism made me feel more secure in the water knowing that I was preventing the water from filling up even as I waded up to my chest.
Best of all are probably the hand warmer pockets located at the top behind the chest pockets. They are lined with brushed knit for real warmth, invaluable when fishing in cold weather.
Using the Flyweight Simms Waders
I’ll be honest: most of the time, I don’t overprotect my outdoor gear. I go through a pair of lightweight waders about every two years, and sometimes I only get one season out of them. I am no different from many avid anglers in that I use my gear as if it is made of stainless steel and not some sort of cloth, and I have no hesitation in walking through the grasses. high, under overhanging branches and even in brambles.
A “short walk” upstream in early spring for me is at least two miles to get to my preferred starting point, then I’ll fight the current by walking uphill all the way back. In March, that means walking in water that is not only cold, but can still contain chunks of ice. But hey, when the rainbow trout start to run, there’s no stopping them.
I’ve worn these over the knee boots and jacket on several of these short walks, and although I’ve given them a little more protective attention than any other fishing gear I’ve owned, I still think it fits. this is the most durable and toughest wading system I have. have never met.
The Simms Flyweights are the lightest, strongest for the weight waders I’ve used so far, and it looks like I’ve tried them all. I fell in love with getting where I wanted to go without a hitch, but certainly wouldn’t recommend doing it to your own pair.
I’ve been waiting for years for someone to come up with a decent sized chest pocket on the inside of the thigh high boots. I dreamed of one with a zipper and enough room for my cell phone, the keys to my truck and room to spare. Simms has finally granted my wish!
I fished easily and without a hint of stiffness. I used a shoulder bag to carry lures, fishing pliers, and other essentials, but had a very comfortable experience because these waders are so tight.
Not only that, but I wore them over Lake Ontario in 38 degree water in the video below in my float tube for some great early season brown trout action. Sure, I had to wear my insulated, quilted wading pants and a pair of alpaca socks underneath, but I was completely comfortable and fished for over an hour off. The neoprene socks fit very well inside my swim fins, but my feet got cold from the thick socks made everything so tight.
For safety reasons I had on my PFD but still wouldn’t recommend this type of fishing so early in the year when the water temperatures can be quite dangerous.
The Dark Stone color is good anytime of the year, and my pair absolutely fits like a glove. It comes with an included wading belt, which is especially essential for wading through higher, murkier water. If I had my say, I would stick with the simple stretching belt that I have been using for years. The Simms model is more than enough, but with the loop system it is more difficult to make adjustments on the fly. My old fashioned belt is a simple pull and grip away from immediately tighter, which is what I got used to. This is really my only complaint about these fantastic Flyweight Waders.
Using the Guide Classic Jacket
At first the Guide Classic jacket was a bit stiff, but I think it was my ignorance of the fabric. It’s 3-layer, 70-denier GORE-TEX, 100% nylon with a DWR / 100% nylon knit backing, and the notion of “stiffness” was gone after I wore it for a while.
We don’t always need a wading jacket every time, but it’s great to have one. As I like to say, I would rather watch it than seek it out. I loved the two good sized velcro pockets on the chest and the included elastic for your fishing tool of choice. There is also an interior zippered pocket to protect the most essential items, such as your phone.
It sits snugly at the waist, which I personally like, which makes it less likely to snag on surrounding branches or undergrowth. Once you have closed it tight and put on the hood, you will no longer be affected by rain or wind. It just rolls off the surface.
Fly fishermen will love the front patch for drying flies and the center back D-ring for hanging a landing net, but I used it for my spoons and stickbaits and it worked great. The cuffs are designed to prevent rain and wind-driven water from reaching your arms.
If camouflage weren’t such a concern, I would say this system of waders and vests could serve a waterfowl hunter early in the season well. It is also strong and solid, although it is not the intended use.
I feel like I have a setup for my fishing adventures for years to come, and
Final thoughts on the Simms Flyweight waders and the classic Guide jacket
Simms is known for producing some of the toughest and most reliable waders ever used by the fishing public. From their headquarters in Bozeman, MT, they stayed at the cutting edge of the fishing gear industry.
When it comes to durability, their equipment is built to last. And if not, their warranty program covers replacement of leaks in the first 60 days and top-up repairs in the first year.
As anglers have become more demanding when it comes to equipment expectations, it pays to manufacturers to go deeper into their process to get the most out of what they build and sell.
It seems that Simms realized this and applied it to this new equipment.
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