Last week my trusty old Simms G3 waders finally gave up the ghost. I have gotten more use out of these waders than any other pair I've owned, so I was sad to see them go. They are going back to Simms to see if there is any chance of resuscitation, but I am not hopeful. Not wanting to fish the season opener swimming in a leaky pair of waders, I took the plunge and ordered a new pair of Simms G4 Pro Waders. A few months back I was fortunate to win one of Feathercraft's monthly giveaways and walked away with a $100.00 gift certificate. That took the sting out of upgrading to the G4's. Though to be honest it still hurt a bit! The good folks at Feathercraft had my size in stock and I had the new waders in my hands in a matter of days.
Simms products are pricey but they seem to last the longest for me so in the end I guess it works out the same as buying several cheaper pairs of waders over the same time period. I'm pretty rough on waders, so I'm very intrested to see how well these G4's hold up. I have seen them reviewed on several sites as "bombproof"...we'll see.
My initial impressions are good so far. They definately feel a lot heavier as there is more square inches of the wader covered in the 5 layer gortex. My main reason for upgrading is extra protection in certain areas. Many of the leaks that developed on my old G3's were in the 3 layer areas that are now covered by 5 layers of material in the G4's. I think I have to give the nod to my trusty G3's in regards to comfort, but I'm sure that's due to more surface area of 5 layer gortex. That being said, I would not say the G4's are uncomfortable, they just feel like waders, instead of a pair of well worn pants. One change I do like is the moving of the seams away from the inside of the pant legs to the tops. This should eliminate wear problems on the seams caused by walking.
While they may be heavier and not as comfortable as the G3's they should hold up a lot better busting through brush, kneeling, sitting etc. One thing I do love about the waders is the pocket set up. The waterproof zippered handwarmer pockets will come in handy for early and late season fishing. There is enough storage on board to eliminate a vest completely on those short trips to local waters. In addition, the handy flip out tippet pocket I had on my G3's is still there. On top of that there is a docking station for an additional zinger, a fly patch and a tab to hold a pair of forceps, features that will certainly be useful. Finally, the wader has belt loops and comes with a wading belt to round out the package.
The real test will begin next weekened and hopefully continue for a few seasons! I'll give a full report once they get a little stream time under their belt.