Expert Review: Simms Men's Tributary Stockingfoot WaderPublished on 10/24/2022 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the waders, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2019.
All photos courtesy of Matthew Kelly
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the waders, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2019.
The Simms Men’s Tributary Stockingfoot Wader is great for a beginner looking to invest in reliable gear. At $199.95, these waders are a great bang for one’s buck. In addition, they will keep one warm and dry for at least 35 days on the water.
About the waders
- Model: Men’s Simms Tributary Waders
- Size: Medium
- Material: The waders are built with a three-layer waterproof, breathable polyester in the upper and four-layer waterproof, breathable polyester in the lower sections.
- Type: Chest waders that convert well to waist waders on a hot day
- Boot Style: Stockingfoot
- Height: 5’9”
- Weight: ~165 lbs
- Preferred type of fishing: Fly or conventional
- Preferred fishing style(s): Five years fly fishing and 15 years conventional
- When I bought this: November 2019
- Days tested: ~50 days per pair of waders. I have gone through four pairs since 2019.
- Waters I’ve used it on: Freshwater rivers, streams, and ponds. Saltwater surf.
- Boots paired with waders: Korkers Greenback Wading Boots and Orvis Pro Wading Boots.
How it performs
What I was looking for
When I purchased this gear, I was in the market for a pair of waders that would last me a season of 30-50 days of fishing but wouldn’t break the bank. I was seeking a comfortable pair of waders I could rely on and not give out when I needed them most. I looked towards Simms waders because they are the industry leader for fly fishing guide waders.
Why I chose this gear
I decided on the Tributary waders not only because of the product warranty and price point but because Simms is a reputable brand that any angler can rely on. After trying them on at Dicks Sporting Goods, I was sold. They fit nicely and snug, with enough room for layers if needed. I've heard countless amazing reviews regarding Simms G3 Waders but couldn’t afford them when I started fishing. At the time, I was preparing for a trip to Montana and needed a pair of waders that I could rely on to keep dry in the cold weather. The Tributary waders are at a great price point for the quality, so I went with them.
What I love about it
- Quality: It has high-quality three-layer waterproof, breathable polyester in the upper section and four-layer waterproof, breathable polyester in the lower sections. These materials make for a breathable wading experience during hot and cold weather conditions.
- Versatility: I’ve used these waders on float trips in the hot summer, tailwater fisheries, and hiking freestone streams and rivers. I’ve used them twice at the beach fishing for stripers in the surf. They proved well in both situations. The waders have proved to be versatile in salt and freshwater fishing conditions. The Tributary waders can handle it, whether in the hot sun or the cold of the winter.
- Use Case: I’ve used these waders in high water conditions with lots of rain and managed to stay dry from the chest down. I spent hot days floating and wading around tailwaters, staying dry and cool. Also, I've used the waders hiking 10+ miles along Penns Creek and can say they’re very comfortable from beginning to end.
- Materials: As noted above, these waders feature waterproof, breathable polyester in the upper and lower sections. In addition, they have a reach-through, fleece-lined hand-warmer pocket, a zippered top stash pocket, and self-fabric gravel guards to protect the neoprene stocking foot with an antimicrobial finish. The waders are very comfortable and feel great in the right size. I would say that they are on the more breathable side for waders.
- Fit: True to fit. I am 5’9” ~165 lbs, and the medium fits me snugly and comfortably, with some room for layering.
- Literal Weight: I’ve done a ton of hiking around in the Tributary waders. The materials used to make the waders are on the lighter/breathable side. If I were to get too hot, I would simply lower the waders down to my waist and secure the belt.
- Storage: The storage is standard for a pair of waders. A chest pocket with zipper closure is enough room for a skinny fly box with a cellphone and some floatant.
- Suspender System: The suspender system is very comfortable and allows for all-day use. They’re easy to adjust, and I forget they’re there from time to time.
- Wading Belt: The wading belt is standard and comfortably holds the waders to my body.
- Packability: Simms Tributary Waders pack up enough to throw in a decent-sized hiking backpack for a backcountry send.
- If a Simms product fails due to a defect in workmanship or materials, Simms will repair or replace one’s gear and get them back on the water as soon as possible. Suppose someone’s Simms product fails due to excessive wear, accidents involving barbed wire or campfires, or the natural breakdown of materials over an extended time. In that case, Simms will make every effort to repair their gear for a reasonable fee.
- Simms has one of the best warranty policies in the industry. They stand by the quality that goes into their waders, and it shows through the warranty policy. I have two pairs of tributaries so that when one is leaky or damaged, I have another pair to wear while they’re getting repaired.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Insulation: These waders could be more insulated for winter conditions but seem to work fine as long as they are worn with appropriate layering. Simms Freestone Waders are made with a durable, breathable four-layer Toray QuadraLam fabric that handles brushy approaches and cold, wet weather.
- Durability: The polyester used to make these waders is high quality but not the best material used to make durable waders that will last long. If an angler is looking for high-quality durability, Simms G3 Waders are the move.
Favorite moment with this gear
I can’t think of a time in particular, but I can say that every time I slip into my Simms, it gives me confidence, knowing that I’ll be comfortable and dry the entire time I am fishing. Whether it's in the cold of the winter or the heat of the summer, I can trust my Simms to get the job done on the water.
Value for the money vs. other options
For the price, I believe that the Simms Tributary Wader offers the best bang for the buck on the market. They serve well for a beginner looking to work their way into fishing frequently and efficiently or for an outfitter who needs an extra pair of waders. If an angler is looking for the best quality wader on the market, look at the Simms G3; however, the Tributary wader takes the cake in terms of low-cost waders.
Personally, I believe that Simms makes the best waders on the market in terms of comfortability and durability, and they're made in the U.S. The Tributary wader serves its purpose well and is constructed with high-quality materials. There is a reason why Simms has the #1 waders used by fishing guides across the globe.