There comes a time in every angler's life where they have to say goodbye to a good piece of gear. One that's served them well for many years. For me, it's time to say goodbye to my trusty SIMMS G3 Guide Pants. It's been a long hard four years for my SIMMS wading pants. I've walked through hell on earth (AKA the burrs of the lower Eagle), walked through barbed wire more times than I'd like to admit, ran from mad cows, caught many a memorable fish, and fished protected from the elements through many a harsh winter day on the water. Sure, I could have sent my trusty waders in for repair a year or two ago and they would have been as good as new. But, that's not my style. I use and abuse good gear until it dies. A couple of weeks ago, when I was crossing the seasonally low Arkansas, I realized, my waders were dead. A fateful run-in with barbed wire had damaged the pocket on my wading pants and my shorts were getting wet.
For the first three years of my waders life, I fished a minimum of 110 days a year. When you factor wet-wading in, I probably wore my waders 95 times a year. Last year, with a newborn at home, I fished 50 times last year. With wet-wading factored in, I wore my waders 35 times last year. That's almost a year of fishing (a total of 320 days on the water) for my trusty SIMMS wading pants or $1.56 a day. If you factor in the fact that my waders were stored in the back of my car and truck (exposed to the elements), I'm sure that equates to many more days on the water. (NOTE: SIMMS suggests that you dry your waders and don't leave them in your car to overheat...I'll follow that advice next time).
For many years, I bought other brands of waders because I didn't want to invest the money in a pair of G3s. That was dumb. I never had a pair of waders last longer than a year and a half until my SIMMS G3 Guide Pants. That's why it was an easy decision to invest in a new pair of SIMMS G3 Stockingfoot waders this past week. The new SIMMS waders are more abrasion and puncture-resistant...so, if I actually dry and properly store my waders this time, who knows how long they'll last.
Wet-wading on a brisk March day...waiting for those new waders to arrive in the mail. No one has ever accused me of being the sharpest tool in the shed.