It is that time of year when the rivers start to thaw and become fishable again. Each year when ice starts to melt, the fishing is hot. Will your gear be ready to keep you warm and dry so you can join in on some of the best fishing of the season? Let’s face it, Leaky and uncomfortable waders aren’t fun. Ice shelves, slips, and post-holing through waist deep powder will put any set of waders to the test. This year I will be starting out my fishing season with the all new Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders. Redington has a long history of making fly fishing fun for everyone by providing quality products at economical prices. Most famous for fly rods, Redington also offers waders, wading boots, reels, apparel, and other fly fishing accessories. After nearly one month of fishing in challenging conditions, here are my thoughts on the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders.
Initial Thoughts on the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders
The Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders are the top of the line waders from Redington. These are not cheap waders and they are built to last. After being in and around the fishing industry for nearly 15 years, I can identify quickly what products will hold up and what won’t. Let’s take a look the construction of the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders.
The Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders construction
First and foremost the more layers of material the more durable the wader. The Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders have a four layer waterproof fabric construction. Four layer construction is pretty substantial in comparison to other waders on the market. The seams where the fabric is connected uses SonicWeld technology to insure that the water stays on the outside. When seams in waders leak, it can be quite difficult to repair.
The booties of the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders are well thought out. Each of the booties is constructed using 3.5mm neoprene which is thick enough to keep feet warm in icy water. The bottom of the booties have 4mm neoprene which adds a little protection from punctures.
Bells and Whistles
A particular feature that I love on the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders is the front zipper. For an additional $100 to upgrade over the Redington Sonic-Pro HD, a front zipper is built in. For me, this is a small price to pay to be able to relive yourself whenever you need to. The alternative is either to hold it or somehow finagle the non-zip up waders down low enough to pee. Neither of these options are good as one can be messy and the other is just painful. I will let you figure out which one is which.
Additionally, there are many nice to have features incorporated into the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders. Fleece lined front pockets are built into the front. These are great to have when your hands are so cold you feel like your fingers are going to fall off.
There is a tool dock where nippers, pliers, and all the other dangling fishing accessories can be hung.
Around the waist a belt loops and a wading belt are included. The wading belt has some elastic give which is nice as it is easy to make snug no matter how many layers are on underneath.
There is a water resistant front pocket. These are nice for storing items like leaders, tippet, split shots, and really anything else that doesn’t need to be kept totally dry.
The fit of the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders are true to size. I am 5’ 11’’ and 180 lbs and I always wear large waders. I could easily fit in mediums, however I expect to layer up when I am fishing. This time of year I wear at minimum long johns and heavy fleece pants. The extra room makes fishing with all of these layers comfortable.
Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders Field Test
One month in, and ten fishing trips later I am still impressed with the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders. Not only have the kept me dry they have stood up to some serious winter fishing abuse.
First and foremost Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders have kept me dry. This, obviously, is the main purpose of waders. However, not all waders do this well. The fishing I have done this year has been confined to a narrow cold range of temperatures from 9 degrees to 40 degrees. If any leaks were to spring up that surely would have ended my fishing trip. Living in the mountains of Colorado, I am lucky to have great fly fishing in my backyard and leaky waders are annoying. However, I really feel for someone who drove five hours only find out that their waders did not hold up and their trip was ruined.
In distant second to keeping me dry is the fact that the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders are comfortable. Some of my favorite areas to fish are closed to vehicles this time of year and walking is the only way in. I have completed a number of 2-3 mile hikes wearing the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders and have found them comfortable. Along those same lines of comfort, these waders do a great job of breathing. It is amazing the kind of sweat you build up when post holing in five feet of snow. In cold weather being sweaty is a killer. Following a sweaty hike, it is easy to get chilled. These waders were breathable enough that I never felt drenched in sweat and therefore never got cold once out in the cold water.
The true sign of solid waders is how they hold up. I know I have only been testing them for a month, but if what they have gone through so far is any indication, the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders should last you for many years. I have fallen on rocks, tangled them in barbwire, and repeatedly ran them into jagged ice shelves and no indication of wear and tear. In one particular instance I had fallen waist deep through an ice shelf into the river. I was sure my waders were sliced open on the sharp ice and water should be rushing in. Although there was tremendous force of jagged ice being scraped along the waders there was no signs of wear or tears. After holding up so well to this early season fishing I would imagine that these waders should last a long time.
Another feature that I have found particularly handy is the inside wader storage pocket. This pocket fits my cell phone perfectly. Cell phones tend to shut down in super cold temps so keeping mine pressed up against my body is important if I wish to document any of trip.
Specs on the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders taken from the Redington Website.
- MSRP $499.95
- Waterproof front zipper
- 3.5mm neoprene bootie with 4mm bottom
- Fleece lined hand warmer pocket with water-resistant zippers
- Large water-resistant chest pocket
- Tool dock on left chest pocket
- Wading belt
Final thoughts on the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders
Redington has done a great job on the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders. This is what I have come to expect from Redington. Quality products at affordable prices. To get a pair of high end waders right under $500 dollars is a pretty good deal. There are cheaper waders out there but more than likely you will get what you pay for. You might burn through a few pairs of $200 waders before the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders need to be retired. Thoughout my testing I have found that most importantly that the Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders have held up nicely and kept me dry. Additionally, these are comfortable waders with many nice features such as a zipper, fleece pockets, thick neoprene stockings, and tool holders. Now it is time to get out on the water and get into some of the best fishing of the year.