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Orvis Silver Sonic Convertible-top Waders

By Magnus Angus

The lighter fabric above the waist rolls down neatly.
The lighter fabric above the waist rolls down neatly.

Fascinating name. I had visions of metallic waders emitting a stealth field rendering my clumpy footfalls invisible to fish. But no! ‘Sonic’ refers to the way the seams in these are welded. Ultrasonic welding has been used industrially to fuse plastics for decades, so the basic principle is not new. However, as far as I know, this is the first application of that technology to waders.

Normally, fabric waders are stitched together, and the seams then covered with a tape which is glued over the seam to make it waterproof. Naturally, stitching means punching a row of small holes through the waterproof fabric. Equally naturally, the tape over those seams is being pulled and wiggled whenever the waders are worn. Eventually, the adhesive bond between the tape and wader fabric wears down and you have a small leak. Leaving aside damage, the factors which decide the life-span of a pair of waders includes the design, i.e. how the wader fabric is cut and where the seams run, and the quality of the taping work used to make the seams watertight. So, apply Sonic welding to ‘the problem’ and as I look at the construction of these it seems like ‘the problem’ has been reduced dramatically.

I can still find stitching in these waders but not along the seams. For example, the braces are stitched to the body. But I can find no stitching along the seams down the legs, the feet, the body and the all important crotch. Incidentally the crotch of a pair of waders is particularly tough to make, as we insist on walking and pulling fabric and seams in so many different directions.

Time will tell if this technology is as good as it looks, but in the meantime all the reports I’m hearing from fishers already wearing Silver Sonic waders are all positive.

Built with a lighter fabric from the waist up, a wading belt threaded through fabric loops at the waist and braces which can be adjusted easily so I can drop the chest and roll it to my waist – which feels great on a hot day!

The cut is generous. I can move freely with the fabric rustling as I move – quite loud when I’m dry, not so loud once the waders are damp. These are definitely impressive, innovative waders.



Price: £235 (Orvis offers the same waders in a women's cut)
From: Orvis stockists

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