I have been a surf fishing enthusiast for a long time. During this time, one thing has become increasingly clear to me. That wading jacket is one of the essential pieces of equipment you should have when surf fishing. So, let’s see some of the best wading jackets when on a budget.
From my own experience, the BassDash Walker Breathable Wading Jacket is the best wade wear I have used so far. The black camouflage and silent fabric make this ideal for professional fishing and hunting. Meanwhile, the incredible color and design don’t compromise fashion.
But all wading jackets don’t suit every individual. Different anglers have different requirements when it comes to these. I’m fully aware of that. So, here I made a list of 9 wading jackets that you should consider buying.
Best Wading Jackets on a Budget
I understand how I was when I just started surf fishing. And I know that for total beginners, spending more than a 100$ on a wading jacket is not an option.
And over the years, I have found that you can get a perfect jacket within this price range if you make the right choice. What follows is my take on the best wading jackets on a budget.
1. BASSDASH Valor Waterproof Fishing Jackets Breathable Windproof Jacket
The BASSDASH Valor is an excellent product that hits all the marks when with comes to a quality wading jacket. The waterproofing and functional comfort of the jacket was more than I expected. So far, I am convinced, this is one of the best wading jackets on a budget.
This jacket serves more than your average surf-fishing session with advanced waterproof technology. It can be used as a raincoat. And you can also use it as protective gear when hiking in snow-covered trails. There are enough pockets to carry small and essential equipment as well. So, your hands can be busy catching fish or grabbing for dear life.
The Pit Zips under the arms maintain the garment’s internal temperature and keep you comfortable. The back and shoulder expansion gussets ensure functionality and flexibility. The hood works perfectly to save you from cold wind and can be rolled into the collar when you don’t need it.
I love this jacket because it doesn’t look all baggy like most other wading jackets in the market right now. It fits your body exactly and looks like a regular jacket you could wear anywhere while providing all the protective qualities of a good wading jacket. This is a good reason I picked this as my favorite wading jacket.
- Rugged and lightweight at the same time
- Superior waterproofing protection
- Excellent Breathability
- Six outside pockets with protective rain flaps
- Can’t put in the washing machine
2. Compass 360 Men’s Fishing Point Guide Wading Waterproof Breathable Jacket With Hood
The Compass 360 is one of the most stylish wading jackets on this list. It has a stow-away hood that you can tuck inside when it’s not raining. And we all know how awkward that dangling hood can look like. So, this is something to consider when getting the Compass360.
This fishing vest has a beautiful and functional design. There are multiple pockets, as with any other surf-fishing wear. But the pockets are arranged so that it doesn’t overwhelm the eyes.
The internal fleece lining keeps you warm and makes the garment more breathable. There are two attachment points on the jacket- one for a D-ring at the rear and another for a daisy ring at the front.
- All the zippers are water-resistant
- Neoprene wrist cuffs provide your sleeves
- Adjustable waistband with shock-absorbing properties
- Not a lot of size options
3. FROGG TOGGS Men’s Pilot II Guide Waterproof Breathable Camo Rain Jacket
The Frogg Toggs Camo Rain jacket is excellent for surf-fishing. The camouflage properties of this wade wear make it the ideal vest for hunting in foliage as well. So, if you have both hobbies, I would highly recommend this one.
The material has superior wear resistance. You can quickly move through thorns and bushes without worrying about the tear. There are six pockets, which will be enough to hold knives, ammo, or other stuff. Despite the heavy design, this wade wear is warm, comfortable. You move around quickly and with ease.
The water-resisting polypropene cuffs have hook-and-loop straps which let you secure the cuff properly while hunting or fishing. Plus, there are dump pockets with magnet closure on the inside of the jacket. This provides a greater opportunity for storage in the wilderness.
- Chest Zippers are sturdy, splash resistant, and removable
- The Co-pilot liner lets you use it as a Rain jacket in rough weather
- Vented hood makes breathing easy
- The design and toughness make it ideal for professional use
- The color and design were different from the one I ordered.
4. BassDash Walker Breathable Waterproof Fishing Hunting Wading Jackets
The BassDash Walker is certainly the most unique looking on this list. The patterns and designs have a futuristic look that I find very appealing. And I’m sure a lot of your will as well. But it’s not just for the looks. BassDash claims that their unique pixelated patterns are a patented design to disrupt animals’ visual recognition.
Another of its most notable features is the “Silent Outer Fabric.” The fabric is essentially silent when it brushes against other objects. As a result, you can quickly move through the forest without making a single noise.
Meanwhile, lightweight material makes movement easier. Tough and heavy-duty multiple layers of fabric. It can withstand 8000 mm of water pressure, providing superior water resistance. In addition, Moisture Vapour Permeability is 5000 gr/m2/24hrs, which results in perfect breathability.
- The silent fabric is ideal in the wilderness
- Stylish and beautiful black camouflage
- Adjustable Velcro system on the wrist cuff
- Drawstring in the Hood
- Some say sizing is way off
5. Frogg Toggs Anura HD Jacket for Men
The Frogg Togg Anura was designed for comfort at an affordable price. They go for a simplistic yet functional design that I appreciate. And with a 3-layer protection system, these jackets are great for keeping you nice and dry during a downpour.
The jacket has an adjustable hood. The cuffs are fitted with an elastic and hook-and-loop system. You can also adjust the waist as you may need to. The combined effect of these three things makes the Anura Rain Jacket one of the most customizable wade jackets on the market.
This jacket is made from the brand’s unique fabric, lightweight, water-wind resistant, and breathable. The hood has a visor and pushes cord locks for better protection. Moreover, the front zipper is resistant to serious water impacts. This keeps you perfectly dry even in falls and splashes.
Another reason I used this jacket so often was its machine washability. Hand washing is not something I like to spend time on. So, this jacket is my favorite in that consideration.
- Zippered handwarmer pockets
- Suitable for extreme rainy weathers
- It can be washed in a machine
- All the seams are sealed and taped flawlessly, protecting from moisture
- The sleeves are a bit glossy.
6. Caddis Men’s Green Natural Breathable Wader Jacket
The Caddis Men’s Green Wader Jacket feels almost like a normal jacket because of its thinness. Plus, the company’s patented Dry Technology keeps the water out while at the same time keeping it breathable.
Their jacket has lots of pockets to carry all kinds of gear. Plus, the zippers have large tabs, making them accessible and quick to use. Therefore, you work well inside these when you are in knee-deep water. The zippers are waterproof as well. So, you don’t have to worry about water seeping through them.
This wading jacket is fit for all kinds of weather conditions. Plus, manufacturers provide one year warranty on their products as well. That itself says enough about their quality.
Despite its thinness, this jacket effectively resists moisture and cold. So, fishing in knee-deep waters can be easier even in the cold with these.
- Implements the most modern wade wear technology
- Intensively water tested
- Wading shoes and other accessories are available from the company
- High-quality wade jacket at a very low price
- Fewer design options
- Not suitable for hunting
7. Grundens Weather Watch Hooded Fishing Jacket
This is a classic fishing jacket. The company that makes them is over a hundred years old in the business of fishing gear. The Grundens Weather Watch jacket has been manufactured especially for fishing. This wade wear is suitable for every kind of fishing adventure- from a quiet pond to the rough raging seas.
The material is nylon fabric, making it competently resistant to stains and water. At the same time, the sturdiness does not compromise breathability and flexibility. Movement is easy in this wader wear, and you can perform well under a stressful professional situation.
Grundens went with a super minimal design with this one. You’ll find that it doesn’t have many pockets or any fancy design choice. So, if you are into staying minimal with your wading jackets, I could see this being a perfect fit for you.
The jacket comes from a reliable manufacturer who’s been in the business for over a century. After years of research and perfection, this jacket is now suitable for all kinds of water terrains worldwide. The brand also produces matching apparel that can be used alongside the jacket.
- Hood, cuffs, waist is adjustable
- Proven durability in different environments
- Suitable for both professional and amateur fishermen
- The company gives a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects
- It has fewer pockets compared to the other wade jackets.
8. EAG Elite Mossy Oak Blacktip Pro Fishing Rain Jacket
EAG Elite Mossy Oak Blacktip Pro Fishing Rain Jacket is the most professional-looking wade wear by far on this list. The fabric is tough and resistant to all kinds of weather impacts. You can fish in lakes, rivers, ponds or from the coast. This is a heavy-duty jacket and, at the same time, a comfortable fit. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about splash or other impacts.
The hood can be adjusted in three different ways. And the extra high four-inch collar gives you the neck support you need during fishing. As a result, there is less strain on your neck during fishing. You can also adjust the bottom waist shock cord according to your comfort.
I have found the arrangement of pockets on this jacket very useful. The lower side pockets and easily accessible inner pockets are helpful when constantly changing between equipment.
The jacket helps in rough weather, especially in storms and rain. You can put on this jacket and embark on a deep-sea adventure because this wade wear is strong enough to withstand most forces of nature.
- Two-way stretch fabric
- Zippers have grip-friendly tabs
- Durable, breathable, and water repellent
- Excellent for rough weathers
- Not the best for camouflage in hunting
9. Frogg Toggs Tekk Todd Breathable Rain/Wading Jacket
This is one of the cheapest jackets on this list. I have used it on multiple long fishing days, and I am very satisfied. It kept me dry for a long time and, at the same time, didn’t compromise comfort. This wade wear has all the features to make it a customized fit for the wearer.
The Frogg Toggs Tekk jacket is suitable for long periods of fishing. The DriPore 2 Gen technology construction repels the moisture and keeps it dry. The Neoprene sleeves and waistband with adjustable shock cord ensure a comfortable, customized fit. So, you can spend long periods in this jacket without a hint of discomfort.
When you are fishing professionally, this is your jacket. You don’t have to spend too much money on this wade wear. At the same time, you are getting wade wear suited to all kinds of water conditions and long periods. So, you will have an adequate budget left for other fishing equipment.
- An expandable surf-box pocket on the chest
- Fold-away rod holder
- Hundred percent polypropylene
- Machine washable
- Suitable for long fishing sessions
- The hood is not removable
- Color is suitable for professionals but not photogenic
- Wrist cuffs need more protection
Things To Consider Before Buying A Wading Jacket
When looking for the best wading jackets on a budget, you need a checklist for quality assurance. Otherwise, your jacket might lack important features without which your surf fishing or hunting trip might turn into a disaster. Let’s have a look.
Water-resistance – Waterproof
This is an essential quality of your wade wear. Your surf-fishing jacket should keep your garments, wallet, and mobile phone dry.
So, check out the water resistance before purchasing. The fabric should withstand at least 4000mm of water pressure to provide good resistance.
Comfort and breathability
You have to wear a jacket for long periods. So, make sure you are comfortable with it. Take note of three things—the adjustability of the waistband, the hood-and-collar, and the wrist cuffs.
Another important thing is “Breathability.” Your jacket should have a Moisture Escape Rate of at least 3000 g/m2/hrs. Otherwise, you might feel suffocated in your fishing vest.
Adequate number of pockets
This is more of a personal preference. Some wade jackets can have so many pockets that it can be overwhelming.
On the other hand, when you are surf-fishing, these pockets are the means of holding your important gears. So, make the calculations and choose wisely.
Camouflage and noiseless property
These qualities are essential when wearing the wading jacket on a hunting trip. In the forest, camouflage and noise cancellation will help you hit your target and save you from a possible attack from a wild animal.
Wind and cold resistance
Make sure your wade jacket can stand against gusty wind and cold. Fishing and hunting trips are long outdoor activities.
If your jacket is not up to the task, you can catch a cold or feel sick after returning from your trip.
Quality of zippers
Zippers are the access to the different storage space in your jacket. The front zipper also acts as a barrier to the outside environment.
Make sure the zippers are water-resistant with grab-friendly tabs. So, you can keep dry and put in and out your gears effortlessly.
The wrist cuff is essential as your hand might often contact the water. They keep water from entering through the sleeves. And I’m sure I don’t have to explain why that’s so important.
You need cuffs that don’t let any moisture seep in even when you drown your hand in the water. A jacket with neoprene cuffs that have secure closure systems is preferable.
Some Tips On Surf Fishing Safety
Surf fishing is a fun activity. At the same time, it is something primal and dangerous—the hazards of surf fishing range from simply getting wet to suffering from grievous injuries. So, heed the following tips for a safe surf-fishing trip.
Protect your eyes when you are fishing. There are many possible ways to injure your eyes in a surf-fishing session. If the river or lake water gets into your eyes, it can cause infection. Moreover, the surf might bounce the wrong way and hit you.
So, always use safety goggles or sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses are great for surf fishing. These glasses let you get a view of the bottom of the river. So, you can advance through the water safely without stumbling on rocks or other stuff.
Don’t Go Too Deep
The water level has no business getting over your knees. Suppose you go deeper than that; you are just inviting unwanted dangers. After knee level, you cannot effectively control your body against the current. The water might pull you away if you lose balance before knowing it.
Moreover, you will not have much luck fishing when you stand in water deeper than your knee level because you will most likely be scaring the fish away. So, it is best to be mature and keep within limits.
Secure the Waistband
As you can see in the reviews, all the best wading jackets come with a waist belt. And the belt always has a cord to tighten it. This is a safety feature of your jacket, and you should use it to mitigate risk while fishing in knee-deep waters.
When you go deep, tighten the waist cords as much as possible. Of course, make sure you are comfortable too. Tightening the belt has two benefits. Firstly, it is water-resistant. Secondly, the trapped air inside the jacket creates buoyancy and saves you from drowning if you fall.
Wading boots are a must when you get yourself into wild water. It saves you from losing balance, getting pulled away by the current, leeches, sharp objects, and improves your overall performance.
Get wading boots that have studded holes. This will give you better traction and keep you stable on mud and pulling water.
Respect the Current
Understanding the current is very important while surf fishing. You have to comply with the waters when you fish in them. Otherwise, it will throw you off as soon as it finds you off-guard.
When wading advances against the current, you can go into it sideways. Do not wade with a current in your back. This is very dangerous. The pushing water will break your stance at the knees, and you will fall.
Avoid Rivers in Late Spring
If you are going surf fishing in the late Spring times, make sure there is no melting snow near the river.
It is best to avoid rivers at this time because the melting snows can result in unpredictable deadly currents. Lakes are the best choice for fishing at this time.
The BassDash Walker Breathable Waterproof Fishing Hunting Wading Jacket is the best wading jacket on a budget, in my opinion. I have found it to perform well on my hunting and fishing trips. Moreover, the black camouflage looks especially cool and makes wonderful social media-worthy photos.
However, feel free to try out the other jackets on this list. Consider the length of your fishing trips and the weather of the place you are going to. Water resistance, breathability, waistband, and wrist cuffs are very important. They cannot be compromised at any cost.
I hope this article was able to help you find the perfect wading jacket for you. Take care and have a safe and fun surf-fishing trip. Thanks for stopping by.