Upcycling used waders into new reusable products

We’re pleased to announce new reusable products, in partnership with Recycled Waders. We’re taking unsellable returns and upcycling them into new and reusable bags and totes. By partnering with Recycled Waders we’re teaming up to bring circular life to old waders, keeping materials out of the landfill, and putting them back in consumers hands as long term reusable products.

Upcycled waders tote bag built from recycled fishing waders
Upcycled tote bags built from recycled fishing waders

The Process of Upcycling Fly Fishing Waders

The upcycling process for waders

When faced with the dilemma of what to do with the unsellable returns we’re receiving, we decided on teaming up with Recycled Waders to turn them into sweet new upcycled and reusable products. Each unsellable wader that comes back still has lots of usable materials, between the fabrics themselves, zippers, and buckles. Each piece is assessed for usability, processed and cleaned before being repurposed into a new item.

How the waders are collected, cleaned, and repurposed

The materials we’re using to make these reusable upcycled products come from returns that are in unsellable condition, warranty (defective) products, and excess materials from production. They are often used, dirty and damaged. The first step is to put them through a thorough cleaning process. Each wader that is deemed unsellable and fit for upcycling is cut into usable portions, and then laundered in commercial laundry machines.

Materials used in upcycling waders

The tops of standard waders make great tote bags. By utilizing them in their mostly original form they can turned into functional tote bags for carrying gear to the car, or groceries to the house. The leftover material from the legs work great to create smaller items like the accessories pouch. An emphasis is put on reusing as many materials as possible, but each upcycled product does need some raw materials required, such as thread, webbing, finishes and some zippers.

Making bags, wallets, and other accessories from old waders

Recycled Waders has been at this game for a long time. We leaned on their expertise to come up with an intro line of two items – a tote bag and a small accessories pouch. The tote bag is great for holding waders, boots, and clothing, and also makes a perfect grocery getter. The accessories pouch fits a bunch of fly reels, tackle, or works great as a toiletries kit for travelling.

Benefits of Upcycling Fly Fishing Waders

Environmental and economic benefits of upcycling

We are choosing to do this as a way to keep materials out of the landfill, and put them back into serviceable use as new products. Creating new materials incurs environmental and economic cost, so keeping those materials in use for as long as possible helps reduce the carbon footprint of that material. Additionally, a reusable bag in theory can help eliminate the use of single use plastic or paper bags.

By minimizing waste, reducing the use of non-renewable resources, and promoting the use of reusable products, the circular economy can help mitigate the negative environmental impact of consumption. This can help us all save costs as well by reducing the amount of waste generated and by minimizing the dependence on virgin materials. We hope you enjoyed this information, and for further product information please visit the links below.

Planting Trees along the river

Our main conservation partner, One Tree Planted, helps us plant trees where they are most needed along salmon bearing streams in the Pacific Northwest. All year long we plant one tree for every wader sold, and are doubling that this year during our Annual Fall Sale. Trees provide the fish in the river with the shade, cool water, and structure they need to survive. We hope you’ll join us in donating to conservation this year.

Small Business Saturday

The first Saturday after Thanksgiving is known as Small Business Saturday, and is a way to focus support for small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country who have decided to go it alone without corporate backing.

DRYFT™ is a small independently owned and operated business, run by long time friends and co-founders Nick and Sam. 

Alongside family members we run daily operations and oversee all aspects of the business together. We can’t thank you enough for your business and support this year and would like to take the opportunity to let you know that we truly appreciate you and hope you enjoy the holidays with your family and friends. 

Happy fishing to you,

 -Sam & Nick   

New SEEKR Convertible Waders

Tap into your inner Farmer John in the new SEEKR Convertible Waders

Based on the popular OG S14 waders the new mid-weight SEEKR waders convert from chest high to waist highs in a snap. The new SEEKR Convertible Waders are fully constructed of our mid-weight four-layer breathable and 100% waterproof DWR coated fabric in ‘denim’ print. Made for your next quick and light fishing mission.

Are wading pants the next big thing? 10 reasons why you should own a set of waist waders.

You may be familiar with waist waders, but are you still using full chest waders every time you go fishing?

Big fishy while wearing dryft waist high waders

There are a lot of reasons why you may want to consider using waist high waders for some of your fishing adventures. From comfort to backups, there are a lot of reasons to consider using wading pants instead of full waders at least some of the time. Read below for 10 reasons why you should consider adding a set of waist high wading pants to your gear collection.

1. Waist high waders are comfortable and easy to use

Especially on warmer days wearing waist high waders can be much more comfortable than full waders. Most of the time when we’re fishing out of a boat we never wade deeper than our waist, and in small creeks and rivers it’s easy to cross in many places without wading deep. Waist high wading pants are the easiest and quickest waders to get in and out of. Since they only pull up to your waist there is no shimmying or working the shoulder straps up and into place. For quick and dirty fishing missions they can’t be beat.

2. Wading pants work great as a backup set

Rotating between multiple sets of waders means you aren’t fishing your main chest waders every time you go out. This means you can thoroughly dry them out between uses and get an overall longer usable life out of them. Things happen with normal use, and if you need to do a repair or send your main waders in for repair it’s nice to have a backup. Wading pants are great for that as they cross over to many other uses, and generally cost less than comparable chest waders.

small river fishing in waist high waders

3. Versatility.

A large percentage of the average anglers fishing trips do not involve wading beyond waist deep. This is leading to more and more people realizing the benefits that waist high waders provide, for comfort and ease of use. Should you only own wading pants? Probably not if you intend to wade new waters and do deep crossings at times. Owning a set of full chest waders and wading pants helps you choose the right tool for the job.

4. Long term durability

Having and rotating between multiple sets of waders will extend the usable life of each. By allowing a wader to fully dry out between uses it helps to keep the materials from breaking down over time. The main reason to fully dry your waders inside and out after every use is to avoid mildew growing on the inside which can damage the fabric and seam tape. Some amount of condensation will always be present on the inside of waterproof breathable waders, simply because of how the waterproof breathable fabric functions. We recommend rotating between different sets of waders while on multi day fishing trips, or at home if you’re fishing every day, and hanging each to dry fully between uses.

Warm weather alpine fishing with waist high wading pants

5. Waist waders are better for summer and warm weather use

Wading pants are cooler during periods of warm weather. Heat is trapped in the core area of chest waders, making them a great option for cool weather. But when the mercury climbs and the water is still too cool to wet wade (or unsafe to do so) a good set of waist high waders is invaluable.

alpine lake hike in backpacking with waist high waders

6. Wading pants rule for packability

If you’re like us then you probably enjoy getting out beyond the crowded access points and exploring areas where you are more likely to encounter bear tracks than signs of other humans. Wading pants are lighter and smaller than full waders, so pack down and fit inside backpacks better. For this reason we like to carry the SEEKR waist high waders in our backpacks up into alpine lakes for summer backpacking trips.

7. Wading safety

Waist high waders limit how deep you can wade, which can help prevent wading too deep. A lot of guides prefer their clients in wading pants, which helps keep them in shallower water and avoids the need for an emergency rescue. If you tend to wade beyond safe limits at times, maybe consider trying waist high wading pants to put a cap on how deep you can go in.

waist high waders are great for boat fishing

8. Great for boat fishing

If you do a lot of boat fishing a good set of waist high waders will suit your fishing style well. When boat fishing all day then the deepest you’ll likely wade is knee deep or so to get in and out of the boat. Having waders on will keep you dry from rain, and give you the option to wade deeper than rain boots will allow if needed.

9. Style. Wading pants just plain ol’ look cool.

‘Nuff said.

10. Value (cost) of waist waders is lower than full chest waders.

Coming in below the cost of comparable waders, they make a great second set for warm days and to use as backups. The SEEKR waist high wading pants complement our S14 chest waders well, while in the GD series you can set yourself up with the Session GD Wading Pants for the full featured and most durable option. For the ladies we offer a full featured women’s waist high Session Wading Pant option that complements the S14 Women’s waders well.

And those are our 10 reasons why you may want to consider adding a good set of wading pants to your fishing gear collection. Check out the styles we offer below and click through on each to read more details.

DRYFT Waist high wading pants

Stalking the shore. Spotting cruisers.

Getting hooked up!

Gear featured in this short IG reel