EricDice

Aging waders - Your best practices

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I have a few topics where I’m curious of what you do if anything at all in these scenarios. Add or delete your own questions, answers. Etc. 

 

  • Old bootfoot boots start to rot/crumble and won’t hold a seal. Solutions or lost cause?
  • Related, do you trash old waders or find another purpose? I’m about to finally trash old rotten boots bootfoot neoprenes. 
  • Do you “test” waders for leaks before going back into cold water or just assume they’re still good if they were okay in the spring?
  • Do you ever treat “breathable” or even neoprene waders with anything like a spray or a liquid coating/lotion to retain “waterproof-ness” or flexibility & prevent rot? 
  • Same for the wading boots like Korkers brand boots. Any maintenance on those?

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Depends on how much you value comfort, how you handle frustration, and how much you value time on the water

 

Have fun finding a new pair that fits if your forced to go to a new style or brand.........

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Recently when I buy a new pair, I use Aqua seal on the seams.  Right off the bat.  I hate hate hate leaky waders.  They all leak, I don’t care how much u to it spend.  

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I do the same.  Brand new - aqua seal on all seams especially where the boot and wader pants meet.  Then twice a year I spray all of the breathable material down with marine fabric protector 303.  It seems to have extended the life of the last pair of breathable waders I bought.  

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Depending on how hard you're fishing but I tend to snag up frogg togg stocking foot waders when they run around 60 dollars on amazon regardless of the model. But you can extend the life with some aqua seal and there's plenty of threads / videos that cover how to do this (Best practice for me is to seal the hole on the inside and outside). Usually for testing I just wear lighter colored sweatpants and go take a dunk in them for about 15 minutes and try to isolate where they're leaking based on where my pants get wet. Korker boots tend to last longer but you still need to rinse them down every trip as they will corrode.

 

The general consensus is that waders are something that you need to be purchasing annually or every other year depending on how hard you're fishing them. If you're trying to save the most money take my advice of buying waders when they're 60-70 bucks on amazon and having one on hold as a backup. I know some guys can squeeze 2-3 years out of their Simms G3 but those will run upward to 600 dollars which equates to about 200 dollars a year.

Edited by Inception

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I do know a guy who fishes a lot who had a pair of simms waders for 15 years. My dan baileys just started to leak a bit after three years. So sometimes you get lucky. I don't bother trying to repair waders anymore, but I am going to take the aquaseal suggestion.

 

I have said on here before that I think waders that are one or two sizes too big last longer. Less stress on them from moving around/taking them off. 

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When I pop a leak I go " I should fix that when I get home" 

Next trip I say the same thing 

And the next and the next 

Sometimes I get lucky and remember to patch the small leaks with aqua seal ( I keep my tube in the freezer and before use toss it in a cup of hot water to loosen it up, seems to last longer and not cure into the tube that way 

If you pop a leak on waders you've already patched with aqua seal, look around the edges of that patch, 90% of new leaks I end up with are on the edge of previous patches 

Used to cut the boots off of bootfoot waders and use those as rubber boots but then I realized how uncomfortable they are and how long a proper pair of rubber boots lasts 

I still sometimes steal the straps to repurpose into wading belts 

Will sometimes save a pair of old waders to wear on the rocks or something just to keep the spray off of me, even if they've got leaks it's enough to keep ya dry 

As for leaks in the boot of a bootfoot waders I haven't found a solution if it's anywhere near the sole, they flex too much and patches don't hold 

Have tried completely coating the boot with different products, doesn't last more than one or two uses after that  ( we had a batch of bad waders at work that came in leaking through the sole and there was no fixing them no matter how hard I tried ) 

Try to find a brand of cheap waders with a decent warranty 

Cabela's brand was great for a while, they leaked, you brought them in and 95% of the time the kid behind the counter would just tell you to grab a new pair 

Now they don't seem to anymore

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You can wear waterproof latex socks if it’s a slow/ low leak, or put a snug neoprene sock over a leaky boot foot. Both will sauté your foot!

  To preserve new bootfeet, wear a sock under, and a sock over the boot.

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Back in the day I would cut off the boots of old waders and use the waders as splash pants while fishing areas like jetties.  Neoprene wader pants I would wear while ice fishing as they were warm and served as a great block to cold winds.  

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Posted (edited) · Report post

With bootfoots...I had a pair that developed a lot of hairline cracks at flex points in the boot. Fabric patches aquasealed ot the boot worked. Aquaseal alone didn't beause it degrade in sun and part from the rubber. I don't think it make a great bond with rubber.

 

One thing I am trying this year is 3M 5200 Fast Cure. It's a white adhesive. I think it perform better than aquaseal in sun but time shall tell. 

 

Fabric patches sort of a pain in the butt. Hoping I can switch ot the 3M stuff for everything and skip fabric. 

 

I like having a tube of aquaseal and cotol 13 bottle for fast half hour fixes. Keep tube in freezer. 

 

A stiff fabric like cordura along with aquaseal or something else is good for a crack or tear in rubber. Need fabric that will prevent rubber from flexing and tearing open the repair. 

Edited by TopStriperAngler

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Posted (edited) · Report post

One of the products recommended for breathable fabric waterproofing is Nikwax tx.direct. It makes water bead on surface of waders. I only used it once. It rubbed off the waders almost immediately...like the next day. So fail. 

 

But its recommended by lots of places for garments and such. 

 

You need to wash breathable fabric with special soap that won't leave anything on the fabric which would interfere with the way the fabric passes moisture through it. 

Edited by TopStriperAngler

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A winter project of mine will be to through my 2 pairs of waders and find leaks.  1 pair is leaking at the crotch area, and the other pair is riddled with leaks, hook hole, you name it.   I have Aqua-seal, hopefully that's all I'll need.

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Waders are temporary....some very.  I've tried many things with one exception, and that's spending big bucks on a "good" pair.  I could never afford a good pair years ago, but when I could, I was discouraged by all the issues my buddies had/have with them. 

 

I thought I had a good solution when I decided to by two pair of Pro-Line or whatever $100 price point waders were around.  I rotated them which seemed to extend their life.  But did it really...hmmm I bought 2 pairs.

 

Next the neoprene years....they seemed more durable, but finally I decided impracticable for surf as I was always wet/cold from sweating.

 

Enter the breathable era.  Love them but they are much more fragile.  2 years max before Aquaseal comes out.  Been through a ton on breathables...  

 

It's nearly impossible to find waders that fit me these days.  Then I found Orvis new boot foot at $300.  They fit perfect and they're Orvis right.  Success......ah nope.  6 months in was standing on a bar waist deep and my crotch felt wet.  I was soaked.  Called Orvis and the exchanged for new pair at their store that day.  Good service, but do I trust the new ones make more than 2 yrs....nope.

 

I gave you the whole saga because IMO they are disposable.  I figure 1 to 2 yrs depending on use. Then the Aquaseal, then the can.  Cost of doing business lol 

 

        

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19 hours ago, DZ said:

Back in the day I would cut off the boots of old waders and use the waders as splash pants while fishing areas like jetties.  Neoprene wader pants I would wear while ice fishing as they were warm and served as a great block to cold winds.  

I do the same!   Leaky waders still make great "rain gear" or splash pants. 

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21 hours ago, scoobydoo said:

Depends on how much you value comfort, how you handle frustration, and how much you value time on the water

 

Have fun finding a new pair that fits if your forced to go to a new style or brand.........

Any industry clues regarding the fit these days?  I'm 5' 11" 190lbs with 11 shoe.  Decades, never a problem.....not anymore.  Even the "non-portly" models fit like hot air balloons.

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