Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > Wader Repair

Al514May 14th, 2007, 5:54 am
Central New York

Posts: 142
Water started coming into my waders the other day due to a hole - from barbwire maybe? Anyways, I have a pair of breathable waders and can I use those "goop" gels and things like that on them or are those just for neoprene?
RleePMay 14th, 2007, 6:50 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
The "Goop" family of patches/adhesives will work short term, but my experience has been that the stuff will peel away before too long.

The best wader repair stuff I know of is Aquaseal. It's a little pricey, but well worth it.

If it were not for Aquaseal, I'd be buying new waders twice a year...:)
Shawnny3May 15th, 2007, 4:46 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Agreed. Aquaseal is the stuff.

I have had one serious problem with it, though, and maybe others can offer advice: I can't seem to keep the entire tube from drying up after breaking the initial seal. I've tried cleaning off the screw-top really well before putting it back on - it helps, but it's not perfect. When it is all dried up around the top, I've found putting it in hot water for a few minutes helps make it possible to open - again, though, not really a solution. Has anyone tried storing it in the freezer? I know that has worked well for me with Super Glue, but I've never tried it with Aquaseal.

Also, Aquaseal is expensive. Having a tube dry out after one use is pretty aggravating.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
RleePMay 17th, 2007, 6:34 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398

You've hit upon the engine of somewhere around 70% of Aquaseal sales volume, would be my guess...:)

Try this. It works for me.

When I first open the tube, I make a big hole, almost the size of the available bore of the neck. There's a reason for this... Then, when I'm done squeezing the stuff out, I grasp the tube low on the sides and squeeze it gently a couple time to make the stuff retreat down into the tube. Then I clean the neck and recap. Sometimes, I also refrigerate it. But that may be for purely religious reasons. I don't know for sure it does anything.

But this slight aspiration of the tube to get the stuff to retract into the tube does work for me.
Shawnny3May 19th, 2007, 5:30 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Thanks, RleeP. I'll try that.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
JmsippleApril 20th, 2009, 5:22 pm
So. California

Posts: 2
There seem to be two tubes of Aquaseal; do both require the patch kit to seal the holes, tears, etc??? I have also heard that Seam Grip works without patches? Can someone help me?


DOSApril 20th, 2009, 9:30 pm
Buffalo, NY

Posts: 64
I ripped a 12 inch gash in my 4 year old waders about 10 days ago while trying to straddle over a wooden fence. Completely unrepairable which means I'm out of fishing commission!! The question is... do I max out my credit card and get a new pair right away? or do I suck it up and tough it out the 4-6 weeks it will take me to save the $$$? Hummmm lol ohhhh life decisions! :P
Andrew Nisbet
TaxonApril 20th, 2009, 10:09 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1343
PM sent.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
RleePApril 21st, 2009, 8:17 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
DOS: Well, they're your waders and I'll defer to your sense as to whether they are repairable. But I have to tell you, I've successfully patched bigger holes over the years with a strip of wader-similar material (from an old pair of waders or some such) overlapping the tear by a half-inch or so in all dimensions. I Aquasealed it in place and let it dry and then Aquasealed again over the entire repair area. I then put yet a 3rd coat of aquaseal over the area on the inside of the wader and let that dry too. This makes it a 3 day process unless you use the Cotol accelerant

I once had a barbed-wire rip that was L-shaped and had to measure 9" on each arm of the L. I patched this using the process above and it held for 2 years. Actually, it never gave out. The neoprene booties developed multiple pinhole leaks and the time was right to petition senior management (Mrs. RLeeP) for new waders for Christmas. Otherwise I might have tried to patch them too. I'm pretty cheap, often squeezing nickels until Jefferson renounces the Declaration of Independence...:)
RleePApril 21st, 2009, 9:13 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
I have no experience with the UV repair stuff. I've fixed a number of seam leaks though by brushing aquaseal on the area in question. Seam leaks are pesky and sometimes hard to fix. I like to do it both inside and outside surfaces, it seems to work better.

It's often hard to even find these leaks. A lot of them defy the old flashlight in a pitch dark room location method. I've had good luck using the old tire leak routine. I fill a spray bottle with water and add about a teaspoon or so of dish soap. Then I find an air source. I use one of those small pumps used to inflate air beds. I position the nozzle in the area where I suspect the leak, constrict the wader leg with my hand to maker it puff up when the air hits it and then spray the subject area with the solution. Most of the time, the leak will bubble and show itself. Just like the old guy at the gas station used to do to find a tire leak.

Just a thought and some sharing from a lot of years of bullheadedly trying to extend the life of my fishing gear. Like I said, I'm cheap...:)
DOSApril 21st, 2009, 9:22 am
Buffalo, NY

Posts: 64
I will give the repair a shot RleeP!
Andrew Nisbet
JmsippleApril 21st, 2009, 1:23 pm
So. California

Posts: 2
In regard to the breathables, I stick to the old style bootfoot waders with the three ply nylon/rubber construction and they have lasted me for 42 years with good care. I just had to repair them with Seam Grip and am keeping them as a back up pair as I just bought new ones. Old school works for me both functionally and financially. RleeP is right,after use, squeeze the tube a little to draw the gel back into the tube and put it in the freezer. That seems to work well.
MartinlfApril 22nd, 2009, 5:25 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3192

If you send the waders back to Simms they will fix them and test them for leaks. They do this for free the first year, I believe, though you have to pay postage. I bought Simms waders primarily for this reason; I hate throwing a pair away, and hate trying to fix them. I can never find the right spot. I have an inexpensive pair of older waders that are not leaking to wear when they are away. I love the Simms fit and feel; they are pricey, but I'm sold. By the way, mine haven't leaked yet, though I get condensation in all waders under the right conditions. I know I have a leak when I get a consistent wet spot that happens under all conditions.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
DSFlymanApril 28th, 2009, 6:37 pm
Posts: 13I too am an aquaseal fan - and yes, I store it in my freezer - I used my stash just a couple weeks back after 2 years in the freezer. Good as new.
DS Flyman
Shawnny3May 19th, 2009, 1:49 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Just finished a breathable wader repair, and I'd like to share my experiences. First, the dishsoap trick is the thing to do. We used to use this to find leaks in gas chromatographs back in my research days. I just lathered up the leg of the leaking wader with dishsoap and water. Then I turned the shop-vac from "suck" to "blow," and held the wader leg tightly around the hose. Even an invisible pinhole leak several inches from the main leak revealed itself by using this method. I will never use another method to find a leak.

With a patch kit but no adhesive, I decided to forgo the $8 for a tube of Aquaseal and try Gorilla Glue instead, especially since I wanted to use the waders later that day. I wet the patch and waders, then smeared a very thin layer of Gorilla Glue evenly over both (I patched on the inside of the wader). Then I put on the patch and worked the it into the glue on the wader to ensure a tight bond. Then I smoothed glue around the edges (wetting your fingers first keeps the Gorilla Glue from sticking to your hands - it's a mess to clean off otherwise).Once finished, I flattened the wader smooth and placed a little flat wood block on it with a weight on top of it (use wax paper under the block if you're worried about getting it stuck to the wader). As long as you keep the layer of glue thin, the glue won't bubble up too much. I was worried that the Gorilla Glue wouldn't be flexible enough, but I was quite satisfied with its flexibility after it cured (the repair wasn't in an area, like the knee, which would require a lot of flexibility, though). I've been out fishing once with them fixed, and my leg was dry at the end, so I'm happy so far. If the Gorilla Glue doesn't stand the test of time, I'll let everyone know, but I'm pretty optimistic - it's a darned solid repair.

Another hint that everyone probably knows: Cut all patches into rounded shapes - sharp corners come apart fastest.

Finally, I saw a guy post a video on YouTube demonstrating using Gorilla Glue to make floating lures, I mean flies, resembling ants and beetles. Because of its foaming action when it sets, the flies float when epoxy bugs would sink. I don't know if that's my particular cup of flytying, but it is a pretty ingenious use of this tremendous product. I thought you synthetics purists might like another weapon in your arsenal.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Flatstick96May 19th, 2009, 2:39 pm
Posts: 127
Good stuff, Shawnny. Are those the Dan Bailey's we bought way back when?

BTW, I tried calling you last night, but no answer - I'll try again tonight.
Shawnny3May 19th, 2009, 4:02 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Yup. Really nice waders at a great price - I'd buy them again in a second... except that the ones I have still work fine.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
CaseyPMay 19th, 2009, 4:25 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
I've successfully patched bigger holes over the years with a strip of wader-similar material (from an old pair of waders or some such) overlapping the tear by a half-inch or so in all dimensions.--RleeP

found the first pair of waders i ever owned at the bottom of the closet after i read this. man, we are never moving house; there is too much valuable stuff in this one! Did the "fill it up with water and mark the fountains" this afternoon; Aquaseal, and we're ready to go. if i still get wet, the soapy-water-and-shop-vac technique is next.

waders that fit are well worth the effort: these are on their third year of year-round fishing, and no prickly bush keeps me from rescuing my fly...there is also my complete inability to follow a path...
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
MartinlfMay 19th, 2009, 7:02 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3192
Thanks Shawn, great technique with the shop vac. I'll use it if I ever repair another pair of waders. I'm also a big fan of Gorilla glue. I use it under wrapped biots for mayfly bodies and pull a mini-micro drop of it into my whip finishes at times to make them bombproof, especially when whip finishing a parachute hackle against the post under the hackle wraps. Doing this I get a little of the glue on the hanging hackle stem too, before I cut it off with the thread (they hang together the way I pull the whip finish tight) and it helps keep the hackle from pulling out when fish start to chew on it.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
CaseyPMay 22nd, 2009, 6:52 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
say, that Revivex stuff is great! go to the Simms website--they have instructions there on how to heat up the stuff with a hair dryer because you must Never Put Your Waders In The Tumble Dryer!

best investment of 30 minutes i've made in ages because...waders that shed water don't feel clammy inside and dry much much faster!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Looking for waders for big feet
In General Discussion by JavaEnginee
3Oct 25, 2021
by Martinlf
Re: Love Guarantees
In General Discussion by JAD
4Oct 25, 2011
by Keystoner
Re: Boot Fix
In Gear Talk by Martinlf
3Jun 23, 2009
by FOKer
Re: Simms Headwaters BOA Wading Boot.
In Gear Talk by Strmanglr
2Jun 28, 2019
by Strmanglr
Re: Aqua seal is really good, and so is gorilla glue.
In General Discussion by Partsman
3May 10, 2020
by Martinlf
Re: 2nd Annual Fly Swap Patterns
In Fly Tying by Martinlf
4Feb 28, 2009
Re: Simms waders
In Gear Talk by Wbranch
2Apr 2, 2015
by Wbranch
Re: Cheap ($) Waders and Wading Boots
In Gear Talk by Zamboknee
29Jul 9, 2017
by David82nd
Re: Waders
In Gear Talk by Bellis
1Sep 13, 2020
by Martinlf
Re: Need a little help with waders unrelated to fishing
In General Discussion by NoQuarter
2Jul 18, 2019
by Iasgair
Most Recent Posts
Re: Where are the fishing stories? Rough weather conditions?
In General Discussion by Jmd123 (Techfish replied)
Re: Sheets Red Quill
In General Discussion by Brian314 (Willy replied)
Re: A pretty day on the river
In Fishing Reports by Partsman (Taxon replied)
Re: Hike in the Clearwater Mountains in the Alaska Range (Day 4 of 4)
In Site Updates by Troutnut
Re: Atigun float
In The Atigun River by Sci (Troutnut replied)
Re: Hendricksons
In Fishing Reports by Partsman (Jmd123 replied)
Re: New Troutnut version in the works
In Site Updates by Troutnut (Wiflyfisher replied)
Re: Scratching my head on the size here...
In Male Drunella doddsii Mayfly Dun by Jimspeaker (Taxon replied)
Re: SOMETHING'S biting, finally!
In the Photography Board by Jmd123 (Partsman replied)
Re: New rod opinions
In Gear Talk by Jt7 (Partsman replied)