The guys at Simms have produced a comprehensive guide to looking after your fishing waders. See how the pro’s look after and repair their waders with information on pinholes, scrapes and tears, inner leg abrasion and how to repair small leaks yourself. These 5 useful tips will save you time and money when it comes to your thing or chest waders.
- Pinholes, scrapes & tears
The most common problem that will occur in Gore-Tex® or other breathable garments is pinholes (we use the term “pinhole” to identify any small violation of the breathable fabric that allows moisture to penetrate into the interior of your garment), scrapes or tears. Pinholes, scrapes & tears are usually caused by thistles & thorns, but hooks, sharp rocks etc. will also damage the garment. The vast majority of the thistles & thorns will be deflected by the fabric, but sooner or later some of them will find a way through the weave and cause leaks. To avoid these damages just think twice when walking the banks; walk around the thorn bushes or other potential harmful objects instead right through them, and don’t sit down on any rough or sharp surfaces. There’s some great tips on repairing pin holes here.
- Inner leg abrasion (on waders)
Inner leg abrasions are often related to wrong sizing or heavy wear. This is caused by abrasion when the fabric inside the legs rubs against each other when walking. Finding the right size on the wader when doing your purchase is extremely important to prolong the lifetime of the wader. Please note that long days of walking and wading in a pair of waders may result in fabric abrasions along the back edge of the seam. This is easily repairable and a common wear and tear issue.
- Proper care & storage
After each fishing session make sure to allow the product to dry properly before you store it. Waders, jackets & packs etc. should hang in a vented, warm and dry place. Boots should also be properly dried before put away. If clothes or boots/shoes are stored wet or damp over time mildew will start to grow on them and cause severe damage. On waders & jackets mildew will cause problems like seam tape lifting (seam tape on neoprene feet’s & Gore-Tex® seam tape inside the garment will come off), and sometimes delaminating of the fabrics. Common for all products is that mildew will start a general material breakdown. The microorganisms (mildew is living organisms) produceenzymes that breakdown the cellulose or protein in the fabric to compounds which they use as food. Easily said; the mildew will break down all the components in the garment and eat it.
After the products are properly dried they should be stored in a cool, dry environment with adequate ventilation. If a product is infested by mildew it should be isolated by sealing it in polyethylene bag and it should be disposed immediately or sent to trained professionals for decontamination.
- Self repairs
If you are getting leaks along any seams in a waterproof, breathable garment, please do not do a self repair to these areas. Most reported seam leaks are in fact pinholes along the seam tape and not a true seam leak. Aquaseal or other adhesives does not come off and any self repair that is done along a seam may potentially void your warranty as we cannot remove and correct the problem without destroying the seam. We understand why a self repair may need to be done in the field, but please realize that we may not be able to correct the problem if the seam has been altered or covered in some sort of glue/adhesive.
- ReviveX® application and upkeep
Over time and exposure to rushing water, long days in the rain, dirt & other factors your Gore-Tex® garment may begin to” wet out” and will no longer be repelling water on the surface fabric. More times than not, this is a result of the DWR (Durable Water Repellency) wearing off. Though water isn’t leaking all the way through the garment, it may feel and look like it is. This is because “wet out” reduces breath ability and creates excess interior condensation making you damp and cold. It is easily addressed with the use of ReviveX®. Please follow the instructions of use carefully when restoring the DWR.