Waders are a valuable bit of your fishing tackle arsenal, but like all good things they always come to an end – usually on a barb wire fence or bramble patch.
All is not lost however – should your waders develop a leak (let’s face it they ALL do!) there are some wader repair tips you can use to save them. Our 5 wader repair tips explain how.
1. The torch
Turn your waders inside out. Get hold of a very bright torch, then find a dark room (darker the better!) Shine the torch inside, close up to the material. Look for pin holes – they usually show up as a small, brighter white spot. Mark them with a pen or chalk as you find them. Repair with a blob of wader glue. This method can work well, especially if you are patient and thorough with your inspection.
Remember after using your wader glue put it in the freezer for next time – this will stop it setting, and all you need do is heat in a cup of warm water before you use again.
2. Fill with water
This ‘old school’ method involves finding a safe spot to hang your waders, and fill with water using the garden hose. Look for drips and damp spots to locate the leaks, mark with chalk as you find them. You can then repair once dry. Be aware water testing can place strain on seams.
3. Air pressure testing
The idea is to inflate your waders as tightly as possible, and them immerse the leaking area in a large tub of water while still under pressure and look for bubbles. You can also ladle wader on the areas you suspect of leaking and look for bubbles as you apply the water. Mark the suspect areas with chalk or pen, allow to dry then apply glue.
To get air into your waders under high pressure, a bouncy castle blower is just perfect. Another way is to find a vacuum cleaner you can set in reverse or use a leaf blower. Air pressure testing is best done as a two man job – get somebody to keep the wader top firmly closed and keep the pressure up while you test.
4. Alcohol spray
This method is very effective on Simms Gore-tex waders. Turn inside out, spray with Block-it wader repair or isopropyl alcohol mix. Gore-tex reacts to the alcohol, and black spots appear. Then, as the alcohol dries daub some wader glue on the dark spots. This test also works for non Gore-tex breathables to some extent. Have the wader inside out, spray the suspect area, then quickly turn the wader back the right way. Dark spots should then be visible on the outer shell of the wader where it seeps through the holes.
We have heard it said WD40 can be spayed on the inside of all kinds of breathable waders, and because it penetrates the fabric pinholes will show up. However WD40 is very greasy, smells, and is hard to remove after the test. But if you don’t mind that, it could work.
5. Professional repair
Lets face it even the best DIY job can still miss leaks, or in the case of seam leaks be very hard to fix. Sometimes it is simply easier and less time consuming to get the waders repaired for you by an expert.
Simms offer a ‘lifetime’ warranty/repair service where you can return your Simms wader for assessment, with wader repairs done for free if considered warranty or charged if not.
We recommend the services of the UK’s leading wader repair specialist, Dave Gordon aka Diver Dave. We can 100% vouch for Diver Dave’s service and effectiveness – this gentleman can work his magic on even the most ancient, leaky pair of waders, and for a very reasonable fee too! So, if you think your waders are ”written off” – think again, and drop Dave an email.
Remember looking after your waders can help prevent them leaking in the first place! Read our 5 wader care tips here.