We’ve all got fishing gear we no longer use but don’t have the heart to throw away.
Even if you’ve repaired your waders to within an inch of their life, it’s still a crime to chuck them straight in the bin.
So what can you do with holey waders when the icy rivers start to leak in? Read on to discover some of the best uses you can make of your old fishing togs, with some quirky examples we found from our favourite online bloggers.
1. Fishing bag
When waders get past their best, you can still salvage the material and turn them into something new. No good for wearing any more? Why not do what Life, Flies and Trout did and create some stylish apparel? He writes:
“I bought these waders last year and fished hard in them. The seam where the sock meets the wader portion went bad, and after numerous attempts to patch them up, I decided to reuse them. I grabbed the scissors and went to work on them on some plastic on the kitchen table. I arranged all the pieces the way that I wanted and moved to the sewing machine with my wife’s permission. For the project, I also used an old wading belt for the strap and other items from other broken or discarded gear.”
Not only did he make something useful, but scored brownie points by getting rid of something from the garage too! Check out his blog to see his other wader creations, including camera bags, a rod tube and a belt pouch!
2. Drinks cosy
Taking your favourite bevvie down to the river with you? What better way to keep it cool than with your very own homemade drinks cosy, or koozie, as it’s known in certain circles!
Use the neoprene feet for this recycling project: it’s easy to cut them up and fold them round a can if you want a low-hassle project. The insulating properties are perfect for keeping drinks as they were intended – ice cold and fresh on a summer’s day.
If it’s blowing a gale and you’re in the market for a hot brew, the new cosy will also do a grand job of keeping your drink toasty.
3. Seat coverings
If bags aren’t, um … your bag, why not chop up those waders and use the durable material for coverings? Be it for a boat seat or a pad for your pooch, the waterproof material is a definite winner. We just love how outdoor writer Drew Hall repurposed his leaky waders into a homemade swamp stand! He writes:
“It not only wrapped the top of the stand, but also gave me a shoulder strap for carrying it. Now my dog has a good grip to climb onto the stand, and the neoprene will keep him warmer than the wooden stand itself.”
Just goes to show how far a bit of imagination will get you, huh?
4. Recycle them for charity
If you don’t have the time or the inclination to get crafty yourself, there’s still no need for your waders to go to landfill – there are plenty of outlets for getting that altruistic feeling.
Why not contact your local scout group and see if they could put your old equipment to good use? It’s a win-win situation that also sees you clearing your eco-conscience. Plus, some eager young anglers can get crafty with some tough materials.
When practical is what you’re looking for, cut the boots off your waders and convert them into work overalls.
As pointed out on the Epic Angling Adventure blog, they might be a little short in the leg after this, so it’s best to combine them with some rubber boots or similar. And, as pointed out on the blog:
“Just don’t forget you can no longer wade over the top of your work boots! (We’ve done that a few times, too).”