How to repair leaking fishing waders

Finding a leak or hole in your fishing waders can turn a good day sour in seconds. The slightest of holes, tears or pin-pricks can let water seep through the material and onto your under clothing. Although this may be welcomed in the warmer summer months, cold water entering through your fishing waders in winter is uncomfortable at best, and dangerous to your health at worst. It doesn’t do your breathable waders any good either. Here’s how to find and repair leaks in your trusty breathable waders.

How to repair a leak in your fishing waders


Learn how to repair waders yourself with a few simple tips.
Image source: Shutterstock

Accidental damage to waders is not generally covered under warranty. But don’t worry if you spring a leak. There are several options and resources available to help get you back on the water.

Here are the basic steps and the kit you’ll need to extend the life of your waders without sending them off for professional repair:

  • Find the leak: Airflo Bloc-IT leak detector
  • Repair the leak: Airflo Bloc-IT flexible repair adhesive
  • Apply an emergency fix: Airflo Bloc-IT emergency repair patches

How to find the leak in your waders

How to repair waders from fishtec

Holes in fishing waders are more than likely caused by brambles, thorns and other bank-side shrubbery. The areas usually affected are around the knees, waist, hip and bottom of the waders where an angler has accidentally pushed their way past some spiky undergrowth. Even the toughest and most expensive waders will spring leaks from time to time, but how do you find a leak in your fishing waders?

Use a leak detector product

How to repair waders from fishtec

Some leaks may be blatantly obvious, a tear or rip will provide easy visual accuracy, but a pin hole or small puncture will take time and effort to locate. If you’re having trouble finding a leak in your waders try Airflo Bloc-IT leak detector or other alcohol spray.

Turn your fishing waders inside out generously spray the leak detector on the inside of the wader material. If there are any punctures or holes in the wader a black spot will form accurately giving your the exact location of a leak.

If this doesn’t reveal the damage, try some of the ideas in our 5 great wader repair tips article to locate the problem.

How to apply a repair adhesive

How to repair waders from fishtec

Once you’ve sprayed the entire inside surface of your waders and all leaks have been detected, take some Airflo Bloc-IT wader repair adhesive and put a dot over the shown leak. Repeat this over the whole length of wader so that all holes are covered. It’s easiest to lay your fishing waders flat on the floor or table, repair the first side and leave to cure for a few hours before repeating the process on the opposite side.

How to repair waders from fishtec

On this particular pair of chest waders we found a pin hole tear caused by a thorn or bramble which dragged along the front of the wader material. To secure the tear, simply apply adhesive to the full length of the damage and spread it to at least 1cm beyond the entire area. This will ensure that any damaged fibres will be glued and cured.

To prove how effective this method of repairing breathable waders is we’ve taken the below picture of a pair of Simms waders which are in their 8th year of service. Many pinholes have been repaired and punctures fixed extending the life of these waders and keeping the angler dry, hopefully for many more years to come!

How to repair waders from fishtec

Emergency wader repairs

If your waders start to leak whilst on a fishing trip try using Airflo Bloc-IT Emergency Wader Repair Patches. They’re the ideal remedy for blocking out water until a more permanent fix can be applied.

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