Getting The Most Out Of Your Fishing Waders

I am pretty certain we have all  invested in a nice expensive new pair of fishing waders,only to find that after a relatively short period the waders start leaking like a sieve! Which is quite frustrating to say the least when you are up to your chest in icy cold river water.  Read on to find out how to avoid such a wader calamity, and also how to extend your chest waders life.

Not the way to look after your waders!

Not the way to look after your waders!

1 . Get the correct size
Make sure you try your waders on in the fishing tackle shop, or call or email them with your exact sizes if doing mail order before purchasing. If waders are too tight they will strain at the seams, especially in the feet and the groin areas and eventually leak prematurely. Too baggy and the stocking feet may rub in the boots and wear out, and you may have inner leg abrasion when fabric rubs against each other when walking.

2. Avoid harmful objects
It sounds obvious but many people think waders are just indestructible! Sitting on rough or thorny ground, ploughing through beds of thistles and brambles. Impaling the fly into your leg, standing on them on stony ground while getting dressed and of course barbed wire! All of these things do no good for your wader. To avoid such damage just think twice and use some forward planning when walking the banks and deciding your entry into the water.

3. Proper care and storage

Always store the waders by hanging them in a ventilated location so the inside of the wader dries out.  If the inside of the wader is not completely dried, mildew will form which in the case of breathable waders will damage the breathable wader membrane and cause seam tape to peel and eventually water to seep through.    Don’t leave wet waders inside the stuff sack or car boot for extended periods of time.  Boot foot waders do no like being hung by the braces, it can ruin the braces and stretch the seams between boot and fabric due to prolonged pressure.

Simms wader retired after 8 years

A Simms wader finally retired after 8 years hard use

What can I do if the waders are leaking ?
Well if its too late for them you could always contact a wader repair specialist, like Diver Dave’s wader repairs up in the Scottish highlands. This man really knows how to fix a pair of waders at a very reasonable price. Or you could do a self repair – some wader companies like Simms manufacture their product from Gore-Tex, which means you can repair them with the help of rubbing alcohol. One member of the Fishtec team kept his waders alive for eight years using their method. Check out this video on how its done!










5 tips for looking after your Fishing Waders

Looking after your waders

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.

Wild West Waders – aren’t they chaps?

wild west waders

Wild West Waders

Billy the kid, Doc Holiday and Jesse James; just three of the villainous heroes of the Wild West; not very nice chaps, who wore chaps.

Clothing design and manufacture has come a long way since the days when strapping lengths of cow hide to your thighs was the best protection from the perils of nature. But would cowboys be any better off in waders?

Let’s take a look at why fishing waders would have been best – in the West.


rain clouds

Waders for the Wet Wild West
Photo: Dudarev Mikhail/

When it rains in cowboy movies, oh boy does it rain. Imagine yourself in denim and chaps, hardly proper protection from the deluge we think you’ll agree. How much better to be safely ensconced in a pair of neoprene chest waders. Warm even when wet.


waders snow

Waders for the Wild West Winter
Photo: Kender/

When the going got tough and the snow started to fall, the cowboys of yesteryear donned what were called, ‘woolies’, chaps with and outer layer of fleece or angora. They were thought to be the warmest winter wear around. But they didn’t have fleece lined waders did they?


cowboy canteen

Waders for water in warm weather
Photo: Sari ONeal/

Ever noticed how terribly thirsty cowboys get when they’re in the saddle in the middle of the sun blasted plain. There’s never any water and his canteen – well it’s so small – it’s just not up to the job. Waders by contrast are so versatile; when it gets warm, just fill ‘em with water and sip away in the sunshine.

Gun fighting

cowboy gun

Weapon holding waders
Photo: Bobby Deal Real Deal Photo/

Waders wouldn’t be much use against a hail of bullets so you’d still need a six shooter, but ask yourself this: where does a cowboy keep his backup weapon? Yes that’s right, down the side of his boot. Simply put, the bigger the boot, the bigger the blunderbus – wear your waders for shootout success.



Waders for poisonous prong protection
Photo: Steve Byland/

No self respecting cowboy travels anywhere without his ‘pardner’. The reason for this is that when you get bitten on the calf by an angry rattlesnake, your pal can suck the poison out for you. It’s not nice. Wear waders – total protection from poisonous prongs.



Wade in to trouble with waders
Photo: P.Lange/

Still not convinced that cowboys would have been better off in waders? Think about it – you’ve been out on the trail for, oh, hours – you’re tired, you’re bad tempered and you’ve got saddle sores. You’re itching for a fight. There’s nothing else for it – somebody has to die. You tie your horse outside the saloon and mount the steps.

Picture yourself, poised before those saloon swing doors. You’re about to wade in there and put some lead into some poor innocent soul. But how can you wade into trouble, if you’ve forgotten your waders?

Alan Yates Sea Fishing Diary Oct 10

Despite having to organise the Dover three day pier festival, I managed to find time to fish myself and was rewarded with fourth place overall plus prizes for the most fish, heaviest fish on the final day, and the best over 50s. Festival winner was Folkestone angler, Martyn Reid, who is on fire at present, especially at the draw bag. He won two days by a clear margin with a three day total of 20.890kg. The weather played a big part in the event and as any winter anglers will know, an in-your-face gale certainly sorts the men from the boys. It also sorts out the wet weather gear and I must say my neoprene chest waders and the latest Delta Marine smock from TF Gear kept me warm and dry on the final day of the event when winter arrived in earnest. In such conditions being able to sit on your tackle box without getting the wet bum is a real plus to your concentration and being warm and dry allows you to concentrate on the fishing. It was touch and go whether we stayed on the Prince of Wales pier inside Dover Harbour with the wind gusting SE force 9, but the event made the time which took the pressure off myself as organiser and the only hiccup at the prize presentation was a clash of venue with the local pensioners club!

The very next day I had a repeat of the weather whilst making a DVD for TF Gear’s new sea tackle range. Instead of the planned session after Dungeness cod which was in the midst of a force 9 storm, we had to divert to the relative gale at Deal. The weedy sea made conditions difficult and I only managed whiting and a single dab – it was even too rough for the dogfish, and that’s a first in Kent. However, we did manage to get lots of tackle advice and tips on the DVD. The next day the swell from the storm cancelled the boat trip and that has to be rescheduled before the DVD goes public.

Fishing News and Competition Reports

Coming soon is the final of the Clubman league organised by Sea Angler magazine – this involves a five man team from Mersey-based Sefton Sea Angling Club versus a team from Sea Angler, including me. The fishing is from Otterspool promenade in the Mersey. More on the venue, etc., next week.

I missed my trip to fish the West African Beach Championships in Gambia this year – the event had gone stale and lots of competitors stopped going because – to be blunt – the organisers lost interest with tight pegging and poor selection of venues leading to fewer fish. So next year, a group of us are organising our own event in February 10. If you are interested send me an email  ( and I will keep you in the loop as to when and where. Currently my angling representative is visiting the Sheriton Hotel near Banjul to sound out the accommodation, etc.

Tackle Reviews

Look out for the Force 8 beach umbrella from TF Gear – at last, a brolly that will hack sea fishing. It was my idea to introduce a 45inch brolly with skirt built to exacting sea angling standards. The model has reinforced fibre glass stays, both flexible and corrosion proof and the canopy is in hard wearing waterproof material that is welded to the ends of the stays rather than help by a plastic cap. The main support pole has the options of an upright fixing in the rear of the brolly for calm days or in the straight position when it’s windy. Some might say why only 45inch? Well, it’s my experience that larger brollies are much more difficult to anchor in  sea angling conditions, and that 45 inch is the maximum size for stability, especially if you don’t want to play kites! The model is light weight enough to use on the beach when you are moving back and forth with the tide.


In many regions, the summer casting events have come to an end as more casters return to the beach in search of cod. The last Kent Sportcast event held at Norton in Kent saw Steve Swan with the top cast of the day of 220.9meters with 150grams, which in the calm conditions was exceptional. With the casting ended for another year, the club reflected on another successful season. The highlight was Steve Morris hitting the first 250metres  on his favourite 100gr lead in March, then later in June, Didier Laroy and his group of casters travelled from Belgium to take part on the day when Steve Boyt reached 256m on the 150gr, creating a new Norton distance record. On the 28th August with ideal wind conditions, Jason Carter obliterated all previous records with a cast of 266.44m using the 150gr lead.

Alan Yates – Sea Fishing Diary November 2010

I fished the latest Kent Open series at Seabrook and was delighted to make the frame against some of Kent’s top competition rods. Winner was my mate, Ceiran Bull, who is a fishmonger from Hythe and has recently been amongst the Kent bass. He racked up a bunch of dogfish and whiting while fishing a Loop style terminal rig for 6.670kg, taking home a large wedge of cash. In second place was Deal angler Saul Page, fishing his last match before he leaves (along with my son Richard and the rest of the England squad) to fish the World Shore Championships in South Africa. Saul landed 19 fish, a mix of dogfish and whiting for 6.20kg. The event saw competitors plagued with small whiting, mostly 26cm; would you know it, the minimum size limit is 27cm! It’s a bit of a mystery why the Kent whiting have stayed so small this autumn, they have been undersized for months and it does look as if it’s just sheer weight of numbers and lack of food.

Ceiran Bull With winnings

Ceiran Bull With His Winnings!

Away from the beach casting, I took a day out and went trout fishing. I was intending to fish Kent’s Bewl Water reservoir, but was shocked to find it only half full so switched to Power Mill Reservoir at Sedlescome in Sussex. What a cracking fishery, well run and in some pleasant woodland scenery. A boat costs just £12. I fished with Folkestone’s Paul Foot and we decided to fish the bank. Although we didn’t set the trout fishing world alight, we did manage to catch some quality rainbow trout from the dam wall using damsel flies. I can vouch for their eating quality, a change from all those cod and far better from clean water reservoirs than from muddy ponds! Fishery details and so forth are available from the bailiff/manager – telephone 01424 870498


The pegs are running out for the popular Sheerness Steel SAC, Kent Classic  Open being fished in the Isle of Sheppey on the 21st November. The event is always a sell out so if you want to fish, hurry and contact Trevor on 01795 877127, or Ray on 07930 390761. More details on:

Nearly 500 sea anglers fished the Gateway Holiday Park Flounder Cup in the Lougher Estuary, South Wales, and a record number of 1kg plus flounders were landed. Even better, over £5,000 was raised for the RNLI Local Inshore Lifeboat, and that’s just about one of the best charities to run an angling match in aid of because you never know when you may need them. Match winner was William Dykes who landed the best flounder of 1.134kg, which was worth £1710. Jonathan Harris was second with a 980g flounder (winning him £1040) and Dominic Lewis was third with a 974g flounder, winning his £650. Junior winner was William Thomas with a flounder of 818g, and he won a £200 tackle voucher.

Another charity event suggested that charity really does begin at home with the 75 competitors fishing at Highcliffe, Dorset, raising £1020 for the England Junior International team. It’s a sad fact that the sea angling teams have to fund much of their own costs; they do receive a small grant towards travel costs but that’s usually about it. In my day, the sea anglers didn’t even receive that and it was a fact that most of us who fished for England used our annual holiday, and that cost more than one a marriage!

Matt Brook of the Isle of Wight won the catch and release total of 353cm.

England Junior Angling Team With Cheque

England’s Junior International Team (credit: Clive Morgan)



The cold Northerly winds this week sent a chill along the beaches – time to dig out the thermals. What kind of weatherproof clothing do you wear during the winter? I am a big fan of the bib and brace trousers and waterproof jacket combo and am well pleased with the new Delta Marine Clothing from TF Gear which is Teflon coated, 100% waterproof and fleece lined, with jacket and bib and brace both at £59.99. Sallopettes can be worn alone when the sun is out and they give you some warmth around the lumber area. I am not a fan of one piece suits although for the really cold weather and the boats, the floatation suit can be essential. It’s difficult to get the combinations of clothing right with the UK climate, cold one minute and sunny the next.

Another popular combination is Geordie Pyjama’s – that’s chesties if you live south of Watford Gap. Neoprene chest waders (like the Hardwear Pro Neoprene Chest Waders) combined with a smock type top (TF Gear’s Delta Marine range has a smock at £59.99), are great for rock hopping and wading, but watch those wader soles; studded or none slip are essential for treading wet rocks or the kelp edges. Perhaps the most important winter garb for the angler is a hat and the peaked baseball type cap takes some beating for keeping rain and spray off glasses – and it’s cheaper than laser surgery. On colder days, the good old woolly hat is the business. But best of all for keeping warm, and keeping your sea fishing tackle and bait dry, is some form of angling brolly or sea fishing day shelter.

Winter Grayling Fishing

With the onset of yet another cold winter spell the chances of good sport from most fish species is still looking very unpromising. However one of the few fish that feeds readily in icy cold temperatures is the Grayling. By cold this can mean temperatures way below freezing with ice forming on the rod rings and thick snow on the banks.

Fly Fishing for Grayling

Fly Fishing for Grayling

The Grayling is now a relatively common fish, and it is thriving in rivers such as the Wye and tributaries, Taff, Rhymney, Dee, Severn, Eweny, and many more rivers throughout Wales, all of which can be fished on relatively inexpensive day tickets. The Grayling season is open until 16 th of March so there is plenty of time to get out for a few hours and catch some of these beauties, which are in peak condition at this time.

Grayling on a winter's day

Grayling on a winter's day

Grayling can be caught with a number of fly fishing methods, the most effective of which is called Czech nymphing. This involves the use of very heavily weighted flies such as in our packs of Airflo Di bugs, combined with a long sensitive fishing rod like our purpose designed Airflo Streamtec XT 10’ #4/5.

The technique involves pitching the flies slightly upstream on a very short line and letting them drift back bumping and rolling across the riverbed. The long rod helps control the drift. We do a hi vis Czech nymph polyleader to complement this technique, which greatly helps with the bite indication.

Grayling in the River Severn

Grayling in the River Severn

Another very effective method is the use of a pimp indicator with a team of smaller nymphs such as copper johns, fished on a longer line dead drifted through likely looking runs and riffles. On warmer days they can also be tempted with dries such as klinkhammers.

One very important thing is to keep warm with modern hi tech layered fishing clothing. We have a good selection of thermal garments such as the new thermo skin underwear and bib and braces, which provide comfort in freezing conditions. If you combine them with a pair of neoprene fishing waders such as the Airflo Alaska’s you can be pretty much immune from the cold all day.

A successful catch

A successful catch