Wader Care – 5 Winter Storage Tips

I am sure we are all guilty of not caring for our fishing tackle in the correct way! In winter we tend to forget about our fishing equipment and throw our stuff in a shed or garage only to dig them out again next spring and find they let us down on the first trip.

Not the way to look after your waders!

Not the way to look after your waders!

Waders in particular are an essential piece of gear that need a bit of care and respect when being stored in the off season. These wader care storage tips will help you remain leak free for next seasons opener!

1. Make sure they are clean and dry  – Before storage make sure they are bone dry. Any moisture encourages mildew, which can affect the membranes breathability and cause them to leak. Not to mention cause an unpleasant smell and appearance. Brush or scrub any dirt off before stowing away, as again this can encourage mould and bacterial growth.

Here’s what Tom Bekkeli, Simms Wader customer service manager at fly fishing Europe has to say about mildew:

”Mildew will cause the glue on seam tape to disintegrate, this will lead to the seam tape coming off and cause leaks. Mildew can also cause the fabric to delaminate, again this will lead to leaks.The materials will simply break down when attacked by mildew.”

2. Do not tightly fold or crease
– Waders do not like this, long term folding can cause crush or fold leaks. Resist the temptation to stuff them into a box or cupboard out of the way. A wader treated like this wont last long.

3. Do not hang them up by the boots – We have seen this with boot foot waders many times. All winter they have been hung up by their boots. The weight of the wader has caused the boot rubber to stretch, and then perish over just a few months in storage causing them to leak on the first trip of spring.

4. Keep away from the ground – Do not allow waders to contact the ground in storage. Rodents like to make a nest in waders, with feet being a favourite! If they can reach them, they may decided to gnaw a little nest for themselves at your expense.

5. Do not hang by the straps – This will stretch the braces potentially ruining the elastic. It will also put a strain on seams if the wader is hanging on it’s own weight for months on end. The answer? Gently drape them on something – a clothes rail is just perfect.

Waders leaking and beyond repair? It might be time to consider a new pair. Check out our fly fishing wader range here.