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So, this is a simple post by me on a problem that many of us experience at some stage leaky waders.
There is nothing worse than having leaky waders, trust me, you do not want to have that experience. Imagine walking around all day with water in your pants and shoes, apart from the health issues it is an experience to forget.
How to find leaks in your waders
I have had this problem with other waders and could not fully resolve them.
And recently, I came across this menace again whilst out fishing in my almost new but some 5yr old Scierra CC3 neoprene foot sock waders. I had used them just twice. And the second time was this year, out at Grafham pre-pandemic. The left foot neoprene sock was wet and full of water, and I mean full of water.
Luckily, I carried some spare kit and changed but no wading for the day. Now I don’t want to blame Scierra or anyone else, these things happen. And I spoke to the fishing shop who were very good re-support if my attempt to repair them failed. I really respect a good retailer, I have bought stuff from them before, and they have been excellent.
The cause of this waders leak could have been many reasons. I had taken all precautions in cleaning them and storing them. But unfortunately, the leak developed.
The problem was, how do you find the leak?
I knew it was in the left foot and possibly in the foot area. I tried to find the leak by wearing them for a test. I filled the bath and sat on the tub edge, to get the sock in water. Within about 10 minutes, the water was coming through. But I could not nail down where from.
So I kept doing this testing, and it took me two days before I finally sorted it.
How to repair neoprene waders
Then I researched my options for repair. And since I had previously used a product called Aquasure with success, I gave it another go. It’s a flexible and water-resistant bonding agent.
Another nice thing about this product is that you don’t really need patches (some products you do). You just apply this liquid via the tube and use a brush, provided within the sale bag (also has a plastic glove). Just ensure the area you apply it onto is clean and dry and it stays on well.
So I dried the waders out, and trapped some air into the foot neoprene sock area by just moving my hands down the length of the left leg, added a few twists to the leg just above the foot sock.
This maintained some air in the foot sock until it escaped from the leak and with several attempts managed to find the leak. The escaping bubbles were not easy to spot and took some effort as it was a tiny leak but enough to allow water through. I marked the area and put some masking tape on as a merger and dried these waders.
Next, with the newly purchased Aquasure tube, I located the exact point of the leak. In my case, it was in the middle of the tapered seam of the neoprene foot sock. So I followed the instructions of Aquaseal and spread a healthy amount of the tube content using the applicator brush, allowing it to dry overnight.
The next step was to repeat the process by turning the wader neoprene sock inside out. Remembering that the treating area would now be on the opposite side when you turn the waders inside out.
I then applied a light coat on the inside, and again allowed this to dry for 2 days.
Moment of success or failure, I filled the bath, and was really apprehensive about whether this would work. So I sat on the bathtub edge and put my feet in, no wet feet, bingo it seemed ok.
But the real test was a field trip. So I tried them out at the water, wading up to my waist, to my satisfaction, I was cold but dry. And my little self-play with wader repair had worked.
I’m hoping to try them out again on an outing, fingers crossed they will stay dry.
Remember these key-pointers to repair your leaky waders:
1-Find the area of the leak.
2-Clean and dry the area for application.
3-Apply a thin coat and repeat the process two or three times depending on leak size.
4-Allow to dry overnight or follow the instruction on Aquasure.
5-Locate the inner point of the leak and do the same.
6-Allow to set and dry as before.
7- Test them before you go out in the water.
8-Carry a spare-kit (extra clothing), just in case.
When wading, take care and always wear a life jacket or life vest.
Tight lines, hope this helps you.