Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wader Repair Fiasco

I have never been a very good do it yourself kind of guy. Projects always turn out way more complicated than they first intended to be. My waders started leaking last weekend and I looked into repairing them.  I found this video on youtube. It made it seem simple enough. The problem was the video shows the waders hanging from a platform which makes it easy to fill them and monitor the leaks. I don't have such a thing. Also it's hard to find a random place to hang waders and fill them up with water. I could have gambled and tried the rain gutter but if it broke I'd have two things to repair. 

So here was my bright idea. I'd get in the shower hold my waders up to the shower head and while they fill up I'll look for leaks. My first major mistake was understanding that waders are not very stiff. When they start to fill with water they expand like a water balloon. The weight picks up rapidly as the waders fill with water. The water got to about knee level when I realized there is no way I'm going to be able to hold these waders up while one leg fills up. 

My 3yr old daughter was watching the whole ordeal intently. How often does she get to watch her dad fill up some pants in the shower? The weight became unbearable and I asked my daughter to turn off the water. With the sound of the water she couldn't really understand what I was saying. I tried to kind of brace the waders on the shower head but then I was worried about the waders ripping the shower head off the wall. Eventually I just moved the waders down and tried to shut off the water.  

So here I am fighting with half filled waders, fumbling with the shower faucet and getting drenched at the same time. My daughter kept yelling at me, "what are you doing?  what are you doing? Funny, I was kind of wondering the same thing. Luckily I was smart enough to strip down to my underwear and just a t-shirt before starting. Still I felt pretty dumb. I figured I might as well look the waders over.  The shower had gotten the outside all wet and now it was hard to identify a leak from all the other water. I started trying to transfer water from one leg to the other and eventually I noticed some water leaking more in one spot. It was right on a seem on the upper thigh. Right where I thought there was a leak. I only had to drench myself, almost rip a shower head off and traumatize my child to find it.  

The end result was me buying another pair off Sierra Trading post. To me a leak at the seem is a sign of bad craftsmanship.  I'm going to return the waders. It would be different if the hole was in another location and obviously from me hooking myself or briar bushes. I think I'm done with DIY fly fishing gear repairs for now.


  1. Feel guilty getting a laugh out of this, in that it was quite the battle, and turned out harder than it should be. However, I can relate to the fact that I tend to make things much harder than they really are. Good luck with your new waders!

  2. Damn Kev, I think we're related!

  3. Howard, anythings possible.

    Rainbow, I'm glad you got a laugh out of it. It's always annoying at the time but funny to think about later.

  4. Great story! I kept an timey pair of rubber waders semi dry with multiple holes with good old (Red Green would be proud of me) duct tape. But even youth finally gave into the fact that wet should not be inevitable.


  5. Kev
    I wish someone had film this ordeal, it would have been a hit on Utube for sure. Thanks for sharing this unique experience.

  6. Sorry to hear how unpleasant this experience was, but you were on the right track. Use the bathtub next time, closing off the top, forcing them underwater, and seeing where they bubble. I have gone through two pair of waders that just began slow leaking at the knee seam. I gave up on the brand and switched to another one. I am interested in what people are saying about Redington's new welded seam waders, which sounds like a very logical cure to the problem.

    Hope your new waders work well, last long, and get lots of fishiness all over them.

  7. I had a small leak in mine and I have found that the easiest way where you dont have to deal with water is to go in a dark room/closet and put a flashlight in the waders and see where the light comes out. Then you can put a little dab of super glue or sealant on it.