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Equipment - How to Repair your Waders
Monday, March 19, 2007

In my discussion of the Patuxent River, I mentioned that there were pricker bushes all along the river.  I likened the thorns to "shark's teeth" and I must confess that I was being kind.  Those prickers are like the nastiest barbed wire I ever ran into in 20 years in the Army.  They are sharp, hardened and anxious to defend the river from the casual fisherman.

My brand new Simms waders were a casualty after the last trip.  Thankfully, it was only a small wound; kind of like the prickers were testing me; providing them the sadistic joy of knowing their victim will discover the small hole as he stands in the 34 degree water and feels the sudden stab of cold, bone-chilling watery ooze grab your shin and drift slowly down to your toes... yes... that's it.

BUT!  Unlike my last set of waders, these are repairable by normal human beings.  According to the instructions that Simms sent with these, all it takes is something called Aquaseal to repair the hole.

Well... it takes a bit more than that, but it is really easy.  I was able to find some Aquaseal at the Orvis store in Tysons Corner.  When I read the instructions, they indicated that the seal would be better and harden quicker if you used something called Cotol-240 along with it.  And, while I was browsing the repair section, I ran across the "Tenacious" bandage, so I had to get it as well.  I was going to beat back the water and salvage these great waders!

The first step is to find the leak and the best way to do that is to first remember where the wet was and then turn the waders inside out and look for the hole.  Since the inside is slick, clean and not battle worn with mud and scratches, it's pretty easy to find.  Once you zero in on the hole, the process to repair is quick:

  • Clean the hole with Cotol-240 and rub it dry
  • Put some Aquaseal on and spread it around.  You can actually use this for a pretty large leak and the instructions are in the package
  • When dry, apply a Tenacious patch

Small, but deadly leak

I added the last step as overkill.  You can actually use the Tenacious patch for a quick repair on the water.  So, I figured if it was good for that, it would not hurt to add it to the mix.  Once the patch was on, I worked all the air out of the patch to ensure it had a good grip.

The last step is to turn the wader right side out and then put a blob of the Aquaseal on the outer hole.  You could put a patch there as well, but I elected to just leave it be.

Total cost of all this stuff is around 12 bucks.  Not bad as it represents a lifetime supply.  You don't really need to use a lot of the Aquaseal on the small punctures.

So, prickers beware.  I'm back in business and will head your way again when the weather warms up!

The Tenacious patch stuff goes into my pack for on-stream repairs - it will work right away.

These are the products you need.  Apply them per their instructions from left to right.

Just like Brylcream, a little dab'll do ya.  Put the seal on and spread it.

Always one for overkill when in comes to protecting my comfort, I popped one of the patches on as well.

Final step is to blob some Aquaseal on the outside.  Be sure you let the Aquaseal dry on a level surface.



 Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore

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