Wader Repair Tricks

My fairly new reinforced waders started leaking a few weeks back. It's a small leak, in 6 hours of wading, the back of my left leg might be soaked 1 foot on either side of the back of my left knee. I turned the waders inside-out and filled them w/ water...no dice. Shoved a bright flashlight up the left leg to see if there was an pinhole...no luck.

So, I just pasted two long rows of ducktape over the overlapping seams where I think the leak is occuring. This might be a good temporary fix, but did I just screw myself by doing that? My concern is that I might have to remove the ducktape residue in order to apply a more permanent fix (that is, if I can find the leak).
If they're gore-tex/breathable and/or simms then there's a good trick where you wipe rubbing alcohol over the suspected leak area. In a few seconds any pinhole leaks will show as dark gray spots against the fabric. Just dab aquaseal on the dark spots, and let dry.
I should note that I have only done this with Simms waders, and am not sure if it works with all breathables.


Be the guide...
Sometimes just taking a tube of shoe goo or wader repair glue and working it into the seams is a good idea. Some guys do this to all seams the moment they get new waders home... Anway, with tiny leaks in seams, this may be your best bet instead of wasting more time trying to find the leak...


My name is Mark Oberg
I have done the same thing. they make a really good ducktape made by gorilla glue company. It's is like rubber tape. I never leave fishing with out it. It just came out, so It may be hard to fined.
i think simms requests you send the waders back for seam leaks but can treat pin holes. I believe you will void your warranty with duct tape or lubing up the seams.

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
Depending how 'new' your waders really are, it's worth repeating that your wader's original warranty may be voided if you attempt to repair them yourself. While waders are designed to be durable, they're not impossible to damage, especially by a heavy-handed owner with good intentions. That's why most manufacturers prefer to do the repairs themselves rather than risk you possibly doing further damage trying to repair them yourself.

Before attempting any repairs yourself, you may want to contact the shop where you purchased your waders to determine what your options are. It's also worth rememebring that the shop has far more leverage with the manufacturer than you do so unless you bought them directly from the factory. You should work with the shop to maximize your repair options.

Yes, shipping waders to and from the factory and possibly repairing them will cost more than a tube of AquaSeal. And yes, there will also be a time delay while the repairs are being made. But in my experience, factory repairs are better than anything an individual owner can do and should always be your first choice.


Jon Brengan

flyfishing addict
I would like to add my 2 cents for all those fishing addicts that somehow cant seem to part w/ your waders under any circumstance. I know I've been presented w/ this delima in the past as well. Yep, I voided my warrenty Im sure but the cost of the tube of aquaseal and the Cotol-240 was/has been worth it for me. I dont know about others here, but my waders rarely dry out enough to make these repairs, drying time is reduced w/ my wifes hair dryer. And the Cotol 240 speeds up the drying time of the aquaseal so I don't have as much down time. My leaks haven't come in the seams as much as the bootfoot area around the ankles where the inevitable sand works on these parts while wading. I know the responsible thing would be not to repair them ourselves, but not being a fisher w/ multiple waders I cant seem to take that much time away from fishing. Guess you'll have to weigh your options.
Tight Lines,
I had a small leak in the fabric part of my waders. I hung them from the shower curtain and filled the offending leg with water. It took a little pressure applied above the leak to see where a small ooze came out in the seam. I used Loons UV sealant inside and out. It cured in 30 seconds in the sun. Worked great. I now keep the sealant with me at all times it will even work on wet waders.
jesse clark
I have used alcohol to find a pinhole leak and dabbed Aquaseal over it; it worked fine. Kent's advice about the warranty is well placed particularly if you start working on the seams. Give Simms a call and talk to customer service. 406-585-3557. I found them to be incredibly helpful, thorough, and prompt with their warranty service. Here's the link from their webpage that gives information about repair and warranty of waders.


Zen Piscator

Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.
Man...i need to get my sh*t together....excuse me, i guess im just sad because a month ago i had 3 working pairs of waders, now i have 3 leaking pairs...looks like they went all at the same time..even the simms. I guess i will be spending this week patching and finding leaks.

Another question, i totaly wore out the stocking feet of one of my wader legs out on my dan baileys, but besides that they are fine...can i send them back to get new stocking feet on them? Any ideas?


Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
Zen Piscator said:
. . . Another question, i totaly wore out the stocking feet of one of my wader legs out on my dan baileys, but besides that they are fine...can i send them back to get new stocking feet on them? Any ideas?
Previous threads on this subject regularly contain reports from members who have had their waders repaired by the factory. The best outcomes seem to be from those who took their damaged waders back to the shop where they bought them so the shop can negotiate on their behalf with the factory.

In contrast, most of the bad experiences seem to come from those people who sent their waders directly to the factory, bypassing the fly shop. Since neither you or I buy waders and boots by the dozens every year, the factory has a far greater incentive to keep their fly shop customers happy than they do someone who just walks in off the street with a pair of leaking waders.

IMHO, your best bet is to contact the shop where you bought 'em and let them handle the repair logistics for you.



Well-Known Member

Dan Bailey's is really good about repair or replacement. Follow Kent's advice and return them to the shop you bought them from. They are authorized by Baileys to make over the counter replacements as I recall.


Salmo g.
Zen Piscator said:
Another question, i totaly wore out the stocking feet of one of my wader legs out on my dan baileys, but besides that they are fine...can i send them back to get new stocking feet on them? Any ideas?


You mention that you "totally wore out the stocking feet." I'm assuming you mean to have the stocking feet replaced at your expense not at the shop's or the manfacturer's expense. Both the shops and the manufacturer won't warranty a piece of gear when it has finally finished it's useful life. It would be interesting to see though if the cost of replacing the feet is less than the cost of a new pair of waders.

Additionally, I'm curious how you would compare the Dan Bailey's, the Simms, and the third pair of waders since you seem to have owned them all at the same time and they seem to have all died (or at least got wounded) at about the same time.