Breathable waders leaking

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Jiminsandiego, Oct 4, 2017.

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  1. Starman77

    Starman77 Active Member

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    As others have written, you get what you pay for with waders, but not always. I paid good money for some high end Patagonia waders, and went through 3 of those waders and they each only lasted me two or three months before leaking (although Patagonia was good on warranty service, trying to repair the first set and then sending me new ones the second time). I go fishing once a week on average. I've used about 5 pairs of those Crosswaters some years ago, and I found they lasted about a year on average for me. Redington was always good on warranty service, and I think the Crosswaters are good waders for the price range; I think they are designed for fishermen who only go out maybe 4 to 6 times per year. Since you appear to go fishing fairly frequently, I'd recommend paying up for a good set of waders. I now use the Redington Sonic-Pro waders and find they are about the best waders I've ever used, very durable and breathable. However, even with expensive waders, I find that it isn't a matter of if they will leak, but only when. Even with expensive waders I only expect to get about two to three years of use out of them before they start leaking (going fishing once a week).

    Breathable waders should breathe in air or underwater. However, if you are hiking any distance (say, more than half a mile), condensation will build up inside faster than the wader can breathe, so you will have condensation issues no matter how expensive the waders are. If I have to hike any further than half a mile, I carry my waders and change at my destination. This also reduces the wear and tear on the waders, as some waders will wear out quickly as the knees rub together while hiking.

    When float tubing, the portion of the waders that you are sitting on that is in direct contact with the float tube seat will not be able to breathe. If you were standing in water, as in river fishing, the waders would be able to breathe (even the portion that is underwater), but when you're sitting on an impermeable surface, the waders can't breathe, so condensation again becomes an issue. In your case, it sounds like you have an actual leak and it isn't so much a condensation issue. But, even with non-leaking waders (and expensive waders), you may find that your butt still gets damp from condensation.

    I've found that using AquaSeal or similar products only gets you a temporary fix, if at all. If the waders are under warranty and start leaking, just send them back and get new ones (that's nice that Redington is now not requiring you to send the waders back in). If not under warranty, I'd recommend just junking the waders and buying new ones. It'll save you a lot of miserable days on the water being soaking wet, speaking from personal experience. You'll find you need at least two sets of waders, as you need one to use while you're waiting for replacements to arrive.

    I've tried some of the various treatments that you've mentioned, but again I find they only work temporarily and aren't worth the time and money spent.

    Like Buzzy, I wear breathable waders all year 'round. In colder weather I may wear two pairs of long johns instead of one for warmth. I found that I got too much condensation in the neoprene waders, so I ended up being colder in the neoprenes than in the breathables. Boot foot neoprenes may keep your feet warmer, due to being able to wiggle your toes better to increase blood circulation.

    After a day of fishing, be sure to hang up the waders to dry out. Folding them causes creases that eventually may develop into cracks and leaks.

    Rex
     
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  2. Jiminsandiego

    Jiminsandiego Active Member

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    Thanks for the input Rex. Very informative. I have not been hanging up my waders, but will now. Condensation I think I can handle , but a leak, not so much.We sent a man to the moon but can't build a set of waders that keep my butt dry in a float tube? I am not hiking in them , snagging them on branches, any of that... All I want is waterproof. I'm sure that I will eventually get some Sonic- Pro waders, but for now I own 2 sets of Crosswaters that simply need to be waterproofed in the butt area. In the marine industry we use a product called 5200 and 4200. This stuff is the real deal. If I 5200 the area that leaks it will no longer do so, guaranteed .
     
  3. Starman77

    Starman77 Active Member

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    One problem about applying any material to your waders that are still under warranty is that you may void the warranty, so before applying 5200 (or any other material) to your waders, check with the wader manufacturer first before you regret it. It is also likely that applying 5200 may block the breathability of the wader material.

    I think breathable waders function just fine, the more expensive waders doing the job slightly better than cheaper waders. Maybe what needs to be done is to re-design the float tube seats to allow the breathable waders to function properly. The old donut-style round float tubes had mesh seats, that would allow more breathability, but unfortunately your butt sat down in the water, so it was hard to tell if the waders were doing their job because your butt felt cold all the time. Maybe the newer U-boat style of float tubes that hold you up out of the water just need some kind of seat that has some kind of mesh or weave instead of a smooth, shiny surface. I suggest that this would be a lot easier to do than figuring out how to change the waders to solve this problem. One thing I do in the hot summers is to use my cap to dump water in my lap and then lean to one side for awhile when waiting for my fly to sink, and then on the next cast, lean to the other side, to allow one butt cheek at a time to breathe a little and cool off. You might try the same thing (except not dump water in your lap) in the cooler weather, to allow the waders to breathe and get rid of the condensation on your butt area. Another idea is to use some type of add-on car seat cushion that has a rough mesh or ridges that might help your waders breathe better in that butt area.

    Again, your problem may not be a condensation problem, but an actual leak. When you get your new Crosswater waders, you'll likely know the first time out whether your old waders were leaking or not. If your new waders feel exactly the same as your old waders, then the problem is more likely a condensation problem, as having two brand new waders leak in the same spot is highly unlikely, no matter how cheap the waders are. Keep us posted on how things work out...

    Rex
     
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  4. skinner

    skinner Member

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    Have you talked to your doctor about this? Sounds like a classic case of SBS to me.
     
  5. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    While I think I understand the principle of breathable fabrics pretty well, I have always had difficulty understanding the theory of breathable waders and the the concept of breatheability under water. I know it works; I participated in a Gore-Tex demonstration that involved wetting my hand, putting on a glove made of the microporous Gore-Tex breathable film, then dipping my hand in a bucket of water. The hand will dry while under water, though the process is not nearly as efficient as it is when exposed to open air, especially if the breathable fabric is pressed against an impermeable surface (as your butt against the seat). Your problem is, in all likelihood, condensation and the quality of the waders has little to do with it, it's just a matter of physics.
     
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  6. Richard E

    Richard E Active Member

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    I know a fly shop manager who referred to these types of leaks as”compression” leaks. Basically, your weight is “forcing” water back through the membrane.
     
  7. Jiminsandiego

    Jiminsandiego Active Member

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    Richard E that is exactly what I believe is happening. Did the manager have any solution to "compression leaks"? Rubbing a candle on the outside and melting the wax with a hair dryer made a huge difference. Thanks , Jim
     
  8. MileHighFlyGuy

    MileHighFlyGuy Active Member

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    A space suit costs $12 million (Wikipedia) and they use new ones each mission. You could probably get waders for that money that would keep you dry. For one trip at least!

    Seriously, I’ve had good luck with higher-end waders. I’ve had a pair of Orvis Silver Sonic guide weight waders for around four years that I us with my Pontoon and in the salt with no leaks. But make sure the ones you get run large or using them while sitting down will put stress on the crotch and eventually they will leak.
     
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  9. sroffe

    sroffe Active Member

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    You could buy a lot of waders for $12 million
     
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  10. Krusty

    Krusty Active Member

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    Hell, for $12 million you could own some very nice private water in Montana, and pay some gap-toothed local to row you around in a proper boat rather than freezing your ass off in a float tube wearing a leaky pair of waders. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  11. MileHighFlyGuy

    MileHighFlyGuy Active Member

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    Nope, all the Montana guides are here on the O. P.
     
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