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I am on my third set of Orvis best waders since Jan. The first pair leaked at the feet. The second pair leaked at the right knee. Orvis replaced them each time with no charge. Due you guys have the same problem with waders. I don't even walk through the brush. How in the heck due you find holes in the waders?
 

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FishyJere
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719 Posts
I pretty much fish from pontoons and my Simms last 7-8 years. I buy the good ones, you pay for the durability.

I am getting older. I used to fish 60-70 days a year and I am now down to around 50, so they do get a workout.
 

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Topwater and tying.
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520 Posts
My Redington Sonic Pros are at least 5 years old. No leaks so far. Mostly saltwater beach, some river. Little brush beating and I avoid kneeling on barnacles. Between boat fishing and my pontoon boat which don't require full waders, I probably only use them 12 to 20 times a year.
 

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Simms are the only waders i haven't had near instant problems with.
3 years without leaks then 3 years with intermittent leaks between aqua seal fixes.. then new waders. i don't give sny consideration for where i go or what i do in them. nor do i give them any care or cleaning.

The Reddington waders i got leaked out of the box and the fit was terrible even using their size guide.
don't buy waders without trying them on.
 

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3 or 4 seasons is about as good as it gets for me. Simms hold the record so far, at 4 seasons. Redingtons I've been wearing for a year now aren't leaking, but they fit like crap and are developing a hole in the crotch. Like Rob says, try 'em on first.
 

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bushwhacker
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426 Posts
Aqua Seal on the inside and Tenacious Tape on the outside works wonders, and is the only thing I've found that really fixes seam leaks. The tape doesn't necessarily blend in, nor is it fully waterproof without the sealant, but that stuff is magic for outerwear repairs.

To the original question: you can fill them with air and submerge in a tub, or fill them with water and look for seepage to find pinhole leaks.
 

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Going on 10 years on my Simms guideweights. Made some minor aquaseal patches in years 4 and 6 and had Simms replace the stocking feet & run full leak test at year 7 for $20. Just made another small aquaseal fix this fall but they still work pretty well.

Used them pretty hard at first but these days they may only get 20 uses or less in a year. Seeing the price of new waders I may try to squeeze another 4 years out of them before I give up.
 

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630 Posts
Got my simms in 03, theyre half aqua seal and patches now, but I've beat the shit out of them and also use them for duck hunting. Been impressed with the feet as they havent had any significant leaks.
 

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Should be fishing
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697 Posts
Three words: Orvis Sonic Weld. I think I own the base model from four years ago. I beat the absolute shit out of them. Never a leak. Not one.

I haven't owned a pair of Simms or other similar, more expensive models.

Can't say I ever will. I even fell face first down a 25 foot, jagged rock slide straight on to my knees. I thought for sure those waders were done. I stood up all pissed off. Checked myself out. My right knee bled like crazy inside the waders as I would find out later. No hole in the waders though.

This was two years ago.

Tough waders.
 

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Before I had Jr, I used to fish 60-80 days a year, now down to about 20-30. I would get about 3 seasons out of a set of waders. Now what I do is wait for a set to go on clearance and add a pair to the collection. My waders I'm currently using are going on now about 3-4 years and they're Patagonia Lightweights and Guide models, both have been great.
 

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I am a big fan of LL Bean waders. If they fail early Bean replaces them without issue. My pair of Helix chest highs have been used 6 seasons without issue. My old waist highs started with a seam leak last fall. I used a new product (for me) Rustoleum Flex Seal in the spray can. I did all seams on the legs just to be sure and it worked great. The only issue is that if you use it too heavy the "clear" color dries milky white and looks like elephant snot, but other than that is fine.
 

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I am a big fan of LL Bean waders. If they fail early Bean replaces them without issue. My pair of Helix chest highs have been used 6 seasons without issue. My old waist highs started with a seam leak last fall. I used a new product (for me) Rustoleum Flex Seal in the spray can. I did all seams on the legs just to be sure and it worked great. The only issue is that if you use it too heavy the "clear" color dries milky white and looks like elephant snot, but other than that is fine.
It's true, you could get a free new pair of Beans whenever you want. This is an amazing idea if you're one of those people. There was a fun This American Life about their customer service.
 

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I have had Simms G3 for 12 yrs. When I start to get leaks I turn them inside out and spray them with rubbing alcohol. The holes show up as a dark circles and I then put aquaseal on this. Easy. My cousin has had his Simms Guide waders for 20 yrs. Same thing. He bushwhacks like crazy too and fishes consistently. I dont know why people buy Waders other than Simms tbh. They are tried and true. Its not like everyone else's is cheap either. You can get Simms on closeout etc to make them cheaper and just go that route. I'm not a huge Simms fan of their other stuff besides their boots.
 

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I've had some Orvis Silver Sonic Convertible's for 3 years. They now leak pretty bad in the crotch even after several Aqua Seal repairs. I'm pretty happy to get 3 years out of them and just ordered another pair. Every pair of breathable waders I've ever owned (Dan Bailey's, Simms, Orvis) start to eventually leak in the crotch. I've hung on to an old set of Simms boot foot waders with the crotch leak because the Muck Boots on them keep my feet nice and toasty in the winter and I'm usually not wading that deep anyway. As much as I fish I don't think twice about replacing my waders every few years. The Orvis Silver's have a couple features I like (big chest pocket,unique suspension system, clear waterproof pocket for your cellphone) otherwise I'd probably check out some of the cheaper models on the market.
 

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Dumbfounded
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10,887 Posts
No matter what brand of wader I've purchased, soon or later they develop a leak. I'm pretty good at finding the leaks but fixing them so they stay fixed is another story. Usually, I'll try to fix them four times before I finally give up and buy a new pair.

I do not buy the super expensive waders because eventually, they'll also leak and I need to go through the waiting period to send them in for repairs. So nowadays, I buy the less expensive waders and simply replace them when I can't fix the leaks. I can go buy a number of new less expensive waders for the cost of one pair of the expensive waders.
 
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