How to Repair Cracked Rubber Waders

Written by rich bergeron
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How to Repair Cracked Rubber Waders
Waders can make all the difference between a good day outdoors and an ugly, wet one. Keep them water tight with a few easy steps. (Foggy Morning Flyfishing image by Joyce Wilkes from

Whether you're moving through thick terrain on a duck hunt or getting battered by the rolling waves on an ocean beach, waders aren't always the best protection from what nature has to offer. They can tear, crack, and get punctured. Rather than get new ones, follow some simple steps to patch them up with seam grip sealant. Surprisingly, to complete and get ready for the fix, you also need lots and lots of water.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Hose
  • Carpentry clamps
  • Tall plank of plywood
  • Hose
  • Sharpie
  • Seam grip or Shoe Goo
  • Small long bristle application brush

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  1. 1

    Clamp your dry waders to the plywood backboard and set it up so you can fill them with water. Fill them up as much as you can until you see the water start to gush out. Cracks tend to be highly visible, but there may also be holes you don't see.

  2. 2

    Mark a wide circle around all the cracked areas and all leaks with a fat Sharpie marker and consider the colour of your waders when choosing your colour for the marker. You want something that will stand out when you need to find it to repair the area.

  3. 3

    Squeeze a dab of the seam grip along the cracked areas and onto the hole points where you have leaks. The waders should be dry again when you start. Use the small brush to spread the glue out in a wide, thin coat. Holes should be filled with a square patch pattern. Create a rectangle pattern with the brush while patching around cracks.

  4. 4

    Let the adhesive dry out completely before hanging them up with the clamps again and refilling them for one more test. They should pass inspection if you've identified every problem area. If not, go back to Step 3 once your waders are dry again.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep the area where you do the repair well ventilated and keep in mind the adhesive is flammable. Fumes can be potent and smoking around these chemicals is not safe.

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