Not many things can ruin a day hunting or fishing faster than leaky waders. Neoprene waders develop leaks for various reasons, but the vast majority of these can be patched at home in just a few minutes. Most neoprene waders come with a patch kit, but if yours didn't or you no longer have it, repair kits can be purchased at most sporting goods stores.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Neoprene patch kit
- Masking tape
Locate the leak. If you've worn the waders and discovered a wet spot on your trousers or socks, you have a pretty good idea where the leak is. In a dark room, holding a flashlight inside the waders, stretch the material in the general area of the leak. When you see light through the waders, mark this spot with a piece of masking tape.
Cut a patch from the material in the repair kit large enough to cover 1 inch on all sides of the leak.
Make sure the area to be patched is clean and dry. If necessary, scrub with a little dish soap and water on a brush and rinse clean. Oil or dust will prevent the adhesive from bonding. Use a hair dryer to dry the area to save time, or allow it to air dry.
Cut a patch from the material provided in the kit large enough to cover 1 inch around the leak.
Spread the adhesive from the repair kit on the area to be patched, on either the inside or outside of the waders, making sure to apply to an area slightly larger than the patch. A little adhesive around the patch won't hurt anything and ensures that the edges of the patch are sealed. Apply the adhesive thickly; extra will squirt out under the edges of the patch.
Press the patch onto the adhesive. Apply pressure to remove any air bubbles under the patch. Extra adhesive can be wiped off at this point. Lay the waders on the floor with a book and some weight to make sure the patch doesn't curl up and peel off. The patch will be at full strength in about 24 hours.
Tips and warnings
- For leaks that can't be located with a flashlight, hang the waders from a tree branch or clothesline pole and fill them with water. You can usually locate a wet spot on the outside of the waders this way.
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