I always tell people, there are only two types of waders, new waders, and leaky waders. Putting on a fresh new pair of waders is great, but with the price of them, it is not an event most of us can justify experiencing often. The solution? Make the waders you currently have last! First things first, no pair of waders will last you forever. Anything that you use regularly is going to have an expiration date, especially if you are using it in rough conditions. But there are some easy steps you can take to help extend the life expectancy of a pair of waders.
- Dry them out! I am not talking about just the outside here, you need to be regularly drying out the inside of your waders as well. After every trip, I turn my waders inside out. This allows the moisture that forms inside (sweat, pin hole leaks, etc) to dry. Ignore this step and the moisture will turn to mildew which can break down the breathable wader material.
- Store waders by hanging them. Don’t leave them all curled up in your truck. After you have completed step 1 and dried them out, leave them hanging upright. Also, avoid leaving them hanging in the sun. Obviously you plan on fishing on sunny days but unnecessary exposure to UV rays will cause the wader materials to slowly breakdown. This will greatly shorten the life of your new $700 pair of G4’s.
- When traveling, the best way to pack waders is by rolling them, not folding them. The more you fold something, the more it weakens. Another added benefit of rolling waders are if the neoprene boots are wet, start rolling there and they will be covered and not get the other items in your bag wet.
- Wash your waders. Little bits of dirt and sand particles will accumulate on your waders and cut or wear down the fabric. Be sure to regularly wash your waders by hand with a mild detergent or soap.
- When you get a new pair of waders, make sure they fit you correctly. Waders that are too small will cause unnecessary stress on the welded seams or neoprene boots which can shorten their life expectancy. Waders that are too big can lead to extra folding of the excess fabric which is also no bueno.
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