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Re: Waders

Joined:
2010/5/28 0:25
Posts: 694
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I'm experiminting with a different seal for wader repairs. I bought it at a scuba shop. They used to carry Aquaseal, but don't anymore. It is Seal Cement neoprene cement made by McNett, and it is a lot thinner than Aquaseal. So far I like it for repairing leaky seams. And it is a big tube. I'll give a report when it is field tested by me.

Posted on: 2019/5/27 19:43
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Re: Waders

Joined:
2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1999
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Quote:

wildtrout24 wrote:
With regard to Aqua Seal..once opened you can put the tube in the freezer and reuse without it drying out...I know it doesn't help on stream but works for storing to use at a later date....just run under hot water when ready to use an open tube again.


Do you store it in the freezer?

Posted on: 2019/5/27 20:06


Re: Waders

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 1477
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Only waders I've had last at least a few years, are Simms gore tex.
Have a pair of G4Z's that are 7 years old, and still going strong.
And two pair of headwaters.
Yeah, neither are cheap. But well worth the money IMO.
I cherish my time on the water. And don't want it to be spoiled by leaky waders.

That said, I do agree that Simms warranty isn't the greatest.
Last I knew, you get one free repair within the first year of use.
After that, you will be charged for any fixes.

I've never tried Patagonia waders.
But have two pair of their wading boots and a raincoat. And have been very happy with the performance of all.
And, though I haven't had to use it, I understand that their warranty is top notch.
So, I would have no problem trying their waders down the road

Posted on: 2019/5/27 23:07


Re: Waders

Joined:
2009/5/26 8:36
From York & Starlight, PA
Posts: 897
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All waders will leak whether you spend $100 or $600. Sometimes even the $600 wader will leak sooner than you might expect for such an expensive wader. I used to buy Cabela waders and get one full season out of them with no leaks. Typically I would start getting leaks the 2nd season and if I was willing to do the leak repairs myself could get a 2nd season out of them.

You just never know about wader quality. Back in 2011 I bought a pair of Cabela's zipper waders on sale for $125. Those were pretty much the best wader I ever had. They just never leaked. I had them for four full seasons fishing 80 - 100 days a year. At the beginning of the 2015 season the zipper jumped the track and I couldn't get it back on track and I had to discard them.

Here comes a rant - leave now if you don't want to listen to a cranky old guy.

I bought my first pair of Simms waders. The Freestone model. I was unaware, at the time, that the Freestone was the only Simms wader not manufactured at the Bozeman facility. It was being made off shore. While they didn't leak I had a heck of a time getting them off. At the time (maybe it has changed) the Freestone booties were sized 9 - 11. I'm a street shoe size 11/12 depending on the shoe manufacturer.

I called Simms in Bozeman and they gave me credit for the $250 I spent on the Freestones and sold me a pair of the Headwaters in size 10 - 12 for $300. The list price was $400. So it was no real deal, but better than no deal.

I bought them on June 15, 2015. Admittedly I fish more than most guys and log 80 - 100 days a year in waders. No bush whacking but still almost 3 1/2 months in waders. The Headwaters started to leak in October on a steelhead trip. I just didn't wade that deep anymore so as not to get a wet butt. I got through the spring steelhead season and early 2019 trout season with a pair of LL Bean waist waders.

I spent $35 to ship the Headwaters to Simms in Bozeman. They had them for three weeks. They never called me, nor did they send me any emails until about the end of the 3rd week. Then I got a very short email saying my waders were being shipped back. I assumed they were repaired.

Nope, they didn't repair them at all. It appears they didn't do a damn thing but put them back in a box with a letter that said basically " We hope you have enjoyed your Simms waders and had many pleasant fishing days because we believe they have reached the end of their serviceable life and we can't repair them to our high standards".

I was able to locate the leak in five minutes and after turning them inside out and drying the wader foot I was able to repair them to my high standards within one hour. I have fished with them twice since repairing them and my foot and calf is as dry as the first day I ever wore them. I will never buy another Simms product. As soon as I repaired them (I plan on using them as my steelhead waders as I rarely wade deeper than mid thigh) I went out and ordered a pair of the Orvis convertible waders for $298. They fit fantastic and the anatomically correct left and right booties slip on, and off, better than any wader I have ever put on.

Posted on: 2019/5/28 1:58
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Re: Waders

Joined:
2013/12/8 21:26
From Granville
Posts: 1507
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Quote:

wbranch wrote:
All waders will leak whether you spend $100 or $600. Sometimes even the $600 wader will leak sooner than you might expect for such an expensive wader. I used to buy Cabela waders and get one full season out of them with no leaks. Typically I would start getting leaks the 2nd season and if I was willing to do the leak repairs myself could get a 2nd season out of them.

You just never know about wader quality. Back in 2011 I bought a pair of Cabela's zipper waders on sale for $125. Those were pretty much the best wader I ever had. They just never leaked. I had them for four full seasons fishing 80 - 100 days a year. At the beginning of the 2015 season the zipper jumped the track and I couldn't get it back on track and I had to discard them.

Here comes a rant - leave now if you don't want to listen to a cranky old guy.

I bought my first pair of Simms waders. The Freestone model. I was unaware, at the time, that the Freestone was the only Simms wader not manufactured at the Bozeman facility. It was being made off shore. While they didn't leak I had a heck of a time getting them off. At the time (maybe it has changed) the Freestone booties were sized 9 - 11. I'm a street shoe size 11/12 depending on the shoe manufacturer.

I called Simms in Bozeman and they gave me credit for the $250 I spent on the Freestones and sold me a pair of the Headwaters in size 10 - 12 for $300. The list price was $400. So it was no real deal, but better than no deal.

I bought them on June 15, 2015. Admittedly I fish more than most guys and log 80 - 100 days a year in waders. No bush whacking but still almost 3 1/2 months in waders. The Headwaters started to leak in October on a steelhead trip. I just didn't wade that deep anymore so as not to get a wet butt. I got through the spring steelhead season and early 2019 trout season with a pair of LL Bean waist waders.

I spent $35 to ship the Headwaters to Simms in Bozeman. They had them for three weeks. They never called me, nor did they send me any emails until about the end of the 3rd week. Then I got a very short email saying my waders were being shipped back. I assumed they were repaired.

Nope, they didn't repair them at all. It appears they didn't do a damn thing but put them back in a box with a letter that said basically " We hope you have enjoyed your Simms waders and had many pleasant fishing days because we believe they have reached the end of their serviceable life and we can't repair them to our high standards".

I was able to locate the leak in five minutes and after turning them inside out and drying the wader foot I was able to repair them to my high standards within one hour. I have fished with them twice since repairing them and my foot and calf is as dry as the first day I ever wore them. I will never buy another Simms product. As soon as I repaired them (I plan on using them as my steelhead waders as I rarely wade deeper than mid thigh) I went out and ordered a pair of the Orvis convertible waders for $298. They fit fantastic and the anatomically correct left and right booties slip on, and off, better than any wader I have ever put on.


Thanks for reinforcing my ideals of not wasting money on Simms..I'll stick to Bean, Cabela's, etc. But I've definitely owned more Bean waders than any other brand.

Posted on: 2019/5/28 2:36


Re: Waders

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 1477
Offline
Interesting to read RRT's and West Branches experience with Simms customer service - or lack thereof, I guess.

I have sent waders back to them for repair several times. And they always notified me - first to say that they did receive the waders.
And then again after they were"evaluated" - to let me know my options.

It still seems to me that waders made with real gore-tex, are the best.
They seem to last the longest.
And if I do poke a hole in them, I can usually easily find the leak - and make a long lasting patch.

I know that, from my hunting days - real gore-tex boots always seemed to be superior to other brands too

Posted on: 2019/5/28 7:22


Re: Waders

Joined:
2013/12/8 21:26
From Granville
Posts: 1507
Offline
The breathable wader portion is never a problem for me. Glued seams or "super-sonic" or whatever each brand calls them are also a waste. I basically never leak at the seams or stitching and if I get a hole in the breathable portion it is easily fixed with tear-aid and aquaseal. It is the neoprene bootie that is always the weak link for me..I basically always get leaks in the bootie itself first or where the bootie meets the nylon.

Posted on: 2019/5/28 8:00


Re: Waders

Joined:
2018/1/16 13:48
From Philly Suburbs
Posts: 271
Offline
I've had the Orvis Silver Sonic Convertible-Top waders for a good 3.5 years now. Beat the hell out of them time and time again - trudging through brambles, climbing rock faces, etc. and the only leak that I've had was because I slid a good 20 feet down a frozen bank and put a couple of pin holes in the side that I fixed myself. The ankle covers that pull over the ankles on the boots have holes here and there as well...but haven't torn yet. Can't complain at all about them given how much use I've gotten out of them.

I'd rather buy a middle of the road set of waders with a good warranty rather than cheap waders without a warranty. I like Orvis products because I've never had any issues getting any of their products fixed in the past via warranty. That said, all waders leak, from the cheapest of the cheap to the highest end waders.

Posted on: 2019/5/28 8:51


Re: Waders

Joined:
2011/5/3 12:22
From Morgantown, PA
Posts: 2002
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My experience is similar to everyone else's. It's not an exact science, but in general, more expensive pairs have lasted longer than el cheapo's for me. That being said, from a cost per year perspective, I find that generally you get about 1 year of leak free performance for every $100ish - a little more maybe, you spend. So if all you're looking for is leak free performance, and not comfort and features and stuff in the higher end pairs, in the long run it doesn't matter much whether you buy cheap or expensive. It all works out about the same over time.

The sweet spot for me has been LLBean Kennebec's. $250-ish, though they can be had for less if you time it right with a few of the quarterly or so storewide promo's/discounts Bean offers.

I'm on my second pair of Kennebec's, and aside from some acute pinholes as the result of multiflora rose (that's not the waders fault), they both lasted 2+ years leak free at the seams. I'm going into my third full season with the second pair now. The seams aren't weeping yet, but I feel like they're close, from visual inspection. I got a third year of use out of the first pair with minor leakage by doing repairs myself before pitching them. The Kennebec's have been relatively good on the comfort front too, cut baggier, which I like, and I seem to sweat less in them, relatively speaking, than other manufacturers I've had.

Admittedly, I've also started buying cheapo Sierra Trading Post closeouts of the brand du jour that I use as beaters on the real brushy streams. When these leak, unless it's an acute obvious tear or hole, I don't try to fix them. When the seams start to leak, I pitch them and buy another pair of whatever they have on the cheap at the time. So that's probably helped the Kennebec's last longer to some degree. Got a new pair of Kennebec's for $150 still in the box during a good sale when they were updating the model last year too.

Posted on: 2019/5/28 11:25


Re: Waders

Joined:
2018/7/9 18:18
Posts: 31
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Based on a lot of the replies I got, and the fact that today was the last day of a 20% sale, and the 1 yr. warranty I just bought LL Beans.


Posted on: 2019/5/28 11:45


Re: Waders

Joined:
2010/8/31 3:12
Posts: 362
Offline
Wader choice is always frustrating.

You spend more money, hoping for more quality and reliability, but you have no guarantee of that.

But you almost know in advance that if you buy cheaper waders, you're going to have leaks.

So you're torn mentally between spending more, and hoping, but then wishing you had spent less as soon as they leak, or spending less, and wondering if you would've stayed dry longer if you had spent more.

Danged if you do, danged if you don't...

Posted on: 2019/5/28 12:59


Re: Waders

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 1477
Offline
By the way, Simms don't have to be expensive.
I got both of my headwaters - USA made with goretex.
for $250 each on clearance on the fall.
Any decent pair of waders will cost that much

Posted on: 2019/5/28 17:57


Re: Waders

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 819
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Quote:

Swattie87 wrote:
My experience is similar to everyone else's. It's not an exact science, but in general, more expensive pairs have lasted longer than el cheapo's for me. That being said, from a cost per year perspective, I find that generally you get about 1 year of leak free performance for every $100ish - a little more maybe, you spend. .


I strongly agree with the cost per year idea. With that in mind I also like not having somewhat leaky waders EVERY year or every other year so I buy whatever Simms has in the $400 range and run them into the ground. I don't think I've ever had to aquaseal the seams in less than 3 years. Pinholes, on the other hand, are not a problem with the waders, that is a PA vegetation problem.

Posted on: 2019/5/28 18:11


Re: Waders

Joined:
2013/8/6 21:44
Posts: 742
Offline
I've had great customer service from Simms.

My g3's developed a leak late one winter. They were out of warranty. I called Simms and they said to send them back. I told them I didn't want to be out of waders being it was fishing season. They sent me loner waders free of charge and I sent mine back. I got good communication and got my old g3's back in about 3 weeks. They didn't get the leak fixed. I called and told them and they said keep the loner waders and send my old pair back to them and they'll consider it closed. That was 3 years ago and that pair is still going.

Posted on: 2019/5/28 20:59
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Re: Waders

Joined:
2010/5/28 0:25
Posts: 694
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My son and I never had leaks in the upper part of the waders. Always a seam in the neoprene booties or where the bootie meets the upper part. From that perspective, I won't complain about Cabela's waders. Added sealant once and still fishing them. My hesitation in buying them again is the 60 day warranty. And notice no one on this forum ever talks about Bass Pro Shop waders. I don't trust them with wading gear.

Posted on: 2019/5/28 21:26
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