Wader Longevity

turkey

turkey

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Jun 8, 2008
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Good evening. I'm posting to inquire about your experiences with wader longevity.
  1. How do most waders fail?
  2. Is there a viable way to boost the wader's ability to repel water?
  3. Waders may be durable goods but they do have a lifespan. What's the happy medium on price and function/duty life these days?
Just curious about other's experiences. Thanks.
 
L

lycoflyfisher

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Do not wear jeans under you waders. Make sure they fit you, so you are not stretching seems if too small, or increasing abrasion if legs are too big.

Do not leave waders in your hot car and hang for storage.

Just some care tips I have learned.
 
P

poopdeck

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1. Pulling on seams, stones, sand and grit getting in boot wearing foot, pickers, sticks etc…
2. ?
3. $150/3 years
 
silverfox

silverfox

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Good evening. I'm posting to inquire about your experiences with wader longevity.
  1. How do most waders fail?
  2. Is there a viable way to boost the wader's ability to repel water?
  3. Waders may be durable goods but they do have a lifespan. What's the happy medium on price and function/duty life these days?
Just curious about other's experiences. Thanks.
1. Based on several brands and pretty much every model of those brands over the last few years, usually at the seam between the neoprene boot and the gortex. I've had a few of one brand's fail in the crotch. I've had some fail out of the box at the boot/gortex seam. For my personal waders, they fail because of thorn punctures (my fault because of where/how I fish). I used to try to patch them, but it's just a futile exercise in my experience.
2. Clean them per manufacturer instructions.
3. This is all over the place in my experience. Depends on how much you use them, how you use them, and how you take care of them. I personally use mid/top-range waders because I've had the top-end ones fail as frequently as the mid-range ones. About a season is typical for me.
 
wildtrout2

wildtrout2

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Do not wear jeans under you waders. Make sure they fit you, so you are not stretching seems if too small, or increasing abrasion if legs are too big.

Do not leave waders in your hot car and hang for storage.

Just some care tips I have learned.
Agree with the above. I always hang my waders when being stored. Also, store out of direct sun light.
 
Bamboozle

Bamboozle

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Good evening. I'm posting to inquire about your experiences with wader longevity.
  1. How do most waders fail?
  2. Is there a viable way to boost the wader's ability to repel water?
  3. Waders may be durable goods but they do have a lifespan. What's the happy medium on price and function/duty life these days?
Just curious about other's experiences. Thanks.
Many good suggestions and information, especially:
...Make sure they fit you, so you are not stretching seems if too small, or increasing abrasion if legs are too big...
Unfortunately, many waders today (and not because I am older & fatter ;) ) have a much tighter fit, especially in the lower leg area resembling skinny jeans.

For that reason, do your best to try brands on first before buying unless you have really skinny legs.

In regards to #2; all breathable fabrics get a Durable Water Resistant (DWR) treatment applied to the fabric at the time of manufacture.

For maximum water repellancy and breathability, it is vital that you renew that DWR treatment occasionally with any of the quality DWR products out there like Gear Aid Revivex, Nikwax TX Spray-On or Nikwax TX Direct Wash-In.

However you want to protect your investment...

Renewing the DWR is best done to clean waders so the first step (NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE TELLS YOU) is to contact the manufacturer of YOUR waders and ASK THE MANUFACTURER what method of washing & what detergent they recommend, what DWR products they recommend and IF doing any of what I suggest will void any warranty coverage on their waders.

I mention this because Simms at one time only recommended hand washing of their waders while other manufacturers were OK with machine washing so it's better to be safe than sorry.

Bottom line, if you take the other suggestions made and renew you DWR occasionally you'll have longer lasting waders that repel water like they were new.

Good luck!
 
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allan_s

allan_s

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Jan 27, 2013
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If it doesn't have a gusset then they won't last long. Simms seems to have it figured out and my G3s are on their third season with zero issues.

I always thought Orvis waders fit me well but they were designed poorly, for anyone that walks anyway, and the lack of a gusset in the crotch would essentially mean total destruction within one season.
 
littlej243

littlej243

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Mar 29, 2011
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There are a lot of good tips above. I would like to add that even though it's very likely that the outside of your waders are much wetter than the inside. You actually want to turn them inside out and dry the inside first. Usually doesn't take long at all because they are typically only damp. Then turn them right side out and hang to dry. I know this was Simms advice for many years, may still be.
 
turkey

turkey

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Excellent experiences and advice from everyone. Thank you very much.

I've been wearing breathables for about 14 years. I noticed that my legs seem more damp than they used to with my current waders. I was considering retreating with DWR but also pondering new waders.

Sincere thanks for all of the information.
 
tomgamber

tomgamber

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Location
Greensburg, PA
Longest lasting waders I ever had were "cheap" Proline. I've gone through 4 or 5 pair since then.
 
S

Sylvaneous

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I've had some pin holes in the front, usually above the reinforcement. The crotch wears on mine and gets what I call "Leak Adjacent". It gets a lot of back-and-forth pulling and wear with any walking or stepping motion compared to any other part, so that seems reasonable. NOw that I live in the NWPA, my stuff lasts longer. When I was in Bethlehem, I fished Monocacy, Saucon, Bushkill Little Lehigh, Cedar and Trout run all the time and that wears on everything: line, waders, boots. And that doesn't include frequent trips to Penns and Fishing Creek. FYI: Those were Simms GuideWeights and the similar.
 
krayfish2

krayfish2

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After their 13th season, I'm afraid I'm going to have to retire the current G3 waders and replace with the pair I got on closeout 5-6 years ago. Wasn't expecting them to last as long as they did. Very small pin hole leak in the crotch which isn't too bad but the smell is unbearable. They've been hand washed inside and out many times but the stank is now imbedded for good. I've worn everything from long johns and fleece to underwear with no socks over the years. I've pulled them off on the porch and the guy next to me has asked "who sh*t themselves?" 😳🤣🤣

I hang after each use and wash 2 times a year which I credit for the long lifespan.
 
D

dryflyguy

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Sep 21, 2006
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If I get 3-5 years out of waders, I'm happy with that.
And Simms are the only brand that have lasted that long for me.
In fact, I have a pair of G4Z's that are ten years old, and still usable.

Seems to me, that waders made of real Gore Tex are better.
And when they do spring leaks - which they all will eventually - I can usually locate the problem, and repair it myself.

Most leaks are pinholes or punctures. Caused by hazards along the streams that are pretty much unavoidable.

I do take care of them.
After every fishing trip, I hose them off. And hang them up to dry.
Also hang them on hooks in the basement for storage, when they're not being used
 
pcray1231

pcray1231

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With several brands, I went through a streak of $100/year. Buy a $100 pair of waders, they lasted 1 year. A $300 pair lasted 3, etc.

Simms G3's beat the curve, at $500ish they lasted me I think 8 years. That said, the secret was mostly in repairing pinholes. The alcohol trick to find tiny pinholes does NOT work on all brands, but it does work on them. So after I counted 223 aquaseal patches, sprayed on some alcohol this winter and saw I was gonna need a few dozen more, I finally gave in and bought a new pair.

That also answers how my waders fail. Tiny pinholes. Likely briars. As the material ages they get more frequent. 100 tiny leaks = leaky waders. You keep trying to plug em up and then you have non-breathable waders made of aquaseal after a few years.
 
J

JeffK

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I have a 5+ year old pair of Simms Tributary waders that was starting to leak in a number of places. Based on comments here I washed and DWR treated them in a machine using Nikwax products (Simms recommended) and the leaks are gone for now. In addition, the material has a softer, silkier feel and they are easier to get on and off. They smell better too.

Saved me buying a new pair for now.
 
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bdhoover77

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Towson, Maryland
Has anyone had an issue with the tape covering the seams of the stocking feet de-laminating? I have a pair of Simms Freestone waders that I bought last summer and that has been happening. They are not leaking, but I don‘t want it to become a big problem. I am thinking of trying to apply Aquaseal to re-laminate the tape on the feet.
 
Nymph-wristed

Nymph-wristed

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I agree with much above. However, it bears saying that counting wader life in years and not trips is not really revealing. I fish close to 100 times per year in the same waders, which might be the average guy's four years, for example, so if my G3's lasted 8 or 13 years, it would be a miracle!

I agree that Simms beat the curve and may be worth the money if you fish a lot. They last about 2 years fishing a lot of small, brushy cricks before pinholes or the neoprene needing attention. I also aquaseal a few of those unavoidable pinholes once or twice a year.
 
salmonoid

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Has anyone had an issue with the tape covering the seams of the stocking feet de-laminating? I have a pair of Simms Freestone waders that I bought last summer and that has been happening. They are not leaking, but I don‘t want it to become a big problem. I am thinking of trying to apply Aquaseal to re-laminate the tape on the feet.
I have a pair of Patagonia Rio Gallegos and the tape is coming off the inside of the feet. They do leak now and my understanding is that the tape is something that is heat applied. You can probably defer leaking a bit with Aquaseal, but be careful on how you apply it. You might create some uncomfortable booties. I'd contact Simms to see about a repair, especially if you only bought them last summer.

Regardless of price, I've come to the conclusion that all waders will inevitably leak, regardless of price, and so it's hard for me to shell out full price for something that will last just a few weeks or months more than something that is a fraction of the price. I got the Rio Gallegos at a pretty decent closeout price, but they leaked on the first outing. I initially chalked it up to it being a really warm Christmas Eve day when I first fished with them, but later found that wasn't the case, and should have filed a warranty claim with Patagonia. I'll still probably send them in for repair, as I like the kneepads and wool booties features. Repairs are probably the only thing you get with more expensive waders vs. cheaper ones.
 
pcray1231

pcray1231

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Repairs are probably the only thing you get with more expensive waders vs. cheaper ones.
I wouldn't say only. Better seams, the ability to repair pinholes, and more sizing options to fit odd shaped people, lol.

But those 3 things combined will make a pair of waders last 5x as long.
 
J

JeffK

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The tape on my boot seams is also coming off - the adhesive aged to some brittle mess. I tried to glue them back with Aquaseal but was unsuccessful. The neoprene sucks in the glue so little is left on the surface and the curves of the seams made it hard to hold it while the glue was drying. Stuck in a few spots, but doesn't leak so I am not worried.
 
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