Finding non obvious leaks in waders - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Finding non obvious leaks in waders

"Got leaks?"

Tried alcohol spray bottle, dark room with flashlight, and inverting waders to fill it up without success?

I recently fixed two waders with a bucket method (no need to invert wader). Thought I share my results and process here.

I submerged the suspected section into a half filled bucket. With a flashlight, I could see the leak as clear as day. The deeper you submerge, the more pressure you will put on the leak, the smaller leaks you can catch.

This is nothing new, but I then mark it, and then dry it with a towel and maybe blower (or the patch adhesion will be compromised). It will be better if you can spray and wipe off rubbing alcohol on the leaking area to take care of unseen body oils and grime.

Loon's wader repair can work but will eventually crack with use. My Loon patch at the crotch lasted 2 months. Better still, Aquaseal will last longer (may outdo the self life of twinkies). I use Aquaseal on a 3 inch rip at the knee and it is bullet proof.

Downside: This one bucket method is a little clumsy since the 'walls' around the leak tends to bow and bulge, sometimes blocking sight to the leak.

This is where the second -but-smaller- bucket comes in. If you cut out the bottom, it will drop in and hold back the bulging wall. This will speed the hunting process if you have multiple disparate sections to check for leaks. Make sure the cutout edges are not sharp though.

This bucket method is especially useful for seam leaks where the alcohol method don't always reveal the torturous pathways to the inside.

I have 4 leaking waders, so 2 more to go (including a Simms G5 that got washed, water beading treatment, and alcohol bottle tested).

So far, this method has proven more successful (for me) than the other above mentioned method.

PS: I had more leaks inverting the waders and filling it up with water. The weight of the water can often cause the seams to be stretched beyond their design pressure. I felt like I was wearing a colander after this method as the seams were destroyed though not obvious at first.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 06:23 PM
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I certainly don't expect everyone to agree with me but as someone who has been steelheading in waders for over 30 years i think waders just leak. Brand new simms you get about a year maybe a little more of hard use and you start getting little leaks, leaks that leave your fleece a little damp. fix what you can and just chock the rest up to the cost of being a steelheader, wear the right stuff underneath and you'll be ok maybe a tiny bit cold but that's just steelheading..
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushiyummy View Post
"Got leaks?"

Tried alcohol spray bottle, dark room with flashlight, and inverting waders to fill it up without success?

I recently fixed two waders with a bucket method (no need to invert wader). Thought I share my results and process here.

I submerged the suspected section into a half filled bucket. With a flashlight, I could see the leak as clear as day. The deeper you submerge, the more pressure you will put on the leak, the smaller leaks you can catch.

This is nothing new, but I then mark it, and then dry it with a towel and maybe blower (or the patch adhesion will be compromised). It will be better if you can spray and wipe off rubbing alcohol on the leaking area to take care of unseen body oils and grime.

Loon's wader repair can work but will eventually crack with use. My Loon patch at the crotch lasted 2 months. Better still, Aquaseal will last longer (may outdo the self life of twinkies). I use Aquaseal on a 3 inch rip at the knee and it is bullet proof.

Downside: This one bucket method is a little clumsy since the 'walls' around the leak tends to bow and bulge, sometimes blocking sight to the leak.

This is where the second -but-smaller- bucket comes in. If you cut out the bottom, it will drop in and hold back the bulging wall. This will speed the hunting process if you have multiple disparate sections to check for leaks. Make sure the cutout edges are not sharp though.

This bucket method is especially useful for seam leaks where the alcohol method don't always reveal the torturous pathways to the inside.

I have 4 leaking waders, so 2 more to go (including a Simms G5 that got washed, water beading treatment, and alcohol bottle tested).

So far, this method has proven more successful (for me) than the other above mentioned method.

PS: I had more leaks inverting the waders and filling it up with water. The weight of the water can often cause the seams to be stretched beyond their design pressure. I felt like I was wearing a colander after this method as the seams were destroyed though not obvious at first.
So...why the flashlight? Are we to look for light? Bubbles? What gives the leak away?

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 03:12 PM
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Inquiring minds want to know. (the same question as WW).

I have a pair that I'm ready to throw out, the first pass didn't get everything.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roballen View Post
I certainly don't expect everyone to agree with me but as someone who has been steelheading in waders for over 30 years i think waders just leak. Brand new simms you get about a year maybe a little more of hard use and you start getting little leaks, leaks that leave your fleece a little damp. fix what you can and just chock the rest up to the cost of being a steelheader, wear the right stuff underneath and you'll be ok maybe a tiny bit cold but that's just steelheading..
My leaky Seal Dry latex waders gave me toe nail fungus in the late 1980s. :-( Took me decades to finally get rid of it.

If any of you have toe nail fungus, pull a chair up to the wood stove; I might have some ideas on how to get rid of it, and how to avoid having it return.

These days, I buy only expensive Gore-Tex waders with excellent warranties and service. Sometimes, the socks will get damp from hiking. I pay careful attention in case it is a leak.

As required, the waders are gently pulled inside out in order to completely and thoroughly dry. They also get occasionally washed. I have in the past lightly applied Lysol aerosol to the inner boot when still waging the epic battle with toe nail fungus. Arrrgh.

If I cannot easily fix the leak, in the waders go for warranty repair, or what is often the case, warranty replacement.


Thankfully most anglers do not understand insurance economics. They seem to have no idea whatsoever as to how they are cross-subsidizing my passion and the passion of other keen, hard-hiking, aggressive wading anglers.

°

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Ever stuck a fly in your waders?

Conservation is nothing more than the fight to save ourselves from ourselves, work that can only be done by ourselves.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sushiyummy View Post
Ever stuck a fly in your waders?
Well...not today.

Usually they wind up in the back of my rain coat.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ENSO View Post
If any of you have toe nail fungus, pull a chair up to the wood stove; I might have some ideas on how to get rid of it, and how to avoid having it return.
I'm all ears. I'm also getting toasty warm next to the stove. Tried the $$$ pills and the wife's tea tree oil treatment. Still have the fungus amongus.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Today, 12:39 AM
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Toe nail fungus strategy

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Originally Posted by Stumpy View Post
I'm all ears. I'm also getting toasty warm next to the stove. Tried the $$$ pills and the wife's tea tree oil treatment. Still have the fungus amongus.
Tea tree oil might reduce athlete's foot but seems to be ineffective for toe nail fungus. I tried it with no progress.

I would avoid pills. Potential side effects. I did Lamisil tablets twice; it beat back the fungus but did not kill it all. Lamisil can produce nasty side effects.

1. Carefully, patiently, cut, sand paper and file the infected nail way back to a very thin bed. I used an electric sander to begin with. You may prefer a slower approach. This step is absolutely key.

2. Apply Lamisil cream daily to the nail and surrounding toes. Lamisil applied topically does not appear to have the same side effects as orally ingested Lamisil (terbinafine).

If you have fungus on your foot, apply a thin film of Lamisil all over the foot.

I would also daily soak the affected toe along with the rest of the foot in vinegar. Fungus does not usually tolerate an acidic environment.

Spray the insides of your shoes, boots and wader socks with Lysol Disinfectant.

In general, keep your feet clean and dry. Think about wearing light wool socks in a sandal shoe configuration. Lose the cotton socks.

If you have diabetes or liver issues, you probably should consult a podiatrist or other qualified physician before proceeding even with just a topical application of Lamisil cream.

A few years ago, I went to see a podiatrist for plantar faciitis for an injury that resulted from scrambling down steep rip-rap rock of the kind you might find along a steelhead river near a logging road....

Nice chap from Colorado. He prescribed Lamisil cream for the observed athlete's foot and I believe that is what ultimately finished the toe nail fungus off.

Being a little crazy and desperate I might have on occasion layed down a base of DMSO gel on the infected toe nail bed before applying the Lamisil cream. DMSO is a good transport agent. It also has anti-inflammatory properties appreciated by horses and rock climbers alike. :-) You probably should not use DMSO gel unless you are literally healthy as a horse and willing to experiment.

°

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Last edited by ENSO; Today at 11:41 AM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Today, 11:51 AM
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Thanks. Will try.

Sorry for the hijack to the others!!!!
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