As a cold water angler, a reliable pair of waders is an invaluable investment. However, considering the substantial cost of premium waders these days—often exceeding R10 000 —it’s essential to take proper care of them. While waders will eventually wear out, following a few maintenance practices can significantly prolong their lifespan. Let’s explore some valuable tips to help you get the most out of your investment.
- Optimal Fit: From the start, ensure you purchase waders that fit you well. Ill-fitting waders can lead to excessive fabric folding over time, causing stress points to break down. Invest in the right body and stocking foot size to minimize unnecessary strain.
- Thorough Drying: After a day on the water, we often hang our waders to dry. However, it’s crucial to remember that moisture accumulates on the inside, even though the waders are breathable. This moisture can result in mildew formation and the breakdown of the breathable membrane. Turn your waders inside out to allow the interior to dry completely. Remember not to close to the fire!
- Roll Instead of Fold: When traveling with waders, avoid folding them, as it causes stress along crease points that can weaken the fabric over time. Instead, roll them up from the feet upwards to minimize strain.
- Proper Storage: Whenever possible, store your waders by hanging them upright or laying them flat on the ground, such as under a bed. This storage method helps maintain their shape and prevents unnecessary stress on the materials.
- Shield from Sunlight: Direct sunlight is harmful to waders, as UV rays can degrade the durable water repellent (DWR) coating and other waterproof finishes. When drying your waders, keep them out of direct sunlight to preserve their longevity.
- Rinse off Saltwater: If you frequently use your waders in saltwater or brackish environments, it’s crucial to rinse them thoroughly with fresh water after each use. Saltwater is highly corrosive and can damage the waders, especially areas with zippers.
- Be mindful of where you walk. We know its hard when the fish are rising or after a couple of cold ones on the water but trust us! Bramble and barbed wire fenses are not your waders friend.
- Fix Leaks as soon as you can. Keep a tube of Stormsure Adhesive in your tackle bag and fix any leaks you get as soon as you can! Leaks will often grow and expand down seams. Finding and fixing them early will not only save you wet socks but it may help your waders last that little bit longer……
By following these essential tips, you can maximize the lifespan of your waders and get the most out of your investment. Remember to prioritize a proper fit, thorough drying, careful storage, gentle handwashing, and protection from sunlight and saltwater. With these maintenance practices in place, your waders will continue to serve you well on your fishing adventures for years to come. Happy angling!
A couple products to keep your waders in tip-top shape