It’s wader season

Waders are a regular part of my fall wardrobe. I have a short check list I always go through when I leave for a hunt. Gun? Check. Ammunition? Check. License? Check. I’m set, everything else is just fluff.

Since I use waders for everything from ducks to bucks, muskrats, fall steelhead and salmon, waders may be my most important “fluff.” I used to get by without them for at least some of these activities (and usually came home wet). Now, I’m thinking of adding the waders to my “A” check list to make sure I don’t ever leave home without them.

Like many outdoor products, today’s waders outperform and outlast those available years ago. My first waders were made from heavy, green rubber. The only good thing about rubber waders is that they were easy to patch. I carried a roll of electrical tape with me and could get by for a weekend or two just with the tape. Then an inner-tube patch would go on and the waders were as good as new. I never got a leak where the waders were patched.

Notice I said I “use” waders. That’s totally different than wearing waders.

Guys who only wear waders seldom have to harken back to the days when a strip of tape could stop a leak. Guys who “use” waders are confronted with leaks on a regular basis.    

Most waders come with some sort of a patching kit, usually including a couple square inches of cloth and a tube of glue. Mine should come with a couple square feet of cloth and a small bucket of glue. There are other great wader repair products available as well, some not so great and some that work better on some brands than others. If you use your waders, you’ll soon discover what’s best for you and your brand.

There are two kinds of leaks, tears and pinholes. Tears are harder to repair, but easy to locate. Pinholes are just the opposite.

Locating a pinhole leak is more art than science. My most trusted method involves a dark room and a bright flashlight. I recently heard of a method that involves soapy water, a shop vac set to “blow” and inflating the waders like a two-legged balloon.

I can’t wait to try it. It’s fall. It’s wader season. I doubt I’ll have to wait all that long.

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Michigan – Mike Schoonveld

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