Holes in your jeans is a fashion statement today. Holes in your fishing boots and waders is not! Nothing is worse than trying to fish wearing leaky boots. If it is a cold day, your time on, in, the water will become more limited.
We work hard for our free time to fish. Once on the water, we want to relax and enjoy the sounds of the water, not the feel of it seeping into your old and worn out boots.
Boots leak for many reasons. Tears, busted seams, punctures, poor designs, cheapo to begin with, or they are just worn out. Boots now come in stocking or boot foot styles. The stocking feet will be more protected by the outer boot.
Take care of your boots and they will last longer. Most decent boots and waders may last a decade. If they last longer, you are not fishing enough. Avoid barbed wire, briars, sharp sticks and cactus. Use your knees if the boots have extra pads or protection. I have yet to find a pair of boots with a zipper that keeps water out. Store your boots, so they can completely dry after every use. Keep the boots out of the damaging sun, when not using.
Now is the time to check your boots for any surprises. Trust me, you would rather find a leak now than on opening day.
Today’s waders are made from many materials. Back in the day, Rubber Boots were the ticket. Then Hodgeman came out with waterproof canvas boots. Many other synthetic blends, neoprene, and other lightweight fabrics are also available. Here are some suggestions on how to find leaks.
Finding the leak is half the battle. Once you locate the damaged area, use the brands suggested repair kits and methods for the fix. If you are in a remote area with limited supplies, try using duct tape covered in GOOP silicon sealer. It won’t be pretty, but it will work until you can make a real repair.
Start by inspecting your boots. Most leaks happen in the boot, knee, seams, or crotch. Look for abrasions, punctures, and tears. Mark them with some chalk, a piece of tape, or a wax marker, and repair them.
If you have those stealthy slow pin hole leaks, try filling the boots with water. They get wet anyhow. Have the waders or boots hanging up and look immediately when adding the water. When you see and external wet spot, it is a pin hole. Mark them quickly and dump the water. Hang your boots upside down so they can properly dry. They also make wader detergents that will remove that lovely stinky fisherman sweat stench from your boots.
If your boots are trashed, do some homework and buy a new pair that fits your body and needs. Hunters require a sturdier, heavier boot or wader. If you fish in nicer weather, insulation is not a concern. One thing for sure, you get what you pay for. Cheap boots are cheap boots.
The only downside of wearing new, dry, and fresh smelling waders is that other fishermen will not be so afraid to get closer. You may also stay longer and later on the water, since you are so comfortable and dry.
For more Montana Grant, find him dry and smelling great at www.montanagrantfishing.com.