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|Wader Care & Repair|
Care & Cleaning of Waterproof, Breathable Garments
The outer surface of most laminated waterproof-breathable fabrics is treated with a durable water-repellent coating (DWR). This chemical treatment forces water to bead up and roll off the surface of the fabric improving the overall performance and comfort of the garment.
DWR coatings will begin to degrade after extended use and as the garment becomes soiled. The degradation will inhibit the DWR coating’s ability to bead water and cause the garment to “wet out” as the face fabric material absorbs water.
Although the garment is still waterproof, the water saturated face fabric will hinder the garments ability to breathe, increase interior condensation and produce a cold, clammy feeling for the wearer. It is important to clean your garments regularly to help avoid this situation.
How to Clean DWR-Coated Garments
Most garments can be machined washed; consult the care instruction label on the garment. Make sure to use an additive-free powdered laundry detergent or a liquid detergent designed specifically for synthetic, breathable fabrics. Do not use any detergents that contain fabric softeners or color-safe bleach.
For machine-washable items, such as stockingfoot waders and jackets, use the following cleaning agents:
For non-washable items, such as bootfoot waders, use Granger's G-Wash Spray Cleaner.
Please read and follow the instructions included with these products and the garment manufacturer’s care and cleaning directions.
How to Restore the DWR Coating
Cleaning alone may not restore the DWR coating’s effectiveness.
For a clean garment, use a cool iron or tumble dry on low to medium heat to reactivate the coating. Please follow the garment manufacturer’s recommended instructions for drying.
To reapply a DWR coating, we recommend the following products. Please be sure to read and follow the instructions for application carefully.
With basic care and maintenance, your waterproof, breathable garment(s) should provide you years of use and enjoyment.
Fly Fishing Wader Repair
Although many steps are taken to insure that Orvis waders are built to be durable, there is a possibility that over the course of a wader’s lifetime it will develop a leak or get damaged. Waders are often damaged when walking to and from you favorite fishing hot spot and are often caused by blackberry bushes, brambles, barbed-wire fences, wild roses and other assorted thorny plants. Also, as much as we don’t like to admit, we all do occasionally take a fall, which can often puncture or tear your waders.
Orvis will gladly repair your damaged waders for you. To submit a repair request, complete the Wader Repair Request Form. You will be charged $30 for all non-warranty repairs.
If you would like to repair your waders on your own, it is very simple. The procedure for repairing punctures and tears is outlined below.
The first step is to locate the puncture. Sometimes this is very apparent and can be visually determined quickly and accurately. However, in most cases you will have a general idea where the puncture is but aren’t 100% sure of its exact location. The quickest way to locate the source of the puncture is to turn your waders inside out and spray the general area of the leak with rubbing alcohol. Take your hand and spread the rubbing alcohol onto the inside fabric. Turn your waders right side out and look for a dark spot to appear on the face fabric.
Once located, mark the spot on both the outside and inside of the wader. At this point you will need to have either Aquaseal Wader Repair Kit or a tube of Aquaseal to complete the repair. Make sure the area is clean using either plain rubbing alcohol or an alcohol prep pad included in the kit.
Apply a dab of Aquaseal to completely cover the spot and extend it for about 1/8” of an inch to the outside of the wader.
Let it dry for about 12 hours (to speed drying time use Cotol) and repeat the process on the inside.
For larger punctures or punctures in high wear areas, apply a second coating of Aquaseal over the initial application. Be sure to extend the second coat 1/8” beyond the edge of the first application so that it can adequately bond to the wader.
Temporary repairs of puncture leaks can be made utilizing UV Cure Aquaseal Wader Patch 1L9L which cures in a few minutes with exposure to UV light (sunlight). However, this product is not durable enough to serve as a permanent fix. If you are out fishing and can locate a puncture leak, then this product can have you fishing again in 15 minutes and will hold up until you are able to affect a more permanent repair with regular Aquaseal.
If you tear your breathable waders, the repair process is slightly different. Locating the tear isn’t an issue, but you will need to stabilize the area by applying some tape to the inside of the wader. The Orvis Wader Repair Kit and the Aquaseal Wader Repair Kit include tape, but common duct tape will work in a pinch.
Apply the tape to the inside of the wader being sure to match the two sides of the tear together neatly.
Clean the area with alcohol and then apply enough Aquaseal to completely cover the tear and overlap by 1/8 of an inch.
Allow to dry for about 12 hours (to speed drying time use Cotol). Remove the tape from the inside of the wader and clean the area with alcohol to remove any residue left by the tape. Repeat the Aquaseal application on the inside of the wader.
For larger tears or tears in high stress areas, apply a second coating of Aquaseal over the initial application. Be sure to extend the second coat 1/8” beyond the edge of the first application so that it can adequately bond to the wader.
The waterproof tape included in the Orvis Wader Repair Kit or the Aquaseal Wader Repair Kit will facilitate a temporary repair in the field, but is not durable enough for a permanent repair.
While every effort should be made to avoid damaging your wader, punctures and tears will occur especially if you are using your waders on a regular basis. These simple repair procedures will allow you to continue to enjoy your favorite pair of waders for years.