No Leaky Boots

Discovering wader leaks is an inevitable part of fishing and hunting. But, you don’t need to suffer through a day of wet socks and pants when you can fix your boots on the spot. Assemble a patch kit of standard household items and toss it in your fishing bag or vest. You’ll make immediate repairs that will get you back in business in an hour-if not in minutes.

Patch Kit Materials and Purpose

  1. Small pouch or zip-lock bag for patch kit storage.


  2. Tube of Aquaseal for glue.


  3. Bottle of Cotol-240 to speed up dry time.


  4. Alcohol swabs for cleaning the area to be patched.


  5. Small bristle brush for spreading Aquaseal.


  6. Women’s nylons are great, flexible patch materials.


  7. Knife or straight-edge razor blade for cutting a patch or nylon.


  8. Rubber glove to keep fingers from sticking.


  9. Lighter for melting neoprene.


  10. Masking tape for holding a cut together.


Neoprene waders are the easiest to fix because rubber melts.

  1. Peel away the nylon fabric covering the neoprene with a knife or razor blade.

  2. Close the tear with a strip of masking tape on the inside of your boots.

  3. Brush away any debris.


  4. Carefully heat the neoprene around the cut with a lighter until it starts to melt.

  5. Spread the hot rubber with a coffee stirrer. Lay a bead in the cut as well as around the cut.

  6. Hold and let cool.

Breathable, Canvas or Rubber Waders typically require 24-hours to fix due to the cure-time for glue. But, if you use Aquaseal, a waterproof sealer, you can mix in an accelerant called Cotol-240 that reduces the required dry-time to an hour. Kill that time re-rigging, scouting, or eating lunch.

  1. Clean the area around the cut with an alcohol swap.


  2. Close the tear with a strip of masking tape on the inside of your boots.

  3. Cut a patch from a woman’s nylon stocking to cover the hole.


  4. Mix 1 part Cotol-240 accelerator with 3 to 4 parts Aquaseal with a coffee stirrer or brush.

  5. Spread mixture around the tear in your waders. Extend the glue 1/3 of an inch beyond the size of the patch.

  6. Place patch in the Cotol-240/Aquaseal mixture and lay flat.


  7. Apply a light additional coat of glue on top of the patch, and lay flat to dry.


For a quick fix

Loon Outdoors offers a Sun Set Super Patch or wader repair for about $8.50. Apply the product to the tear, expose to sun for 5-20 seconds, and go fishing. Comes in a ¼ ounce tube and works best on small tears or punctures. For more information on the patch.

Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at