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Old 09-15-2012, 05:16 PM
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Default Wader Care Necessary?

I got 5mm Neoprene Waders, and the instruction suggest "Armor All" or other "rubber protectant" prior to each use.

Armor All, so far as I can tell, comes only in a manual pump bottle. What a bother!

Is it really necessary to protect the Neoprenes this way?


Also, if this is true, what are other "rubber protectant" products which do the same function.

Are Neoprenes made from PVC? I think I read something that suggested that.

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What material are the Breathable's made of? Do they need a "protectant" spray?
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Wader Care Necessary?

Hi Bruce,

That's a new one on me, I used neoprene waders for many years and still have a couple pair for this time of year. Never heard of treating them, maybe someone else will bring us up to speed.

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Old 09-15-2012, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Wader Care Necessary?

My experience with Neo's is spot on with what Ard had mentioned. I never did anything to treat them. Mine were bootfoot and the seal came loose right at the boot after years of hard use.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Wader Care Necessary?

Yeah, the suggestion of any sort of care product on Neos is interesting. I've never heard any such thing in all my years wearing wetsuits for scuba diving or surfing, and they're the same material. I could see there being some harm in treating them with a likely toxic substance in areas that will then be submerged in waterways with resources we'd like to protect, however...

As far as breathables, Simms are made from goretex, while the other brands are made from similar materials. You stand a better chance of damaging them by adding anything but aquaseal or other repair products when they are already damaged in some way.

However, like Ard said, maybe somebody out there has the down-low on this one and can bring the rest of us up to speed?
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: Wader Care Necessary?

And Aqua Seal is bar none the best stuff on earth to repair waders with. Less is more with that stuff as you apply it. There are alternatives, but I've seen the results and still say Aqua Seal is the best.

Forgot to mention, it's always a good idea to hang up waders and dry them from the inside out as well as the outside. I let mine dry probably 2 days after a weekend trip. There are days where I go to use them the next day and the outside never dries. That's OK because that means I'm on the water!

I treat them with revived once a year in order to energize the DWR, that stuff is highly recommended too. Although the bottle says Gore Tex, I've found good results with any type of breathable fabric.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Wader Care Necessary?

I hang mine and have since I bought them years ago at Gander Mountain for duck hunting puddlers on some back country streams.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Wader Care Necessary?

As far as I know, neoprene waders require no surface treatments. Store them out of the sun and way from electric motors (they create ozone) to prevent cracking. Also do not store them with a crease, ie, do not fold them up. Hang them or roll them up and put into a garbage bag to protect against ozone. If you get wet feet it could be what is know as a "compression leak" This is not actually a hole in the waders but a gradual wetness from water seeping through the compressed neoprene whose bubbles have burst. The neoprene has worn out.

The Orvis Guide to Tackle Care and Repair: Solid Advice for In-Field or At ... - Ted Leeson - Google Books

Breathable waders do need annual renewal of their DWR with Nikwax TX spray or other method of renewal. The DWR causes the water to bead up on the waders so that the waders can breath. When the DWR wears out the water coats the waders. The waders don't leak. The waders cannot "breath", and you will get condensation in the waders. Your pants and socks will be damp. This is known as "wet out".

Rainwear: Durable Water Repellent (DWR) Care
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