View Full Version : Wader repair & Felt repair

04-25-2013, 10:32 PM
Hopefully just fixed a left knee leak in my LL Bean waders that I bought years ago as when they leak I take them back for a free new pair but as I won't be up to Maine until August I used some AQUA SEAL (come in a very small expensive tube) and applied it to the seam tape on the INSIDE of the waders.

Seems the little tube did not go very far but I noticed that the stuff looks incredibly similar to SOFT-TEX that comes in a huge jar that I use to cover the bodies of many flies in lieu of epoxy that turns brown after a while.

Tomorrow morning (when it light outside as the odors give you cancer in California) I plan to coat more extensively with a small brush.

Will report the results... something to consider instead of buying a pile of small tubes with virtually the same "ingredients".

On another note half the felt sole popped free on one of my Orvis wading shoes... the felt is a bit dirty and wonder what you all thought would work best to re-attach the felt sole. The base is black rubber stuff.

These boots have neoprene uppers and while not providing much support I am able to stretch it over my fused right ankle... next pair has zippers on the sides when I have the extra coin.

04-26-2013, 05:33 AM
To reattach the felt sole, make a trip to Lowe's and purchase a can of contact cement and make sure to buy the "gel" and not the liquid form. It is important to make sure it is not the water based material, you must get the solvent based material. While you are there, buy one of those cheepo foreign made paint brushes, they cost about a buck, you will just toss it after you use it to apply the cement.

Clean both surfaces as good as possible removing as much debris as possible. A wire brush is best, you do not want to use water, both surfaces must be absolutely dry. Apply the gel generously to both surfaces, make sure to coat them well. Let both surfaces tach up, you want to make sure the solvent flashes off before you apply the felt to the boot. Once it has flashed off and it both surfaces are tachy to the touch, not wet and not dry, it is time to apply the two together. Line the front or the rear up and work your way to the other end, applying as much pressure as possible at the point of contact as you are applying, use a blunt object to apply the point of contact pressure as necessary. Go over the surface a couple of time with the pressure object, your sole is now ready for use.

04-26-2013, 06:36 AM
I have dropped many soles from my wading boots and tried some crazy repairs.:rolleyes: Like flyman01 posted; the key to gluing is to have a dry and clean surface. I used rubbing alcohol and an old tooth brush to clean the sole and boot bottom. Then, I lightly scuffed them up with some fine grit sand paper.

Finally; I used underwater specific epoxy from the box stores and some duct tape to hold it tight.

After that; I applied super glue around the seam of the repair. That last repair lasted for 2-months until I could send them off for replacement.

Hope this helps.

04-26-2013, 07:20 AM
I appreciate the humor Shawn, however, as crazy as the aforementioned technique may sound to you, we do this very same application on a daily basis applying HPL to phenolic for yes, "underwater" applications. The sole on my boot came loose and fell off 3 years ago while on the SoHo, I used the processed that I outlined to reattach it and the sole remains in place to this day. It actually needs replaced since it is to the point that it is now worn out. Based on the fact that it is still in place and has not come loose at all, I will stand by this "crazy" process. Surface preparation and proper application is the key. : )

04-26-2013, 09:09 AM
Flyman, I think you may have misread Shawn's statement. He is agreeng with you that surface prep, etc.... is key, not that your method is crazy.


04-26-2013, 09:15 AM
You know Mike, you are right, my apologies Shawn, was a lack of coffee when I read it did not interpret correctly!

04-27-2013, 07:20 AM
You know Mike, you are right, my apologies Shawn, was a lack of coffee when I read it did not interpret correctly!

No worries bud. I felt that we agreed in our own ways.:smile: BTW; I am going to remember your tip the next time I drop a sole. My problem is that I usually loan or give away old boots and I do not have a back up to let my boots dry.

David Knapp
04-27-2013, 07:07 PM
Corbo, you can purchase large tubes of Aquaseal if you shop around online a bit. The price is not as bad when you buy it in such large quantities and a large tube will last quite a while. I have repaired the rain fly on my tent with Aquaseal and my current Simms waders (which I've had since 2008) have a LOT of Aquaseal down the seams since they started leaking just over a year ago. After plenty of Aquaseal, I have managed to get another season+ out of them. The large tube of Aquaseal was much cheaper than buying new waders so I think it was a good investment. I've found some good uses for the Aquaseal and always try to keep some on hand...

04-28-2013, 07:47 AM
Thanks gang!

Sunday morning and I just put the WELD-WOOD solvent based contact cement to the rubber and felt after an extremely aggressive wire brushing to both surfaces.

Pounded the sole onto the rubber with a hammer but as the edges started to lift apart I clamped down on the edges with six sets of Quick-Grip clamps.

Funny thing is I went to the Depot to get contact cement and realized I had a quart of it in my work trailer... duh... Use the stuff from time to time applying "transitions" when I install laminate flooring for the Big Orange Box and it works great.

BTW.. I install tile on floors, backsplashes and throughout bathrooms and do a wicked awesome job; also hardwood... (small "plug" if any of you need a hand with a project) LOL

Will leave clamped for at least three days... by then hopefully the rivers will clear of mud and debris and I get them wet.

I really love these shoes and hope this works.

04-28-2013, 09:18 AM
Anyone who buys Aquaseal be sure to store unused tube in the freezer so that it wont "cure" . That way you will be able to use it again for yourself or your fishing bud.

04-28-2013, 03:08 PM
good tip with the contact cement, epoxies dry hard and will crack tearing the next layer of felt off.I have used 3m 5200 fast cure with good results on felt and rubber, clean both surfaces, dry,dry and then dry some more, apply to both surfaces push together peel apart to make sure you have 100% coverage[its good to have some bleed out of all edges] clamp or tape overnight and your good to go.of course if the felt is in bad shape it most likely will happen in another layer of the material soon.

04-29-2013, 04:51 AM
Was the contact cement that you used the "Gel" formula that I mentioned in my initial response? I failed to mention it, but the reason I said to use the gel is that the liquid contact cement has a tendency to absorb into the felt where as the gel when applied generously as mentioned, creates a nice layer on the felt surface and is not absorbed into the felt. The surface that is created becomes a binding medium between the boot and the felt that is waterproof and will hold extremely well. If you used the liquid, depending on how much was absorbed into the felt, the surface contact of the adhesives may not be the same and the results may be different. Let me know how this works out!

04-29-2013, 07:01 AM
Not the Gel' it was WELD WOOD red can liquid but it is thick... I did not go to Lowe's for gel as i install hard surface flooring for the orange store, lol

I applied two heavy coats with a spatula due ro the soak in effect.

Thanks! I believe it will work and as there is a window on the Holston below Cherokee today I might wear them between 1 and 5PM.

04-30-2013, 06:37 AM
Hey; so the show repair worked wicked good yesterday; like brand new!

The wader repair was not so sucessfull.

Please pray for my brother Steve who passed away unexpectedly last night; my Mom is devestated, he was only 49 and we don't know what happened to him yet.

Looks like I will be headed up to maine in next few days and can go to LL Beans and swap out these leaking waders for a NEW FREE WADERS. I would rather have my brother though and have had leaky waders till summer.

04-30-2013, 10:34 AM
I am glad that worked for you Corbo, you and your family have my heart-felt sympathy and prayers for the loss your brother Steve. Safe travels friend to and from Maine.

04-30-2013, 12:49 PM
Sorry for your loss