Proper care of your boots and waders is essential for fly anglers to protect and to prolong the life of these important fly fishing tools. Over a period of time if you don’t take proper care of your boots and waders they will start to deteriorate. Your waders will begin to smell, become moldy and those pin holes become real leaks. After a long day on wading in the river many if not most anglers will hang or lay out their waders to dry. This is not good enough. Drying your waders is a two part job. After use, your waders should be turned inside out so the inside will dry first. If your waders are performing well they should not be wet with water but will be wet with sweat. If you neglect to dry the inside of your waders they will take on a smell that will turn up any noise. Trust me that smell will not go away. In high humidity areas this can even cause mold. After the inside of your waders have dried turn them back out and dry the exterior and stow away loose. For those nagging pin holes simply use Aqua Seal hole repair on them and you are ready for your next trip.
Wading boots need care too. It still amazes me after all the years I’ve been fly fishing how many anglers when they remove their boots and waders they just throw them in the back of their cars or in the back of their trucks and drive off. A few simple steps will make it easier to use your boots again and keep them around for a while longer. When you are done fishing and have removed your boots and waders and are packing up, take your boots back down to the river and give them a quick scrub down to remove all the mud and gravel from both the outside and the inside. Next spread open the laces and open the boot up for easy drying. When boots dry they will shrink and may make it difficult when dry to put on again. If you open them up for drying they will hold that shape and you should be able to just slip into them. If you don’t wash out the gravel that you accumulate inside your boots you will be rubbing your waders inside your boots on sandpaper all day. The more you use your boots the more gravel your boot will accumulate eventually affecting the health of your waders. Last, dry your boots if possible in the sun asthis will prevent any mold or mildew from forming. If you can’t dry them in the sun then dry them indoors in a dry location.