How to Patch Neoprene Waders

by C.L. Rease
Waders keep you dry while fly fishing.

Waders keep you dry while fly fishing.

Neoprene waders keep you dry and protect your legs and chest from cold water. Water will enter your waders through every puncture and tear. Finding and repairing leaks before heading out for a day of fishing will save you the headache of soaked clothing or the dangers of hypothermia. Keeping repair materials on hand while fishing will allow you to repair your neoprene waders in the event of damage during your day of fishing.

Locate the puncture or tear by rolling up the neoprene waders. Push the waders into water. Follow the trail of air bubbles to the leak. Unroll the waders with the damaged area facing up.

Sand the damaged area lightly to roughen the surface.

Pour acetone on a clean rag. Wipe the roughened area with the acetone and clean rag to remove oil and wax from the surface of the waders.

Dry the back of the damaged area with a clean rag.

Place a piece of cellophane tape on the back of the damaged area.

Seal the damaged area. Fill the hole and a 1/4-inch area around it with patch adhesive. Cut a neoprene patch to size with a pair of scissors.

Apply sealer into the back of the cut patch.

Press the patch firmly over the damaged area. Wipe excess adhesive from around the patch with a clean rag.

Allow the patch to cure for the time specified by the repair kit manufacturer.

Items you will need

  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Acetone
  • Clean rag
  • Cellophane tape
  • Neoprene repair kit
  • Scissors

Photo Credits

  • Foggy Morning Flyfishing image by Joyce Wilkes from