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Well as it goes I think it's time to replace my breathable waders once again. Over the years I have used just about every brand out there, Simms, Orvis, Dan Bailey, Bass Pro/White river, Cabelas, and seems after about 6-7 yrs they all start to get the dreaded seam leaks in the bootie feet.

With next month being my long trip North alone I'm looking to maybe get a new pair before I leave. Prices of waders these days is just absurd ūüė¨ Looking to spend no more than $150 range. Saw the Frogtoggs "hellbender" models which look nice but that is one brand I have never owned and for some reason I am thinking I have heard some not so flattering reviews of the Frogtoggs brand...maybe I'm mistaken and it was a different brand? Can't remember for sure. Anyone own any Frogtoggs waders and have any input?

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My Frogtoggs were not very durable and seemed to tear easier than other waders that I have owned, but mind you, that was a while back and they may be different now.  I'm envious that you can get 7 years from a pair of waders.

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1 minute ago, robow7 said:

I'm envious that you can get 7 years from a pair of waders.

Well, I push it further than I should, because the last 2 yrs of a 7yr run of waders is usually fishing with soaked feet from aqua-sealed leaks ūüėĄ

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5 minutes ago, Steeldrifter said:

Well, I push it further than I should, because the last 2 yrs of a 7yr run of waders is usually fishing with soaked feet from aqua-sealed leaks ūüėĄ

Wet feet may be the result of "neoprene compression leaks"

This is when the walls of the individual air cells in the neoprene break down due to repeated cycles of compression. The air chambers then communicate with each other, and as they get larger, the walls get weaker and eventually, there is an open channel from the outside of the bootie to the inside. 

This NOT like a pinhole leak in the wader material that goes straight through. Compression leaks may have multiple channels and if you seal one opening to the other side, the pressure on the internal open chambers find another path and this leaks.

One way to visualize this is that neoprene is closed cell foam. As the walls breaks down, it gradually becomes open cell foam, and open cell foam leaks from multiple areas like a sponge.

Most compression leaks occur in the heel area of the booties. You can try finding the leak(s). OR you can try sealing the area of the heel where most compression leaks occur.

 

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Steve I have not owned Frogtoggs and can't offer an opinion about them.  A local blogger and guide mentioned on his blog that flexseal spray (available at Home Depot ect.)  will stop neoprene booty leaks.  It might be worth a shot?   

 I was recently listening to the Orvis podcast and the topic of finding holes in waders came up.  Tom Rosenbauer said the way he finds them is to turn them inside out and wet the leg/booty with dish soap and water.  He uses a shop vac setup to blow to inflate the leg just enough for bubbles to show the leak.  The same concept as finding a slow leak in a tire or inner tube.  I have been chasing leaks in waders for years and never heard of this method until now but I intend to try it when needed.

 LL Bean offers waders and they might be worth looking at because they often offer discounts on line and their warranty is good.  If you have a store nearby you might be able to check them out in person.

 

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Hang up the waders and fill each leg with about one gallon of water. Leaks will show up. FWIW, talked with the owners of a fly shop about zipper waders. Their opinion is that they will leak eventually. Good idea but not practical.

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I have had two pairs of Frogg Toggs waders; one was the Hellbender; the other was a different model. Both performed quite well for the price. My son is currently using the Hellbender and is having good luck with them.

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4 hours ago, DFoster said:

Steve I have not owned Frogtoggs and can't offer an opinion about them.  A local blogger and guide mentioned on his blog that flexseal spray (available at Home Depot ect.)  will stop neoprene booty leaks.  It might be worth a shot?   

 I was recently listening to the Orvis podcast and the topic of finding holes in waders came up.  Tom Rosenbauer said the way he finds them is to turn them inside out and wet the leg/booty with dish soap and water.  He uses a shop vac setup to blow to inflate the leg just enough for bubbles to show the leak.  The same concept as finding a slow leak in a tire or inner tube.  I have been chasing leaks in waders for years and never heard of this method until now but I intend to try it when needed.

 LL Bean offers waders and they might be worth looking at because they often offer discounts on line and their warranty is good.  If you have a store nearby you might be able to check them out in person.

 

I fill a bathtub with water.  Get a grease pencil.

Turn the waders inside out. Grab the waders with both hand just above the waist. Bring you hands together so you compress the waders and you can BLOW into the waders to inflate them. Then twist at the waist to keep the air in the waders.

Submerge the waders under the water and you will see air bubbles leaking out. Circle the leaks with the grease pencil.

Allow the waders to dry. Seal the waders with a coating of Aquaseal. The Aquaseal patches will be on the inside of the waders and the outside will look unpatched.

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All waders leak. I’ve never had a pair of waders last 6-7 years. If I did, I would replace those with the same brand. I’ve heard frog toggs had little to no durability so I’ve never purchased a pair. 

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2 hours ago, Bryon Anderson said:

I have had two pairs of Frogg Toggs waders; one was the Hellbender

The Hellbender was one of the Frogtoggs I was looking at. The other was their Pilot II model.

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The only pair of waders from which I ever got more than 3-4 seasons' wear was a pair from the Cabela's "Bargain Cave" that I paid $40 for. Go figure! My current Simms Freestone (? I think? It's the mid-range, $279 wader) is on its 3rd or 4th season and going strong. Of course, ever since I got a fishing Kayak (2014) I've spent far fewer days per season in waders than I did prior to that.

My point (I DO have one LOL) is that waders seem to be a total crapshoot. There are so many variables that go into determining how long they'll last any individual user that it's practically impossible to predict return on investment, IMO. 

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Just got back with some new waders. Picked up some of these for $159. Actually seem pretty nice for the price, and fit me well. Long as they get me through this season and next that will be good enough

https://www.sportsmans.com/footwear-outdoor-casual-men-women-youth/mens-outdoor/waders-wading-boots/fishing-waders/lost-creek-mens-lx-fishing-waders/p/p59418

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