You stink — It’s the wader funk | A letter to a lonely friend

by | Sep 15, 2017 | 7 comments

Dear fishing buddy,

I considered slinking away quietly from our fishing friendship. But I’ve decided to give you a chance by addressing the issue head on, because good friends are honest with each other. You smell like old sauerkraut and raw sewage. Whatever vile rot festers inside your waders has decayed down to a new level of repulsion.

The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote:
“Stink! Stank, stunk!” — Dr. Seuss (You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch)

I know that this is all mildly amusing to you. On the way home, you’ve chuckled about your rancid odor when I’ve brought it up. Your own stench is apparently something you quickly get used to, but I don’t think the rest of us do. This is different than your sweaty flip flops. It’s bad, man.

Couple tips here, from me, your buddy:

Inside Right Side

As our friend Sloop John B. says:

“Only one side of your waders matters if it’s dry or not.”

Great point, Sloop.

Please turn your waders inside out when you take them off. Every time. Hang them in the air and sunlight for a little while to kill that bacteria. No joke. A few UV rays will kill some of the nasty stuff.

Bacteria and You

Yeah, this is the disgusting part. I really don’t want to smell what happens when your bodily fluids mix with the wrong bacteria and form feculent colonies.

If you turn them inside out, your waders won’t get the stank. But clearly, you already have a bacteria problem going there. So use some Lysol. Spray the insides down with Summer Breeze scent or something. You could also try a pasty mix of baking soda and water. Spread it on the waders, let it dry, and then rinse off.

Those are low-tech solutions.

If you want to spend a couple bucks ( you didn’t mind buying those Simms G4’s) then purchase Gear Aid Revivex Odor Eliminator, and take care of the problem with a product designed to eliminate whatever wretched hell you have cooking in those waders.

** Buy Gear Aid Revivex Odor Eliminator HERE. **

 

Hey man, if you don’t believe me about all this, read these articles for some confirmation about what’s brewing down there.

Deneki: Taking Care of Your Waders

Gink and Gasoline: Fighting the Wader Funk

Hatch Magazine: What’s Living Inside Your Waders

But let’s be honest. Your waders situation may be too far gone for any of that. Maybe burn them. I don’t care, really. Just wear different waders, or wet wade the next time we hang.

Never wear those waders before you get in my truck again.

Thanks, bud.


Dom

 

Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky
T R O U T B I T T E N
domenick@troutbitten.com

 

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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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7 Comments

  1. Wader leg is the WORST. Coming back from a comp with a few buddies I learned that hatchbacks have a definite downside compared to a car with a trunk. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I stopped for fuel and had a brief taste of fresh air.

    Reply
  2. I once had some higher ups visit from Corporate. I had a van at the time and it was ideal to take us all to dinner that evening. However those in the back seats soon began to complain about a very unpleasant smell. A strong Glaswegian accent cut straight to the point letting me know in in no uncertain terms what the problem was; I had left my waders and boots in the back of the van … oops! It still makes me laugh!

    Reply
  3. Dom, While I appreciate your colorful descriptions of “wader Funk” solutions, I’m a great believer in an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure (or burning your waders periodically). As the inventor and installer of EZ-P waterproof relief zippers in hundreds of used waders, I will offer that I (and my wife) have smelled the worst of the worst when it comes to bacteria ridden urinary odors. The first thing we do when we remove the waders from their shipping box and turn them inside out on our converted pool table is to spray the entire offensive area down with isopropyl alcohol (active ingredient in hand sanitizer), then give them a shot of Fabreeze as needed. I submit that the best way to stop wader odor is to STOP Peeing in them! Of course the best way to avoid growing urine fed cultures and their resulting fumes, is to let me install an EZ-P zipper! Bill bjuniata@verizon.net

    Reply
  4. I know a friend who needs to read this little article…maybe then he’ll get the point !

    Reply
  5. I think the biggest (but not only) breathable wader stench problem is in the bootie. Neoprene obviously doesn’t breath. And since it’s a pain to turn the waders inside-out every time to clean or even dry the booties out, we don’t do it. Here’s something I came upon by accident.

    For steelhead fishing in 32 degree water, I typically wear 5 mm neoprene socks over the Darn Tough Mountaineering socks you recommend for cold weather (love them). Since I had to buy over-sized boots to accommodate them, I found the boots were too loose in warm weather unless I wore the neoprene socks. I thought they’d be way too hot, but since your feet are in the water, it’s not a problem. What I found was that it’s a piece of cake to take these booties off, invert them EVERY time (even between morning and evening trips) and quickly wash and dry them overnight whenever needed. I’ve since switched to 2 mm ankle-high neoprene socks and smaller boots for warm weather fishing. There’s no way to avoid having your feet in neoprene (except wet-wading, of course), so it’s really no less comfortable to have a second, easily removable neoprene layer in there. There’s no “breathing” going on down there either way. It’s worked well for me.

    Reply

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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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