What to Do With Old Fishing Waders

What to Do With Old Fishing Waders: 14 Creative Ideas for Reuse

Don’t throw away old fishing waders that are no longer suitable for their original use. Instead, consider some eco-friendly and creative ways to repurpose or recycle them.

One option is to check with local recycling centers or outdoor gear manufacturers for a recycling program for used waders. The environment benefits from recycling because it reduces waste.

If you’re feeling crafty, try some upcycling projects. Use the waders’ fabric to make wallets, coin purses, or tote bags. The durable material can be put to great use in various DIY projects, and you’ll have unique and functional items.

There are also a number of ideas to consider. Here we will discuss all possible ways to reuse your old fishing waders.

What to Do With Old Fishing Waders: Creative Ideas for Repurposing Old Fishing Waders

There are many things you can do with your old fishing waders. The following are among them:

  • Recycling
  • DIY Wading Belt
  • Neoprene Socks for Winter
  • Hip Waders
  • Thigh-High Booties
  • Protective Bags and Pouches
  • Boat and Box Liners
  • Spool Straps, Rod Storage, and Net Holders
  • Glasses Croakies
  • Wader Shorts
  • Rain Pants
  • Straps for Gear
  • Waterproof Phone Pouches
  • Box and Boat Lines

Let’s take a closer look at the ways in which fishing waders can be utilized so that you will be able to do so effectively.

1. Recycling

You can consider checking with your local recycling center or outdoor gear manufacturer to see if they accept old fishing waders for recycling. Recycling your old fishing waders helps protect the environment and reduces waste.

By recycling, you can ensure that the materials from your old waders are repurposed and used again rather than ending up in a landfill.

2. DIY Wading Belt

You can make a wading belt using the old fishing waders you have. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Gather your materials: You’ll need a sewing machine or a needle and thread, scissors, and of course, your old fishing waders.
  • Prepare the straps: Cut off the front ends of the shoulder straps, leaving only the back ends to work with.
  • Sew the straps together: Fold the back ends of the straps over each other and sew them securely. Make sure to reinforce the stitching to ensure durability.
  • Customize your belt: You can add a buckle or adjust the length of the belt to fit your waist comfortably.

This simple DIY project repurposes the sturdy nylon webbing of fishing waders, providing anglers with a practical accessory for their fishing endeavors.

3. Neoprene Socks for Winter

You can keep your feet warm during cold weather fishing by repurposing old neoprene fishing waders with booties into insulated socks. Cut off the feet of your old waders, leaving just the booties intact.

These neoprene booties provide excellent insulation and can be used as an additional layer of warmth during chilly fishing trips.

Simply slip them on over your regular socks or wear them with fishing pants and wading boots for added protection and comfort.

The neoprene material is known for its insulating properties, keeping your feet cozy and preventing heat loss.

This DIY project is a practical and cost-effective way to make the most out of your old fishing gear while ensuring that your feet stay warm and comfortable during those cold winter fishing adventures.

4. Hip Waders

Cutting the upper portion of your old fishing waders above the waist and securing them with an elastic band will allow you to transform them into functional hip pants.

This simple DIY project allows you to reuse old waders that are still in good condition and don’t leak. Here’s how you can turn them into hip waders:

  • Cut above the waist: Use sharp scissors to cut the waders above the waistline, removing the upper portion.
  • Secure with an elastic band: Take an elastic band and stretch it around your waist, then attach it to the cut edge of the waders. This will create a snug fit and keep the hip waders in place.

Now you have a pair of hip pants that can be used for various outdoor activities like fishing, gardening, or even just walking through wet terrain. They provide protection and flexibility, making them a practical choice for any adventure.

5. Thigh-High Booties

If you’re looking for a practical solution for your old fishing waders, consider turning them into thigh-high booties.

By cutting your waders below the crotch, you can convert them into neoprene sleeves that offer greater versatility. These thigh-high booties are ideal for anglers who need to navigate shallow waters or protect their legs in rugged terrains.

6. Protective Bags and Pouches

Protective Bags and Pouches

Transforming your neoprene fishing waders into protective bags and pouches can provide a practical solution for keeping your valuable items safe while out on the water. Not only does repurposing your old waders help reduce waste, but it also gives you functional storage options.

Here are three ideas to get you started:

  • Camera Bag: Cut out the knee areas of your waders and sew them together to create a sturdy and waterproof bag for your camera. This will protect your gear from water splashes and accidental drops.
  • Spare Reel Pouch: Use the knee areas again to make a protective pouch for your spare reels. Add a zipper or snap closure for easy access and secure storage. This will keep your reels safe from scratches and other damages.
  • Chest Pocket Organizer: Don’t discard the chest pocket! Cut it out, attach it to another bag, or use it separately as a functional pouch. This additional storage space is perfect for small items like keys, lures, or even a phone.

7. Boat and Box Liners

Lining trays in an aluminum drift boat with neoprene pieces from old waders can help reduce noise and prevent the scuffing of lures.

By attaching these neoprene pieces to the bottom of tackle and lead boxes, you can also prevent sliding and scuffing, ensuring the longevity of your fishing gear.

The soft and durable material of neoprene provides excellent protection and cushioning, minimizing any potential damage.

Using these boat and box liners is a practical and effective way to take care of your equipment.

Not only will it keep your gear in top shape, but it will also enhance your fishing experience by reducing any unwanted noise and ensuring that your lures remain in pristine condition.

8. Spool Straps, Rod Storage, and Net Holders

To secure your fishing line spools, spinning reels, and net handles, simply cut strips from your old neoprene waders and use them as straps. This ingenious solution repurposes your old fishing gear and provides practical functionality.

Neoprene, known for its durability and water resistance, makes for excellent straps to hold your equipment securely. You can easily adjust the length by cutting the waders into strips to suit your needs.

Also, consider using pop-can tabs as buckles to create convenient rod wraps and storage. These tabs make for simple, effective closures that keep your rods organized and protected.

9. Glasses Croakies

Using neoprene strips from your old fishing waders, you can create a comfortable and adjustable strap for your fishing glasses (Croakies).

Add small loops at the ends and an optional pop-can tab in the middle. This DIY solution allows you to repurpose your old waders and create a useful accessory for your fishing gear. Here’s how to make it:

  • Cut a 32′ strip of neoprene from your old waders.
  • Sew small loops at each end of the strip to securely hold your glasses.
  • Optional: insert a pop-can tab in the middle of the strip for adjustable tightening, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit.

10. Wader Shorts

Repurposing old waders can create comfortable and protective wader shorts for warm-weather fishing. By cutting your old fishing waders at the desired length, you can transform them into shorts that provide both comfort and functionality.

These wader shorts are perfect for those hot summer days when full waders would be too cumbersome. Not only do they allow for better mobility, but they also offer protection from the elements, such as sharp rocks or unexpected splashes.

The durable material of the waders ensures that your shorts will withstand the wear and tear of fishing adventures. Additionally, the pockets on the wader shorts provide convenient storage for small fishing essentials, keeping them within reach at all times.

11. Rain Pants

You can make rain pants from old fishing waders to stay dry and comfortable during rainy fishing days. Cut off your old waders’ feet and transform them into practical rain pants that will protect you from the elements.

These DIY rain pants are a quick and easy project for any angler. The waterproof and wind-resistant material of the waders will keep you dry and shielded from the wind, ensuring that you can enjoy your fishing adventures even on the wettest of days.

12. Straps for Gear

To secure your gear during fishing trips, try crafting straps from neoprene material found in your old waders. These DIY straps provide a convenient and organized way to securely hold your spools, rods, and nets.

By repurposing your old fishing waders, you not only save money but also help reduce waste. The neoprene material is durable and water-resistant, making it perfect for outdoor activities like fishing.

To create these straps, simply cut the neoprene into strips and sew them together to form a loop. Attach Velcro or a buckle to one end for adjustable length.

13. Waterproof Phone Pouches

Waterproof Phone Pouches

Crafting waterproof phone pouches by sewing together the knee areas of used waders provides a practical solution for keeping electronic devices safe and dry during outdoor activities.

Instead of letting your old fishing waders gather dust, repurpose them into a useful accessory that will protect your phone from water damage.

The knee areas of waders are typically reinforced and made from waterproof materials, making them ideal for creating phone pouches.

You can transform your old waders into a durable, reliable protective case with just a few simple stitches.

14. Box and Boat Lines

Use the material from your old waders to create box and boat lines, protecting your gear from scuffing and keeping it in good condition. Repurposing your old fishing waders is not only practical but also environmentally friendly.

By cutting the waders open and utilizing the material, you can easily fashion box and boat lines that will safeguard your lures and prevent them from scratching surfaces like aluminum.

These lines act as a protective barrier, ensuring that your gear remains in top-notch condition.

Which material for fishing waders is the most resilient and long-lasting?

The most resilient and long-lasting material for fishing waders is a mixture of waterproof materials like polyurethane and ePTFE combined with breathable materials like nylon and polyester. These waders offer excellent durability and breathability, ensuring a comfortable and reliable fishing experience.

While neoprene waders are warm but less breathable, and rubber, neoprene, or canvas waders may be more affordable, the combination of waterproof and breathable materials provides the best balance of performance and longevity.

Though they may come with a higher price tag, these waders are a worthwhile investment for serious anglers looking for durable gear that can withstand various fishing conditions while keeping them dry and comfortable.

How do you waterproof old fishing waders?

To waterproof old fishing waders, spray the damp exterior with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) product. After spraying, use a warm iron to activate the water-repellent treatment, but avoid ironing over neoprene booties or rubber components. 

Alternatively, you can air dry the waders, but allowing a full 48 hours for the repellent to thoroughly set in before using the waders again is essential.

This process helps restore the water-resistant properties of the waders material and ensures they remain effective in keeping you dry during or after rain during your fishing adventures.

Embracing Sustainability: Turning Old Waders into New Treasures

You now know old fishing waders can be more than discarded items. Instead of adding to waste, consider these creative and eco-friendly ideas to repurpose and recycle them.

The possibilities are endless, from making DIY wading belts and neoprene socks for winter to transforming them into hip waders and rain pants.

By recycling or upcycling your old fishing waders, you protect the environment and enjoy practical and unique gear for your fishing adventures.

So, let your creativity flow and give your old waders a new life while minimizing their environmental impact.

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