Overlooked Gems #2

July 23, 2009 By: zmatthews

If there’s one fly-fishing product that’s the repair equivalent of duct tape, it would have to be Aquaseal. This urethane-based adhesive is similar in many respects to Goop (which many fly tyers use to affix eyes, etc.) Aquaseal’s good for all kinds of things, like re-attaching felt soles to old wading boots, but I particularly like it for two purposes: patching waders and patching pontoon or raft tubes.
8ozaquaseal.jpgTo patch a pinhole leak in waders with Aquaseal, first turn them inside out and soak them thoroughly in isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol using an ordinary squirt bottle. Look for dark patches; circle these (on the inside!) with a Sharpie. When the waders dry out (it won’t take long), daub about a dime-sized patch of Aquaseal over the circled areas and allow to cure overnight. Presto: pinhole leak patched! (For seam leaks, consult your manufacturers’ warranty – most wader manufacturers require seam leaks to be patched at the factory).
Pontoon boats and rafts can be patched with much the same process. First, pull your inner-tube out of its heavy casing, and over-inflate it by about 25% (to force air out of pinhole leaks). Then, soak the inner-tube with soapy water using the same squirt bottle. Look for bubbles, and circle those areas with a Sharpie. Rinse the soap off thoroughly and allow to dry, then patch over the circled areas, again with a dime-sized daub of Aquaseal. Let it all dry, then stuff the inner-tubes back in the pontoon or raft casing. Ta da! You’ve patched the leak.
Know of an additional use for Aquaseal, or a better way to achieve these fixes? Let us know in the Comments section!