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Go Green With Your Old Waders

Mike Clifford

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After nearly a dozen years of chasing king salmon in Alaska with a vest full of whatever I could pack in it I finally had an epiphany…I only used a few patterns in a few colors, 20lb. mono, bug spray, and nippers, so why the hell am I carrying all this #%*! gear on my back for 12 hours a day! About the same time I had this glorious realization I had just gouged an enormous hole in my first pair of breathable waders while retrieving a fly from a tree behind me. There wasn’t enough patch material and aqua seal in King Camp to fix this blemish, so I finished the week with soggy socks and plenty of fish to hand.


I couldn't bear the thought of throwing away my very first pair of breathable waders - especially since they were pretty pricey to begin with! After a long drive back to Fairbanks, I sat down and sketched out a pack I could wear that would simplify my king salmon fishing. Then I enlisted my mom's sewing skills. A few weeks later, I had the prototype - and it was perfect! It held 2 large fly boxes, nippers, leader, fishing license, bug spray, hook file, and pliers. To this day I use the prototype on every salmon and steelhead adventure I make.


Since the creation of the original prototype pack, I have blown through several pairs of waders. But I've repurposed them to design other prototype bags and packs along the way. Recycled Waders brings my vision to life. We're giving back to the fishing community, but also to the environment by creating practical re-usable solutions for old, leaky and damaged waders.

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