I get quite a few requests for help from anglers who want to use waders but are allergic to neoprene, or the solvents used in its manufacture. Obviously neoprene waders are out, but i understand they still have a bad reaction to neoprene socks or gravel guards.
I have a couple of solutions to these problems. One is simply to cut off the sock and gravel guard and to fit a latex sock on, lie many sailing dry suits have. These are quite delicate, but if used covered with a sock and with care these will last a season. The are also very stretchy, so care needs to be taken dressing and un dressing. If stretched too much they will beging to come away at the join. This and pin holes in these are not covered in our warranty. You can use leather or plastic wading boots with these and as there will now be no neoprene in the wader you will not suffer any problems. I have a couple of anglers who have me replace the latex socks each year for them and this is a reasonably low cost answer to the problem. Expect to pay £25 - £35 to have the old sock removed, and the new sock supplies and fitted, plus any other works requred.
We can also simply seal the whole neoprene sock on the inside with our sealant. Again this is working for a number of anglers who we have helped. If your allergy is not too bad this is the answer. It takes a little time to do, as we have to build up the coat in very thin layers and it really soaks in. But once done we will have an airtight glassy coat on the inside of the sock. Once completely sealed we will add a super thin coat of sealant and then will dust this with talc, so that the sock slips on easily. This is working very well for some of my customers and they are reporting long term success. This method has a number of advantages, you can use any wader, it is very long lasting, it is low cost at £10 plus any additional works required, and if you still get a reaction we can still go down the route of removing it and fitting the latex sock.