Vintage Tackle Contest: Caoutchouc Waders

Here's something we haven't seen yet in our ongoing vintage tackle contest: waders. I'd bet that's largely because most old waders fall apart after years in the garage or basement, but this pair found by Bruce Berry seems to have bucked the trend. Bruce wrote:

__Do waders count as tackle? These are pretty old. My mom thinks someone left them in one of the resort cabins. She said they hung in a cupboard for as long as she could remember (she was born in 1926). I wore them a couple of times when I was 10 or 12 (I was born in '51). Now 50 some years down the road the feet are so dried out they couldn't be worn.___ ___

Well Bruce, according to vintage tackle expert Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog, there's actually a fair amount of demand out there for waders. Dr. Todd says:

"Do waders count as vintage tackle? Why yes. Yes they do. They are so popular, in fact, that author Victor R. Johnson has written an entire book entitled_ _America's Fishing Waders: The Evolution of Modern Fishing Waders. While most of us know of the popular brands--Converse, Hodgman, etc.--you have a rather obscure set of waders from Great Britain. Caoutchouc is the French name for India Rubber, the material from which these waders were made. I believe these waders were made by a subsidiary of the British Dunlop Tyre Company sometime in the 1930s or 1940s and sold through one of the popular high-end fly tackle houses like William Mills or Abercrombie & Fitch. It's a nifty piece and even in this condition should be worth about $50-$75, but might sell for a lot more to the right buyer. A gentleman advertising in the June 2007 California Fly Fisher magazine offered $5000 for a fishable pair of vintage Size 11 Red Ball waders!"
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_Maybe you can't use them anymore without getting wet feet, Bruce, but this is still an excellent find and rather unique. Thanks for sending, and keep checking the mailbox for your new pliers.

If you've already sent me photos of your vintage tackle, keep checking every Thursday to see if I chose it for an appraisal by Dr. Todd. If you haven't and want to enter the contest, email photos of your old tackle to fstackle@gmail.com, along with your name, mailing address, and story of how you acquired the gear. If I use it in a Thursday post, you get a pair of Berkley Aluminum Pliers ($50).

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