wading boots

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troutnut
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Joined: 11/19/11 19:00
Location: Canon City Colorado

wading boots

#1

Post by troutnut »

I know this has probably been ask before but with all the upgrades that are on new boots what is the best to buy these days felt or vibram soles. I'm leaning towards the vibrams because of walking to the streams and rivers and not slipping and sliding with the felts. My knees are not what they use to be for walking to far and I don't wade all that deep any longer. I thinking Simms because of their wide widths in boots.
Fred

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Flykuni3
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Re: wading boots

#2

Post by Flykuni3 »

I actually like both treads and felts, obvious edge to felts on rocky wading. And I like the wide boot of the Simms. Less so the narrow Korkers changeable boots (gave them away).

Am one of those who think metal staffs and studs on boots alert fish for yards ahead, so I don't use the studs. (I think the treads can be dangerous on slippery rocks, so I use mine for less rocky situations with flatter bottoms.) I'm a smaller water guy, and quiet is very important to me. But I get the "older thing," 'cause I sure don't feel 25 anymore.
Last edited by Flykuni3 on 02/24/21 23:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Brooks
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Location: Idaho

Re: wading boots

#3

Post by Brooks »

I really like the Korkers Devil’s Canyon. The soles are modular. They come with felt and rubber, or other customized options. I like the alumitrax soles for steelheading and for the Big Hole , the Madison , the Clearwater, and any tricky wading rivers.
You can plug in the vibram-like soles for hiking into a river (pick one in Yellowstone).
The boots are made with rubber raft-like material (reminds me of Hypalon) which easily scrubs clean for invasive species. They also don’t have laces (they have a Boa spool). Laces can hold invasive spores like felt. I still really like felt and use the felt for some rivers. The felt soles can be removed and frozen in a ziplock in your freezer to kill invasive species. Some people have soles labeled with a sharpie for watersheds (I’m not that organized).
Remember, re: invasive species, felt is not the culprit, it is the entire boot. The Devils Canyon scrubs clean more easily than my other boots (and I have many).
A tenkara rod, like a pet monkey, seems like a good idea at first.

jimwright
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA.

Re: wading boots

#4

Post by jimwright »

I have Korkers with soles of felt and aluminum bars and Orvis boots with vibram soles and carbide studs. They all work well and which ones I wear is dictated by how much walking I will do, stream bottoms, current and such but no matter which of them I use, I make noise in the water. My wading staff makes noise as well but not much if I move slowly and carefully. It takes away just about all excuses for when I'm not doing well but trout aren't smart! I.M.O. as long as I move slowly and avoid sounding like a horse fording the stream I don't feel I spook many fish and I can often see them of course. And I suspect I'm not the only one who has dropped a streamer in shallow water while holding my rod in my forearms to access a pocket and when I go to make the next cast discover a fish is on, having picked up the streamer from near my feet?

troutnut
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Location: Canon City Colorado

Re: wading boots

#5

Post by troutnut »

Thank for all the suggestions so far. I'm still not sure which way I will. I have korkers with the boa lacing I just don't like the way the they fit. I am definitely leaning toward the boa lacing on simms.
Fred

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mer
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Location: NH

Re: wading boots

#6

Post by mer »

Simms Freestone in felt sole with added carbide. True to size for me (size 9 fits just fine over stockingfoot waders).
The latest iteration of this boot is awesome.

16pmd
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Re: wading boots

#7

Post by 16pmd »

I fish in some places that no longer allow felt and also in places with very slippery rocks. I find that using both carbide studs and aluminum cleats with rubber soled boots solve almost all problems. The carbide spikes work great on rocks with some grain or texture but skate on polished rocks. The aluminum cleats, being soft, grip smooth polished rocks much better, so the combination of both allow me to use the same boots in all situations. Of course a wading staff is additional protection everywhere. When possible, I remove the hard tip of the staff and replace it with a rubber crutch or chair tip from Walmart or Home Depot to keep it from clattering on the bottom when stalking spooky fish. To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, "Walk softly and carry a big stick".

troutnut
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Posts: 404
Joined: 11/19/11 19:00
Location: Canon City Colorado

Re: wading boots

#8

Post by troutnut »

Brooks do those korkers devils canyon come in wide widths? I have an older version of korkers with the boa lacing when they first came out and I had to buy a size 11 to get them on my feet. I normally wear a size 9 in the simms.
Thanks mer I do have the older version of the simms freestone with studs. They look like leather thats how old they are. One of the reasons I bought them is for the wide widths.
Thanks 16pmd for the info on rubber soles thats what I was wandering about if you had to use cleats or spikes.
Thanks for all the comments.
Fred

herkileez
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Location: Campbell River, BC

Re: wading boots

#9

Post by herkileez »

I have had a few pairs of Korkers, at first thinking the interchangeable soles would be an advantage. I quickly found out the vibram soles were a hazard for the types of rivers I fish, and wound up using the felt all the time. I also found the felts wore out quite quickly, and were annoyingly expensive to replace. The foot bed also pulled apart and I had to re-glue them a couple of times. I finally switched to a pair of Simms Freestones, and have been very happy with them. For one thing, most of the eyelets are plastic, which is a major plus for the saltwater fishing I often do. Also, the thick felt soles are stitched on, as are the foot beds, and I expect these boots to last a long time. They are tough, well-made boots at a reasonable price.

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Brooks
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Joined: 04/07/19 15:58
Location: Idaho

Re: wading boots

#10

Post by Brooks »

troutnut wrote:
02/23/21 17:39
Brooks do those korkers devils canyon come in wide widths? I have an older version of korkers with the boa lacing when they first came out and I had to buy a size 11 to get them on my feet. I normally wear a size 9 in the simms.
Thanks mer I do have the older version of the simms freestone with studs. They look like leather thats how old they are. One of the reasons I bought them is for the wide widths.
Thanks 16pmd for the info on rubber soles thats what I was wandering about if you had to use cleats or spikes.
Thanks for all the comments.
Fred
Fred,
I honestly do not know. I own two pair of Devil's Canyons, both I've bought purposefully over-sized, so that I don't get cold feet steelheading. I have one pair that I've fished hard for five years now, and then over year ago, I bought a new pair to take to the Dean (didn't want to risk a boot failure with an old boot on that trip). Both pairs are still working fine. I agree with herkileez (above) about the vibram soles in the river. I only use them for hiking. I haven't found a rubber sole, Simms, Patagonia, Orvis, Korkers, any brand, that is worth a damn wading--unless it has studs or cleats, or aluminum bars.
A tenkara rod, like a pet monkey, seems like a good idea at first.

Low Profile
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Re: wading boots

#11

Post by Low Profile »

I agree 100% about the dangers of rubber soled wading boots without studs. I'm getting up there in age but still like to get to places and wade across some rivers I probably shouldn't. I am also very keen on the stealth of approach and felt not only provides that but is superior with regards to grip on slippery rocks. I'm not quite to the stage of having to carry a wading staff but very frequently pick up a beaver chewed stick when needed. I use both felt and rubber but whatever decision you make it should be based on the type of situations you plan on putting yourself in.

Tx, Low Profile

troutnut
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Posts: 404
Joined: 11/19/11 19:00
Location: Canon City Colorado

Re: wading boots

#12

Post by troutnut »

Thanks everyone for your comments on boots. I believe I will sticking with felt when I buy my new pair.
Fred

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tomimc1
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Joined: 11/30/20 10:45

Re: wading boots

#13

Post by tomimc1 »

I bought new boots last season and went with felts to replace the studded Vibrams I'd been using...both are Simms "lightweight' type models.

My reasoning for felts over rubber...

1: Can use felts in my buddies' rafts without concern for studs=punctures.

2: While hiking...most all the time is sure footed fisherman's path or NF trail walking except for a couple steep banks on occasion. While streambeds are always slippery. I'll take my chances being extra careful on those couple steep banks/leafy spots/mud slides vs the all day security of felt once in the water.....a 2 hour hike in with maybe a couple slippery spots + the duplicate hike out vs 6+ hrs of constant immersion in a slippery stream bed....do the math, count the steps

I've been thru the cycle of growing up with felts, then rubber and now back again. The invasives can certainly be a concern, but for the fishing I do nowadays felts are just fine.

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Drossi
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Re: wading boots

#14

Post by Drossi »

I have Korkers with the sticky rubber soles and carbide spikes, mostly cause my hips are great and my balance is only so so. They work great BUT I don't like the BOA system. I can't get the boots tight enough around my ankles for my comfort and my feet slide around in them (I'm an 8 1/2 boot but buy up to a 9). So I'm going back to studded felts for a few of the less difficult wading streams I fish (the Delaware, Lehigh, and Broadhead will still see the spikes).

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