New waders/boots

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catskilljohn
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:03 am
Location: Yardley,PA- Jeffersonville,NY

New waders/boots

Post by catskilljohn » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:46 am

I am looking to replace my waders and boots this spring. There was a lot of buzz about felt bottomed boots [which I really like] and the transmitting of evasive matter to various watersheds. I never really felt that fishermen were the problem, and it seems to me that if this didymo was as bad as everyone thought it was, all our streams would have been ruined by now. I still bleach my boots after fishing regardless of where I go, if for no other reason than just to keep them clean.

Anyway, a few questions...

How long do a pair of waders last you guys? Boots too? I have been splashing around in streams for 11 years, and am on my 4th pair of waders. I am not overly hard on my stuff, although I do move a lot and fish rugged areas, lots of clambering over boulders and fallen trees. I am very conscious of brambles, and go out of my way to not bushwack through heavy areas.

So how do you feel about the felt vs rubber soles? Felt grips pretty good, and have heard the rubber ones are slippery?

I am always interested in what others use. CJ
"Gentlemen,remove your hats,this is it"
"This is where the trout was invented?"
"Oh he existed in a crude,primitive form in Waltons England"
"But this is where they painted spots on him and taught him to swim"

BrownBear
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Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:16 pm
Location: Kodiak, AK

Re: New waders/boots

Post by BrownBear » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:05 am

Alaska outlawed felt a couple of years back, and I was forced to give up my beloved felts. Bought metal-cleated rubber (Simms) for use there, and brought my felts down here to use in the winter. After a season in each, I dumped the felts and bought a pair of the cleated for use down here, too. I'll NEVER go back to felt, legal or not. The metal cleats are that much better. I'm getting geezerly and less steady on my feet in strong currents. Felts just didn't cut it any more, while I'm near indestructible with the cleats and a wading staff, even in deeper swift water. Add to that the better traction on wet grass, ice, mud banks and more alongside the water, and it's cleats all the way.

I've always had really long wear with Simms Gortex waders. I got 12 years of heavy use out of my first pair. Subsequent waders seem even better. Their warranty and repair services are unbeatable too, if you need them. Prior to buying the Gortex I was replacing good, expensive neoprenes at the rate of once every couple of years. Simms may be expensive at purchase, but extremely cheap over the long haul due to service life.

Nope, you won't get me in a short skirt with pompoms, but I'll certainly lead a few cheers for Simms! :lol:

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Eperous
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Location: Catskills

Re: New waders/boots

Post by Eperous » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:33 am

John, I agree with BrownBear... I am BIG Simms waders' fan... been using them for many, many years now, and never happier... Before Simms I never got ONE full season out of all my prior waders... now I get almost three full years out of a pair of Simms... maybe that doesn't sound like much, but it translates into over THREE HUNDRED OUTINGS! I've been using the G3 Guide Simms stockingfoot waders... :D

I used to lead the charge on the use of felt sole wading shoes... and to this day do not believe that they are the sole/main cause of the spread of Didymo... but that's a whole other discussion... duly noted, I have been using Simms Vibram wading shoes for years now, and like them but put studs in the bottom of them... for the most part, I think studded Vibram shoes are as good as felt bottoms...

A couple things to consider... (1) I believe Simms just re-introduced their felt bottom wading shoes after eliminating that line several years ago... I guess they felt that they had too since other suppliers are still selling these and anglers still buying them.... (2) most of my fishing is done in NYS, but I occasionally fish other places: NJ, SNP/VA, CT, PA, Yellowstone, etc... different states/agencies have different rulings on wading shoes and if felt soles are allowed or not... hence, if you like to experiment/travel to new waters, if you purchase felt soles, you might need a second pair of wading shoes for other places? Just a thought...

Like BrownBear said, pony-up and think about Simms waders--- you get what you pay for... and, I'd give thought to Vibram wading shoes with studs...

That's my two cents... and good luck whatever you do...

Ed

PS --- unlike my waders, I do not get a full season out of wading shoes... about 100 trips tops... I guess I do too much walking, looking, exploring, stumbling, falling, etc... :(

BrownBear
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Location: Kodiak, AK

Re: New waders/boots

Post by BrownBear » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:37 pm

Eperous wrote: PS --- unlike my waders, I do not get a full season out of wading shoes... about 100 trips tops... I guess I do too much walking, looking, exploring, stumbling, falling, etc... :(
That sezz a whole lot when waders outlast boots by a factor of 3+:1!!!!

Gene
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:33 am

Re: New waders/boots

Post by Gene » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:13 pm

Like Ed said Simms waders, I've got 2 1/2 years and probably well over 200 trips. Also Simms vibram wading shoes with studs, but I went with the Boa speed crank. Love the extra ease of putting them on and off. I know people call them old man laces but I admit that I am getting older, any little help is appreciated.
Gene

narcodog
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Re: New waders/boots

Post by narcodog » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:37 pm

I'm a Orvis guy, I don't have $500 or 600 that O can plunk down at one time. The last pair of Orvis I had for three years. I bought a new pair of Orvis Convertibles last year just because I wanted them . The old pair still serviceable is now my spare or loaner. I spend over a 100 days a year in hot and freezing weather in them. In the past Orvis had major problems but they seemed to have them worked out.

Boots the only boots I'll ever buy will be Korkers. I love the idea of interchangeable soles, felt, felt with studs or rubber with studs. I do not like plain rubber, I just do not feel secure in them. I also like the BOA system, easy on and off.

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Eperous
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Location: Catskills

Re: New waders/boots

Post by Eperous » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:09 pm

BrownBear wrote:
Eperous wrote: PS --- unlike my waders, I do not get a full season out of wading shoes... about 100 trips tops... I guess I do too much walking, looking, exploring, stumbling, falling, etc... :(
That sezz a whole lot when waders outlast boots by a factor of 3+:1!!!!
Hi BrownBear... I wasn't aware of the ratio, you noted... not questioning it, just was not aware...

Maybe I don't get 100 trips out of my wading shoes... maybe it's 70 to 80.... never really paid attention... I do know that I usually start a new trout season on April 1st with a new pair of shoes, or almost new shoes... sometime in the fall, October---November, these are done... tops are beat, Vibram all worn, studs mostly missing... I milk them as long as I can, but once I start slipping and sliding, that's it...

And during the course of a trout season I usually work with two pairs of wading shoes--- old tired ones, and that new pair... I use the tired ones for easy wading--- soft bottom streams and ponds, plus days I walk along a river bank mostly hunting for a rising trout... right now in my garage I have 4 sets of wading shoes sitting there... I know as I was packing my truck tonight to fish Sunday, but just checking local weather reports looks like we'll be getting freezing rain/ice up here Sunday AM... bummer, if so, probably not fishing...

Ed

greyfox
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Location: Minisink N.Y.

Re: New waders/boots

Post by greyfox » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:30 pm

Every pair of waders I have ever owned leaked, so now I just get the cheapest ones and just replace when they start leaking. The Dan Baily"s were the most comfortable ones.
"There's mosquitoes on the river Fish are rising up like birds"
Grateful Dead

BrownBear
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Location: Kodiak, AK

Re: New waders/boots

Post by BrownBear » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:40 pm

Eperous wrote: Hi BrownBear... I wasn't aware of the ratio, you noted... not questioning it, just was not aware...
I was just playing with your numbers- Three years from waders at 100 trips/year, while replacing boots annually. Telling in any case! ;)

We're kindred spirits in days fished and sometimes even ruggedness of terrain. I get years of service from Gortex with only the occasional puncture which is easily repaired overnight at home. The same pace and terrain shredded neoprene annually if not sooner. Best for me is the Simms factory service, replacing booties, resealing seams and patching punctures as needed. I originally bought high-end neoprenes, and they spent more time in factories for warranty repair than they did on the water.... And still didn't last a season. I finally resorted to the cheapest neoprenes possible for about the same service life. Simms Goretex changed all that.

catskilljohn
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:03 am
Location: Yardley,PA- Jeffersonville,NY

Re: New waders/boots

Post by catskilljohn » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:05 pm

greyfox wrote:Every pair of waders I have ever owned leaked, so now I just get the cheapest ones and just replace when they start leaking. The Dan Baily"s were the most comfortable ones.
Yea, this is the path I chose also. Of course, I never bought big $ waders, so I didn't know how long a good pair lasted compared to a cheap pair. I figure its a wash buying a good pair that last longer or a few cheap pairs if you get the same duration either way. I also don't like chest waders, opting for waist highs instead. As often as I fall in I have a better chance of floating if only the legs fill up :lol:

I appreciate all the advise, this is a road I don't travel often so I don't have much knowledge on it. I checked out that BOA system...looks very cool although the review I read on it didn't recommend them for heavy usage, stating that they are prone to break and if they do, your basically out of luck. Thanks guys, CJ
"Gentlemen,remove your hats,this is it"
"This is where the trout was invented?"
"Oh he existed in a crude,primitive form in Waltons England"
"But this is where they painted spots on him and taught him to swim"

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