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Old 01-09-2012, 02:06 PM
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Default Motivations for banning felt soles?

I have done some research into the spread of microorganisms by felt soles and am convinced that they do, however the same research agrees that these microorganisms are also carried by shoe laces, wading boots, waders, etc. and these organism have already spread considerably, so is it a case of closing the barn door after the horses have escaped? The State of Montana has apparently dropped a bill to ban felt in light of the fact that employees of their own Fisheries Department did not want to use them in their work! It may be presumptuous of me, but I assume it is because of the danger involved from a nasty fall in rocks.

While there have been several studies that relate to felt spreading didymo and Whirling disease, there have been no studies dealing with the difference in the rate of slip and falls with felt versus vibram. To me, this is a major factor to be considered before banning felt and a study of this nature would go a long way toward determiining if the horror stories posted all over the web concerning the dangers of vibram are actually true.Why haven't these studies been done? Who financed the studies that have been done?

Apparently Trout Unlimited was the main driver of this movement to ban felt, so I looked at the large donations listed on their tax form 990. It is interesting that there were 19 donors who gave over $100,000 and of these, 7 gave between $315,000 and $600,000 each. No names or addresses of these donors were provided on the form.

This proves nothing of course but as has been said often, if you want to find the answer, follow the money trail. There are, of course, a number of corporations that would benefit by requiring every fly fisherman to "reboot".
In fairness, there are probably a number of rich, philanthropic fly fishermen also.

In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, we need to learn to live with these invaders, since as far as I know, trying to prevent the spread of an organism once it has gained a foothold has never been successful in the history of the world. The only thing that has worked to any degree is finding a means to control the organism. Examples include the Common Carp, Grass Carp, Asian Silver Carp, Prickly Pear in Australia, a host of insect species, the Eurasian Collared Dove, Cattle Egrets and of course the Alewife which we learned to control quite effectively by introducing various species of salmon into the Great Lakes.

My hope is that this thread will spur an informative and lively discussion!

Last edited by FlyFlinger2421; 01-09-2012 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Motivations for banning felt soles?

I couldn't agree with you more. I have long suspected that the movement to ban felt was commercially motivated.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: Motivations for banning felt soles?

I understand the idea, but I also see the monetary gain that could come from it. BUT I dont see the issue, I wade quite a bit and have some bootfoot waders that were cheap and have rubber soles. I dont have a problem hiking or wading in them. i know a lot of people don't want to have to buy new boots but here in Mo it is acceptable to properly seal the felt. I just dont' think there is that much added benefit by using felt.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Motivations for banning felt soles?

You have got to try wading on slippery bowling ball slime covered rocks. Felt is better than rubber. I'll post my opinion with several published boot tests results, but I want to give others a chance first.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Motivations for banning felt soles?

no doubt felt is more 'grippy'. But in snow conditions felt is an absolute nightmare...ice builds up on it, theres no traction and trying to walk along a river bank is a disaster...both soles have their benefits and drawbacks.

Whether banning one over the other saves the environment and prevents the spread of invasives, who knows?
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: Motivations for banning felt soles?

asbestos makes dandy insulation and floor tile...kills folks, but works really well.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Motivations for banning felt soles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s fontinalis View Post
Whether banning one over the other saves the environment and prevents the spread of invasives, who knows?

Agreed.
And to expand on the thought a bit, if felt can tranfer unfriendly spores......Won't neoprene booties or wool socks also transfer them when wet wading?
My point being that if we're outlawing porus materials then we need to ban more than just felt soles.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: Motivations for banning felt soles?

Having not made a study of this issue my post will be just a shoot from the hip comment.

I believe that we might agree that felt; although it is a wonderful traction material, does also tend to get caked up with mud, muck, snow, and whatever much more so than a rubber or Vibram sole. A pair of felt soles will remain wet in the back of the truck or on the porch from day to day and if in a shaded place sitting sole side down can stay wet for a week. I would venture to guess that it is this characteristic of retaining water and thus whatever minutia that may be remaining alive in and on that moist material that has led the campaign to do away with the felt sole.

Think of it like this if you might; my socks dry overnight as do my waders. Most water born organisms will parish once the environment that is supporting them dries up. This dessication will result in the cellular membranes being destroyed and thus the organism itself will dessicate and perish. Spores are quite another issue because of the general properties of organisms that reproduce via spores. Without going into a dissertation on botany let's just say that a 'spore' is a very resilient means for the weathering of dry conditions for even a water born organism be it plant, algae, or whatever. This resiliency exhibited by some organisms may well be what led to the banning of felt in areas pron to or hosting an infestation of something that poses a threat to other aquatic life up to and including bony fishes. Once the logic was realized other states then followed suit in making this change in regulations.

Bottom line, I have no problem with the banning of felt. I see no boogieman behind this regulation. My own observations over the years led me to say that " A pair of felt soles will remain wet in the back of the truck or on the porch from day to day and if in a shaded place sitting sole side down can stay wet for a week." My Vibram soles are usually dry before I get home.

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Old 01-10-2012, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Motivations for banning felt soles?

banning felt is ridiculous
birds can also distribute bad stuff and we cant ban the birds
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Motivations for banning felt soles?

"In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, we need to learn to live with these invaders"

Really?

Zebra mussels' damage make them the worst of all Great Lakes exotic species, scientists say | MLive.com

"It is a serious threat to California waters," she said. "If they go unchecked, they will clog everything from the intake system of a reservoir to the sprinkler heads in the fields." (from below)

Experts study zebra mussels for prevention - Gilroy Dispatch: Community

San Justo remains closed and MAY reopen in fall 2012.

Do you still think we should learn to live with them?
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