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Old 09-22-2010, 03:36 PM
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Default Questions and thoughts on putting studs in wading boots

It has been awhile since I have posted but have had a question in the back of my mind throughout the year which is whether or not to put studs into my Simms Riversheds, streamtred version. I am leaning towards yes.

I have seen threads on studding wading boots and have read all sorts of useful information but I was looking for a bit more info and wanted to share some thoughts on the topic. These boots are way better then felt when hiking into a spot and aren't too bad when wading. The only complaint I have is that when the rocks get a bit slimy the traction falters. A few places I fish have some rocks that are covered in a thin film that is really slippery, combine that with some faster running water and it gets a bit tricky. I was thinking about putting sheet metal screws in as a suggestion from what I have read on here. I get the idea that 1/4 X 1/4 would work or 1/4 X 1/2. Not sure which one to go with but I am assuming this would depend on my tread thickness. I am thinking that I will not put too many in but was wondering what patterns would work the best, I was thinking about something like on the left as found here: Simms Fishing Products -- StreamTread Sole Technology

I have read to either go with aluminum or steel depending on which you prefer. My thoughts are with the steel. Now I have no idea what type of steel sheet metal screws are made of but it would be possible to harden them if they are the right type. Now the best steel would be a medium carbon steel, 0.4% to 0.6% carbon, not sure if this is something you can find on the label. The process would involve heating the screw heads with a torch and then after a bit of time, been a while since I have done any of this so not sure here but it would be red hot, you drop the screw, VERY CAREFULLY, into a bucket of water. The process will harden the surface making the studs a bit more resistant to wear, although a bit more brittle. Now the trick would be to have a proper setup and a good way to move the screws as you really don't want a red hot screw to touch your skin.

More info on hardening can be found here if you feel any need to check it out, it is also the site I used for the above information: Heat Treatments: Hardening: Selective

Just thought I would share, maybe someone has done this. Oh and contrary to what some people think studs should not scare fish any more then someone splashing around and walking around. The high pitched sound of a stud scrapping on a rock would not travel through the water as well as a low frequency sound, from what I remember from physics. Plus fish are better at sensing low frequency sound so movement and the thud of a step are a much larger concern then the scrapping sound. Not sure of peoples opinions on this but I thought I would throw that out while at it.

Looks like a long post so I will cut it there.

Jeff
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Questions and thoughts on putting studs in wading boots

"I have read to either go with aluminum or steel depending on which you prefer. My thoughts are with the steel."

Don't, go with Aluminum. The material (sheet metal type screws at 5 cents each) will ware down faster, but the 'bottom grip' is 10 times that of steel. Soooo, you have to replace them sooner (the real factor is not the wading, but how much walking you have to do to get where you'll wade) ... a full replacement will run you, give or take, $1.00.

Do you really care?

Please, Just trust me on this one, been doing 'self studding' for years.

fae
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: Questions and thoughts on putting studs in wading boots

Not sure what you mean by "Do you really care". If it is about putting studs in then yes. I would like better traction if they can provide it for my situation. Do I care about hardening the studs... not entirely just thought I would throw that out there and I might even try it some day and see how it works. Places where I walk into do not have rocky paths so walking there should not wear them out that bad.

Jeff
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Questions and thoughts on putting studs in wading boots

"Do you care" referees to 'Name Brand' studs you can buy (up to $30.00 a set) or a dollar for the lot (big box store) that are equally effective.

Fred
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Questions and thoughts on putting studs in wading boots

It seems like a lot of work but it would be custom. I personally don't think I would buy anything else but Aqua Stealth studded boots. The only down side I see is getting in and out of guide boats or friends trucks. My studs have partially destroyed a friends aluminum 'step-ups' on his SUV and scratched other friends canoes. I've actually hiked up to 5 miles uphill with a 50 lb pack with my studded Aquastealths when my hiking boots delaminated on the way down to the river. I for one would be very curious what your results are with this heat treating. I also think that having too sharp a stud could perforate your waders should you get to close to them while hiking or wading. Please keep us posted...
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Questions and thoughts on putting studs in wading boots

Oh I see what you mean. I apologize for the confusion I should have reread. I was in fact thinking today that there doesn't seem to be a point in spending a bunch on something I can get for about a dollar. So no I do not need name brand stuff, I am a student so saving money is a plus. Thanks for the insight I believe I will try the aluminum and see how that goes. Couldn't remember where I saw it but I believe I saw a suggestion saying to put most on the outside perimeter as you don't want to reduce the traction of the sole in the middle (sort of like what simms site shows with the hardbite). Makes sense to me... opinions?

Jeff
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Questions and thoughts on putting studs in wading boots

Racine,

Have you considered getting a pair of Korker's wading boots with interchangeable soles? They come in a lot of varieties. I merely change out my studded felt or studded Aquastealth soles for rubber or boat soles when trail hiking or using a boat.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Questions and thoughts on putting studs in wading boots

Racine,

If I go with aluminum, which I am thinking I will do, I won't be heat treating as it wouldn't have the same effect as it would on steel. I am curious if heat treating the steel sheet metal screws would actually do anything as well since I have no idea what type they are made of. However, as said by Fred the price to replace is cheap so I don't think I am too concerned about it. If I ever do try heat treating I will be sure to let you know how it goes.

Quick question for anyone, what size do you get (in terms of diameter)?

Jeff
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:25 PM
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Question Re: Questions and thoughts on putting studs in wading boots

Isn't the real concern with screw-in studs not so much their durability, but whether the boot sole will accept repeated screws being drilled in? It sounds like - short of carbide - aluminum has more grip than steel, but wears away faster. This shouldn't be much of a problem UNLESS there are only so many times one can screw in these studs. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: Questions and thoughts on putting studs in wading boots

I have in fact considered Corkers but worry that the pull on soles would come apart miles from nowhere or worse in mid river. The last thing I need is lack of traction when needed the most. The studded aquastealths do double duty for me as long as I keep the hiking to a minimum-though these have already proven themselves packing me out of a canyon with a 50 lb pack on slip rock and scree for 5 miles. I should mention that this was over a year ago and I'm still wading and fishing on the same pair. I think they have Carbide studs as they don't seem to wear out! I'll probably invest in another pair of the same LL Beans and perhaps pull the studs off the old pair to use on a boat. Interesting is that after 10 years the aquastealth is still tacky.

---------- Post added at 02:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:37 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troutseeker View Post
Racine,

If I go with aluminum, which I am thinking I will do, I won't be heat treating as it wouldn't have the same effect as it would on steel. I am curious if heat treating the steel sheet metal screws would actually do anything as well since I have no idea what type they are made of. However, as said by Fred the price to replace is cheap so I don't think I am too concerned about it. If I ever do try heat treating I will be sure to let you know how it goes.

Quick question for anyone, what size do you get (in terms of diameter)?

Jeff
I appreciate your attempts at economy but reconsider unless all you wade are very slow and shallow streams. Your outcome and safety depend on that vital connection to the river bed. Spending $100 +/- on a studded pair is miniscule compared to the consequences whether you fall, drop your rig, hurt yourself or worse drown. You can even find studded boots on sale at Sierra Trading Post or better on websites having sales. In this economy I'm confident you can find something that fits you.
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