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  1. #1

    Default Wading boot questions

    Hello all!

    So I just moved up from Austin, Texas to Northern Virginia. With the change in place came a change in the fishing. In Austin, the water is warm and you can wet wade all year (mostly). Now I am in a place where I can fish for anything I want to! (Bass, Muskie, panfish, and now..trout)

    So with this change came the purchase of my first pair of waders, which I am quite excited about. Now I have to get the wading boots.

    I know that Maryland, as well as many other Northeastern waters I want to explore, have a ban on felt soles. So I'm looking for a real aggressive rubber sole.
    I have been wading in chaco sandals for quite some time, and I've spent most of my life scooting across wet rocks in sandals.

    My question is this: Should I go with some boots specifically made for wading, or would a set of Chaco's waterboots do well? (My feet are very accustomed to the support and footbed of chaco shoes) They are called the Tedinho waterboot, for anyone who wants to check them out. I have tried to find information on them in terms of using them for fly fishing, but to no avail.
    Or, I could go with some good 'ole korkers, or something like that.

    Thanks in advance for the input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Wading boot questions

    Hi and welcome to the forum,

    We have a good number of members in your new area and hopefully you will meet some of them. For wading boots you will find plenty of feedback. This thread > is full of info on what the members think on boots.

    For hiking and wading the mountain streams in your new area a good boot will be much appreciated.

    Have fun,


    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Wading boot questions

    Welcome to VA....I'm in the Shenandoah Valley so I'm certain you'll be over the west slope of the BR mtns at some point. While most NOVA folks don't make it over you should consider it. I don't know much about MD trout...I have no reason to go, home waters are plenty.

    That said I've been fly fishing here for 4 years and I can tell you what I wear and why...

    I have Patagonia Rock Grip alum bar and Rock Grip sticky rubber. The former is more substantial, thicker material more ankle support and yes aluminum bars that offer good traction (at least on med sized rocks, I've hit some very large flat slick rocks in the Cowpasture river that sent me sliding). But they have more traction than the sticky rubber.

    The waterboots you mention don't look like they offer much protection from actual rocks (you're feet are likely to get caught between rocks while wading in VA streams)...I did okay with the sticky rubber but found them too soft sided.

    It DOES get COLD in Virginia and if you ever plan on fishing spring creeks you will experience some cold water, especially standing for hours. Yes we have a good warm water fishery (SHEN RIVER) and smallies in the mountains can handle warmer water but if you're chasing trout you'll need a pair of waders (booties) that can fit in wading boots. Maybe even need a pair of socks under there.

    I'm not certain you can put wading booties in those chacos. You mention going after trout...well that's a cold water species. If you are immune to the effects of standing in cold water for hours (and yes it's still cold in the spring and even summer spring creeks stay cold) then don't get wading boots.

    But if you plan on chasing trout in the fall/winter when stocking starts and the mountain streams get full of cold'll want real waders and real wading boots.

    "...all snobbery is defensive..and as important as fishing seems, the most important thing about it is, it's just fishing."

    -- John Gierach


    My TU:

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Wading boot questions

    Here is one thing to consider...Patagonia has 'cramp on' style aluminum grip bars you can add to any boot.

    I still recommend getting a pair of wading boots for fall/winter fishing. I made those my patagonia rock grip aluminum bar wading boots, they are nearly a full size up than what I normally wear because I get cold feet so I wear a pair of simms extreme wading socks under my waders/booties. The full waders I wear in winter have thicker booties, they say 5mm warmth achieved by 3mm thickness but I've found them to be thicker (hence bigger boots).

    Like I said I also have a pair of patagonia rock grip sticky rubber, these I wear when I'm wearing my wading pants (simms freestone—light wading pants for warmer air temp, cold water still in mountains and spring creeks). I wear a thin polypro sock when wearing these wading pants/booties which allows me to fit my foot into the lighter (material) rock grip sticky rubber boot.

    I have considered adding the cramp on style alum bars to the rock grip sticky rubber boots. Now again the rock grip sticker rubber boot is LIGHTER and I wear it in the summer. There are some hikes you can make/take in the GW and SNP to some wonderful brook trout water...hikes that are best done with light boots or sandals and then just put on the boots when you get there. I ABHOR carrying more weight than I need to. So those lighter rock grip sticky rubber boots make the trip more enjoyable. And if I'm ever in water with snot covered slippery rocks I can slip on the cramp ons...which are very light.

    I hope that helps. Hope to see you on the water.
    "...all snobbery is defensive..and as important as fishing seems, the most important thing about it is, it's just fishing."

    -- John Gierach


    My TU:

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Wading boot questions


    Thanks so much for all of the advice. Very helpful indeed. As I thought about it more, I came to some sort of a half conclusion that the chaco boots weren't going to work well with the booties and socks under them.

    Have been looking at the Simms headwater boots, with the option of slapping on some of the star studs on the rubber soles. I liked the sound of the Simms because they are very lightweight and good for making those long hikes into mountain streams.

    I'll probably end up ordering some soon! I liked the patagonia boots I looked at, as well.

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Wading boot questions

    After having suffered with a set of Korkers that were a size too small for the last twelve years, I recently purchased a pair of Simms Freestone boots with the Vibram soles and a set of Simms star carbide cleats. IMHO, these are perfect.

    Size - Make sure you account for an extra pair of thick socks. When you are up to your belly in ~40 degree water, boots that are a size too small will cause your feet to cramp. This painful and potentially dangerous. If you can, I suggest you get to a shop with your waders and socks to try on any pair of boots prior to buying them. A good pair of boots will last years, there is no need to suffer.

    Soles and cleats - Felt has never served me well. I know some who swear by it. In the past, we purchased 5052 aluminum channel and pop-riveted it to a piece of rubber, drilled holes and used parachute cord or boot laces to make a wading sandal to use on our wading boots. To prep it, we walked on asphalt to rough it up. The channel cuts through moss and provides grip on smooth freestone streams. I put the Simms carbide star cleats on my removable Korkers soles and they worked well. You have to move them around until you have them spaced where you put your weight.

    Socks - Don't try to save money buying cheap socks. These too can last years. You will be comfortable in a good pair of socks. A cheap pair will be uncomfortable, won't last and ultimately will detract your attention from fishing.

    Have fun and good luck-


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