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  1. #1

    Default Another question about waders

    As I have mentioned elsewhere I have mostly been fishing from the bank or kayak, and have never used (or even tried on) a pair of waders. Last summer I bought a bought a pair of Simms Riprap wet wading shoes (the low-top shoe, not the sandal), and that was fine for late summer here in Vermont, but if I want to do some stream fishing this spring it would probably be a good idea to get some waders. So a couple of questions arise:
    -Boot foot vs stocking foot: most of what I have read online seems to suggest the the stocking foot is preferable for various reasons, but then I have to buy separate boots. Or, is the "stocking" foot thin enough to fit in my Riprap shoes? (I can wear them with smartwool hiking socks.)
    -Is felt the best traction material? I have read about aluminum bars and things like that which are apparently good. Vermont no longer prohibits felt so it is an option.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    2,609

    Default Re: Another question about waders

    I'm in NH. Our conditions are similar to yours.
    First, RipRap shoes won't fit over stocking foot waders. I have those shoes. They're too tight for wader booties.
    Boot foot waders are good if you're not moving around much. I use them for salt beaches and for wading around the edges of ponds. They don't provide the support that separate boots provide.
    For streams in cold weather I wear stocking foot waders. I have both felt and rubber-soled boots. The felt boots have more grip on really slippery rocks.
    In either case I use studs. I use a brand called Kold-Kutter. They're dirt cheap and pretty aggressive. They were originally made for studded tires for ice racing. There are other brands around, including from the boot manufacturers.
    For years I wore the RipRaps for fishing streams in warmer weather. I'm older now. After slipping a few times I've changed to wearing studded felt boots like what you'd wear with waders, but with just socks. They're not much heavier than the RipRaps and a lot more secure.
    Never tried the aluminum bars on boots. Lots of people like them, though.
    Today is always the first day of the rest of your life.
    Use it wisely.

    Paul

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Another question about waders

    Quote Originally Posted by gpwhitejr View Post
    As I have mentioned elsewhere I have mostly been fishing from the bank or kayak, and have never used (or even tried on) a pair of waders. Last summer I bought a bought a pair of Simms Riprap wet wading shoes (the low-top shoe, not the sandal), and that was fine for late summer here in Vermont, but if I want to do some stream fishing this spring it would probably be a good idea to get some waders. So a couple of questions arise:
    -Boot foot vs stocking foot: most of what I have read online seems to suggest the the stocking foot is preferable for various reasons, but then I have to buy separate boots. Or, is the "stocking" foot thin enough to fit in my Riprap shoes? (I can wear them with smartwool hiking socks.)
    -Is felt the best traction material? I have read about aluminum bars and things like that which are apparently good. Vermont no longer prohibits felt so it is an option.

    Thanks.
    You will get a better fit and more options with stocking foot waders.

    Think of it this way. If you were buying clothes; for example, a pair of shoes, pants and jacket, would you EVER but an outfit which did not allow you to buy pants with the waist and inseam of your normal pants and the chest size of your normal jacket? Well that is what a boot foot wader is.

    With a boot wader you MUST fit the boot, but you likely won't find the rest of the wader leg length, waist and chest size that fits you. So you find most commonly boot foot waders that are oversized in the in the leg and chest so a smaller person or thinner person can use them and they will still fit the taller and huskier person. You likely will NOT find a good fit with a boot foot wader. PLUS you have to take the boot that is on the wader. Plus when the wader or the boot wears out you have to buy all new.

    With a boot foot wader, you can mix and match the boot and the wader. Since you don't need to worry about the boot, you can get a great fit with the wader. You also can but the boot from one manufacturer and the wader from another. If you are on a budget, you can buy a cheaper boot so you can buy a better set of waders or vice versa. When the wader wears out you can buy a new wader. When the boots wear out you can buy new boots and still use the waders.

    Breathable Waders need to have their DWR (Durable Water Proofing) renewed to prevent "wet out." Waders need to be washed to do this. You can't toss a boot foot wader into a washing machine.

    Buy the wader first. The waders must have enough extra leg length to allow you to raise each leg onto at least a chair seat. You will be climbing over fences so there needs to be enough room in the legs to do that. Wear the thickness of socks that you would wear for winter fishing and any polar fleece pants you would wear in the winter when you buy your waders. Then when you buy boots, wear those clothes and buy the boots that fit without being too tight in the toes.

    Here's a post on "wet out."

    Waders getting saturated after 2 years of heavy use.

    Read about DWR here:

    Restoring Water Repellency | GORE-TEX(R)

    Rainwear: Durable Water Repellent (DWR) Care
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    beside the AuSable River in northern Michigan
    Posts
    3,128

    Default Re: Another question about waders

    Silver,

    While I'm among those who bow to your expansive knowledge on just about everything, old friend, I'm assuming that you meant to start off the fourth paragraph of your reply to gpwhitejr's inquiry with "stocking-foot waders" rather than "boot foot?" Just trying to remove any possible confusion in the answer to gpwhitejr's question...

    With that, I humbly retreat back to the cave from where I spend my days at the vise. As always, Silver, a pleasure reading your missives...

    Jerry, aka hairwing530

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  8. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Marthasville Mo.
    Posts
    993
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Another question about waders

    Most of what has been suggested is good information. I will add as for boots that Korkers are a good brand. With the Korkers you can change the soles to suit your fishing situation. Including the aluminum bars. A friend has those on his and I went with the Vibram studded soles. You buy the boots you get a set of felt soles and rubber soles then you can add the ones you want. Korker also designed their boots around the BOA system and no one I know with Korkers has had problems with their BOAs malfunction while the two guys I fish with that have Simms boots (G4s) have both had problems with the BOAS breaking.

    Bill

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Another question about waders

    Thanks for the info. Hmmm, do I shell out for waders, boots, soles, etc. or just stay on the bank?

    Actually, for Christmas my wife bought me a gift certificate for a guided fishing trip that provides all the tackle (including waders) so I will get to try it out then.

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  12. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Hudsonville, Michigan
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Re: Another question about waders

    When purchasing boots for the waders, I go up 2 shoe sizes, this will allow for layering socks and have a non-binding comfortable fit.

    Denny

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  14. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Riverside, CA
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Another question about waders

    After Christmas I got a pair of Dryft zippered front waders, used them twice and so far they are really nice, fit great, kept me very warm.

    To go with them I got a pair of Patagonia foot tractors fit much better than my very old korkers. They will also be used with my Patagonia wading pants which are awesome.

    I will not use felt soles.

    Matt

  15. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Paris of the South
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Another question about waders

    For traction I would encourage you to look at Rock Treads (Rock Treads)

    They are new on the market, but I use them and think they are better than any other metal cleat. Rocks will "bite" into the aluminum discs with only 50lbs of pressure, so you get much better traction than with steel studs that are too soft to actually grip granite. Also, with the disks, you can place them on the boot of your choice in a pattern that works for you. The surface area of the disks is much greater than the tiny screws. They also do not interfere with walking. The only caveat is: installation will take longer than advertised. Check their website for more information, but IMO Rock Treads are a game changer.

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