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Gear Recommendations for 2014 Convention?

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#1 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 10:34 AM

Hi everybody. I mostly just keep fish in captivity and don't spend much time outdoors looking at them except in prime swimming weather. I own a snorkel, seine, fishing rod, and an umbrella net, but the closest thing I have to wading gear is shorts and sandals.

What clothing gear (waders? boots? wetsuit?) do you recommend for a person looking to take part in the 2014 convention activities with everybody else? Please include prices with your recommendations, thank you.

#2 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 11:35 AM

A few years ago we were in the general Linville Falls area in May and a lot of water was comfortable just wading in shorts and whatever shoes you have (wading boots are obviously better but I have been doing this for the last 14 years with various sneaker and water shoes) so I can say it is entirely doable.

Similarly, if it is warm enough we have all snorkeled in shorts and t-shirts. But a wet suit will allow you to maximize your time in the water and minimize your shivering.

I know you want more details. But I a want to make sure that everyone knows that you can fully participate with minimal expense and difficulty. I will leave to others to make more specific gear recommendations, but would remind folks of the conversation we all had about Simms wading boots (I got a new pair for Christmas).
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#3 Guest_Heather_*

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 06:32 PM

A camera please Erica!! Take some pics for those of us not fortunate enough to go ourselves... LOL :-({|=

#4 Guest_Irate Mormon_*

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 01:21 AM

I generally wear quick-drying (microfiber) clothes and surfing booties. I carry an almost perfect dipnet ( I prefer my version). I lost the seines on an ill-fated trip a few years back, but I don't miss them.

Sandals will just give you a headache. Splurge on the $6.99 surfing shoes at Wal-Mart.

#5 Guest_Skipjack_*

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 03:05 AM

You people with your walmart footgear/surf shoes. They make decent wading boots for a reason. You will spend how much on a once a year convention? And $7 bucks on safe footwear? Not sure I get the logic. Even $29 dollar junk felt bottoms beat the hell out "whatever is cheap and can get wet".

#6 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 09:32 AM

Are felt bottoms legal where we're going? I have heard that some places they are banned because they transfer invasive species from one site to another.

#7 Guest_tomterp_*

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 09:33 AM

I can't tell you how many years I waded in old tennis shoes, and was nearly contemptuous of those who "went soft" and bought real wading boots. Then I won a pair of Bite "Steelhead" boots and I'm kicking myself for not having gone for these sooner. They are dramatically more comfortable, protective of the foot / ankle and provide a LOT better traction with the combination felt/studs. I'm not sure Bite's in business anymore and felt is definitely "out" now, but one can do a lot better than lightweight improv stuff.


#8 Guest_fritz_*

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 10:47 AM

felt bottoms are legal in NC

#9 Guest_Irate Mormon_*

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 10:38 PM

So sue me, I'm a minimalist. Go Barefoot - that's the ticket!

#10 Guest_Casper_*

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 04:51 PM

If your gonna stand on the bank and look pretty then surfing booties will work great. If your gonna get in there and kick, pull and run while actively and aggressively seining then you will need proper sturdy boots with felt or cleats. You can't really kick cobble with those flimsy surf booties without risking stubbed toes and broken bottle gashes.
When i discovered felt years ago i was surprised, i could just about run in a cobbled slippery stream, the felt amazingly provided excellent grip. How can wet felt grip slick rocks? But as noted above, not so good on a slippery bank and wet leaves. I busted my hiney a few times hiking to the stream.
I use sandals if i'm just messing around for the day but little rocks getting in is mighty painful and frustrating. I generally use sandals when i'm snorkeling, but it's better to use sturdy boots. A problem i have had with the boots though is an athletes foot outbreak. A good spray of bleach seems to help. I wear boots if i plan on walking a lot or seining.
Where we are going, that cold NC mountain water in early June... if you plan on snorkeling you really need a hood and a wetsuit. Otherwise shiver on those overcast days.

Should be an awesome event. A favorite place to explore.

#11 Guest_Skipjack_*

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:23 PM

Thank you Casper. Felt also sucks really bad on snowy banks! But if you are out in the water giving it your all, proper footgear makes things easier, and in my opinion much safer. You all can decide what works for you, but when it comes to wading and kicking, felt or studs are your friends.

#12 Guest_Skipjack_*

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:27 PM

Casper says you need a wet suit, but I bet he will be seen jumping in cold water with shorts and t-shirt. Don't know how he does it.

#13 Guest_Casper_*

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:04 PM

Bryce gave me a new term to share... Bioprene.
Shamefully true, just like a walrus.

Thinking back when i first "discovered" snorkeling, late 1990's, my eagerness, excitement and adrinaline keep me going the first year or 2. Then i bought a shorty which keep me ok for another year. But for really extended comfort, and comfort is the key word here, one needs a wetsuit and hoody.

Sunshine and water temps above 70 i can be ok for a good bit of time, in fact that is how i lead most of my Conasauga snorkel guide trips. Overcast and below 70 i yearn for a wetsuit. I will jump in about anything though for a quick look.

NC is gonna be great... lots of good snorkel water. I am planning on staying the 5 night max at the facility... perhaps even a couple days more once i study the map, route and nearby possibilities. I hope many of you will consider the same and keep the event fun for five days.


#14 Guest_Skipjack_*

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:38 PM

Adapt, improvise,overcome. You spend enough time in bone chilling water.....

#15 Guest_fundulus_*

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:48 PM

One somewhat more expensive option for water shoes is to look for "kayak boots" which you can get from various online vendors for about $75. They're made to be wet for extended periods without smelling, dry out pretty quickly, and have good traction although not as good as felt. But they're also comfortable to wear. I've had mine for three years now working in both Southern streams and Panama.

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