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Wading shoes

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#21 Guest_mikez_*

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 12:23 PM

LOL! :)

In rubber and rubberized canvas, during a fall, air is trapped in the waders (ie you didn't ease your way in or go in feet first), which makes the feet more bouyant, thus further preventing reestablishment of firm footing, esp when someone is shocked by cold water or panicked because of fast current. I had a friend drift almost 15 feet before I grabbed him - his comment was "I couldn't get my feet back down". I guess that's just another reason to go sock-foot, there's a whole other conversation ;)

If you can't get "your feet back down" in a gentle current, what happens when you're panicked and suddenly thrust into high discharges? Which is what my friend witnessed on the fella he watched die... They never saw his head as he went downstream. They watched his feet come in an out of view, you know, since he didn't sink <evil grin>.

The short of it is that people have died all through the years - my current question is whether rates have dropped because there's less people fishing, or if nylon and neoprene have just made falling less trouble since they tend to hug your body more quickly, thus preventing that air problem.

I think your advice is best. If you're unsure, stay out of questionable situations. I just didn't want someone to get the impression that because water is neutrally boyuant in water, that waders made it no more likely to drown. With certain types in some situations, they are a definate added liability.


I think you hit on the key when you mentioned panicking. I've been in the position you described and my feet were never so buoyant that I couldn't get them under me. However staying cool and using the current to angle in to shore is what kept me safe. The hard part was standing up and walking with 50 gallons of water in my waders. :rolleyes:
Panic is probably the number one cause of drownings. Attempting to rescue someone who has panicked is the second most common cause. That's why so many drownings come in pairs.
It's also why I'm more comfortable out there alone despite constany nagging from family. I have complete faith in my own abilities [famous last words?]. It's the other guy that worries me. :unsure:

#22 Guest_JohnO_*

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 12:51 PM

I don't use waders, for the very reason mentioned. If you fall over in a fast moving stream, they can fill up with water, and seriously impair your ability to stand up. And they fill up real quick if the current hits the tops, a few seconds. Technically speaking, a wader full of water doesn't add weight if you're in the water, but it does add mass. Try to move your legs with a wader full of water, very difficult. Learned that lesson the hard way when I was but a wee lad, and it has served me well. Neoprene soled nylon mesh shoes work fine for me. They don't last all that long, but they're lightweight, get good traction, don't pick up the current, and get the job done.

And if I want to go poking where the bottom is large, pointed, and algae slick rocks with any sort of current, I break out the pool cleaning net on an 8 foot collapsable pole. There are some places you probably shouldn't be wading.

#23 Guest_fritz_*

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 02:19 PM

Interesting article on felt soled boots and the new sticky rubber ones

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#24 Guest_ashtonmj_*

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 02:43 PM

Good for TU, wow I agree with them on something?!?! Simms, Patagonia, LL Bean are already phasing out felt. We do not wear them 99.9999% of the time and I know of several states going this route. If we do wear them, like a volunteer uses them, they cannot enter another body of water even on the same stream and they get a 24 hour soaking in bleach. We disinfect waders after leaving every body of water. Equipment like dip nets, block nets, etc. do not get used at another body of water that day and recieve a soak in bleach solution followed by a rinse and complete dry. It's a pain in the ass, time and cost consuming, but completely justifiable when you see the impacts of didymo. We've also sait up rinse stations at fishing access spots where Didymo is presnt. Personally I really like the sticky sole Simms and we are getting some Patagonia in soon. Ever try getting the mud out of felt after a day in the muck?

#25 Guest_farmertodd_*

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 03:52 PM

It's about time. I had to buy a new pair of boots late last season, and the only thing they had left was felt. I will also note that the second time I've fallen on bare ground (ie not tripping) was this fall, in my lovely new felt boots. I was standing on a concrete fish ramp. Coulda busted my elbow. They're useless.


#26 Guest_sschluet_*

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 09:37 PM

It's about time. I had to buy a new pair of boots late last season, and the only thing they had left was felt. I will also note that the second time I've fallen on bare ground (ie not tripping) was this fall, in my lovely new felt boots. I was standing on a concrete fish ramp. Coulda busted my elbow. They're useless.


My most embarrassing wader story involves felt wader boots; it was first and last experience with them. As we all know, a day in the water often results in a disheveled look that elicits funny looks/stares when you stop for gas or candy bar at a gas station. So I took my new neoprene felt wader boots for a long morning of steelhead fishing in a local river on a below-freezing February day. I left my waders on jumped in an ice cold jeep and headed for home, of course stopping 1 mile down the road for a coffee to warm my core. I had my waders rolled down to my waist with felt boots still on. I walked into the gas station to the usual stares, and headed for the coffee station. I made it about 6 strides until I unknowingly stepped OFF of the carpet runner and the frozen felt met the vinyl tile floor. After my 4 second interpretation of the river dance I went down...HARD in the middle of a crowded gas station. I crawled back to the carpet and popped back up, pretending it never happened. The attendant actually fetched me a coffee (I think fearing a lawsuit); I paid for it and left. Thankfully I was 20 yrs old at the time and bounced well.

I gave the boots to a friend the next day (with warning) and returned to rubber-soled boots. I never purchased another pair of felts.

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