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Rubber boots for wading in shallow streams - thoughts?

What are the other ESSENTIAL pieces of equipment you carry with you? How do you pack? How do you hold your gear while fishing? Fly boxes? Snips? you tell us.

Rubber boots for wading in shallow streams - thoughts?

Postby another_shawn » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:56 am

I'm thinking about buying some rubber boots for wading in shallow streams while fishing. I'm looking at this pair specifically:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005F185HE/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1HCRYCV6S7D9O&coliid=I15GQZBY1XXGG&psc=1

I realize these aren't going to replace waders, but I'm just getting started and these seem like a budget friendly way to get in some shallow streams during the winter. (Make all the jokes you want about Georgia and winter, but I'd prefer to keep my feet dry when it's 40 degrees out.)

Relevant info: my use case for these would be small streams around Atlanta and northern Georgia. I don't plan on hiking in them. Walk-ablity is nice, but less important than traction. To help solve a possible traction problem, I'd be willing to mount studs to the bottom of them like Jason did to his Keen sandals. http://tenkaratalk.com/2011/06/wet-wading-with-sandals/

My thinking is that I'll pair these boots with some warm pants and wool socks. That should let me "get my feet wet" without too much of an investment or inconvenience.

I'd be happy to hear any opinions on this. If there's a better brand of boot available that's not much more expensive I'd love to hear that recommendation too.
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Re: Rubber boots for wading in shallow streams - thoughts?

Postby dwalker » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:33 pm

another_shawn wrote:I'm thinking about buying some rubber boots for wading in shallow streams while fishing. I'm looking at this pair specifically:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005F185HE/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1HCRYCV6S7D9O&coliid=I15GQZBY1XXGG&psc=1

I realize these aren't going to replace waders, but I'm just getting started and these seem like a budget friendly way to get in some shallow streams during the winter. .....


When I started I already had a pair of Chota Mukluks, that I had purchased years earlier for kayaking when the spring time water was still cold. They are about the same height as the boots you are looking at. But they have a strap at the top to snug them to your leg.

http://chotaoutdoorgear.com/shop/footwear/quicklace-mukluk/

Mukluks are much more expensive than the boots you are looking at. The point that I want to make is that water can look shallower than it is. Unless you are very careful you will step into a hole where the water is over the top of the boots and they will be flooded with cold water. When I did that with the Mukluks the strap at the top prevented the water from entering quickly. So I could back out before I had a boot full of water. The boots your looking at don't look like they will seal tight to you leg at the top.

Anyway, that is my precaution. If you're careful where you step they may work fine. I would recommend that you keep in your car not only dry socks, but also a complete set of dry clothes in case you happen to fall in the water. Stream beds are often quite slippery. The soles of those boots might work well in mud, but there is a reason why regular wading boots have either spikes or felt soles. Or they are made so spikes or felt can be attached when needed.

Chota Hippies also work well, but they are 5x the price of the boots. And near the price of lower cost waders.

http://chotaoutdoorgear.com/shop/hippies/original-hippies/

I purchased them as a lower cost alternative to waders after I found that too often I stepped into holes that were deeper than the top of the Mukluks. But they do give you several more inches of margin of error in judging water depth. Now I have Chota waders. I probably should have gone from Mukluks to low cost waders. Because low cost waders were not that much more expensive than the Hippies. The Hippies now mostly only get used in summer weather where the water is still cold. Then the Hippies offer some protection from cold water, but are not as hot to wear as waders when air temperatures are hot.

If you get those boots; try to snugly seal them at the top, be careful where you step, & keep dry socks and clothes near by.

My 2¢ advice.
D
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Re: Rubber boots for wading in shallow streams - thoughts?

Postby another_shawn » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:41 pm

Thanks for your thoughts! I'm definitely going to take the advice of packing extra clothes in the car when I go. I'll also be pretty careful about where I step, too. I really don't want to go swimming if I can avoid it.

Amazon Warehouse Deals had a pair in my size for $20 shipped so I bought a pair. I definitely won't be able to wade very deep, but I'm considering these boots as a proof of concept for waders. If I end up wanted to get a lot deeper into water, I'll know to start seriously saving up my pennies for waders and boots.

I'm hoping to give these boots a try Saturday. If I do I'll report back how well they worked if I can get out!
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Re: Rubber boots for wading in shallow streams - thoughts?

Postby brianb2 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:46 pm

I'm over in Charlotte NC, so we get similar weather. I wear a similar set of boots, Walmart specials. They work pretty good. Wool socks or neoprene booties help. I also carry a hiking stick I made from a branch from an old crepe Myrtle. I've put a mark on the staff showing the boot height so I can use that to test water depth. That does a decent job, but the statement above about extra clothes is good advice. A handful of times the water has been higher than my boots. Good luck.


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Re: Rubber boots for wading in shallow streams - thoughts?

Postby another_shawn » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:02 am

I really like the idea of a getting a stick and marking the height of the boots on it! That'll help address traction problems as well as help gauge water depth. (I'm tempted to pick up a broom handle at Home Depot on the way home from work.)

Unfortunately, the recent storms kept me inside this weekend. My proverbial fingers are crossed that next weekend will be more dry.
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Re: Rubber boots for wading in shallow streams - thoughts?

Postby Rob Ruff » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:15 am

There is one issue with rubber anything; they tend to bet slippery on the rocks. I have LaCrosse rubber hip boots that I break out from time to time because of the ease and quickness of putting them on versus dedicated waders and wading shoes. They are great especially for small streams. I do have to be careful however because the slip factor goes way up compared to my felt soled wading shoes.
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Re: Rubber boots for wading in shallow streams - thoughts?

Postby brianb2 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:23 pm

Remember, in a pinch you can pull an old pair of socks over your boots/shoes. I don't own felt shoes, or studded, or even a pair of waders. I got into tenkara because it complemented backpacking so well. That also means keeping the extra gear down to a minimum. Twice now I've been wet wading and it was too slippery to manage well. First time I cut a bandana in half and wrapped a piece around each shoe. It helped. Second time I pulled an extra pair of socks over my shoe. Worked great. I practice hobo tenkara. Good luck.


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Re: Rubber boots for wading in shallow streams - thoughts?

Postby another_shawn » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:28 pm

Hey guys! Sorry to take so long to reply.

So I've tested the rubber boots - they work pretty nicely. They're obviously a compromise, but they were a great test to see if I would enjoy waders.

Everyone here has made good points about wading. I found the suggestion to mark a stick with the height of your boots particularly useful. It's really easy to get lost in the fishing and wade into waters that are taller than your boots unless you're really paying attention. If you're fishing in tight cover there's a lot to pay attention to, too. I'm still glad I bought boots given that I got 'em for about $20, but there's more to wading than stomping in water like a kid.

As for wading itself - fishing from the middle of a stream is fundamentally different than fishing from the bank. I was hooked on wading after about 10 minutes of doing it. I ended up buying a pair of waders and boots because of how much fun I had both times I tried out the boots.

I'm still a noob, but I found keeping a plastic tub to put your wet boots and waders in invaluable if you're trying to keep your trunk clean. I also bought a plastic mat from Walmart to stand on when changing out of my boots and waders.

I really like the sound of "hobo" Tenkara (my retirement plans could easily be described as a hobo traveler) and I'll have to give it a try this summer. As much as I enjoyed my waders, putting them on and taking them off isn't as simple as putting on pants. They're great when you're in the water, but they're kinda odd to get into/out of gracefully while leaning next to your vehicle.
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Re: Rubber boots for wading in shallow streams - thoughts?

Postby dwalker » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:13 pm

another_shawn wrote:Hey guys! Sorry to take so long to reply.
So I've tested the rubber boots - they work pretty nicely. They're obviously a compromise, but they were a great test to see if I would enjoy waders....


Thanks for the update. Good to hear they worked out ok, and provided some insight into that advantages of having waders.
Most of the streams I fish I have to wade as the trees and brush grow right to the river's edge, little to no space to back cast without using casting techniques that try to avoid what is behind me.

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