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Patagonia River Walkers vs The Rock Grips Update

Tenkara is a great type of fishing for backpacking and securing a meal when out in the woods. This forum discusses backpacking in general and how it relates ot tenkara: fish recipes, favorite spots, ultra-light backpacking

Patagonia River Walkers vs The Rock Grips Update

Postby Karl Klavon » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:34 pm

On the Light Weight Wet Wading thread I voiced praise for Patagonia's River Walker wading boots, and lamented the possibility that they might no longer be offered as Patagonia had brought out an updated version for 2011 - the Rock Grip wading boots. For more information on the new boots, here is a link to Tom Chandler's review of the Rock Grip boots on his blog - troutunderground.com:

http://troutunderground.com/2011/07/und ... ith-studs/

If you click on the lighter print "winners from my earlier rubber boot test" in the review, it will bring up the earlier comparison of nearly all the principal rubber soled wading boots there are on the market, with the findings and recommendations done in that review.
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Re: Patagonia River Walkers vs The Rock Grips Update

Postby rmcworthing » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:35 pm

I'm afraid that more aggressive tread pattern he seems to point toward as the downfall of the Rock Grips are now shared on the newer generation Riverwalkers.

I received a pair of the newer generation Riverwalkers as replacements after blowing through the seams in a pair within 2 months of purchase. I immediately noticed a difference in traction. Ask my fishing partners - I fall constantly.

I love the lightweight, quick dry profile of the Riverwalkers. But that new tread with the thicker lug just doesn't work for me on the waters I'm fishing.

By the way, despite an attempt at reinforcing the seams on my replacement pair with a urethane product, I blew through the seams in the second pair within 3 months as well.

At least the Rock Grips have a continuous rand and no exposed seams in the bottom 1/3 of the upper.

Some of us out here have thought about Korkers - armed with two pairs of removable felt soles so you can switch out for a disinfected pair when changing river sections or water bodies.

Anybody else have a favorite pair of boots? I'm in the market.

Rob
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Re: Patagonia River Walkers vs The Rock Grips Update

Postby albertyi » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:41 pm

I love my Simms Rivertek boots with the super-convenient Boa lacing system. I have Simms tungsten carbide screw-in cleats for great grip on slimy rocks.

Also, it's not just the felt soles that hold AINS. Seams and folds in boots and waders will harbor organisms and spores. The only way is with a chemical wash and/or hot long bath. A recommendation from a few places is to have a separate set of wading gear for infected waters.

Hope this helps.

- Albert
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Re: Patagonia River Walkers vs The Rock Grips Update

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:04 am

Same exact thing happened with my riverwalker boots - 2 pairs with open seams!
I finally coaxed them out if their new model boot with aluminum bars. I saw Yvon an Craig testing the prototypes in Montana, and the didn't fall! Looking forward to testing it.
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Re: Patagonia River Walkers vs The Rock Grips Update

Postby jd_smith » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:13 pm

.
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Re: Patagonia River Walkers vs The Rock Grips Update

Postby erik.ostrander » Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:19 pm

rmcworthing wrote:Ask my fishing partners - I fall constantly.

Rob


Almost every time Rob is taking a bath in the river. I think maybe he like being cold and wet :)


jd_smith wrote:That being said, if your a very active hiking/wading type of angler such as myself, the only boots worth a damn are Simms boots. They're bomb proof!

jd


I'm afraid that I haven't had such good luck with Simms boots. I have the Guide boot, and I have multiple seams coming apart in under a year of use. They are still functional, but I'm not sure how much longer they'll last. Also, the leather shrinks on me when they dry, so I have to get them wet before I put my foot in them.

I'm strongly thinking about the Patagonia Crampons. I think they might be a really good add-on, and allow me to remove them when i want to get in a boat.
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Re: Patagonia River Walkers vs The Rock Grips Update

Postby jd_smith » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:16 pm

..l.,
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Re: Patagonia River Walkers vs The Rock Grips Update

Postby Karl Klavon » Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:09 pm

LL Bean's current River Tread Wading Boots have the BOA-Closure system, and come with the Five-Ten octagonal lug design Aqua Stealth sole, in plain form or studded, at an additional cost of course.

Bean's Gray Ghost Wading Boot model is the ultralight weight model, again available with either the studded sole or the plain octagonal Aqua Stealth sole. This boot has a minimum of seams, pieces and details to make them easier to clean away aquatic hitchhikers.

Bean's West Branch Wading Boots are only available with out studs and it has the round lug pattern Aqua Stealth soles. As far as I know these 3 wading boots are the only wading boots currently on the market with the Five-Ten Aqua Stealth soles. LL Bean was the first wading boot company to offer the Five-Ten Aqua Stealth Sticky Rubber soles so Five-Ten decided to stick with LL Bean and they quit offering their Aqua Stealth soles to the other wading boot makers. Consequently everyone else has gone over to using the Vibram, not as sticky as the Aqua Stealth Sticky Rubber Soles are sticky, rubber sole or its cheaper foreign imitators.
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Re: Patagonia River Walkers vs The Rock Grips Update

Postby chorpie » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:23 pm

Not to derail this thread, but i've been wondering something for the backpacking fishermen. Do you hike in your wading boots? Or do you bring extra boots and then switch into wading boots later on?
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Re: Patagonia River Walkers vs The Rock Grips Update

Postby rmcworthing » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:40 pm

JD, I'm afraid I just don't accept that a wading boot upper should not last longer than a year under the heaviest of conditions. If other "water-exposed" industries can do it, why can't this one. Perhaps we should be asking for more?

Karl, thanks for the LL Bean tip. Having lived in Portland, ME, I have fond (and foggy) memories of midnight runs to the 24h Freeport LL Bean compound. I'll check them out. Must say I have some reservations about Five Ten rubber lasting on a wading boot, though. I suppose there's no reason I couldn't have them resoled as I do my climbing shoes.

Chorpie, I find it useful to divide backpacking trips involving fishing into two general types. First, the type where fishing takes first seat and backpacking plays wingman. Mileage isn't the point. Fish are. So I wear my waders and boots, go a few miles upstream with my backpack on, and find camp. Second, the type where backpacking and mileage take more of a first seat. Now, for a number of reasons, I hate laminates such as Gore Tex in footwear. So for pure backpacking trips, I prefer a lightweight running or water shoe with a pair of Seal Skins for dry feet in nasty conditions (I'm excited about Altra's Lone Peak trail running shoe, for example) for cooler weather, or a pair of sandals for warmer weather. Either way, the footwear is partially chosen for it's ability to get wet and dry quick. So the shoe I hike in is the same shoe I wade in.

Now, the issue I've had is that the high mountain water here in the Wasatch or Uintas is quite cold even in the height of summer compared to, say, the water in Pisgah or Smoky Mountain National Park. I'm too much of an ultralight geek to pack heavy waders. There's a hole in the industry when it comes to a truly packable, lightweight wader option for backpacking. Some friends of mine and I are hoping to plug that hole soon . . .
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