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Lightweight Wet Wading

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

Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby JWJFisherCA » Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:37 pm

First Post! I'm absolutley stoked I discovered Tenkara. I have yet to purchase a rod and actually fish with it but I can only imagine that combining backpacking with Tenkara will be great.

On to Question #1: I am thinking about the best and lightest way to fish the high sierra lakes and streams. I am not afraid to get my feet wet as I have done this with a combo of tennis shoes and neoprene socks before. I'm looking to cut out the weight of the shoes and buy some heavy duty neoprene scuba boots. http://www.scuba.com/scuba-gear-13/002093/XS-Scuba-7mm-Pyrostretch-Heavy-Duty-Boots.html They provide warmth as well as very good grip and support in the sole. I'm hoping they will come in under 2 lbs. otherwise it probably won't be worth it and I may as well buy a pair of the Neos Trekkers that Softouch333 mentioned in another post. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Question #2: I'm looking to find the most versitale Tenkara rod for fishing small mountain lakes, and brushy to moderately open creeks and streams. I have read numerous posts but I haven't come to a decision yet. While the 13'-6" Amago would give great reach it would seem like too much for a stream with any sort of tight cover. I am leaning towards the 12' Iwana which would appear to give the best all around performance and would be a good rod to start fishing Tenkara style. FIY, I have no fly fishing experience. Any suggestions?

Thanks everyone in advance.

-Jon
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby CM_Stewart » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:38 pm

I can't really help you with your first question, although I wonder if they would provide any ankle support at all.

On the rod for small mountain lakes and brushy to moderately open streams, I think you are correct in your thoughts that the Amago might be too much for any streams with tight cover. The 12' Iwana would indeed be a good choice, although if you don't plan on fishing for bass with the rod, I think an Ebisu would also be a good choice. Of those two, I would choose the Ebisu (softer, slower smoother cast, slightly lighter line - I'd get the 3.5), but I know there are others who would choose the Iwana (crisper, quicker cast, slightly heavier line which would be better for breezy days or weighted nymphs - the 4.5 and/or the tapered line).

I'm sure you'd be happy with either rod, though.
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby rsetina » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:36 pm

Chris is correct in saying that the Amago would be too much rod for the streams you are going to fish. But I'd have to disagree with him on the rod choice. My first choice would be the Iwana and the second would be the Ebisu. Sorry Chris. ;) This may be due to the fact that I own the Iwana my family and my wife owns the Ebisu. :D But either rod would be suited well for the waters you plan on fishing.

By the way, where do you live if you don't mind me asking? I'm in the Glendale area and fish the Eastern Sierras fairly often. You can PM me if you don't want to post the info on the open forum.
Rick

テンカラ。小さなストリームのシンプルさ。
My Tenkara Rods:
13' Ayu, 12' Yamame, 11' with a conversion handle, and an Ito.

My Wife's Tenkara Rods:
12' Ebisu and 13.5' Amago, 12' Iwana with a conversion handle, and an Ito.
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby JWJFisherCA » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:58 pm

From the reviews I've read the scuba boots should provide pretty good ankle support. Many people use them for walking to and from boats/divesites, deck shoes, and other things on land. I haven't found anyone using them for fishing yet though. :lol: All I know is 7mm of neoprene would keep my toes toasty warm in the coldest mountain water I could find. I probably wouldn't be going more than calf or knee deep in water like that though.

Chris, I think I'll leave the bass fishing to my spinning tackle. Then again maybe I'll pick up a Yamame some day. I'm pretty sure the 12' Iwana is where I want to be then. You recommended the 3.5 line. Is that a wise choice for a beginner? I've been reading the 4.5 is easier to cast. Is it all relative?

Rick, I'm in Alameda up by Oakland. Most of my trips are to the Western Sierras although I am not ruling out the Eastern Sierras by any means. My Sierra fishing has been more lake based than anything. My stream fishing experience is from Illinois, mostly panfish and smallmouth. I would love to see the bend a smallmouth could put in a Tenkara rod.
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby Adam Trahan » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:11 pm

The Ebisu is an excellent choice and quite esthetic. The wood handle, the soft profile, the length, the Ebisu is a great inexpensive tenkara rod readily available.

I've done big hikes in Chaco flip flops but there is an Internet of wading/hiking sandals out there. I've tried wet suit booties, your feet move around, wet and clammy, blauahh. I've used gore tex sox with light meshed running shoe type hikers. That is a good system. For the absolute minimalist system, backpacking centric, I would use the gore tex sox system.

I think it is ok to disagree with people and have your own opinion especially in such a subjective activity as fishing.

A lot of Sierra Fly Anglers use pack fly rods. They break down into three or more sections. Fly fishing with a reel is an excellent way to approach streams and especially lakes where goldens may be just outside of casting distance with a tenkara rod or in overhanging brushy stream, you can cast into a tunnel with a fly rod and it does not take long to learn.

There is nothing wrong with choosing a fly rod but man, tenkara rods, telescoping down to a little length is just so backpacking, I don't blame you for choosing it.

Have fun and good luck with your choices.
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby CM_Stewart » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:37 am

Jon,

I guess I wasn't clear in my response. I would choose the Iwana if you DID want to fish for panfish and bass with it, and the Ebisu if you DIDN'T. If was in your scuba boots and thinking of getting the Yamame for bass (and the Amago is a great bass rod, too), then I would get the Ebisu for the Sierra trout. And Rick is quite right to disagree with me because it really is a matter of personal preference. Either rod would suit your needs well.

If you decide on the Iwana, I would definitely get the 4.5 line. I think the Ebisu would do very well with the 3.5 line. The 4.5 is easier to cast, but the difference isn't all that great, and I do prefer the lighter line with the softer rod. Of course, that, too is largely a matter of personal preference.
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby JWJFisherCA » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:42 pm

Chris,

You were clear. It was just too late a night for me and I misread your post a little. :? Sorry about that.

Anyway, based on all I've read the Iwana seems like a great all around rod and a good place to start learning the technique of Tenkara. I can always get an Ebisu later if I feel I need something with a bit more finese for the trout right? And a Yamame, and an Aamago. Or I just need to calm down and start fishing with a Tenkara rod.

Grassart,

I don't mind the clammy feet as long as they're warm. Are the gore-tex socks for keeping your feet dry or just for insulation? I have a pair of Keens right now which I thought would make great water shoes at one point but they let in too much gravel and sand. They are also loose and give no ankle support whatsoever. The main drawback to the scuba boots is the weight. I've been trying to cut pack weight this season, hence the Tenkara. I carry a 4-piece spinning setup right now. The reel alone weighs in at 8 or 9 ounces. So an Iwana and a light wading setup could save a subtantial amount of weight.

Thanks for your advice again guys. I'm saving my pennies for an Iwana. Hopefully I can get it in time to go out on a few trips this season.
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby Softouch333 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:13 am

Jon,
I have been a backpacker for a lot of years and I think I've tried every combo of wading gear. I have tried neoprene boots especially with liners. The neoprene certainly helps with warmth and they are light. However, the protection from rocks is poor and the soles of my feet got quite sore after a day of rock hopping and wading. I even tried a boot insert to give more protection. They will work though if you have tough feet.

A pair of light weight wading boots is better support and works with a neoprene liner nicely. It means either hiking in wet boots to lakes, if you base camp, or cacheing your hiking boots and changing into wading boots. They are also heavy, especially if wet. They also are going to pack damp if you fly anywhere.

For me, sandles or wading shoes are too cold for mountain streams. I once tried Crocks too which made a nice camp shoe but would pull off in any muck. Anything with an open toe is asking for trouble.

That brings me back to the Neos River Trekker. They are a little heavy I'll admit but roll up tightly, and dry quickly. You don't have to cache your boots streamside; you're wearing them with the subsequent great support. The are absolutely luxurious in stream or lake compared to wet wading. And they make great rain pants and bush wacking chaps. They do sweat a bit, but I have literally lived in them for days at a time. I'd like to see a lighter version, but for now...the clear winner...but that's just me.
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby Jay K » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:54 pm

Softouch333 wrote:That brings me back to the Neos River Trekker. They are a little heavy I'll admit but roll up tightly, and dry quickly.


Do you just wear the Neos as your hiking boot/shoe? Or change into them? What do you wear inside them? Socks? Neoprene? Nothing? Shoes?

They look like an interesting option.
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby Softouch333 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:00 pm

Do you just wear the Neos as your hiking boot/shoe? Or change into them? What do you wear inside them? Socks? Neoprene? Nothing? Shoes


Neos are (New England} Overshoes. Leave you hiking boots on. They have a rubber sole with toe and heel box such that they pull tightly on to your boot. Then you strap down the excess material over your arch with a fast clip strap. Just like hip boots there is a velcro strap that attaches to your belt.

So you wear your normal hiking socks and boots inside. Great support. No need to cache your boots. Most the time I don't even carry them...I just wear them; the cleated soles have good grip and I can climb trails and rock hop easily. And the sturdy denier is bulletproof in bashing through brush a burrs.

They are heavy by ultralight standards (2.2 lbs manufacturer says--I've not weighed) but their multifunctionality makes up for it. One time I lived in them for 5 days of snow, hail, and rain. The fishing was still great and I was warm while my wet wading buddies suffered.

I once came across a light weight version most useful for river crossings. Can't remember the name, but they just weren't sturdy enough. Neos are very popular in Alaska and bushwack proven. They have some short versions to calf high, but for me the "river trekker" is worth the extra weight.
Last edited by Softouch333 on Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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