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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

Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby JWJFisherCA » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:53 am

I think I may be coming around to your point of view Softouch. However, I just read a review (http://thetroutzone.blogspot.com/2009/11/product-review-neos-river-trekker.html) on the trekkers. The author states that they are no good on large, slick rocks. What's your experience with this? Have you modified yours in any way to compensate? Also, how often do you find yourself wishing you had chest high waders when you are out in the backcountry? I've seen some pretty lightweight gore tex chest highs but they are a little pricey and you still need wading boots to wear with them.
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby Softouch333 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:43 pm

The Neos have a pretty grippy deep lug, which sheds mud well too. They are not felts, but I think they are comparable to any rubber lug I have used and have felt secure wading in them as well as hiking. As I have posted elsewhere, I always use a trekking pole as a wading staff. It's a lot easier with a one-handed tenkara rod.

I have rarely missed chest waders in the back country. I remember using them once in the Bob Marshall, but I was in there on horseback and had them. Streams only accessible by backpacking are generally narrower and I fish outlets and inlets in alpine lakes primarily, all of which fish well with hippers. I occasional get a wet tail squatting but not enough to carry wet wading boots, waders, etc. I like to baby my waders a bit too and if I crash through brush I seem to cause small punctures too often. Neos are bash proof being made of heavy denier. The sweat not breathe, and they are a bit baggy, but still the best solution for warm wading I have found. I am listening closely for other opinions, especially lighter solutions. Check this thread. You see a photo of me in Neos at about 10,500 in the Wind Rivers. In this photo I have climbed on all fours up another 75 feet for the high vantage. No difficulty climbing for me, but that's just my take. Others might disagree.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=114&p=451&hilit=neos#p451
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby JWJFisherCA » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:11 pm

Forget wet wading in the early summer in the Sierras! I was really wishing I had a pair of Neos as I was wading a knee deep stream crossing this past weekend. It may as well have had ice cubes floating in it. My legs were in agony before I even got across the 10 ft wide crossing. The water shoes and wool socks I was wearing weren't cuttin it for the temperature of that water. At least I wasn't barefoot.

I also could have used them to fish the lake I ended up at. It was swarming with starving brookies, but I could only reach so many of them. Even that water was far too cold to wet wade.

After that trip I can really see the benefit of a few extra pounds. Time to invest in some Neos. Thanks Softouch!
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby LarryTullis » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:40 am

Neoprene Booties: I've used felt sole neoprene booties wet wading for years. They work great if you don't need full boot support. I like being able to feel what I'm wading on, their relative light weight and nothing beats felt soles for grip on slippery rock surfaces. I wet wade with some synthetic socks that come above the tops of the booties then fold over to keep out sand/gravel. You can actually wade in pretty cold water if you over-insulate your torso and head to compensate, or just get out a hike a bit when your feet get numb UL sock-foot hip or chest waders work very well with them too if you prefer to keep dry. Keep in mind that waders also work as lower body rain-gear. Put running shoe insoles inside the booties for more comfort. Light weight, low top "Tabis" can also be found.

EVA foam clogs: Not much is lighter or more versatile. Ugly but they work very well for light duty hiking/wading (even the $7 Wal-mart knockoffs). EVA foam grips very well on anything with texture but you need to be careful on smooth, wet surfaces. I use synthetic socks with them so size accordingly. They also dry very quickly and work great as a camp shoe. If gravel gets in while wading/hiking, just wiggle your foot mid-water or mid-air and it self cleans.

Some mountain streams are very swift and slippery so wade with caution and use your hiking staff or a local stick tethered to your waist as wading staff.
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby Karl Klavon » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:59 pm

On the rod question: I live in Fresno, Ca. and spend a lot of time fishing the back country between Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks. I purchased a 12 foot Iwana rod for most of the same reasons and considerations you expressed, and I have been very happy with it. I did not have much trouble adjusting to using the long rod on small brushy streams or small, high mountain lakes. If you are wet wading in the streams you fish, most of your casts will be made with the line moving through the open alley of the streams. For streams where there is a forest canopy, the bow-and-arrow cast will cover most of that water whether it is located on lakes or streams, especially if your total line and leader length is about 2 feet shorter than your rod is long. The shorter line also makes landing the fish a lot easier.

On the lightweight wet wading foot gear question: The best setup I have found so far is a pair of Patagonia's River Walker Wading Boots, sized 1/2 to one full shoe size larger than your normal street shoe size. The River Walkers are sized by the factory to go over 3mm stocking foot waders or neoprene socks. I put a couple of old pairs of sole inserts in my boots to take up the extra room for wearing just hiking socks and for wet wading under warmer, comfortable, wet wading conditions. Removing the inserts allows the boots to comfortably and easily go over my 5mm thick neoprene stocking foot waders, and I wear size 10.5 in my normal street shoe attire. To go over 7mm stocking foots or neoprene socks, you would probably need to go a full size bigger than your shoe size.

The waders I wear for float tubing, with a thick pair of wool socks over the waders if it is cold, and the boots handle that OK too. The River Walkers have a raised lug on the back of each heel to keep your swim fin straps from sliding off; no fin tethers are required with these wading boots and you can hike in to fish in the same foot gear that you will wear out in the water.

Fifteen or twenty years ago I gave up wearing leather hiking boots to backpack and fish in. I have used a pair of L.L. Bean's Aqua Stealth soled River Treads, Bean's AS soled West Branch wading shoes, and a pair of Simms L2s wading boots with the Aqua Stealth sole for hike in day trip fishing, week long backpacking fishing trips, and week long deer hunting trips in the snow. The Aqua Stealth soles were made by 5-10, a maker of technical rock climbing foot wear, and they gave great traction on wet and dry rock with their "Sticky Rubber" compound. The River Walkers have Patagonia's own Tri-Star tread design and Sticky Rubber compound, and so far they have been the best performing boots of the whole lot. They are lighter in weight, have great support and foot protection, and have better traction that the AS soles ever did. I considered buying a pair of Simms Headwaters boots but I felt the New Vibram sole was too hard to perform well in the conditions I hike and fish under. Mine are going into their third season and still look nearly new. Yvon Chouinard was a talented rock and alpine climber, who is the founder and CEO of Patagonia. He is also a devoted Tenkara angler, deserving of our support in my view.

The Fly Shop has the River Walkers @ 149.00$ a pair right now, which is about 20.00$ less a pair than the going rate. This year Patagonia brought out an improved and upgraded version of the River Walkers, called the"Rock Grip", @ 179.00$ a pair, which in addition to the other improvements, includes a removable stud kit which gives better traction on water polished and slime covered rocks and logs. I do not know if the River Walkers will be available after the present stocks are all sold out. So if you want a pair of River walkers, it would be wise to move quickly.

I have no financial interest in either The Fly Shop or Patagonia. I am just trying to pass the word along on what I believe is a good product at a reasonable and more than competitive price...Karl.
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby Paul Arnold » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:06 pm

@Karl -- So you prefer the Patagonia River Walker to the more expensive Patagonia Rock Grip boot. I wonder why. I am interested because I see the need (sadly) to replace my felt soled Simms boots because of the new laws and regulations; I figure that the boots I buy will be for the rest of my life, so I am eager to choose wisely. Your observations are welcomed and respected here. ~pfa
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:47 pm

Anyone try the multi sole style wading boots where they have felt and rubber that you can swap out.

I think Chota makes them.

I am considering them do can use felt when allowed and rubber when not.

Tj
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby albertyi » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:27 am

TJ @ Tenkara USA wrote:Anyone try the multi sole style wading boots where they have felt and rubber that you can swap out.

I think Chota makes them.

I am considering them do can use felt when allowed and rubber when not.

Tj


TJ,

You might want to take a look at the Korkers Chrome. I tried those on when looking for boots, and they were lightweight. The BOA lacing system makes getting in and out a breeze (I have this system for both my wading boots and snowboarding boots and they are very reliable, lightweight, and convenient). I ultimately settled on the Simms Rivertek with BOA lacing system because though they felt a little heavier, they gave me more ankle support.

Other people can chime in too, but I feel that with good vibram rubber soles and carbide cleats you can do without felt for the sake of minimizing the potential of transferring aquatic invasive species.

- Albert
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby Anthony » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:54 am

I can say that since I switched to rubber with studs, I have not missed felt one bit. I've used two L.L. Bean boots, the original Lightweight with studded Aqua-Stealth soles and now the new Gray Ghost ultralight with studded rubbber. I have never had any slippage problems with these boots, the rubber is very "grippy" and the studs add extra bite when needed, it's been a while since I used felt and I don't regret the switch at all. Rubber soles also provide added benefit in winter fishing - snow doesn't build up on them when walking on snow like with felt.

That said - I never wade without my wading staff.
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Re: Lightweight Wet Wading

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:55 am

Yes it was the Korkers I was thinking about, not Chota.

They look like a nice multipurpose boot.

tj

albertyi wrote:
TJ @ Tenkara USA wrote:Anyone try the multi sole style wading boots where they have felt and rubber that you can swap out.

I think Chota makes them.

I am considering them do can use felt when allowed and rubber when not.

Tj


TJ,

You might want to take a look at the Korkers Chrome. I tried those on when looking for boots, and they were lightweight. The BOA lacing system makes getting in and out a breeze (I have this system for both my wading boots and snowboarding boots and they are very reliable, lightweight, and convenient). I ultimately settled on the Simms Rivertek with BOA lacing system because though they felt a little heavier, they gave me more ankle support.

Other people can chime in too, but I feel that with good vibram rubber soles and carbide cleats you can do without felt for the sake of minimizing the potential of transferring aquatic invasive species.

- Albert
Tenkara USA, Director of Customer Service

Tenkara Junkie - Tenkarajankī
Now sporting all of the Tenkara USA Rods!
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