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KJC

Winter Wading Boots

15 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I'm hoping to get out and do a little winter stream fishing. I have a pair of felt-soled waders, but think that I have seen some comments to stay away from them in the winter. I can imagine they soak up water get wet and might end up being a little like walking with slabs of ice on the bottom of your feet when not in the water.

Of course, it might not be as bad as all that. So do any of you have experience and suggestions or warnings, etc. What are a good choice for wading boots in the winter?

Thanks,

KJC

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Felt soles + snow = bad

I have a pair of Cabelas backcountry boots with the studded rubber soles and they do very well in the snow/mud/silt.

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I have a pair of Korkers that I still keep for the winter (wore them out and now use Weinbrenner in the summer). The Korkers have removeable soles and come with a lug insert and felt insert. If you check places like Sierra Trading you can find some older models on closeout for a great price.

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WxGuy is right on. I use Simms boots with Aquastealth soles and studs in the winter. I love them, but one minor downside to them is their natural leather uppers. Leave them wet in the car in brisk weather overnight and they'll freeze solid.

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Thanks for your advice and confirmation of what I feared. Now... to pick up some good wading boots before Saturday. It looks like it will be a good day to break them in.

Karl

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I purchased a pair of strap-on-steel-studded boot soles that I think were designed for ice fishing and walking on smooth ice. The straps are velcro. I strap them on over my felt sole boots and they've worked extremely well for winter time fishing. I think I purchsed them at Gander for about $20.

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Now to change the question a little.

What do you all wear wet wading. On your feet and your legs.

The cheap water shoes I've been using are too slick on the muddy banks. and lite pants let the itch-weed through.

Waders are too hot. Lite Hip-boots?

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depends on what time of year it is, and where I'm fishing. Most of the time I wear my breathable waders if I am wading a trout stream. It just gets too cold otherwise. Breatheable wading pants area also a good call. I was on a trout stream two summers ago (2006), doing stream survey work in July, in no kidding 106 degree temperature. I was wearing my breathables with no insulation, just a pair of shorts on underneath. The water temperature was so cold, my legs kept cramping up on me when they were in the water for longer than 30 seconds. The water was 39 degrees.

I typically try not to get in the water if I can avoid it. Some of the small bushy streams are too small to wade and you spook fish. If I'm wet wading a warm water stream, I still like to wear pants. More often than not, you need to go up and down banks to get around deadfalls. A lot of those banks have stuff like buffalo grass, stinging nettles, poison ivy, etc. I don't like to itch, so I typically wear UPF rated, quick-drying, breatheable nylon pants, like Cloudveil Cool pants or North Face paramount pants. Redington versi-pants are also nice. In addition, you don't need to put sunscreen on your legs to keep from burning. The Cloudveil cool pants have an elastic cinch bottom and the North face paramount pants have a button strap if you want to roll up calf high. I don't like wearing convertible style pants, the zippers are always located in an odd place and feel bulky on my legs. I'd rather just wear shorts. For footwear, I wear my wading boots and neoprene socks with gravel guard that rolls over the cuff of your boot. The keen/simms watershoe looks like a good idea, but I wouldn't trust my footing on the rocks. Every sandle that I've ever worn has had the tendency of rolling/twisting on my foot when wet, no matter how snug the fit. I've never had the issue of my boot rolling on my foot. I don't like spraining my ankles, so I stick with the boots. Having my foot completey covered is also important to me. This helps prevent bug bites, scrapes, bumps, leeches, etc., from hampering a good day out on the water.

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Wet wading trout streams? Holly crampolah batman. I've tried a couple of times but it's just too darn cold on my legs. When I've tried, I just used my regular wading boots with neopreme booties. Seemed to work fairly well for my feet, just cold for my legs. For pants, any lightweight fishing pant will do fine as they dry out within a couple of minutes out of water.

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I wet waded a trout stream on a hot summer evening. The water felt great, but I learned to my great discomfort at the end of the evening that wet nylon pants provide absolutely no protection from stinging nettles. Youch!

I do wet wade frequently when smallmouth fishing. If I'm in and out of a boat, I wear my Bite wading sandals because they're so comfortable, but if I'm strictly afoot, I wear my felt soled boots over neoprene socks for the ankle support.

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 Originally Posted By: turiprap
The water felt great, but I learned to my great discomfort at the end of the evening that wet nylon pants provide absolutely no protection from stinging nettles. Youch!

really.... I haven't had that problem yet, though my pants are usally dry. Good to know though.

I typically wear my TNF paramount pants, they are a slighty thicker material and are a little more abrasion resistant than my other pants. The weave is so tight (probably why they are UPF 50 rated) even thorns from raspberries don't penetrate.

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Thanks for the tips,

When I fish July to mid Sept. I rarely use waders. Cold doesn't bother me. The nettles do! If I get back into the water and wash off BEFORE scratching the itchweed it's ok. I hate wearing the heavier pants. They're heavy and take forever to dry. I like wet wading even in the trout streams. To be able to wade right out up to my neck if it's hot, or I refuse to lose ONE MORE FLY!

HA!

Some days I never dry off.

The cheap Walmart wading shoes are perfect for everything except muddy banks. I've landed on my !@#! way too much. I'm getting older and would rather not spend the evening on the bank with a broken butt. They work great on the rocks and flat areas, and keep the sand and gravel out very nicely. Dry out fast and easy on and off. If they had tread they'd be perfect. Maybe the cheap wading shoes inside treaded sandles? Probably wading boots and neoprene booties. Seems so expesive though.

As for itchweed protection. I was thinking about some kind of wind beaker material for pants. Shorts work fine on the Miss. or most SM streams, 'cause I'm in the water more than not. I want to look at the TNF pants. Who carries them? That might be the way to go if they aren't too much.

Thanks, Still interested in any other ideas You guys have.

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 Originally Posted By: fishface
I want to look at the TNF pants. Who carries them? That might be the way to go if they aren't too much.

They carry the northface paramount pants at Dick's, REI, Sports Authority, Scheels in Eden Prairie and probably other stores too. They aren't on the low end of the price range though, $60. They're nice enough to wear around town too, not just for fishing or other outdoor activities. They are definitely cooler to wear than a pair of jeans.

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OOOoo

I'd be styl'n too?

I'm going to look at them.

I got a pair of nylon windpants for work that I might try too.

They'll keep whatever I'm wearing underneath wet though.

Thanks for the tips,

Jim

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yeah I think those pants have a DWR finish on them, as water beads off them for a while, at least until the finish wears off.

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