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Thread: Felt Soled Boots Going Away

  1. #1
    Member Wyatt's Avatar
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    Default Felt Soled Boots Going Away

    With some states moving to outlaw felt soles for contamination issues and Simms changing to Vibram soles in the coming years, do you think this move is needed? I haven't heard talk to change the laws here, but it could be on its way. I'm all for protecting the resource, but on this one, I'll have to be convinced. I think the bigger problem is bilge water both on recreational and commercial vessels.

    Wyatt

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Not Good

    This is the first I have heard of the felt soles going away. I think it sucks. There is alot more things messing up the rivers lakes and waters than felt soles. I must say I might be out of the loop in this. This is the first I have heard of it. Why not outlaw line, weights, flies, soda bottles, wrappers, beer bottles and cans. I must say I have never had a bag full of felt soles on my raft after coming off the water but June and I eaisly fill a plastic bag full of junk every time we float the river.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member Wyatt's Avatar
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    Default

    It's not a litter issue, but water contamination! Proponents say the felt can easily hold mud and organisms that can be transported between water systems. Seems to me it should be low priority in light of freighters discharging water from around the world in Alaskan waters that could have far more serious consequences.

    Wyatt

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
    It's not a litter issue, but water contamination! Proponents say the felt can easily hold mud and organisms that can be transported between water systems. Seems to me it should be low priority in light of freighters discharging water from around the world in Alaskan waters that could have far more serious consequences.

    Wyatt



    Thanks for clearing it up for me. I agree with you 100 percent
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Default

    I hear great things about the Aqua stealth, Simms and LL Bean both have offerings right now. Word is the traction is great on rocks, sand, anything. A lot of the rivers I fished are very slick and the riverbeds are mainly smoothed over rockbeds, I would like to test this new stuff out.

    I've gone with Korkers boots because they are extremely comfortable and the replacable soles. I'm hoping they come out with a aqua stealth sole.

    As for the banning and questions about transporting eggs, larvae, or anything else, you have valid points. Everywhere is different though, in colorado the rivers aren't big enough for ships or motor boats, at best rafts or drift boats can float, but even those can only make it down a dozen or so of the 100s of rivers out here. One primary carrier of bad things could certainly be felt.

    Personally, I think felt can be really improved upon, and if this helps get some better traction in the rivers then I'm all for it for that reason at least.

    The problem is, other wildlife, like birds in particular, carry all the same stuff too. It seems to me there is no stopping the spread of these things, it's just nature being nature. The ecosystem(s) will adapt IMO.

  6. #6
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Trout Magazine

    There is an article in this month’s Trout Magazine this month about that very same subject.

    There has been enough advancement in rubber type compounds that felt will eventually go away IMO. Although birds etc.. do transport micro-organisms through-out the world and ships discharge foreign waters into systems every little belt helps.

    I think it is a step (sorry for the pun) in a good direction and a very responsible move on behalf of the manufactures to do the correct thing for the correct reason.

    I guess time will tell when the rubber hits the rocks if you know what I mean.

    http://www.tu.org/site/c.kkLRJ7MSKtH...M_Magazine.htm

    Blue Moose

  7. #7

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    [quote=FishnPhil;422379]
    I've gone with Korkers boots because they are extremely comfortable and the replacable soles. I'm hoping they come out with a aqua stealth sole.
    [quote]

    I have the guide model and like 'em a lot. I read on Midcurrents '09 review Korkers has their own version, "Kling-On™ High Friction sticky rubber sole as part of their interchangeable sole systems". They are supposed to be available March 15, 2009 and selling for $29.95. Spending thirty bucks will be a lot nicer than spending over a hundred bucks to replace a pair of boots I already like.

    If these new soles work as well as felt, it sure will be nice come next fall when it starts snowing and the fishing's still good. No more 6" snow lifters on the bottom of my boots

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    Default Um, they already make them

    [quote=907FlyFisher;422413][quote=FishnPhil;422379]
    I've gone with Korkers boots because they are extremely comfortable and the replacable soles. I'm hoping they come out with a aqua stealth sole.

    I have the guide model and like 'em a lot. I read on Midcurrents '09 review Korkers has their own version, "Kling-On™ High Friction sticky rubber sole as part of their interchangeable sole systems". They are supposed to be available March 15, 2009 and selling for $29.95. Spending thirty bucks will be a lot nicer than spending over a hundred bucks to replace a pair of boots I already like.

    If these new soles work as well as felt, it sure will be nice come next fall when it starts snowing and the fishing's still good. No more 6" snow lifters on the bottom of my boots

    Korkers has been making aqua stealth soles long enough for me to wear a set of them out.....nothing to wait for.

    They work great, not quite as grippy to slick rocks as a new set of felts but just as good as a half used pair, and the best is you don't break your butt when you hit a muddy bank. I even moose hunted in mine since I intended to cross some water frequently.

    I think that they work well enough and definitely protect waters from contamination due to people and I use them religiously when in waters that have already had whirling disease issues, or, I intend to jump watersheds. Out in Bristolbay we're ok so far, so I wear what works best. But when I go south, the felts stay up here.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
    With some states moving to outlaw felt soles for contamination issues and Simms changing to Vibram soles in the coming years, do you think this move is needed? I haven't heard talk to change the laws here, but it could be on its way. I'm all for protecting the resource, but on this one, I'll have to be convinced. I think the bigger problem is bilge water both on recreational and commercial vessels.

    Wyatt

    I guess I look at this as maybe helping fill in a small piece of the puzzle. I do think bilge water is a larger issue overall (it's how we ended up with zebra mussels, quagga mussels, round gobies, and who knows whatelse in the U.S.). However, when it comes to aquatic nuisance species prevention, it takes an effort on EVERYONE's part from regulatory agencies and the industry controlling importation and transport of unwanted critters to individuals taking preventative measures (cleaning their waders, not dumping bait buckets into lakes, etc). Some steps are easy, some are very difficult. Yep, it's a major pain in the butt and incredibly expensive. And in the end, sometimes all these preventative measures still don't work, especially once something is already introduced.

    I think that wader manufacturers will catch on pretty quick in providing products that work just as well as felt soles, but don't harbor micro-organisms, especially now that there's a demand with the unlawing of felt soled waders in some areas.

    For some great info, check out New Zealand's website. They've been leading the way in research on aquatic nuisance species ever since Didymo (aka. rock snot) showed up in their country several years ago.

    http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/didymo/cleaning

    P.S. anyone ever travel to New Zealand to fish in recent years? They actually quarantine all your fishing gear at the airport when you arrive!

  10. #10
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Rock snot (didymo)...and other

    Interesting link. If didymo can survive here and with so many visiting fishermen, seems like the risk for transfer to Alaska would be high. Here's a quote about felt-soled boots in New Zealand:

    Felt-soled waders are not permitted for freshwater fishing in New Zealand. The Anglers Notice issued under the Conservation Act 1987 states at 2.4 "No person shall fish for sports fish by using felt soled waders or footwear incorporating of having attached a sole of felted, matted or woven fibrous material when sports fishing."

    Fishing footwear containing absorbent material, such as felt-soled waders and boots, poses a high risk of didymo transfer

    Do you think most fishermen bringing gear to Alaska are using these recommended cleaning methods (hot water, hot water + detergent, or freezing) on their gear before travel?

    Another link, mentions rock snot in mountain streams of western Canada:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=17523153

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    Interesting link. If didymo can survive here and with so many visiting fishermen, seems like the risk for transfer to Alaska would be high. Here's a quote about felt-soled boots in New Zealand:

    Felt-soled waders are not permitted for freshwater fishing in New Zealand. The Anglers Notice issued under the Conservation Act 1987 states at 2.4 "No person shall fish for sports fish by using felt soled waders or footwear incorporating of having attached a sole of felted, matted or woven fibrous material when sports fishing."

    Fishing footwear containing absorbent material, such as felt-soled waders and boots, poses a high risk of didymo transfer

    Do you think most fishermen bringing gear to Alaska are using these recommended cleaning methods (hot water, hot water + detergent, or freezing) on their gear before travel?

    Another link, mentions rock snot in mountain streams of western Canada:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=17523153
    Didymo is in Alaska. You can see it in the summer in Campbell Creek (looks like wet toilet paper). It has been reported in rivers in the Interior, SW AK, and SE AK. Here's the kicker with Didymo, it probably is native to Alaska. It is native to western Canada and the Rocky Mt area of the lower 48. The weird part about Didymo is it use to only be present in small patches here and there seasonally. Now, for whatever reason, it forms very thick nuisance mats and has been transported to areas where it is not native, like New Zealand, eastern U.S., etc. Has something changed environmentally to cause the native form of Didymo to take on invasive characteristics, or is the invasive form that's causing all the trouble a genetically different critter than the native form? That's the big question scientists are working on.

    Are most fishermen bringing gear to AK using methods to clean them? I'd bet the vast majority do not properly clean their gear before leaving their home state or before leaving Alaska.

  12. #12
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default Aquastealth

    My simms boots have the aquastealth soles on them, and I am very pleased with them. I have only used them for one season, but look like they did the day I bought them. The soles do not show any wear on them at all. The traction on slimy rocks is just as good as my felt boots were, but the aquastealth really out performs the felt when it comes to mud. My felt boots would get mud caked in them, making them like leather shoes on ice. The aquastealth is very similar to a hiking boots sole when it comes to mud, grass, and other things you walk on along the river.

    Jake

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    The new Simms Vibram soles are supposed to be even better than the Aquastealth on slimy rocks. I read a positive report from a guy in Utah who has a pair and has used them. I think that the Aquastealth soles are probably hard to clean too, so I think Simms will be discontinuing them too when they discontinue the felt after this year. But I'm not sure about that.

    I think it will be quite some time if ever that felt soles are banned in Alaska. At least I hope so, because I have a couple of new pairs around here I'd like to wear out.

  14. #14
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    good rubber totally beats good felt any day, I'm serious... We've done tests and stuff with climbing boots.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Default I went to aquastealth years ago... what's the felt good for anyway?

    About the third time I almost did a gainer off an airplane float, raft frame tube, gunnel, etc I knew there had to be something better than felt. They may stick ever so slightly better on mossy rocks than aquastealth, but in my opinion the stealth more than makes up for it when you get around aluminum, or try climbing a mud bank. Only thing is the stealth will leave marks on nice bow and gunnel paint as compared to the old Sperry Topsiders

    Anyway, as far as I'm concerned this switch would have happened sooner or later as soon as enough folks tried the aquastealth stuff out.

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    I tried the aquastealth soles out shortly after they became available and was very disappointed in them. I felt they gave me very little traction on slippery rocks. This was over ten years ago so I don't know if they have gotten better since then but at the time I felt I wasted my money and gave the boots away. The guy I gave the boots to, said the same thing.
    If they have gotten better, my next pair of boots may be stealth.

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    Default a little hard to believe

    If felt is such a problem, how about canvas boots, various gators and neoprene waders - or even waders made out of other materials.

    Sounds to me if we follow this logic, we need to be only in some kind of plastic, rubber or lamb's skin - and then we should dispose of it. hummm - that does sound like something else, doesn't it?

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    Member Alaskan Salmon Sith's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    good rubber totally beats good felt any day, I'm serious... We've done tests and stuff with climbing boots.

    Felt, studs, and rubber. That is the way to go. I love me some WaterSkeeter boots. I have yet to slip wearing my boots that contain all 3 of those.

    Proudly Serving Since 1997
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    "Only a Sith deals in absolutes in regards to fishing!"

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    Default I like my clumbia brand feltys

    I have been using some of the columbia felt soled for the last 3 years. They have rubber in spots so they do have some contact with metal or other slippery surfaces.

    I guide on foot mostly and have been all over with them. They may not be the end all be all but I have loved them and hiked back into places on them. The only problem I have had is on STEEP mud banks and I wasn't the only one falling on my @** so I'm not blaming it all on the felt.

    As for protecting the resource, there are ways of keeping your gear from contaminating new waterways with invasive species etc. Your local state and federal fish and game agencies can provide you with all the information on how to make them "clean."

    Outlawing the boot isn't going to solve a problem like invasive species. There are just too many ways to hitch a ride on gear and equipment and it is important to take personal responsibility for your stuff. Make sure to spread the word about cleaning your gear especially when traveling, that's how we keep it legal to use whatever materials we want. Felt can be just as safe as anything else if you are responsible.
    Last edited by River Runnin; 02-12-2009 at 14:17. Reason: reread
    River Runnin

  20. #20

    Default total outlaw of felt

    I was wondering is there going to be a total ban of felt in streams, rivers, and lakes. Or is it just going to be a ban of selling boots with felt. Just wondering so I will know if I can stock up on felt soled boots in advance.

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