Tag: felt soles

Supplemental wading traction

The kicks arrived and the contemplation began. How to make them just a bit stickier, but without raising the primary traction clear off the pavement. On flat rocks they’d perform like ice skates otherwise. Then it dawned that there’s a hardware store right around the corner.

cheap cleats

Ratchet not included

The fact is, softer is actually better. It bites, or rather, gets bitten. And regardless of how tough the Rockwell Brothers say it is, it WILL require replacement after a few outings. Ninety-eight cents a foot sealed the deal.

MG signing off (because marketing effectiveness and the gullibility of the target are perfectly correlated)

A Didymo Debacle Debunking

For those just joining, didymo (or “rock snot”), is an organism that spreads in coldwater environments, choking insect life and in turn, fish populations. A couple of studies, released years ago and [very] aggressively touted, pinned much of the blame for didymo on felt-soled wading boots.

Never mind that the data behind those studies might have been a wee bit light – an entire sport was moved to change. Boot manufacturers introduced a myriad of rubber soles, the environmental lobby spent heavily to promote “clean angling”, and a number of states banned felt soles altogether.

All was [supposedly] right with the world. Rather than ruffle feathers (because there was no chance in hell migrating waterfowl or any other wild creature or environmental phenomena could possibly have any causal relationship to rock snot infestations) the skeptics just went carp fishing instead.

The news of late should provide ample amusement, as responsible parties attempt to explain …

There’s new evidence published today that’ll have the fishing community in a tizzy, given their common belief that unclean anglers and felt soles are the root cause of the intercontinental spread of Didymo.

The article, “The Didymo story: the role of low dissolved phosphorus in the formation of Didymosphenia geminata blooms,” cites research done in both Canada and New Zealand (by their respective governments) that suggests anglers have little to do with Didymo blooms.

Read the rest, as only Master Barton could muster with gentlemanly political incorrectness. Those who shared the “common belief” might also benefit from reviewing Charles MacKay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

MG signing off (because shooting first and asking questions later only works in perpetuity if nobody has the nuts to actually ask the questions)

Gear Review: The Slip Stops Here, With Simms Alumibite Cleats

Simms Alumibite CleatsWe anglers are persistently striving for better footing while on the river. Beyond the obvious safety benefit, good traction makes for good posture, relieving back stress. It makes us feel more confident in our fishing, improving casting accuracy, and otherwise giving us peace of mind to concentrate on our end goal, catching fish.

Felt has never been the optimal solution. It provides nearly zero traction while hiking, and can be downright dangerous on grassy surfaces. It is a magnet for snow. And of course, it dries very slowly, potentially hosting a variety of biotic specie that are harmful to coldwater ecosystems.

Rubber soles were purportedly the solution to those problems, but they too have their inadequacies. While they provide excellent traction on the trail, their performance in the river, particularly where uneven bottoms and slick rock covering are the norm, is suspect. Several years back Simms introduced their Vibram sole, complete with a tread pattern that was supposed to compensate for previous rubber incarnations’ lacking. Actual reviews remained mixed, even though the author loves them because he mostly busts his ass reaching for the beer cooler in the back of the truck. And while Simms provided Rockwell hardened studs and their nifty Hardbite Star Cleats as compense, fly anglers are beasts that are difficult to appease.

Enter stage left: the Simms Alumibite cleats.

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