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Fly fishing wading boots are the best way to stay upright in slippery sloppy waters. The last thing you want is swim with the fish, instead of catch them. There are a few other reasons you should consider getting wading boots like:
Comfortable: fly fishing wading boots are more aptly designed for a fishing environment than most toe biting boots. Most boots just get soggy, heavy and ridiculously uncomfortable as the day passes. You don't want to end up with chafed feet, just because you decided to indulge in your favorite pastime.
Not that expensive: sure, you may need to break the bank to afford "some" fly fishing wading boots, but most brands out there aren't outrageously expensive. You may need to pay for better traction and drainage good wading boots offer, but the price difference won't be so much when compared to ordinary boots without those features.
Besides, a good angler knows all fly fishing gear needs to be budgeted for. Wading boots should be planned, so they make the gear list. Here's what to look for in good wading boots.
Fly Fishing Wading Boots: Buyer's Guide
Good wading boots should be stable, comfortable and have good traction to allow easy navigation of slippery surfaces with loose gravel. Here's are the features to help you navigate these surfaces.
You want a sole with a very firm grip, and all wading boots have this. There are 2 main types of soles though, each with its own benefit. Because some states ban certain soles, you should learn the fly fishing laws of the state you plan on fly fishing before buying fly fishing wading boots.
The first type is the felt soles. They're best for slippery, rocky surfaces, but they take too long to dry, so might not be ideal if you plan on moving from one terrain to another. Furthermore, they aren't ideal when worn outside streams, so make sure you use yours solely (pun intended) while in the water.
The second type is rubber soles. They used to have a bad traction rep in the old days, but technology's gotten better. These days, they're ideal for long walks, slippery terrains, and their abrasion resistance. They typically last longer than fly fishing wading boots made of felt soles.
Bear in mind that felt soles have been banned in a couple of states - including Nebraska, Alaska, Missouri and Maryland. The reason for the ban is because fishes can get stuck to felt soles, and move with the angler as he/she moves to different waters. Of course most anglers don't have the luxury of fishing different waters, but you can understand how moving one specie from its home to another place would be a problem.
Wading boots get wet, if they aren't designed with good drainage fabrics, they'll stay wet, heavy and uncomfortable. All of which equals a miserable fishing day. Find lighter boots, made with fabrics like nylon or polyester - if you want cheap wading boots. If you fish in cold temperatures, opt for neoprene waders because they provide more insulation.
Bonus, some really good brands use hydrophobic coating, which essentially repels water. The coating might wear out with prolonged use, but you can spray a waterproof spray on it.
Strained ankles resulting from fishing accidents gone wrong are more common than you think. It's exactly because of accidents that anglers are advised to bite the bullet and get fly fishing wading boots. A lot of wader manufacturers include extra paddings around the collar and heel of the foot for added support. Other's put tongues on the sides of the boots to absorb shock.
Bonus support is waders with caps on the heels and the toes, to protect you from inevitable bumps.
You want to get waders that have lightweight uppers. They'd usually be made microfiber or synthetic leather, so they dry fairly quickly, but last a lifetime.
It's always a good idea to learn about the streams from local fly fishing experts, so you know what to expect. Water bodies with rougher than normal terrains require studs to provide better traction, so your fly fishing wading boots should have a screw-in cleat option, especially if you frequent rough terrains.
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