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strutnstuff

Wading boot studs

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I thought it was a wader industry standard nowadays???? Avoidance of felt. I used to contact cement felt to my duck hunting waders but stopped can't screw studs in those. Real concern in Arkie tailwaters....

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I appreciate all the feedback. Still haven't decided on what brand. Just curious no one mentioned what size & how do you determine the correct size, 3/8" or 1/4". I have cabelas boot waders, not sure if that makes a difference

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I have Chota STL's that come with studs, but I've never used the studs. Felt grips slime without scratching the rock. As for Didymo, that's only a problem if you don't clean your boots, and don't let them dry out between trips. For some people, that may be a problem. For me, it's rare that I get to fish 2 different river systems on consecutive days (or the same day). As my boots dry thoroughly between trips, it's not a problem.

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Felt works as an all around sole but IMO it is not the best choice for medium size rocks/boulders. I slipped all over with felt for years on some stretches of the Au Sable till I went to studs. Also felt is not something you can use in the winter unless you want to be 8" taller after walking through the snow lol.

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Gotta wash em off after anyways, no?

Unlawful in many places to use felt, washing doesn't help with that.

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Several states did ban felt soles because of an article by Max Bothwell, a research scientist for Environment Canada, who wrote an influential article that linked angler's felt soled boots to dydimo spread. Because Dydimo is a one celled organism that can easily be trapped by felt, some states banned felt soled boots before all the data was established based on Bothwell's conclusion which has now been proven false.

 

Here is Bothwell's original article, On the Boots of Fishermen: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wat/wq/studies/didymo-blooms.pdf

 

Max Bothwell has now reversed himself and said that anglers are not responsible for dydimo. But those laws are still in place.

He now believes that dydimo has been in North American waters and that it is a change in water chemistry, specifically lower phosphorus levels that has caused dydimo blooms. Read the article in American Angler, July-August, 2013, pp 8-9. "'I no longer believe the problem is North American streams is the result of it (dydimo) being moved around.' …. Scientists are now convinced that dydimo lives in many streams, but blooms only when the water has far less than the normal amount of phosphorus…… The most damaging dydimo episode in the US seems to have been on Rapid Creek in South Dakota, where a six-mile bloom dramatically impacted a blue ribbon brown trout fishery. In 2007 and 2008, Bothwell and other scientists added phosphorus to sections of Rapid Creek. Sure enough, the dydimo mats shrank"

He published his findings in Freshwater Biology (2012) 57, 641–653 in an article titled: Didymosphenia geminata growth rates and bloom formation in relation to ambient dissolved phosphorus concentration http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5422748.pdf

"The blooms were present only in rivers where average dissolved P was very low. Didymo in higher nutrient waters had higher cell division rates, shorter stalks, and did not form blooms. …. the blooms are caused by low nutrients in the overlying water, which promotes excessive stalk production. Subsequent surveys, experiments and observations in New Zealand have all been consistent with low nutrients (specifically low P) driving the blooms."

The same data findings have been published in the New Zealand Scientific Community Journal Wailogy What causes didymo blooms

A study of a new bloom in Rapid Creek in South Dakota found the same low phosphorus conditions in the water but that Didymo form mats. The mats contain bacteria that concentrate the phosphorus. Therefore, Dydimo mats are the result of the low phosphorus in the water. Without low phosphorus dydimo would be in the form of regular diatoms. "Didymosphenia geminata, is able to colonize and dominate the bottoms of some of the world's cleanest waterways--precisely because they are so clear. Didymo does so with a little help from its friends--in this case, bacteria--which allow it to make use of nutrients like phosphorus.

In a study funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the State of South Dakota Carbon Scientist fund, Sundareshwar and colleagues revealed that Didymo is able to concentrate phosphorus from the water. Didymo thrives in Rapid Creek through biogeochemical processes in biofilms in the mats. As Didymo mats form, new stalks develop at the surface and older stalks--which have already bound phosphorus--are displaced to the mats' inner regions. Phosphorus is available to Didymo thanks to the activity of the bacteria that live inside these mats. "This study solves the puzzle of how Didymo can produce such large blooms in low-nutrient rivers and streams," says Tim Kratz, program director in NSF's Division of Environmental Biology. "It has uncovered the fascinating mechanism by which Didymo ‘scrubs' phosphorus from a stream or river," says Kratz, "then creates a microenvironment that allows microbes to make this nutrient available for Didymo's growth."

nsf.gov - National Science Foundation (NSF) News - River Mystery Solved - US National Science Foundation (NSF)

I think this recent discovery makes more sense than the old theory that all of a sudden dydimo sprang due to anglers boots when anglers have been using these same rivers for over a century with no dydimo blooms. Felt is safer for the angler under most wading conditions and if dydimo is the reason you are going to rubber soles, there is no scientific reason to do so.

 

 



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It gets even worse. So we now know that felt does not cause didymo blooms. We know that didymo has been there all along.

 

But did you know that the states that outlawed felt soled boots still allowed state and federal employees to wear felt soled boots? That's right. In the proposed and passed legislation that I have been able to find, there is an exemption for state and federal employees.They know that felt is safer than rubber so they exempted their employees but they put the public at risk.

This allows fisheries as well as other personnel to use felt soled waders and boots. It seems to me that if this is important, those who are routinely in the waters and are more likely to be in different watersheds routinely, should be the first to transition to rubber soles. Instead the state exempts their own people while mandating a change for their population.

Notice the nearly identical language in legislation in Montana and Vermont. Montana's is stalled in committee and Vermont's has passed. If the ban is based on science, should it not apply to everyone? This is the kind of legislation that burdens the public, but exempts government which drives me nuts.

 

In Montana:

"NEW SECTION.**Section 2.**Use of felt-soled boots and waders prohibited.

(1) A person may not use external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders in the waters of the state.

(2) The possession of external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders on the banks or shores of a stream or lake or in a boat, raft, canoe, or other water vessel is prima facie evidence that the person or persons in whose possession the boots or waders are found were using the boots or waders in the waters of the state.

(3) The provisions of this section do not apply to a state or federal employee or emergency personnel, including fire, law enforcement, and emergency medical technicians, using external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders when acting within the scope of duty."

 

In Vermont:

"Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. § 4616 is added to read: § 4616. FELT-SOLED BOOTS AND WADERS; USE PROHIBITED

It is unlawful to use external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders in the waters of Vermont, except that a state or federal employee or emergency personnel, including fire, law enforcement, and EMT personnel, may use external felt-soled boots or external felt-soled waders in the discharge of official duties."

http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2010/bills/Passed/H-488.pdf

 

So the ultimate irony is that a warden can give you a citation for wearing felt boots while wearing felt boots himself. How crazy is that?

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For once it's not California

 

California did a study on the effects of chemicals treatments on wading gear and the survival of New Zealand Mud Snails. You can download the pdf here.

 

http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=3867

 

The same California study found that chemical decontamination eventually destroyed the waders and boots. Bleach for example is an oxidizer and damages gear. Any spill or drips in your vehicle will damage upholstery and carpets. That is why manufacturers recommend rinsing and drying gear without the use of chemicals. HOWEVER washing and rinsing with water alone does NOT KILL NZ Mud Snail and other invasives.

 

Here are some photos gear that has been chemically decontaminated. There were treated ONLY 7 TIMES and the gear looks like this. That is why I say there is no single treatment that will kill all invasives and won't damage wading gear excessively.

 

Bleach

 

35684868406_3867826884.jpg

 

34883170594_1e0a5782a3.jpg

 

Pine Sol

 

35684867876_1abbb1b404.jpgd

 

Bezethonium Chloride

 

 

34883170534_6f54d6194a.jpg

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Perhaps wading gear companies and those doing these studies could put their heads together to create gear that can withstand a treatment that will kill these things that are at risk of being spread by wading gear?

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I used the 3/8" long size and probably could have gotten away with 1/2". I think the proper length screw depends on the thickness of material you're putting them in. I put mine in brand new felt soled boots. Before screwing them in with a screwdriver handled socket I put a tiny bit of Gorilla Glue super glue impact formula on the threads. Don't keep tightening them to the point where they "strip" the material you're putting them in or that hole will be worthless and you'll have to move to a new spot. I used them all last year here in the northeast and a month long trip out west. Lots of miles and I didn't lose not one stud. They don't hold well if you're trying to scale a smooth rock face with any pitch to it but in a freestone stream and on streamside rocks they saved my butt plenty of times.

 

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Gotta wash em off after anyways, no?

rinsing off felt soles isn't effective in killing rock snot algea(the big problem in my area). Gotta use bleach.

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The PDF steel drifter sent suggests a 50% 409 solution and some other alternatives to bleach for all wading gear and anything else that goes underwater, that won't kill waders but are effective against new Zealand mud snails, but California hasn't figured out what to do yet. But it does seem felt itself is not the actual problem, it's just illegal in some states... Don't know if 409 is effective re "rock snot" (?? Really called that!!?? 🤣) algae but maybe worth checking out if you're using bleach...

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