Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gear Review: Frogg Toggs Wading Boots

This past weekend I got to finally test out my relatively new wading boots for stream fishing.  They are Frogg Toggs' Anura Wading Shoe.  I had worn them in the surf before, but this was their first freshwater trip.  Overall the boots are good.  They are high quality, provide great ankle support, and best of all, cost a fraction of what nice Orvis or Simms boots cost.  They are a much higher quality and provide better ankle support than my low end felt bottomed Orvis boots (for close to the same price).  But there is one major problem.  Rubber soles.  I purposely bought rubber soled boots for two reasons.  One, I wanted them for surf fishing as felt isn't great for walking around the beach.  And two, I wanted to do my part to prevent spreading invasive organisms from stream to stream as felt bottomed boots are accused of doing.  I knew that rubber doesn't grip rocks as well as felt, but I never expected the difference to be so drastic.  I don't often fall while wading, but on Saturday, I fell twice, inviting some cool Toccoa River water down into my waders.  I was having an absolutely brutal time walking on the very rocky bottoms of the rivers we were fishing. In the evening I switched back to felt and had a much easier time.  I can hardly fault the boot - I wanted a rubber soled boot after all.  But I'm definitely wearing felt from now on at least for rivers with slippery rock bottoms.  The Frogg Toggs will still get plenty of use fishing in the surf here in Mississippi during the winter, and they will work fine for gravel and sand bottomed rivers.  But this is my warning to you: before you hop on the anti-felt bandwagon, know that felt is highly superior to rubber for sticking to rocks.  If invasive organisms are your concern, there's bound to be a better solution.

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