Fishing Tip: How to Stud Your Boots for Wading

C'mon, get a grip. Don't clean out your wallet for new boots

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While none are as grippy as old-school felt, certain rubber wading soles are better than others. The only way to mitigate your river dancing, though is to add steel between rubber and rock. Commercial sets can cost as much as $30. Happily, it only takes about $2 and a trip to the screw section of your hardware store to keep you upright on your next outing.

Look for self-tapping quarter-inch hex head sheet metal screws no longer than half an inch long. The more raised the edge of the hex head the better, but the outer rim must be hexagonal. Stay away from zip screws; they have rounded heads and won’t grip nearly as well. Plan on 16 to 20 screws per boot. Be mindful that the balls and heels of your feet make the most contact with rocks.

Because the screws are self-tapping, you should be able to just screw them into the soles without pre drilling with a hex bit or a Phillips head. Create an even pattern and don’t screw them so tight that you strip them. Be sure to buy extras, because over the season some will wear out and others will work their way out.

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