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Ronan's report


Wednesday 15th August, 2007

Paul's rant on Monday about the throw away plastic world that we live in got me thinking about gear.

Most of my gear has been great to me, lasting many seasons despite hard use - bordering on abuse.

But add wading boots to the list of things that just don't last. Laptops, camcorders, trucks, and wading boots.

We've discussed this over and over, so I'm not going to rant too hard on this topic, but I wish that someone would/could design a wading boot that lasts more than 75 or 100 days on the water. I'm talking about boots that stand up to hiking, and aggressive wading up to 200 days.

Since I moved to Oregon I've become a huge fan of studded sole wading boots. Bedrock ledges are a common feature on our rivers and the carbide points really make a difference when wading deep in a cold and swollen river for winter fish, where one slip may mean the end of your day (or even worse). One drawback of the studs is that if you kick or step on your other foot while wading, the potential to damage the other boot (especially the seams) is very high. I've blown out 2 pairs of studded boots since last September, when I moved here.

Last week I got a new pair of boots. I went for it and got some of the new jobs from Patagonia. They do alot in the way of funding conservation and grassroots activism through 1% For The Planet, which you know I like, so I'm supporting them with my purchase.

I'm also trying out a new trick that I hope will be the secret to everlasting wading boot life. Before I ever stepped into the river in the boots, I spent about 2 hours meticulously covering the critical stitched seams on the boot with Aquaseal. I used one of those little paintbrushes that guys use when building model airplanes. I've used this stuff to repair waders for a long time, but this time I'm using it to protect the seams that tear out from when sharp rocks and boot studs cut the thread. I haven't hear of anyone doing this before, so at least in my own mind I'm an innovator. It's the Sexyloops way! The boots look great, and I can't wait to get out fishing and start to wear them out. I'll let you know how my little stitched seam protection method works in a few months. Give it a try yourself if you're into it and let us know what happens.

Off to Seattle for work and then back this way for some steelheading next weekend.

Until next time,

Cheers,
Matt


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