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July 30, 2008

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New Zealand: No More Felt.


That's right folks, no more felt on the soles of your wading boots in New Zealand. The ban on felt is expected to become effective October 1st of this year.

Fish and Game New Zealand, the regulatory body that governs just that decided the material is a "high risk" carrier of certain organisms like didymo, and other invasives.

Personally I think this is a great move and I'm sure is a sign of things to come. If we're going to control invasive species drastic steps are going to have to be taken world wide and I'm sure this is just a start.

I haven't had a pair of felt boots in probably five years and I don't miss them a bit. To be perfectly honest I made the switch because I like the sticky rubber more than felt here in Colorado, but it turns out I've been doing my local watersheds a favor in the process.

Does any one out there check and or wash their gear for possible contamination? Who wears rubber? Who wears felt? How would you feel if they banned felt here?



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I was on a river in MD that actually has a wash station with salt and water. kinda cool


i don't know, but they should ban fairy fishing outfits like the ones pictured above. are those leg warmers?

Chad Miller

We only wear sticky rubber and aquastealth in our guide service. Not because of invasive species just because we like its all around use. Felt is terrible, you can't walk in snow or mud in them. They work okay when in the water otherwise I hate felt.

We also sell 10 to 1 sticky soles to felt. Like you said Tim we have been doing fisheries a favor with our use of rubber soles without regard of invasive species.

As far as I care they could ban it and we wouldn't miss a beat. Rubber soles can have spikes added to them if needed making felt plus spikes obsolete.

Alex Pernice the fly rod winner

Rubber... i owned 1 pair of felt once and i hated them, they don't have enough grip to keep me from falling.


All for it. I've never worn anything but rubber soles.


Now I'm intrigued. I admit I wrote off sticky rubber soles as just another marketing ploy to get me to buy new boots.

How durable are the sticky rubber bottoms compared to felt soles?

Can you easily re-sole the sticky rubber bottoms yourself?


I bought felt because I am new to fly fishing and did not know better. When extra money allows I will buy a nice rubber pair. For now, I only wear the felts in one river exclusively.
Kevin PA, that is my home water you spoke of, the wash stations are due to confirmed cases of Didymo. It scares me to be honest, I like my little tail water nice and clean. I think rubber is a great step to help protect fisheries from invasives. Every little bit helps.

tim romano


the sticky rubber is amazing. I have a pair of Simms aqua stealth boots, but you can re-sole quite easily.

check out this kit from five10


Strip Set

My question is this: Is felt truly the villan? What happens when a Didymo Spore or New Zealand Mud Snail gets caught on the sticthing or mesh upper of a boot or trapped in the mud caked in the voids on a rubber sole? Suddenly the banning of felt becomes a moot point.


i've used sticky rubber because i do a lot of hiking which would just tear up felt outside of the water, but it doesn't always grab on smooth wet rock. perhaps a rubber/spike combo would be ideal.

tim romano

carbide screws come with most rubber boots nowadays. I screw mine in the winter for ice. I just use a drill to take them in and out...

Strip set,

I think you have a point, but felt makes it a ton easier for these things to be transported.

I used to wade barefoot alot, ('cause I ain't seen a company yet that makes wading boots in freak sizes.) Then one day I stepped on a bottle.
Nowadays an old pair of chuck taylors suits me just fine.
And yes, I do wash them off after every outing.

Blue Ox

Above post was me!

Alex Pernice the fly rod winner

Blue where do you wade?

tim romano

blue ox,

you're one tough mutha. Barefoot? What are your river bottoms like? What's freak sizes? Perhaps I can help you out...

Alex Pernice the fly rod winner

The river bottoms we wade usually are muck or gravel so they are not that bad.
I don't even wear waders in the summer as breathables are expensive and they rip too easy. i only own a pair of bootfoot winter waders for spring, fall ,and winter.

Alabama flygirl

Blue Ox...
Wading in Chuck Taylors...that is old school and I love it! Ditto what TR said...you are a tough mutha if you can wade barefoot!


Take a close look at what attaches to wader material. Anyone for rubber waders?

Blue Ox

Alex is on point. I can usually be found wading in the Kankakee, but I also frequent the waters of the Illinois, the Fox and some parts of the DuPage. I won't wade the DesPlains river cause that's just nasty. These waters are mostly gravel and mud, but I've found canoe-shredding rocks and big-ass boulders in some places. Parts of the DuPage can be like quicksand, so be carefull and bring a rope just in case.
Nothin' says old school like cutoff jeans and a pair of old black and white hi-top chuck's for wading! (or anything else, for that matter) :)
I still wade barefoot on occasion. I seem to get better traction that way and I like being able to feel changes on the bottom. No messy cleanup either. Same deal as yr hands-just hose them off and wipe 'em on the dog.
As for freak sizes, I will admit my feets are odd-shaped, almost like a duck's foot. My shoes are size 15EEEE. (super-duper wide) Redwings makes them for me, but as before, I've not seen any place that does waders or wading boots in that size.
No big deal though, like I said, the chucks do me just fine.
Thanks much!

Alex Pernice the fly rod winner

The fox!!! Thats where i fish the Geneva and Batavia stretch. Catching monster cats on bluegill immatations this week. I should fish with you...

Blue Ox

And one day you will...

Tyler P

They both aren't worth the hype on big slick bouldery streams like the North Umpqua...Rogue..etc..ect... STUDS or you might as well stay home. I bet over the years at the fly shop on the Deschutes we sold 10 to 1 studded over felt. I have just plain aquastealth too and It's not worth a [email protected] in big rivers. I like the advantages in the snow and on the trail but no way in the river.

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