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jbeganny

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You will be able to tell from my question that I am brand new at this so please bear with me. I live in Maine and am planning on working the Swift River in a few weeks. I have some basic equipment including a sluice and I should have a dredge in a few weeks. Last week I bought waders that are 3.5 mm thick but they do not have boots. They have the footies or whatever you call them. I know the water in the Swift will not be above 40 degrees so I figured I needed the thick waders. My question right now is should I be wearing boots with these waders or are they made to just walk in the river with these booties? If I do need to buy some boots, what type of boots do I get?

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Yes, buy boots it you want the waders to last. And if you want to stay on your feet. They are slippery little suckers without boots on. I use the canvas boots made for fly fishing. They are cheap, don't get heavy when they are wet and have a sole like a brillo pad that will grip on mossy rocks.

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Or you can get a $20 pair of slip on sand shoes - which is what I wear over the neoprene booties on my Reddington Crosswater waders. Works well in the ocean surf, so should work well in the river as well. http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/3804.htm

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jbe those waders are made with the booties or boots.....to late now but you should have shopped around and

got the boots.....both suggestions above are good....since your probably going to be on slick rocks I would

go with the fly fishing boots.....

Spent all most of my life in Okla. and I love to "tube fish"....that's where you sit in a tire tube with a seat built

inside the innertube and the biggest problem your going to have is the cold.....believe me no matter what

the thickness of the rubber is it gets to be the same temp as the water in about five minutes and then in 10

minutes you won't even be able to feel your feet and legs....they will be numb....SO....

Before you put the waders on slip on the best cold weather underwear that money can buy....two pairs of

fleece or wool pants.....at least three pairs of wool socks.....hope your waders are big enough for all this

clothing....if not and you haven't used the waders try to trade them for a bigger pair and some with boots....

Now about your hands.....they are going to suffer big time.....in Alaska some of the stores sell heavy

insulated gloves that go almost to your arm pits and have a cord that runs behind your head....they

are a life saver if you can find them....

Then get two of those metal hand warmers that you fill with lighter fluid and put them in your pockets

for thawing out your hands.....

Good luck and stay warm.....

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Luv my Hodgeman waders as they cover the chest and have them felt bottomed boots attached to GRIP like crazy. Took me about 7 years of constant use to wear out a pair of them boots only so went whole hog and man alive Ize happy as a flea in a nudist colony---warm too-John

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One caveat about felt sole wader boots ... many states are outlawing them now because of the possible transfer of non-native invasive plants and organisms. The thought behind outlawing the felt is that it takes awhile for it to dry thoroughly so someone fishing in various locations in different bodies of water over a few days could contaminate a body of water with the invasive plant or organism that is still alive in the damp felt. Talk to someone at Cabela's in Scarborough, Kittery Trading Post in Kittery or LL Bean in Freeport about the boot you should use. You need not spend more than $50 for a servicable wading boot.

Now as to the Swift River ... my old stomping ground not that many years ago ... You will only need those waders for the spring runoff ... summer water temps of the Swift were very tolerable to me. Summer temps on the sections of the Swift at the Maine and NH border areas was in the low 60's and very doable on those 85-90 degree days in July and August and if lucky into September. Bring your fly rod and a few locally tied grasshopper flies and you will be able to have a fresh trout shore lunch every day! Enjoy.

Mike F

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Yea Well! With all the Tragedies the Forum has had this last month , I was hoping we could Avoid the Avoidable.

He should ditch the Waders and get a Wet Suit Bottom.

Edited by homefire
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Or lacking a wetsuit bottom or farmer john I would strongly recommend a safety belt or two around the waist. The Swift River where he will be doesn't run particularly deep but as the name implies it is very fast in the spring run-off. The summer flow is usually knee high or lower in most places and easily walked by most. There are a few areas of rapids but even in the summer the rapids are mild. Not saying you can't drown in the river ... folks have drowned in lot less treturous water ... but if he is careful and places each step he will be fine with the waders, a good pair of wader boots and a safety waist belt.

I use a pair of waders with a safety belt in the ocean on my fishing kayak ... to start each season I actually do practice self rescues in icy spring NH ocean water by purposely tipping over and recovering while wearing the waders. I get a wet shirt above the belt but little to no water gets below the belt and in fact because of that setup my legs act like a giant float unless I decide to 'burp' the air out of the waders. The only reason waders become anchors is that a wearer has opted not to use a safety belt ... I like to wear two unless I remember to bring and use my 2"wide one ... the others are usually about 1" wide. The 2" belt usually gives a better seal and is the one I prefer.

My personal disclaimer: The above is all from my personal experience using breathable waders, wader boots and safety belt(s) and reasonable rescue practice in compromised positions wearing same. Using my methods is not intended to be gospel as to how to best do it ... that is the sole responsibility and duty of the person using the waders.

Mike F

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One of my drysuits has the booties and I usually need steel toes so I wear a pair of mucks or bogs that come up to the knee. you can get either of these with normal toes and when your working shallow, wear an extra pair o socks to make up for the large size and these boots will not allow your feet to get cold. I've worn these boots 300' deep in crazy cold water, we wear hot water suits for such dives but the boots hold warm in the same as they keep cold out. just my 2 cents. good luck.

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There are many people that use an old pair of high top sneakers for wading boots, some are on a budget, but I know a few guys that just prefer the sneakers other than boots, if you wear thick or extra pair/s of socks for cold water get a size or two bigger than you normally wear.

The drawback to sneakers is that they can get slippery on rocks, but you can glue felt to the bottoms to overcome the slipping.

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Thanks to all who answered and offered great advice. LL Bean is only 20 miles away so I will go over and talk with them about boots and a belt. I am fairly sure I could pick up a used wet suit from one of the white water rafting companies for cheap. Is that a better idea than the waders? The waders are very roomy, by the way. If the water temperature is 60 in July, that would be awesome. Hey, anybody know about gold in the ocean off the coast of Maine. If there is any is any of it retrievable? How does one get it? Do you just dig and pan or what? Would the beach be better or the rocky shore? Thanks again for your help.

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You would find the Two Peace Wet Suit is Warmer then the Waders. 7mm Neoprene is good down to the 40F no Problems. A hour or So.

Safer, You Can Move Better, Can buy Booties or just about any foot ware you like.

I slipped in a Stream only runing about 3o Cubic Ft per minute and had a hell of a time getting out of the water when my britches got filled. Weighed a Ton they did.

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A pair of Hodgemans is all I wear. Having spent 40 years winter Steelhead fishing in the Northwest waters it was a great day when neopreme waders came out!! My waders fit tite enough(read I'm fat enough) I don't need a belt, but allways had one on because it held my bait box. I don't think you can even buy felts in Washington anymore. Not only that but they have check station where if your towing a boat you must pull in for inspection. On I-5 south of Portland at the Port of Entry truck weigh station ALL out state vehicles towing boats must stop. Sorry for getting of topic.. Just get a set of neopreme's and you'll be happy. Save the breathables for hot weather because they don't last kneeling in the sand on the bank. Even with knee pads. Sand gets under them and acts as 20 ygrit sandpaper. If you get breathables get CHEAP ONES because you'll go through them in no time.

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Yup I have to agree breathables aren't the best for working the stream gravels ... great for fishing though and especially out of the kayak. I had a pair of neopreme that I applied a kevlar patch to on the knee and shin area for working the stream. It saved the waders for a couple seasons. Never tried doing the same to breathables but may be able to be done with the same glue used in the breathable's patch kit. You might give that a try if you are using breathables now. One suggestion when using the kevlar patch. Put on two separate patches one just for the knee area and another for the shin area. Reason being is the first patch I did as a one piece I found the lack of flex at the knee to be a hinderance. leaving a small uncovered space between the patches acts like a hinge and is a better solution.

Mike F

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