Season Edition
 
 Building Your Own Leaders
Dying Fly Lines
Dying CDC Feathers
Adding Removable Studs To Your Felt Soles
Secret Dry Fly Floatant From Argentina
Midges In The Snow
Death Of A Spring Creek
12 Pound Rainbows In The Shadow Of Glaciers
Destination England
Hooking Large Rainbows At 6 Degrees
Catching Atlantic Salmon On Dry Damsels
In View Of Bacon Ridge
Casting With Wolves
The Ghost Of Old Faithful Inn
Summer On The Test And Anton 

 

   

Adding Removable Studs To Your Felt Soles

Bob Kloskowski

For the third time in as many years I found it necessary to replace the felt soles on my Simms Guide model wading shoes. In the streams and rivers of Yellowstone National Park and Southwest Montana where I fish, felt soles will give you all the traction on the stream bottom that you need. There are some exceptions and for those rivers Ive used rubbers with cleats on them or removable studded sandals.
Because I often fish from a drift boat the idea of permanent studs in my wading shoes just isnt feasible. This year Ive decided to try something different. Ive decided to add removable studs to my felt soles.
While removing the old felt soles is not absolutely necessary its a good idea and can be easily accomplished with a belt sander. Be sure that the surface is clean, dry and free of any loose material.
Purchase a pair of replacement felt sole that are a little larger than your wading boot size.
Place your wading shoe on one of the replacement felt soles and trace the boot outline onto the new felt sole. Some minor trimming of the new felt sole may be necessary after it is firmly glued in place.
Determine the number of studs that you want on each felt sole. I used ten studs on each shoe. Mark those areas with a marking pen.
Go to the hardware store and purchase that number of T nuts as shown in the illustration. Also purchase one machine thread sheet metal screw for each T nut that you plan to use. Use 3/8 long or 1/2 long screws. Length depends on the thickness of the felt soles that you are using.
Choose a drill bit that is slightly larger than the outside diameter of the T nuts that you plan to use for the removable studs. Drill one hole at a time and check to be sure that the T nut fits easily into the hole that you have drilled into the felt sole. Remember that the flat flange of the T nut will be inside against your boot bottom.
Experience has tough me that the amount of Barge Cement that is supplied with the replacement felt soles is never enough so I purchased a quart size container at the hardware store and now have enough for several years. Just be sure to store it in a place where the temperature will remain above freezing.
After all of the holes for the T nuts have been drilled and checked for clearance you are ready to began the gluing operation.
Ive found it necessary to make two applications of the Barge Cement. Start with the replacement felt sole. Apply a generous coating of Barge Cement to the side that will rest against your wading boot. Next apply the cement to the wading boot that will be matched with that replacement felt sole. At this time I also apply cement to all surfaces of the T nuts.
After approximately 30 minutes you will find the first coat of Barge Cement tacky. At this time insert the T nuts into the predrilled holes. Remember that the flange will rest against the bottom of the boot sole and there will be no visible signs of the T nut from the exposed portion of the felt bottom. When the T nuts are firmly in place its time to begin the second application of Barge Cement. Apply a generous coating of Barge Cement to the side that will rest against your wading boot. Next apply the cement to the wading boot that will be matched with that replacement felt sole. Be sure to cover the bottom of the T nut that will rest against the wading shoe sole.
In approximately 45 minutes the Barge Cement should be dry enough to begin assembly. Be sure to take the time to line up the replacement felt sole with the wading shoe as close as you are able. The Barge Cement is a contact cement and once the two surfaces are joined they will not come apart. I usually start at the heel and work my way foreword keeping the sole aligned with the lines drawn onto the replacement felt sole in step two of the directions. There is no need to rush this operation as you have several hours of glue life for the operation to be completed. After the replacement sole is in place take a small hammer and tap the sole from the center working out to the edges. While compressing the edges of the replacement felt sole with your fingers, work your way from front to back and apply Duck Tape to hold the compressed edges down against the wading shoe bottom as tightly as possible. Repeat this same procedure with the other wading shoe.
After 24 hours of drying time the Duck Tape can be removed and any excess of the replacement felt sole may be trimmed. The easiest method that Ive found to trim the excess felt is with a razor utility knife. Hold the boot with the bottom of the felt sole facing you. Using the wading shoe sole as a guide run the utility knife up through the replacement felt sole and cut along the shoe sole following the contour of the wading shoe sole from front to back. Any minor unevenness in the replacement felt sole will soon wear away after a few outings in your favorite trout stream.
You are now ready to add your removable studs if you so desire. During the Replacement Felt Sole installation process its possible that some felt fibers have blocked your T nut screw holes. Take a sharp tool like an ice pick and open those holes to accommodate the sheet metal screws. . Thread your sheet metal screws into the holes and your ready to go fishing.
 

 

 

 

 

 
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Copyright @ 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 by Bob Kloskowski