Hey fellow float tubers…how do you get from your vehicle to the waters that you are about to float/fish? I am not sure how you go about it….but through the last 10-12 years I have suffered through several options. Now I must admit that I am a bit lazy here…I don’t like to put wading boots on because when I get to the water I then have to take them back off again and then stow the boots in the back of my float tube and there really isn’t an abundance of room back there anyway. Here is where I admit that for all these years I have usually carefully walked to the water in my waders…being careful and walking gently. Now understand, if I had to go any distance at all I would indeed put on wading boots and go through all of that…but on most occasions I am able to park within a few feet, usually under 50 feet from the lake.
So, just recently I went in search of a boot or bootie that I could wear over my waders and still wear comfortably under my float tube fins. Once again I have to admit that I prefer to wear just my waders under or inside my kick fins…for me it is what feels most comfortable. However, I have found what I think is the perfect option; I went in search via a suggestion from my friend, John Morgan. I looked at dozens of pairs of neoprene booties that are used with SCUBA divers. I wanted something small enough to slip inside the kick fins, flexible enough to easily slide on and off of my wader booties and with a sole that would allow me to walk to and from water. The solution…Mares 5mm Classic Zipper Dive Boots. I found mine at Swim Outlet …and at a very modest price (and got 10% off for a first time buyer). You can also purchase them on Amazon.
I ordered the boots and a few days later found them in my mailbox. I raced home, grabbed my waders and kick fins and put it all together. It felt like a very good fit. The next day I was off to a local lake and once again with a skeptical eye…slid my new booties over my waders and under my kick fins (I had to make adjustments to the kick fins for the added volume) and shoved off. I don’t like change and thought this might be tough to get used to…nope! About two minutes in I started catching fish and completely forgot of my new booties. Success, as now I can come and go, move around….heck even get out and stretch my legs or go to the bathroom…and not worry about a puncture in my wading booties.
I ordered the booties one size too large and was pleasantly surprised at how flexible and comfortable the booties were once I had them on. I might add that often while fishing moving water in my larger blue Voyager (made by the Creek Company) I do a combo of kick fins in deeper, slower water and at the same time, I often stop and stand and fish directly from my tube in faster water. This will allow me to easily and quickly unbuckle my fins, slide out of the kick fins and then fish standing up. Either way I hope to reduce the amount of patching that has had to go on….and hope that if you are in this same situation…can find these booties to be as productive as I have.