Wade Through The Debate – Felt vs Rubber

wading boots underwater

these boots are made for wading…

Should you give your felt wading boots the boot? Damp felt soles can harbour invasive species of flora and fauna that destroy native river ecosystems. And as anglers tramp from swim to swim, they can spread damaging plant and animal life far and wide.

In fact, the issue is so serious that in New Zealand and some US states, felt soled wading boots are banned outright. In the UK, the Stop the Spread campaign highlights the dangers posed by non-native species. They say: “We are seeing fisheries in rivers and lakes being destroyed.” So should you take the next step and bin felt in favour of rubber?

The Environmental Issue

So, a few sneaky species make their way into our waterways. Is it really such a big deal? Yes it is – without natural controls to keep them in check, non-native flora and fauna spread disease and outcompete our native species for space and food.

Take the aptly named killer shrimp. A highly aggressive predator, it’s one of the most damaging invasive species in Western Europe and can spread at an estimated 124 km downstream each year. How? It’s facilitated by human activities, like angling and watersports.

In a study conducted by scientists in New Zealand, researchers tested the survival rate of the invasive algae Didymosphenia geminata on a variety of different materials. They discovered felt soles harbour the cells “much more successfully” than all the other materials they tested, including rubber.

The Stop the Spread campaign advises anglers to Check, Clean and Dry their kit. But the researchers in New Zealand discovered that because dense felt is so hard to dry thoroughly, it kept algae alive for at least 36 hours, with the potential to sustain the invaders for weeks.

But if felt is so damaging to the environment, is rubber a viable alternative for anglers?


felt and rubber sole wading boots

Image source: Kenny Clarke
both types have been extensively tested

Facing an outright ban on felt soled waders, anglers in the US were forced to make the switch to rubber. So let’s find out how they got on.
Alaskan blogger Tom Chandler carried out a year-long test on rubber and studded rubber boots. His conclusion?

“Studded rubber soles offer a practical, all-around substitute for felt and studded felt.”
The clear winner for him was The Orvis Studded Rubber Ecotrax Soles, thanks to their “aggressive, four-bladed stud design.”

But not everyone agrees that rubber can match felt for grip on slippery surfaces. Take US based outdoor writer and photographer, Zach Matthews, who writes that despite efforts by manufacturers:

“no rubber boot made to date can match (or frankly even come close to matching) felt soles for traction. Consequently, slips and falls with rubber soled boots are absolutely more common than they would be if everyone used felt.”

Which is why if you do go for a pair of rubber boots, wading studs become an important consideration

Hey, stud

As Steve Zakur, who writes for US angling mag, Hatch Magazine says: “like all rubber soles some sort of grip augmentation is recommended.” Though of course the noise of your cleats grinding against submerged rocks might spook the fish.

You can either add studs yourself or buy pre-studded boots. But a word of caution if you decide to take the DIY route – it’s all too easy to put a stud in the wrong place and find you’ve gone right through the sole!

A final word

fisherman's boots

Image Source: shinyredtype/ Flickr
best boots for the bank?

There are of course many other ways non-native algae and other invasive creatures can spread from one waterway to another, and anglers’ felt soled wading boots are only a small part of the problem. But if you do decide to make the transition to rubber – always buy the best boots you can. As Bankrunner, a member of the fishing forum, ifish.net writes:

“Get mid to high end quality boots if you are going to spend time on the river.”

And while he admits his fancy boots haven’t helped him catch more fish, at least, he says: “my feet were comfortable.”

An important consideration, indeed!

How much fishing tackle do you really need?

dog with heavy fishing barrow

Image source: Fishtec Coarse facebook page
The dog’s not going to be pulling this one…

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself: “how much fishing tackle do I really need to take?”

Judging by the barrow-loads of tackle some anglers cart to the riverbank or lakeside, you’d think the answer was, “you can never have enough”. But fishing is supposed to be about relaxation, so why keep burden yourself with excess baggage?

Less gear means less stress. So to help you declutter, here are some great tips from minimalist anglers to help you lighten the load.

Rods and reels

Unless you’re planning to fish a three or four rod water, two fishing rods and two reels are plenty. Remember, the more rods you take, the more gear you’ll need. More gear equals more hassle.

Take blogger The London Angler — when it comes to cutting to the bare essentials, he’s a true believer. As far as he’s concerned, all you need is:

“landing net, weighing scales, unhooking mat, rod rests, chair (I am not sitting on the muddy bank!), ground baits, hookbaits and a tackle box full of rigs, hooks, weights and other items such as boilie drills, stoppers… the list goes on”

His message is clear: Why take more if you can do fine with less?


car full of fishing tackle

Image source: Bath Angling
To the riverside – are you really taking everything?

Excess kit is dead weight. Work out how many leads you can realistically expect to use in a single session. Take what you need in a small tackle box and leave the rest in the boot of the car.

Remember, less tackle doesn’t necessarily place a limit on the number of species you can catch. According to Josh Mann who writes the, Minimalist Approach, you can simply adapt a small range of tackle to a wide range of uses:

“When I know I’ll only be fishing with live bait. The only thing [my tackle box] has in it are size 1 hooks and 1/8 ounce split shot sinkers, which are really all I need in a wide variety of situations”

While he admits it wouldn’t be the ideal tackle box for every situation, his attitude is to take a little less stuff, and make it work.

Tackle box

small fishing tackle box

Image source:Fashionstock/ Shutterstock
Neat, tidy, and light

In fact, why not dispense with a tackle box altogether by making like a fly fisherman and wearing a fishing vest? With its many handy pockets it makes an ideal, wearable, tackle box.

And for those who really like to travel light, simply clip all your essential fishing tackle to a fishing lanyard, and slip it around your neck. It’s the ultimate hands-free fishing experience.


colourful fishing bait

Image source Bukhta Yuril/ Shutterstock
Bait is beautiful – but you don’t need your whole stock

Boilies, glugs, pellets, and pastes — how much bait do you really need? Not much if you’re Ian Gemson. Writing in The Fishing Magic blog, he certainly thinks less is more:

“…maybe a kilo bag of boilies, a few pop ups, and some plastic baits would work well, offering me another huge weight saving of nearly 20kg.”.

Save on kilos and on cost by baiting wisely. Try looking for tell tale signs pointing to an area a previous angler has already baited. And try not to over-bait – more is not necessarily better!


We’d never suggest you skimp on comfort, but do check the weight of your couch. Looking for a new chair? Go for a lightweight option like the Indulgence Nomad Ultra-Lite, which weighs just 4kg. Overnighting? JRC Stealth X-Lite Bedchair is the lightest around.

Food and drink

Remember, you’re going fishing, not crossing Death Valley, so only take the fluids you’ll actually need.

Fancy a brew but don’t fancy carrying the kitchen sink with you? Here’s another top tip from blogger, Ian Gemson:

You don’t always need the extra weight of a stove bag and its contents, you can take hot water in a thermos flask to make hot drinks.”

Lastly, there’s your little rucksack of creature comforts — things every angler takes along on fishing trips, like a few cans of loosening-up juice. But we wouldn’t want you to skimp on that one!

How To Take Care Of Breathable Fishing Clothing and Footwear

Hi tech modern fishing clothing is seemingly indestructible… or is it? There is a lot of misconception about modern fishing clothing and footwear. It does need some maintenance to stay in full working order! Read on to find out why it is necessary to take care of your precious fishing gear, so it performs well in the long term.

All of the waterproof, breathable fishing clothing sold at Fishtec has a durable water-repellent finish applied to the outer surface- also known as DWR. This makes the water bead up and roll off, rather than soaking into the fabric. You will find this on fly fishing waders, fishing jackets and bib and braces, and  waterproof fishing boots.

Waterpoof breathable fishing boots - in need of a quick clean and re-spray

Waterproof breathable fishing boots – in need of a quick clean and re-spray.

If the water is allowed to soak into the fabric it will impair the breathability.  A build up of dirt and fish slime will do this over time. If the breathability is impaired, moisture will build up inside the garment, so the fisherman will get wet and uncomfortable from this condensation.  When the DWR process fully stops working over time the outer fabric will actually start to soak up the water, this is known as ‘wetting out’.

It is therefore essential to look after your breathable fishing gear, and maintain the Durable Water Repellent finish, to keep it at peak performance. We always recommend the use of a spray on treatment such as Grangers fabsil , applied after the garment has been washed and cleaned of dirt. In the case of footwear the same thing applies – maintain the DWR finish, and the water will not start to soak in and seep into the material  and seams making your feet clammy and damp. Brush and clean your boots down and spray them with a treatment every month or so.






What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner it’s likely that friends and relatives will be scratching their heads about what to buy you this year.

So in order to avoid the unwanted reindeer sweater or the cheap toiletries that you’ll never use, why not drop a few hints about what you’d really like for Christmas this year.

That’s where we come in, so please allow us to assist with a few gift ideas that anglers everywhere will appreciate.

Upgraded fishing clothing

Fly fisherman fishing for trout in river.

Image source: Goodluz
Put a new pair of waders on your wish-list.

Keeping warm and dry is obviously high up on the list of priorities when out for a long period of time fishing. So how are you fixed for waders, an all-weather jacket or even a Thermo Skin bib and brace, which traps your own body heat? Somebody is probably gagging to buy you a dodgy sweater, but some actually useful fishing clothing would be a way better alternative.

A trip of a lifetime

Boats at Pranang cave beach Railay Krabi in Thailand

Image source: Im Perfect Lazybones
A fishing escape to Thailand? Yes please!

You’ll need wealthy friends if you’re expecting to find air tickets to some dream fishing location in your tackle box on Christmas Day. Cat Island Lodge on the shores of Trout Lake in Ontario, or bass fishing in Florida are just a couple of the more exotic locations for fishing holidays. Or what about catching big carp in Thailand? Closer to home how about a weekend of sea fishing on Chesil Beach in Dorset? There’s a wide variety of fish that swim these waters depending on the weather and sea conditions, so an enjoyable challenge.

Secret fishing location

Multiple fishermen silhouette at sunset.

Image source: viczast
A shared secret spot is fishing gold dust.

This one is free, but potentially priceless in the right hands. Only catch is that it could be hard for somebody to share information about their closely guarded fishing spot. But it’s a nice gesture from one angler to another and a wonderful gift that will keep on giving.


Birds eye view of a fisherman with a rubber dinghy and bivvy in Serbia.

Image source: ollirg
Time for a bivvy upgrade?

The Great British bivvy is the angler’s castle. No matter how far away you are from civilisation, your bivvy has your back and will serve you well through day and night. Invest in quality and you’ll be well prepared for a range of weather conditions whatever the elements throw at you. Is it time for an upgrade?


Handmade flies used for fly fishing

Image source: KML
You can never have enough of these!

If a younger member of the family asks you what you’d like for Christmas this year, be sure to explain what you mean by ‘flies’ or else trouble is on the menu for Christmas dinner. But the fun of choosing which fishing flies to buy you would be an activity that would be enjoyed by the youngsters. There’s an idea.

Fishing tokens

Different coloured squares with fish cut out.

Image source: Blan-k
Affordable and super useful!

Fishing tokens are a wonderful idea for a Christmas gift and most affordable too. Many regional rivers and trusts offer token and passport schemes which usually invest the money back into the upkeep and protection of the river and fish stocks. Simply exchange a token or two and you’re free to fish.

Le Chameau Wellington Boots

Le Chameau is the name on the world’s finest wellington boots. The only boots to be hand-made by a single ‘maître bottier’ (meaning master bootmaker), guaranteeing each pair of Le Chameau wellies are unique. Utilising the highest quality materials available and with a range of iconic and innovative styles, Le Chameau is dedicated to delivering years of satisfaction to the wearer, whether they’re walking, working or fly fishing.

Normandy in 1927, Le Chameau wellies were born – purely by the fact that Claude Chamot had spent the days listening to his customers – farmers, hunters and fishermen – Complaining that their boots were neither comfortable, no durable, so- decided to do something about it… Designing and creating a new type of boot that would withstand the rigours of the countryside and at sea (or lake, or river!).

Fishtec have chosen three of the most popular styles of Le Chameau wellies, the classic Vierzonord Wellington and the two new Country Vibram boots – with and without neoprene.

Le Chameau Country Vibram Wellington Boots

Le Chameau Country Vibram Wellington

The Le Chameau Country Vibram Wellington Boots are perfect for the wandering angler who may find themselves faced with wet grass, small streams or generally wet days. The Le Chameau Country Wellington boots feature a high boot and shaped to fit the calf for comfort. The Supportive fit supports you at the ankle and instep, and the XL shape is ideal for people with a wide calf size.

A multi-use boot : outdoor activities, countryside, fishing, walking…
Comfort temperature : up to 0°

Le Chameau Vierzonord Wellington Boots

Le Chameau Vierzonord Wellington Boots

These Le Chameau Vierzonord Wellington Boots are lined with a 2mm neoprene throughout providing first-rate insulation against cold, and offer superior comfort when walking the dog. Practical features and technical materials make the Le Chameau Vierzonord Wellington Boots the number one choice for British winters. Moulded soles make a great platform for your foot and heal when walking long distances on uneven ground.

Le Chameau Country Vibram Neoprene Wellington Boots

Le Chameau Country Vibram Neoprene Wellington Boots

The Le Chameau Country Vibram Neoprene Wellington Boots are perfect for the wandering angler who may find themselves faced with wet grass, small streams or generally wet days. The Le Chameau Country Wellington boots feature a high boot and shaped to fit the calf for comfort. The Supportive fit supports you at the ankle and instep, and the XL shape is ideal for people with a wide calf size.

A multi-use boot : outdoor activities, countryside, fishing, walking…
Comfort temperature : up to 0°

11 Perfectly-timed fishy photobombs

Heard the expression, ‘put your money where your mouth is?’ Well here are some folks who’ve put a fish where their face is.

And you’ve heard of fishing clothing? How about fish as clothing? Check out the ladies clad in a mantaray – they don’t look too pleased. Here is a collection of fishy photobombs to get your fins in a flutter – enjoy!

1 Fish photobomb

Image source: Wanna Joke
Fish face!

2. Fish photobomb

Image source: Imgur
A very cheeky parrot fish.

3 Fish photobomb

Image source: Imgur
Who knew stingrays could be sleazy?!

4 Fish photobomb

Image source: Drake and Zeke
“Don’t mind me!”

6 Fish photobomb

Image source: Christian Haugen
A very solemn looking photobomb.

7 Fish photobomb

Image source: Sultr
Peek a boo!

9 Fish photobomb

Image source: Fun V Blog
Desperate to be snapped!

5 Fish photobomb

Image source: Daily Picks and Flicks
“Hmmm, what’s going on here?”

10 Fish photobomb

Image source: Twisted Sifter

11 Fish photobomb

Image source: Best Animal Photobombs
“This is a family aquarium!”

12 Fish photobomb

Image source: Heavy
Perfectly timed.

New Anglers Buffs at Fishtec!


What’s the worst possible way to put you off staying out fishing? Many anglers will say nothing, but those who fish high in the mountains on a warm summer evening will undoubtedly say midges! The invisible menace can often spoil a great evenings fishing where many of the jungle formulas and insect repellents simply don’t work.

Buff have introduced a new and exciting UV Insect Shield Buff which is based on High UV protection Buff® which offers at least 93% protection from harmful UV rays, this new Buff also features ‘Insect Shield’ technology; It’s been impregnated with a special long lasting, effective, odourless and convenient form of insect repellent.

The treatment is effective for at least 50 washes against mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, fleas, chiggers and even Scottish midges. Insect Shield technology is a man-made version of the active ingredient found in some chrysanthemums – an additive which only the bugs will know is there!

The UV Insect Shield Buff features everything you would expected from Buff, it’s seamless design which offers unrivaled protection in hot weather activities is made with Coolmax Extreme which wicks moisture away from your skin whilst offering a bug repellent buff.

Buy the UV Insect Shield Buff at Fishtec!

We’ve also introduced more designs to our range of Anglers Buffs and Original buffs here at Fishtec, these include the new Bonefish, Tarpon, Trevally and the Original Chalk Buff Logo.




TF Gear Blazer Polarised Sunglasses

The Blazer sunglasses from our range of Polarised sunglasses are without a doubt our preferred frames for all-round conditions, the smoke lens is beneficial in brighter conditions, letting a low amount of light through to your eye, cutting out more glare whilst the amber lenses are perfect for dull days or fishing beneath canopy, allowing more light to your eyes.

Polarised sunglasses are an essential piece of carp fishing clothing, as Dave Lane mentions in the video, “Never go fishing without a set of Polarised Glasses”.

The TF Gear Blazer Sunglasses feature superb optical quality at unbelievable prices.


Can you spot the camo guy?

Camouflage kit is great for creeping up on easily spooked trout.

But while we enjoy the benefits of angling incognito, the camo gear we wear today has its origins in the carnage of the First World War. Appalling losses at the Western Front prompted a desperate search to come up with ways of disguising troop movements.

Things have come a long way since then. Modern camouflage patterns are designed using complex algorithms that ensure near invisibility. Here we bring you a collection of some truly incredible camouflage fishing clothing. So, can you spot the camo guy?

World War 1 Soldier Camouflage

Image source: National Archives
A camouflage soldier in WW1.

Field Camouflage

Image source: Scribble 08
Pretty yet effective.

Tree Camouflage

Image source: Buck Masters
‘Wood’ you spot him?

Reed Camouflage

Image source: Griffen’s Guide
‘Reedy’ hard to spot.

Rocky Camouflage

Image source: Smashing Live
Blending into rocks.

Fishing Camouflage

Image source: Gink and Gasoline
Ex’stream’ly hard to see!

Earth Camouflage

Image source: KJ Discoveries
Hidden in the rubble.

Tree Leaf Camouflage

Image source: Buzzhunt
Camouflage tree trunk style

North Korean Camouflage

Image source: Dooby Brain
How not to do it – North Korean style.

TF Gear Chill Out Onesie

The TF Gear Onesie is a hooded, one-piece, fleece suit that will truly keep the keenest deep winter carp specialist wrapped in a thermal second skin all day and all night.

You may ask yourself is it OK to wear a onesie? But for those anglers who spend nights on end in a cold fishing bivvy waiting for that one bite, you may want to think again and get one for yourself.


Field testing of the TF Gear Chill Out Onesie illustrated its outstanding insulating properties and incredible comfort, our testers have endured the coldest weather with ease. With no belts, buckles, gaps or joins the wearer enjoys complete freedom of movement and draft-free, whole body warmth. The TF Gear Onesie is an utterly superb sleep-suit, the perfect mid layer and a rather trendy outer garment.

Don’t deprive yourself of the best piece of winterwear you could wish for – invest in a TF Gear Onesie.

Available in sizes Medium through to XXL