I have used wading boots with studs in them for that long now I can’t really imagine what it’s like not to have a decent grip out on the rocks, indeed I continue to wonder why on earth I didn’t know about boot studs when I used to practically live in hiking boots for my bait based rock fishing especially.
As with all stuff, some studs are better than others, and if you want a classic example of some of the most expensive wading studs I have ever invested in being just about the biggest pile of poo imaginable, then look no further than the perfectly awful (and not bloody cheap) Simms “Hardbite Star Cleat Boot Studs”. Less than a week of hard use with a brand new set, and in that time at least half of fell out of a pair of the older, brilliant Simms Rivershed wading boots, with the rest of the studs wearing totally flat - hell, I’ve still got the replacement box of studs here at home from when I complained about how rubbish they were, unopened and unused, sitting there and reminding me that spending a load more doesn’t automatically get you better performance. Crumbs, I can find these studs online in the UK for £3.49 per stud or £28.99 for a pack of ten. Ouch!
Thanks to Mark I started using the excellent Orvis Posi Grip studs a fair while back and never had a single issue save for one bad batch I think when Orvis changed the material but obviously saw sense and soon changed back to the good stuff. Now I would be most likely still be using these excellent Orvis Posi Grip studs if it hadn’t been for me finally coming to the end of my tether with so called wading boots and going down this Dunlop safety boot route - more than seven months of use by the way and save for a minor looking split around the heel area on one of the boots, they are still going strong.
I could not get those Orvis wading studs to properly set into the soles on my Dunlop boots, so thanks to some invaluable information from a Portuguese bass angler I know, I ended up with a set of Best-Grip studs that I bought online from here - £15 delivered for a set of 20 code 1100 studs, but first time around with these studs and you will need a tool to screw them into the sole of your boots, and I had one already from a few years back when I first tried some Best-Grip studs - I think it they would been the 3000A code which I found don’t sit in a sole as well as the smaller 1100 code. The trick seems to be to only screw them into a level as you can see in these photos here, and then they just don’t move around at all and keep providing one hell of a good grip.
OK, so a blog post about wading studs is not exactly the most exciting thing in the world, I know that, but I took a close look at the soles of my Dunlop boots yesterday to see how the studs were doing, because the grip I get when out on the rocks continues to be outstanding - surely after six months of use they have to be wearing down, bearing in mind of course that I am not exactly Larry Lightweight on my shoes and boots? Nope, indeed apart from some discolouration of the actual studs, I can’t see any wear and tear on them at all - that little stud bit which sticks out (tungsten carbide tipped apparently) look as good to me as they did on day one, and I find that quite remarkable with how little they cost and how much grief I have been giving them over all manner of surfaces for more than seven months.
As per the screenshot above that I grabbed from the SupaTracks UK website, you can get different specifications of Best-Grip studs, but this time around I chose to listen to that Portuguese lad and go with the 1100 ones that he uses on some evil ground along their rugged northern coastline. So even if my Dunlops were to fall apart tomorrow, that’s £40 for seven months use so far (£25 for the boots and £15 for the studs), and to be honest I will be taking the Best-Grip studs out of the Dunlops as and when they might fall apart and putting them in the next pair which I have here, ready and waiting. And if I was still wearing hiking boots for the bulk of my fishing like I used to, I’d sure as hell be putting a set of these outstanding studs in them as well.