Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Got Grip?

I'm not very good at gear maintenance. I've never washed my waders or cleaned a fishing vest. I think that their general funk and dingy exterior are as important as the sweat stains on a favorite fishing hat. There's likely mojo in all that and I'm not going to mess with it. I have been known to clean and grease a reel that has gotten too gritty but that's the extent of the time I've spent worrying about gear condition. Thankfully, most gear is constructed worry free.

Last weekend I fished the Housatonic River. The river has been abnormally low and warm this spring on account of sparse rainfall and the growth on the river's bottom is the slick greens and browns that one doesn't normally find until early summer. And that means I was slipping and sliding like crazy. My wading staff, usually a high water accessory, was put to good use.

It wasn't until I was tossing my boots on the milk crate in the garage that I wondered about the condition of the cleats on the bottom of my Simms G3s. I've been using a combination of Simms AlumiBite™ Star Cleats and ice screws for the past few years and usually only get a new set when I get new boots. That regimen seems to be far too infrequent based upon the use I've been giving the boots over the past year. Both the ice screws and the Star Cleats had been worn flush with the tread of the boot.

So, off to the Simms store I went for two more sets of cleats. This morning I installed the shiny new cleats and put in a few ice screws from my lifetime supply for good measure. I'll test the arrangement out this evening on what I'm hoping will be a solid spinner fall. My casting may not look elegant, but at least I won't be horizontal. Check your boots. Get grip.