contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.


Salt Lake City, Utah
USA

Gear up! Korkers Alumatrax soles - and a novice's take on felt, rubber, and spikes.

BLOG - Streamside Journal

Read the Blog - fly fishing, tenkara, gear, trip reports

 

Gear up! Korkers Alumatrax soles - and a novice's take on felt, rubber, and spikes.

An Dinh

Korkers-6.jpg

These are my favorite soles for maximum traction streamside and while wading.

The soft aluminum bars proivide tons of surface area to mold to the boulders and gravel of my Utah streams.  They would have been a huge help on my Hawaii trip. 

Korkers-7.jpg
Bars are riveted in place to stay put.

Bars are riveted in place to stay put.

As a newbie to fishing, I tried many other soles based on the recommendations of other anglers and shopkeepers.  In this respect I wish fly fisherman were more like dentists because at least 4 out of 5 dentists can agree on Trudent gum.  But if you poll 5 fisherman you will get 5 different recommendations while they talk your ear off about this or that life saving fish catching feature that they support with flimsy scientific sounding assertions.

Here are my perceptions after taking folks at their word and fishing around Utah: 

Felt

pros - tradition, grippy on gravel bottoms

con - hitchhikers (invasive species like whirling disease) , could be banned in some watersheds, very low traction off the water.

Rubber soles  

pros - Vibram soles with a soft sticky rubber are popular with many quality retailers. Good all-around traction.  Won't damage boats or floors.

cons - just OK grip (compromise for being a jack of all trades traction will be ok to good but not the best)

Steel Pikes

pros - Can add to existing rubber soles using screw in spikes or cleats, increases traction on ice, gravel, logs, submerged rocks with slime, snow.  Reduces wear on the rubber so sole may last longer.

cons - will damage boats and wood floors/decking. Slippery on concrete or dry smooth boulders. This can lead to bad falls getting out of the stream or climbing over exposed rocks.  I've had surprise face plants.  You feel great traction while in the stream and then ice skate across a big rock as you exit.  They also slip on tile like at a gas station.

For this reason I stopped using steel spikes.

Aluminum cleats or bars 

pros - come as screw in cleats or as cramp ons so that you can add them to existing boots.  The best traction so far across all types of conditions including dry, bare rock.  The cleats are light.  Can reduce wear on the rubber, extending life of boot. Since there is less slippage I feel like I make less subsurface noise/ vibration (unfounded scientifical assertion).  Korkers soles mount easily to boot and stay put.  The Patagonia  Ultralight River Cramp Ons require adjustments to obtain a good fit.

 

cons - bars might be a little heavier.  Bars are do sticky that snow or thick mud can accumulate in big chunks while hiking.

Brand new Alumatrax (top) are shiny and smooth, but the soft metal deforms and allows hard rock to bite into it - maximizing traction.

Brand new Alumatrax (top) are shiny and smooth, but the soft metal deforms and allows hard rock to bite into it - maximizing traction.