Felt Soles Banned in NZ to slow spread of "Rock Snot" [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Felt Soles Banned in NZ to slow spread of "Rock Snot"

08-14-2008, 09:45 PM
Just got this passed along to me by a Kiwi friend. This same Didymo crap has been found in the states and is spreading. As of 1 Oct, 2008, felt soles are banned in NZ. Maybe we'll be next.

Check it out.



08-15-2008, 06:31 AM

this is scary stuff

Personally for fear of whirling disease I have maintained separate wading shoes for the pacific northwest since moving. In fact lately I have 3 pairs of felt shoes of which two are PNW only even though I live on the east coast :)

Good friends in the area who hold on to my shoes between trips and smelly luggage issues have helped motivate this arrangement. I would like to see laws banning the bringing of 'foreign' felt even if it's a domestic visit and hope fly shops and fishing clubs would hold shoes for people. I'm sure being the first stop on anyone's list wouldn't be objectionable. People would be welcome to borrow mine when visiting the area in fact I would ask them to please do so.

Cleats are even more effective than felt, but they do deposit metal on the river bank with each step, not sure about the down side of that.

One things for sure we can't in our right minds bring felt soles from location to location in this day and age.

08-15-2008, 07:00 PM
Banning felt soles seems like a good idea in light of the possible consequences.

What are the alternatives to falling on your butt in fast wader?

Juro mentions cleats. They are very effective rock grippers in slimy streams such as the Deschutes (notorious tough wade) and do get some aluminum shine on the rocks, although probably not as much as the driftboats :).

Since I run (or ran -- Cricky, it's been years now) a wooden boat, I hated to see those cleats tearing up my floorboards; but I'd rather see a set of replaceable floorboards ruined than an irreplaceable fishery.

I haven't researched this, but, is it possible to glue sand or some non-absorbent gritty substance to the soles of the waders? What are the alternatives?

Slipping and Sliding in Waldport

08-19-2008, 09:42 PM
To your point on metal deposits... Commercially available carbide studs would seem to me to be the best environmental and functional solution. No absorbent materials for didymo to hide in plus, carbide materials are extremely stong and chemical resistant due to the strong covalent chemical bonds that make up these great compounds. I know my carbide korker boots scratch the rocks, no metal smears. Still necessary to use bleach to clean them as algae will get stuck on them too, although much less than felt. Carbides will not breakdown overtime or by chemical attack, other than in laboratory environments, as these materials are well engineered...

I like the idea of a non-stud based alternative as studs do a lot of physical rather than environmental damage. Your idea of a non-absorbant gritty surface is a good one. The technology definitely exists to do this and the best example I can think of is adhesive backed sandpaper... Like those sticky sheets you put on smooth stair steps to avoid falls. Change from paper to a thin flexible plastic sheet and voila... You have a skid proof non-absorbent sole. I know a lot about industrial available materials and processing methods and think this is a very plausible technology which would produce the desirable affects. And, like studs can quickly be cleaned reliability w/ bleach to kill any algae that adheres to the grit...

I think a poor man's solution would just be to glue sand paper to the bottom of your rubber boots.. Would need a good strong adhesive, might need to prep the rubber by grinding it smooth to help the quality of the adhesive joint and ideally could find a large grit non-absorbent film based sandpaper. I have seen some non-paper based alternatives in the hardware store recently when I was doing some sheet rocking. The sheets were made of a plastic fiber weave w/ the fibers being impregnated with oxide/carbide particles.