Adding Studs to Korkers Wading Boots

Korkers Metalhead FB3210 boots with 3/8" Kold Kutter Screws

The last time I went fishing was on the Beaverkill River, a river that I fished for 25 years. It was in the late fall and I was wearing my Korkers boots with Kling-On® Sticky Soles. They didn’t feel that sticky when I was slipping on didymo (Didymosphenia geminata). Not wanting to spring for new boots with studs, I bought a wading staff. I still slipped, but did not fall and felt old. I noted that I should get some studs for my boots in the future.

My next trip is to Silver Creek in Idaho. Instead of springing for the $50-$70 for new Korker soles, I decided to buy some screws and put them in the soles myself.

Korkers Kling-On Sole with Kold Kutter 8-18 x  3/8" Screws

I searched a few sites and saw that some people were using Kold Kutter 8-18 X 3/8″ screws, so I bought 25 pieces on eBay (I didn’t need 250 of them).

I first tried drilling a pilot hole in the rubber with a 1/16” drill bit but then I found if I just used pressure to force the screw to start, they seemed to hold very securely. The sharp point of the screws protruded through the top of the soles so I ground them off with a Dremel cutting wheel.

I’ll have to get in the water to really see how they work.

Korkers Kling-On Sole with Kold Kutter 8-18 x  3/8" Screws for studs

Addendum, July 24, 2002

I just spent a week fishing in Idaho on the Silver Creek and Big Wood River. After a couple of days on the Big Wood, a freestone stream, I noticed that my left foot was slipping on the rocks on the bottom. When I checked the soles, nine of the twelve screws that I put in the left sole were missing. The right sole was missing five of the original twelve screws.

Big Wood River, below Lake Creek Trailhead
Big Wood River, below Lake Creek Trailhead, Ketchum, Idaho

It seems that because the Korkers boots have interchangeable soles, the threads on the screws didn’t have enough material to hold. I’ve seen some people suggest using some kind of adhesive on the threads, but given the torque that the screw would endure, I don’t think that it would help.

Korkers Metalhead FB3210 boots with 3/8" Kold Kutter Racing Track Tire Ice Studs Screws

I ended up buying Korkers Studded Vibram XS Trek Soles at Lost River Outfitters in Ketchum, Idaho.


Abel Pt.5 Fly Fishing Reel

Abel Pt.5 Fly Fishing Reel
Abel Pt.5 Fly Fishing Reel

Fishing season is starting. I got a good deal on this old Abel Big Game Standard Arbor Pt.5 Fly Fishing Reel at the Oakland Museum of California’s White Elephant Sale.

I’ll probably use it on larger rivers with my 5 and 6 weight rods – it has a more substantial cork drag system and a little more room for backing than my 17 grams lighter Abel TR1. Now all I need to do is find a new reel seat for my Angler’s Roost 5 weight.

Shepaug River, Washington, CT

Shepaug River, Connecticut
Shepaug River, Connecticut

The Shepaug River, near Washington, Connecticut, is a tributary of the Housatonic River. The Housatonic River runs from western Massachussets through southern Connecticut.

George Black, the author of The Trout Pool Paradox: The American Lives of Three Rivers, writes about the Shepaug: “In springtime, the river is like the Platonic ideal of a trout stream, as it rushes through places called Steep Rock and Hidden Valley.”

Red Apple Rest

Red Apple Rest, Southfields, NY
Red Apple Rest, Southfields, NY

On my drives from New York City to the Catskills to go fishing on the Beaverkill River, I always took Route 17, because it was a little more interesting.

Off the George Washington Bridge, I’d take Route 4 in New Jersey and then NJ 17 near the Garden State Plaza. Once I crossed back into New York near Suffern, the surroundings started to change from urban to rural.

On Route 17 in Southfields, New York, was The Red Apple Rest. I probably first went by there in the late 70’s. I took this photograph around 1979. The Red Apple Rest closed in 2006.

Joseph Berger at the NY Times wrote about the Red Apple Rest’s location: “What made the Red Apple so essential a summertime port of call was not so much its food as its location. Before the New York State Thruway opened in 1956, the ride up to the mountains along the old Route 17 could take four or five hours and the Red Apple Rest was almost exactly halfway. While there were three or four other pit stops, the Red Apple, watched over by its founder, Reuben Freed, became the place to go.