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