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Float tube newbee here. So I have a float tube, neo stckft waders, and fins in route. My question(one of many)is; do I have to wear official "wading shoes" or will something like an old pair of Chuck Taylors work just as well and cost a lot less? I know I will need the wading shoes for stream fishin but I am not ready to get them yet and I want to get out NOW! So I'm hoping some of you old tube pros can pass on some advice. Also, best place/price for the SOS PFD. Thanks in advance for your help. :thumb
 

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Congrats on your purchase, you will have fun. The answer to your wading boot question is it depends on the fins you ordered. Some fit over the stocking foot on your waders, others fit over your wading boots. I have the later, my buddy doesn't. It is just a personal preference. I like having my wading boots on in case I have to walk very far. You don't want to ruin your waders by walking on gravel. You can wear old sneakers instead of wading boots if your fins fit over the boots.

Regarding SOSpenders... I got a sterns brand pair from Outdoor Emporium in Seattle. The stock is hit or miss but you probably save 10 bucks or so. You may want to try westmarine, but they are a little expensive. Well worth the investment though. Wouldn't you feel like a dumb ass if you half-drowned because something happened and you had not been willing to spend some money on safety gear? They call it an accident because nobody did it on purpose.

Good luck, lakes are fun, but it takes a little practice to figure-out where the fish are.
 

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Formerly Tight Loops
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Well, you will hear all the opinions, but you can wear what you want, or nothing at all.

When I tube, I wear my wading boots. I have a buddy who wears nothing but his waders. Other wear neoprene boots, or diving booties.

There is benefit to wearing something, as you could wear out your waders prematurely, if they are rubbing directly on the neoprene.

Rob
 

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My advice would be to get a pair of Flats Boots. You can usually find them on sale for less then $50 and they are great for walking and also slide into the fins much easier than felt soled boots. I have had a pair of them now for 3 years and they are still going strong. For floatation I carry a Stearns inflatable waist back. I like it because I can keep it out of the way while I am fishing but if the need arises I can either pull the cord for the CO2 cartridge or blow it up with the tube. I use an Outcast Fat Cat which has floatation in the seat so I would not sink if something happened and I would have time to get the pack out. If you have a single chamber tube then you should wear it around your waist and have it ready to inflate with the cartridge if needed. At $70, it is cheap insurance. Have fun, it is a great sport.
 
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Here is what I have been doing for shoes over neoprenes for more than twenty years. Several of my buddies have adopted the same procedure because it works well and is inexpensive. I go to a place like Volume Shoe Source or some other low buck shoe store and buy a pair of low top velcro closure running shoes. Buy them large enough to fit loosely over waders and socks. Tight shoes mean cold feet. Trim the soles of the new shoes with a razor knife or an electric carving knife to just fit snugly in your new fins. Once the fins are tightened against your foot the whole package will come together and provide positive and secure function of the fin when it is under the pressure of a stout kick. My latest pair of these cost $19.95 and on average they last about 5 years although I fish far more often than the average guy. Other pluses are the soles last a long time if you do walk-ins and save wear on more costly felt bottomed boots. When you have to go ashore (and we all do eventually!)you already have something on your feet to protect your waders from rocks and sticks. Lastly, the velcro straps allow you to quickly adjust the fit of the shoe to your foot and provide a convenient ready-made point of attachment to tether your fins to should they ever work loose. Not a bad deal for $20 and a few minutes of work.
I bought my SOS at a Sportsman's show for about $25 off of the going price, never go out without them, hope I never have to use them. Here's to some happy tubin' for ya. Good luck, Ive
 
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