Anyone who is into fly fishing knows that the sport provides endless ways to gear up and spend tons of money doing it. I’m not complaining, I like to think about new gear as much as the next guy. Occasionally, though, you find members our beloved fly fishing industry devising ways of parting you from your money that seem more than a bit greedy. Case in point: Wading boot studs. A couple of years ago I was in need of replacing the studs on my boots and after shelling out $30 for a package of 20, I found myself doubting the goodwill of said companies. I knew there had to be an alternative, and after searching around the fishing forums for a little while, I happened upon a this Hatch mag post that describes one.
The answer? Motorcycle/ATV ice studs. If you want to take your motorbike on the ice, regular rubber just doesn’t cut it. Screw in a bunch of metal studs into your tires, though, and you’re good to go. As you might imagine, each tire requires a lot of studs to get a good grip, and so the price is very reasonable. A package of 250 “Kold-Kutter” 1/2 inch studs is $20 or so. Less than ten cents per screw versus more than $1 a screw charged by major fly fishing gear companies. I decided that if they provided a decent grip and lasted even half as long as the screws I had been using this would be totally worth it.
I purchased them and screwed them in (an easy feat with an impact driver as they have hex screw heads). The results? I’m very satisfied with the grip I get from the ice studs; it seems comparable to what I get with specialty wading boot studs. I’m not sure if they last quite as long, but with a per-piece price of less than 10 cents I don’t sweat it.
An important note is to consider the length of screw you are buying. I misplaced my original bag of 3/8″ screws a while ago so I bought another bag, this time accidentally ordering 1/2″ studs. I thought perhaps these would be too long, but was pleasantly surprised to find that not only were they not too long, they stayed in my boots better than the 3/8″ length (which sometimes came out after a while).