Gear Review — Grip Studs are the Real Deal

by | Sep 9, 2018 | 107 comments

The most important thing to bring to the river isn’t the flies you carry; it’s not the leader, fly line, rod or reel. It’s good traction. To be effective on the stream, to be comfortable with your fishing tactics and enjoy yourself out there, you need good footing. You need the ability to stand tall and walk with confidence through the water.

A couple of years ago, my friend, Ross, turned me on to Grip Studs. And after decades of testing different traction options, these are the best studs I’ve ever used.

 

** NOTE **  Troutbitten is giving away a couple sets of Grip Studs. Scroll to the bottom of this article for details.

 

My favorite fly fishing tips are based in movement. I often urge anglers to get closer to the target — cast only as far as necessary, so you have maximum control over the fly’s path in the water. I encourage clients to cover more water — give the trout a good shot at the flies and then move on. I tell guys if the fishing is slow, focus on the water type where you are catching fish and leave the other stuff for another day. And when searching for the biggest trout in the system, hop from one prime location to the next. None of that is possible if you’re bumbling and stumbling with every step. If all you’re thinking about is not falling down, it’s tough to focus on the fishing.

I once read an author who argued that good wading is about learning to slide into place with each step. He said that everyone out there is slipping in the stream, so learn to deal with it; fish a lot, and you’ll gain confidence in slippery conditions. I couldn’t disagree more.

The wading angler needs gription! And solid, stable contact with the riverbed is the only thing to provide that confidence. There is no substitute.

 

 

My fishing buddies will tell you what a nut I’ve been about boot studs through the years. I’ve tried everything. And here’s a short list of my complaints:

  • Non-studded felt is great until it isn’t. When you encounter the wrong algae or plant life on the bottom, the creek turns into a slip-and-slide. Same with non-studded rubber.
  • Studs of various designs work for a while and are usually best when new. My main gripe is how fast they either wear out or fall out.
  • Many screw-in studs have a wide head that flattens after a couple dozen miles of walking. They round off and lose their edge for biting in.
  • Aluminum options can be wonderful. I’m a big fan of aluminum bars and Rock Treads discs. But aluminum chunks screwed into your soles are heavier than studs, they can slip on wet wood and ice, and they’re kind of a bear to install. (That said, I use aluminum bars and Rock Treads a lot. They’re a great option, especially for giving new life to boots with worn soles.)

READ: Troutbitten | DIY Bar Boots

 

Quick point and full disclosure

I’ve written just a few gear reviews on Troutbitten. Lots of companies send me stuff that I don’t write a review for. I’m hard on gear, and most of it falls apart, doesn’t live up to the promises or simply isn’t very useful. When Ross told me about Grip Studs, I got in touch with the company, and they were kind enough to send me a twenty-eight piece set. Later, they sent me slightly longer studs for deeper lug patterns, and a shorter set for my son’s felt boot soles.

Nothing is universal

While searching for the best wading boot traction, I eventually conceded that there’s no perfect solution. This country’s valleys are too varied for that. No studs bite very well into a granite river bottom. And sometimes felt really is the best option. But I do feel like I’ve finally concluded my twenty-year search for the best boot studs.

I’ve been walking on them for a year and a half now. And my skepticism is gone. Grip Studs provide excellent traction in every river that I fish. They stay in the boots and don’t fall out. And they last a very, very long time.

This stud logged hundreds of miles, but it shows very little wear. Here it sits in a second pair of boots. These are Vibram Streamtred on Simms Freestone boots.

After hundreds of miles walked, the first Grip Studs that I installed outlasted the rubber soles. A few months ago, I bought new boots and transferred the Grip Studs over to the new soles. The stud tips show almost no wear, and the studs will likely be transferred over to next year’s boots as well.

Here are two reasons these are the best studs I’ve ever used . . .

Single-Point Tungsten Carbide Tips

A decade ago, some wading boot manufacturers offered carbide tips that came permanently installed in both felt and rubber soles. I owned many of these, and the studs always outlasted the boots. In fact, the studs saved wear on the soles, and the soles often outlasted the uppers. Bottom line — the boots held up longer. And I don’t think I’m dredging the conspiracy theory basement here to believe that’s why companies no longer offer these kinds of studs as a pre-installed option.

Tungsten carbide is crazy hard stuff, and you have to walk an awfully long way to wear it down.

The single-point stud is key. I’ve installed other tungsten carbide studs in my boots that had tungsten pebbles glued into a screw head. But they wear off too quickly. I’ve also used tungsten carbide studs with screw heads that have four angular edges. They are good. But not as good as a single point. Each Grip Stud bites into the rock with every step. The single point simply bites deeper, and that’s the trick.

Here today — Still here tomorrow

I assumed the Grip Studs would fall out over time, as many other studs have. These stay in. The auger design of the screw cuts into the boot sole and stays in place. When mounted properly, with most of the head recessed, there’s no wiggle in the stud, and it doesn’t work loose. I’ve never lost a Grip Stud.

These are the #3000B Grip Studs after many months of hard use. Aside from some minor corrosion, they are as good as new. Notice the auger-style screw.

What Size?

Grip Studs offers wading boot studs in a couple different sizes. But the bulk of their business is dedicated to screw-in tire studs. (Tires cover a lot more miles than you or I ever will in our wading boots.)

The #1100 studs are what you want for felt. And I’ll make this point, from experience: Grips Studs will only install into clean felt, they twist right in and install easily into new felt. But if your felt soles are well-used and full of dirt or sand, the studs won’t screw in. If you power wash the dirty felt or use the hose at a manual car wash, the felt should be clean enough again to install the Grip Studs without trouble.

A new stud in old felt.

The #3000B studs are good for rubber boot soles with a low profile tread pattern.

Here’s the thing: all studs bite best when they protrude past the rubber lugs. That way, the stud makes contact just before the rubber. If the tips of the studs are slightly lower than the top of the lugs, then the rubber touches first with each step, and the traction is different. I strongly prefer the first way, and it saves wear on the boot soles as well.

For slightly deeper tread patterns, the #3000A are the best choice. I have these installed in Vibram Streamtread on my Simms boots, and they are the perfect length.

I should mention, the #1100 and the #3000B are offered in boot packs. But the #3000A are only offered in 100 packs right now. So go together with a friend. Spend the extra coin and you’ll get three sets of studs that last a very long time. Or, let Grip Studs know that you wish they offered the #3000A in boot packs. (They said if they see enough interest, they’ll add boot packs.)

The #3000A are found HERE.

Lastly, if you have boot soles deeper than Vibram Streamtread, check out the rest of the lineup. There surely is a Grip Stud length and depth that will suit your needs. They all have the single point carbide tip. It’s just a matter of depth into the sole and protrusion from the surface.

 

Click here to purchase Grips Studs for your wading boots

Send me pics

You may be uncertain about what size to buy. I understand that. So let’s do some crowd sourcing here. Email me pics of Grip Studs in various soles. Tell me what type of sole and what Grip Stud model you used, and I’ll post them in this article for others to see.

Giveaway Deal

The Grip Studs company was generous enough to send me a bunch of extra studs. So I’m giving away two sets of Grip Studs (with installation tools).

Share this article on any social media outlet, or subscribe to Troutbitten (if you haven’t already). Then leave a message in the comments section below, indicating that you shared the article. Next week, I’ll pick two names at random and notify you by email if you win.

Then you’ll be walking through the river like you own the place.

** UPDATE ** The giveaway entry period concluded on September 19, 2018. The two winners are Bill Ferguson and Roger Grayson. 

Fish hard, friends.

 

Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky
T R O U T B I T T E N
domenick@troutbitten.com

 

 

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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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107 Comments

  1. You must live in a 48 hr day 365 days a year… I consider myself busy thru the day but you are on fish steroids. After following u forever I subscribed officially. I hope to win those carbide grips . .. I just purchased the Simms boot felt waders for steelhead fishing. I’m thinking I should get a set of them . You recommended the 1000s . The bottoms are pure clean and waiting for a good Steelie run and cold cold water application. Will those pa. Waters ever settle down this year…? Build an ark while you have time. Hoping to get to central pa. For a fall fishing vacation. What would be your favourite dates in October ? Our western NY waters are low low and have been all summer. Thank you for your dedication.

    Reply
    • Hi Dave. Thanks for the kind words.

      Central PA waters have been fishing really well for the last couple weeks. We’ve had a lot of rain this year, but I’ll take it over drought anytime.

      Tons of rain again in the last couple days, but the creeks will go back down in a few days, and the trout will be bigger.

      Reply
  2. I find a wire brush will make felt soles as good as new. I brush mine every third time out. I can’t fish felt in winter and have been looking at a pair of Simms G4s for this year and have seen motorcycle ice racing studs that have been used with good results but nothing that has lasted as long as you say the tungsten will. I’ll have to get a couple sets to try with the felt soles and the G4s.
    Thanks for the info and a chance to win a set.

    Reply
    • I like the wire brush tip. Thanks!

      Reply
  3. My back and legs would benefit greatly from some actual traction. At the moment I use the cold cutters(basically a self tapping screw with the ends cutfor motorcycle ice racing). These work a few trips but then fall out and round off. I just started using studs this year after terrible traction and being tired of slipping. I have a hip issue and my back would just be destroyed at the end of the day. Anyways looking forward to trying something new. Thanks for the information

    Reply
    • Hi John. I’ve done the Kold Kutter thing as well. They don’t last long enough for me. And after you replace them a few times, you run out of rubber in the soles without holes in it.

      Reply
  4. Metal on rock is good for gripping but not so much for stealth.

    Reply
    • Meh. In the kind of water I fish, noise from studs isn’t a problem. And in any water, I make a lot more waves, noise and disturbance by falling, slipping and bumbling around in the water without good traction than scraping of metal on rocks does.

      Reply
  5. shared on facebook

    Reply
    • Cheers

      Reply
  6. Just subscribed. These would be great for a young kid learning how to navigate a stream. Would love to give then a try for my 9 year old. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Yeah man! I have them in my ten year old son’s felts. Good traction is critical for kids too.

      Reply
  7. Subscribed-as I should have long ago. These studs look well, studly!

    Reply
    • Ha. Indeed they are.

      Reply
  8. Wow! Extremely useful info. Thanks. FYI, I illegally fished the Pyrenees in felt soled waders because I hate rubber soles and don’t trust them. These little beauties sound like they may make me trust them so I can get out of the felt I’ve been wearing for 35 years. (I really do appreciate the logic behind the anti-felt restrictions.) FYI, the regs in the Catalonian Pyrenees also require a NET!!!!

    Reply
    • Never heard of a net rule before.

      Reply
  9. Subscribed. These studs look….well, studly.

    Reply
  10. Domenick, Thanks for sharing your blogs and this post. I have enjoyed your information and recieved a great education from all of them. I have struggled with converting over to flyfishing exclusively simply because i do not have a lot of time to fish and always felt much more production with ultralite spin fishing. Your sharing of the Mono-Rig system has changed that all for me.

    Reply
    • Thanks Peter. So glad to hear it. Keep in touch.

      Reply
  11. DOMENICK

    You made some very good points about the importance of traction but overlooked one I would like to point out. INJURY. Not just falling down injury. Pulling your Achilles tendon injury along with others. I was fishing in a very rocky spring creek and tore my Achilles tendon. I spent 6 months babying a very sore ankle. I almost went into the doctor but decided at the prices it costs to see a Dr I would tough it out! I will never compromise on footware or traction when fishing again! Isn’t worth the pain.

    Reply
    • Good point, Paul.

      Reply
  12. Dominick

    Another excellent article. I have been using Korkers boots for three years now, with felt bottoms with studs and have been happy with the results, especially with a wading staff. However, even better than Korkers with studs is the addition of STREAMtrekkers Traction Cleats. Since I bought these a year ago I do not go to Penns Creek without putting these cleats on my Korkers. Penns almost felt safe.

    I look forward to trying the Grip Studs you are going to send me. I’ll add them to the rubber bottoms I also sometimes use on my Korkers.

    As always, keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • VEGOE!

      Reply
  13. Domenick, I shared this article as you requested. Any thoughts if these work on Korkers with the interchgangeable soles? Your blog is great by the way. I am on my third season as a fly fisherman and have read an applied many of your suggestions with positive results. I grew up on the east coast, but have lived in Colorado since 1980. Colorado fish behave just like Pennsylvania fish.

    Reply
    • Right on, Joe. Trout are trout, wherever they are.

      Regarding the Korkers: Nah, I wouldn’t install these in the Korkers removable soles. Korkers have a good single point carbide tip sole that they offer though, I think.

      Reply
  14. I shared this article with my TU Chapter via their Facebook page!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Greg.

      Reply
  15. Shared 2x…good stuff as usual!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Jon.

      Reply
  16. I’ve posted this article in several Facebook pages that I manage with this heading “Last month I fitted Snowbee’s Tungsten Wader Studs to cope with wading after dark when fishing for sea trout. This article discusses the advantage of tungsten studs over the default studs that can wear out if you do a lot of walking / wading”.

    At 71 years of age wading at night is an interesting experience ! Because of postage cost to the UK don’t enter my name in the draw. Thanks for your in-depth review.

    Reply
    • Cheers, Paul.

      Reply
  17. These look like a great option for me. I’ve replaced the aluminum disks so many times now that they will barely hold replacements. Definitely looking into these.

    Shared on Facebook as I know many who could benefit.

    Reply
    • I like the aluminum discs too.

      Reply
      • I do as well but I seem to lose them often. My boots are a few years old now and i think its time to try some glue in the screw holes.

        Up until a few years ago I never used studs or aluminum cleats. Once I tried them I couldn’t figure out why I had not used them before. Total game changer for me.

        Reply
  18. Thanks Domenick for the stud offer. Shared the info with my fishing partner as we need all the help we can get.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Ken.

      Reply
  19. Subscribed, I’m tired of studs not providing traction and falling out so I’m excited to give these a try

    Reply
    • These will stay in.

      Reply
  20. I FISH FOR NATIVE BROOK TROUT AND LANDLOCKED SALMON HERE IN MAINE… THE LAND OF RIVER LINED WITH ANKLE BREAKING BOULDERS. GRIP STUDS WOULD HELP ALOT WITH PRODUCTION AND SAFETY.

    I HAVE LEARNED ALOT FROM YOUR WRITINGS. THANKS!

    Reply
    • Cheers, Courtney. Thanks for reading.

      Reply
  21. Any advice on placement of these in the sole? It appears from the picture that you have studs in the middle of the heel part and the middle of the forefoot part. Have you tried these studs on the edges a’la the Simms Hardbite cleats?

    I’d like to be included in the drawing. I’m tired of those Hardbite cleats falling out in the middle of a fishing day.

    Reply
  22. I changed to vibram soled boots about a month ago, always used felt, but now I have to walk in to some rivers.so I went for vibram, fitted studs straight away on advice of other vibram sole users. I did not not like the noise they made from time to time when gripping on rounded rocks, also, I have to drive between some stretches and they caused minor problems on the pedals.After 5 sessions, I took them off and now catch more fish-BUT-I should point out that my rivers are down to 8-12 inches and bright sun most days.The trick I use on slimy rocks, is to keep one foot anchored, my wading staff planted, and then I slowly twist the ball of my next step foot on the slimy rock until it grips, sometimes it feels like suction may have occurred, but don’t trust that; bend the knee and put some weight on to judge grip. There are though, some conditions in some waters where rocks seem to be covered in axle grease, and then studs are the only way, great thing is, those grip studs look like you can put em in/take em out streamside if needs be???.

    Reply
    • Hi John,

      I agree with your wading strategy. That’s what this article was about . . .

      https://troutbitten.com/2018/08/28/its-wading-not-walking/

      But I still want to wade much faster than what you described, and with greater assurance that my next step will be solid.

      I know what you mean about the noise and the brake pedal, but you get used to it pretty quickly — at least I did. And I just don’t see trout spooking from the noise of my studs either. I fish plenty of low clear water. They spook from my stumbling through the water, but not from the minor noise of my boot studs, in my opinion.

      Regarding taking these off and on. I wouldn’t do that, no. I think you’ll weaken the rubber by slicing into the boot over and over.

      Instead, I’d recommend just having a second pair of boots without studs. That’s what I do. I have 3 pair of boots in rotation, really.

      Cheers.

      Reply
      • Brake pedal? we drive stick shifts over here with gas , clutch and brake pedals, logging trucks on the roads, plus wild boar and deer, a heavy footfall on the bank can set fish running for cover let alone kicking a rock in the river, it takes about 2-3minutes to cover 5feet minimum or you will fish empty water, I’ll just do without the metal on rock ditto my wading staff which I have tipped with a rubber bung And my Orvis boots have placements for the studs, you made the point of the wide auger stay in studs, so I wouldn’t see a problem fitting them/removing them as needed.
        We have close seasons here, trout closes next weekend to allow for spawning, grayling on 2nd category rivers up to 31december, then its tie that killer fly pattern time for re open season in april,
        I don’t wear out fly gear, as close season, high water/low water, and influx of worm chuckers at holiday periods limits quality time on the river. Now, knee pads that work with wading gear without shutting off the circulation to your feet would be a welcome discovery.One feature I do like about those studs is the minimal point-most others have about 3x that size, but not 3x more grip,maybe less in fact. I f I had to stud up, I’d look to those.

        Reply
  23. Shared your post.

    Reply
    • Thanks.

      Reply
  24. I shared it! Great review. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Cheers, Tyler.

      Reply
  25. Hi dom
    Article was great
    . Shared it on Facebook

    Reply
    • Thanks, Lyle.

      Reply
  26. Enjoyed the comments as much as your article, Dom! I’ve been sharing your tips and strategies with most friends that are open to suggestions to become a better/smarter piscatorial analyst. I use korkers w/aluminum bars as well as felt and rubber but my Patagonia’s could use help. The Simms traction sits below my Vibram, works great on rock, wet or dry, but skating on rock(dry) once the Vibram wears to cleat level is my fear! A lot of rocky banks on the west slope of Colorado.

    Reply
    • Sounds like you agree that nothing is universal!

      Reply
  27. Subscribed! Enjoy reading your articles. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Cheers.

      Reply
  28. It may be an improvement over the sheet metal screws I installed in a hurry last week

    Reply
    • YUP! I did that for a while too. The single point carbide is worlds better.

      Reply
  29. Great article. Already a subscriber and shared on various social media outlets. Currently have a pair of Redington boots that I love. Very comfortable and I have been using the goat head spikes in them. Would love to try these spikes though since your highly recommending them. Thanks for all the great articles!

    Jeff
    SE PA

    Reply
    • THANKS Jeff.

      Reply
  30. Love the article. I shared on Twitter and have heard great things about studs before. Hopefully I can have a crack at the give away. As usual thanks for putting out quality articles!

    Reply
    • My pleasure, James.

      Reply
  31. Just posted the article on my Instagram. I have never used any products to enhance the grip of my rubber sole wading boots. It might be time to change that, especially with the reviews grip studs are getting!

    Reply
    • Gription will change your life.

      Reply
  32. These would be great where isn’t allowed.

    Reply
  33. Shared this article with my friend Roger. We steelhead fish here in Erie, Pa. Always need a good grip but worried about studs on ice. Have a pair off Simms boots with studs, should be replaced. These might be the answer.

    Reply
    • Studs cut into the ice, right? I like having studs around here in the winter.

      Reply
  34. Shared on facebook. Love your posts!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Steve!

      Reply
  35. Intrigued. My aluminum bars are just about worn out. I may try these to compare. I also shared this post on my Instagram feed: @wsf241.

    Thanks for the insight Don!

    Reply
    • Cheers

      Reply
  36. I would love to try them out Grip studs look like a sure thing .
    I do want them for my ice fishing boots .
    Since I live in Alaska.

    Reply
    • Nice

      Reply
  37. Shared the above with my friends. Keep up the great work, Domenick. I got into fly fishing late in life (early 40’s and I just turned 60), so I feel like I’m WAY behind the power curve compared to you and the other fortunate ones that have been fly fishing a long time. But your blog helps speed up the learning process. God bless.

    Reply
    • Glad to hear it, Les. Keep fishing, buddy!

      Reply
  38. Posted this review to the Facebook page Central Oregon Fly Fishing.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Jon.

      Reply
  39. I’ll put your info in our club newsletter and refer all to the complete article in your website.

    Reply
    • Sounds good, Terry.

      Reply
  40. Domenick, A great article as are your others. I’ve had aluminum studs on my Simms boots but wore out, sheet metal screws were next. Fell on ice near Lake Erie. I was looking for something better and you have now ended my search. Every one I researched praised them.
    In the photo the studs are placed in between the ares where I thing they wanted them place. What is your reasoning? I never go fishing without my Wading staff, which I have attached to my Wading belt with a net magnet. It’s always there. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • Good eye, Tom. A couple others asked me the same question about the non-centered placement. The bulls-eyes in the Streamtread pattern seem just a little softer. I just prefer to screw the Grip Studs beside that. It also provides me more room, around the circle if I ever want to replace a stud. Then I don’t have to put it back into the same hole. Hope that makes sense! Overall, it probably does not matter.

      Cheers.

      Reply
  41. Nice Review! I shared the article on my Facebook account and with my local fly fishing buddies in Atlanta, GA.

    Reply
  42. Thanks for sharing this article and all the others on Troutbitten. I really enjoy the site. The GripStuds look like they would be a great upgrade for my dodgy wet wading boots. Just signed up and also follow you via Feedly. All the best!

    Reply
  43. Yo Dom

    This is the most thoughtful and comprehensive article I have ever seen on this subject. Thanks for moving the needle of progress forward.

    tl
    les

    Reply
  44. Subscribed and shared. Regardless of receiving one of the free pairs, you’ve convinced me to get these studs. Thank you

    Reply
  45. Just shared been looking for something to help make my felt boots last a little longer. I hike in mine to the river and then wade all day then a hike out anything has to help.

    Reply
  46. Looks like the very thing I need to keep the rubber side down. Felt soles are frowned upon in the Eastern Sierra

    Reply
  47. Shared on IG. Thanks for the articles!

    Reply
    • Cheers.

      Reply
  48. Subscribed & posted to Facebook.
    Have to agree with safety as greatest benefit from studs. Currently using Orvis Posigrip studs on Simms G3 Vibram soles. Will definitely replace with these when time comes. Really enjoying all of your Troutbitten tips & tales. I have learned a lot. With a lot of time on my hands after a brain injury, have taken up fly fishing @ 54. You really have a gift of explaining your experiences that helps us all visualize the lessons. Thank You ! Rod Harbon

    Reply
  49. Thanks for your in-depth review. As with all your other articles and observations, it’s much appreciated.

    I’ve yet to find an equal to felt, but Simms Alumibite discs were the closest I’ve gotten to feeling steady in the streams of Western NY I primarily fish. Though with my newest Simms G3 boots, they don’t protrude nearly enough on the latest vibram soles. To the best of your knowledge, I’m assuming I’d probably want the 3000a for these boots? Just wanted to verify if possible since it looks like it will be a $99+ investment. Though after nearly busting my middle-aged ass yet again earlier this week, that price sounds cheap compared to an emergency room visit.

    Also, one of the tributaries I fish around here has a very flat/smooth stream bed made of shale and limestone (I think). I’ve yet to find a stud that grips even a bit on this surface. It’s truly like an ice rink underfoot. Since the only time I tend to fish this creek is during the winter, falls are to be avoided at all costs. Any thoughts on how these studs behave on smooth and flat, algae covered rock?

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Hi Jethro,

      To your question about the Vibram soles, yes, if you want the extra protrusion, I like the 3000A much better. Correct, they are not yet available in boot packs, but if you contact the company, they will likely help you out. Good guys over there.

      Regarding the substrate of shale and limestone, I’ve found tungsten carbide tips to bite in well on both. Algae doesn’t matter, of course, the metal cuts right though. The tungsten carbide, single tipped Grip Studs bite into everything I’ve encountered other than granite. Nothing bites into granite, so aluminum, felt or just rubber are better options.

      Cheers.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the reply, Domenick. I actually sent an email asking about potential boot packs in the #3000A. A response within 10 minutes said there would be down the road, but in the meantime, just order the #3000B, and mention in the “instructions” box that the #3000A are desired. I of course mentioned your detailed review:)) Package arrived two days later and I just installed the studs into one boot to compare side by side (with alumibites) when I get out on the water later this week. Lugs on the G3’s are pretty deep and even with not installing to full depth the points are just barely protruding, so hopefully enough.

        Reply
        • Jethro, I don’t understand. Did you receive the 3000A or the 3000B.

          I’ll also mention that you MUST install the studs to full depth (as per the instructions) if you want them to stay in.

          I’ve never lost a stud.

          Send me a picture of the studs in the G3’s, if you will please Email me or use the contact form in the Author section.

          Cheers

          Reply
          • He supposedly sent me the #3000A. Putting on a ruler indicates they meet these length specs. I’ll send you an email with some pics.

          • Hi Dom,

            I just got a pair of G3’s. Based of Jethros picture were the 3000A’s the way to go? I’ve never used anything to enhance the grip on my wading boots before so I want to make sure I order the right size! Thanks!

          • Did you guys figure out which model made sense for G3 boots? Thanks!

          • The 3000A’s were the way to go! They paired great with my G3’s!

          • Thank you Cole.

  50. Domenic,
    Thank you for this and all your many other great recommendations! I learned volumes from your articles.

    When I saw this article, I had been considering a move away from felt for a while and your review got me over the hump. Since installing my GripStuds I’ve managed to put them through the motions in a variety or rivers and water conditions, as well as some pushy storm water. Being my first venture away from felt I am quite pleased, and I must say I was a bit reluctant to start. The traction is great, and I’ve experienced no challenges… no slips. For a tiny little stud, they pack some serious bite.

    Installation Note: By way of a gift certificate I went with an Orvis wading boot. Their new boots have a “Dual-durometer Vibram” outsole. My take is this is a softer compound than the conventional Vibram we all know. So initially I lost a few studs. Seating them a bit deeper is doing the trick. Had I known what I know now, I would have avoided the softer Vibram as it’s not necessary with the GripStuds. I would recommend to anyone installing in this softer version of Vibram NOT using a power drill… or maybe my drill just has a hair trigger… but on the first attempt I buried one… so the manual tool seems to be the safest bet.

    Reply
  51. I shared the article on Facebook

    Reply
  52. I called Grip Studs and asked for a boot pack with #3000A. The rep said it was no problem at all to put a boot pack together with 3000A for the same price as the boot pack of B’s. Give ’em a call, get the A’s.

    This blog consistently puts out the best info available. Thanks.

    Reply
  53. Hi Domenic,
    Great article! I too have seen the light, and run Grip Studs exclusively, having previously having run Simms Star Cleats ( some of which fell out), and Hard Bite studs, which didn’t even last a season of wear, and lost a couple as well.

    I have them in both Simms Freestones like yourself, and Simms Headwaters, with a deeper lug pattern, and love the traction! having 14 instead of 10 in each boot helps as well. Just a tip: I always put one at the top of the arch of the sole, for when you stand on branches and logs…

    Reply
  54. Have Simms Freestone boots with rubber soles and have 3000A Grip Studs. I’m ready to install the studs. I assume you put them in the locations of the little, round markings in the sole pattern. Do you have to drill any starter/pilot hole to start the stud or does the auger end do the work?

    Reply
  55. Dom, used the longest Grip Studs on two pairs of Simms boots. One pair of guide boots has a Vibram sole and a lot of the stud is covered by the depth of the tread. Traction is improved but it is not enough for treacherous streams. The other guide boot has a relatively smooth rubber sole and the exposed studs really bite. Used these on the Lehigh with no problems, and that is one nasty river for wading!

    Thanks for recommending Grip Studs!

    Reply
  56. Domenick:

    I just purchased a pair of Simms G3 felt sole boots. Do you still recommend #1100 grip studs? Will they do any damage to the boot with regard to the shaft length?

    Thank you for your time.

    Reply

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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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