Last christmas (X-Mas '09), I received several generous gifts from my family, including the Patagonia Riverwalker sticky wading boots and a pair of Orvis Pro Guide 3 Waders. The wading boots had received many favorable reviews, including one from Tom at Trout Underground, and the waders were on sale because Orvis was coming out with an updated version of the Pro Guide waders (that should have been a warning sign, but a deal is a deal).
After a year on the water, the soles of the wading boots were no longer sticky and the uppers of the wading boots had been coming apart at the seams. In addition, I had a massive, but still undetectable hole in the right leg of my waders that resulted in half of my lower half wet wading whether it wanted to or not.
I spent a great deal of time on the water last year doing field work and casting a fly rod and I was generally very pleased with the performance of the Riverwalkers. But, I expected more durability out of a pair of wading boots especially at their price point. So, I sent them back to Patagonia, which like many outdoor gear companies, has a very accepting return policy. In exchange, I received the new Rock Grip sticky/studded wading boots for the cost of shipping.
While I liked the shape, feel, and fit of the Riverwalkers, based on the damage that I had done to them, I thought it would be best if I went in a different direction. The Rock Grips appear to be that different direction. They appear to be more heavy duty, with less exposed stitching and a thicker, tougher rubber sole. Take a look at them now. I will review them in a year after giving them hell on the Montana's rivers this season. (NOTE: Forgetful as I am, I forgot to take before and after pictures of my Riverwalkers. Trust me, they were beat up).
|Patagonia Rock Grip sticky/studded wading boots|
|studded vs. un-studded|
From mid-thigh down to my toes, my long johns and socks were completely saturated with nearly freezing water. The primary issue appeared to be at the seam that connected the neoprene booties to the actual leg of the wader.
So, I contacted Orvis and apparently that has been an issue with this model. I have returned the waders and Orvis indicated that they would be replacing my waders with a new pair, for the cost of shipping. I have yet to receive them, but I am waiting patiently, so I can get back out on the water.
Also, Jergens over at Evolution Anglers, just had some logo stickers printed and sent three over my way. They turned out really well. Check out his blog for some killer content (see the recent winter trips to the Beav (read: Beaverhead) and the Mo (read: the Missouri)) and don't forget to order some EvoAnglers SWAG for a very fair price.
Finally, in order to have an active followers gadget associated with the YGF blog, I was forced to delete the entire blog, export it, and then recreate it. As a result, some of the comments were deleted. A small price to pay for the new followers gadget. If you like what you see and read, give YGF a follow and if you love it, like YGF on the Facebooks.