On a recent trip to Yellowstone, one of my fishing compadres (the Goosemeister, truth be told) picked up a copy of a free magazine in one of the fly shops. While we were back at the Ho Hum planning our assault on the Firehole the next day and discussing felt vs. rubber soled boots, The Gooseman buried his nose in the magazine. Before he could nod off into one of his sudden cat naps, he blurted out something about a new pair of boots that caught my attention: Korkers Svelte Sole.
He had me at Svelte.
According to an article in Fly Fish America Annual 2011 Gear Guide, Korkers and 3M have teamed up to offer a new boot sole material that is allegedly superior to felt in grip-ability but without the fear of harboring invasive organisms. The soles are part of Korker’s OmniTrax interchangeable sole system. The material in the sole is made by 3M, and the article says, among other things:
In fact, the stuff looks and feels just like the heavy-duty version of the 3M Scotch-Brite abrasive pads you can buy at Wal-Mart.
It’s good to see that someone is exploring superior alternatives to rubber soles, which seem to be very slippery–or at least more slippery than felt– without studs. Studs obviously present a problem when fishing out of a boat (particularly inflatables).
The one thing that made me curious about this news was that 3M, which is a huge conglomerate company, owns Scientific Anglers and Ross Reels. Why didn’t they keep this new Svelte Sole in house and offer it on a pair of boots branded by Scientific Anglers or Ross? It would have seemed a better business proposition to me, but then again I am a horrible business person, so what do I know?
I wonder if Korkers boots will be available at Wal-Mart anytime soon, and if so will they be in the sporting good section or the kitchenware isle?