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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 12:26pm - Feb 28,09
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Location: Lemont

Post Posted: 04:50pm - Sep 8,10 
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I haven't "waded" in a long, long time. The pair I had then were made like old rubber fireman boots.

Seeing I'm 40 yrs older now, looking for some suggestions on waders, and materials used. I'm a little leary of spending a mother-load on them as I get around on a steel and plastic knee, and the other one "ain't too good either," not knowing if the knees will be up to the task.

Any info appreciated, and thanks!

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Joined: 07:18pm - Sep 29,08
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Location: Frankfort

Post Posted: 07:31pm - Sep 8,10 
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Hey Morse, Check with Chuckt, He's an older guy[I think], with knee or leg problems, [watch,,I'm probably wrong!], anyway,,,He wades alot & I think he said the support of the water around his knee or leg actually helps the situation. Maybe that's just what he tells the Wife !! HaHaHaHa! Just kiddin. Really, I think I remember him posting somthing about it. Good luck.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 12:26pm - Feb 28,09
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Post Posted: 08:16pm - Sep 8,10 
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Thanks for the info Strobs. The best the knees ever felt where while wearing a "gumby" suit, in the water of a frozen over lake for a water rescue drill in my "past life." The compression of the suit and the cold was outstanding.. The "footing" is probably the biggest concern. But hey... can't live life in an eggshell! ;-)

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Joined: 05:57pm - May 11,04
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Post Posted: 08:37pm - Sep 8,10 
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Wading is excellent for your knees. Low impact, high resistance, exercise almost all of which is directly on your knees. Plus it's fun.

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Joined: 05:06am - Jun 23,09
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Post Posted: 09:24pm - Sep 8,10 
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Hahaha. Not the way to be known.
I do have arthritis in the knees and also some miniscus tears (soccer induced) and bone spurs-all the results of being active. I work out 2-3 times per week and play soccer on Sundays (my buds would use the term "try"). Wading against the current is similar to the hydrotherapy classes of which I know a few people attend. I getthe same workout for the legs, it's free and I get to fish too!
The most important factor are the soles of waders. This area, with algae covering the river bed rocks, requires felt soles (don't know of anything better) to keep you from slipping. I first had a pair of neoprene shoes and it was like teflon on ice and this would be a big no-no for you. The river bed is strewn with all sizes of boulders. I think that you can ease into wading with a pair of basic waders like Hodgsons (as were my first pair) that cost about $79 and were breathable. I currently have a pair of Orvis but the Hodgsons were just as good. I think of it this way-the money I spent for waders and boots is returned because I almost always can retrieve my lures or flies (let's see, about $3.50 for a Mepps spinner and $2.95 for an autumn bugger fly).
My wife has 2 knee replacements and was told not to kneel. I do not know your limitations but I must warn you that walking on a rock strewn river bed is not like walking on your sidewalk. In fact, I find that wearing soccer cleats is not as taxing since the ground is reasonably even. I have taken a dunk a few times and the cause was always not keeping my weight forward (and this is usually due to the current or a rock giving way under my foot). But you know your limitations. I was more worried about ingesting some microbe that would multiply inside.
Now is the time to try since the river is low, clear and the current is not fast.
I feel the same way. I just cannot see myself sitting in a chair awaiting the sunset and night of my years.

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Joined: 12:19pm - Jul 9,03
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Location: Northern Border, Illinois

Post Posted: 09:44pm - Sep 8,10 
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I don't have the same concerns, but I would recommend you look at what time of year you will do your wading. If it is early spring or fall I'd go with neoprene for warms. I got a pair of gortex for warmer wading and I LOVE them. so light and comfy I barely know they are there. but in cold I need a pair of woolly, or warm pants. Felt soles for rocks, rubber for mud/sand. or get bootie-waders and buy 2 sets of boots when they go on sale in the fall.

my 2 cents.

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Post Posted: 09:47pm - Sep 8,10 
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I'm 53 and have sports related knee problems. I wade year round and wear stocking foot breathables with lug sole boots year round. I don't put much money into boots or waders as I wade so much that i go thru a pair of each every year. It doesn't matter if they are high priced or low priced, I flat wear them out.

Underarmour or polypro and fleece underneath in coldwater and always good thick socks.

If you like, get one of those fold up metal wading staffs, a tripod id more stable than a bipod.

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Post Posted: 06:14am - Sep 9,10 
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I also thought about taking a rod along for balance. It is not a sign of disability since many people use them and they can tell you where a hole might be. I like the breathable waders since they are cooler in the summer and one can always use an underlayer during the colder months. I also prefer the stocking foot waders since one can always change the boots if they wear out or if you opt for different soles due to different river beds.

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Joined: 09:50am - Sep 4,10
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Post Posted: 07:48am - Sep 9,10 
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Morserunner. There is allot of good input here. I recently have been shopping all the outdoor stores and have come to believe that "cheap is expensive". You don't have to go high end but definitely don't go low end. Also, My first choice is ankle support. Working in the medical business i see many people coming in with ankle fx's due to poor support. I definitely suggest going with a pair that allows you to get your own boots. The debate is out there as far as felt bottoms. I understand that many states are banning them. The reasons are plentiful but the big one to the state is you can't clean them no matter what you do to them and they can carry organisms to other bodies of water. This means that Illinois will do so and the replacements will not be available. I've had great success with a good pair of rubber soles with a good pattern. Very important. The time of year also is important as you do want warmth but that can always be added with the proper attire. Good luck bro and let us know what you decide.

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Joined: 07:18pm - Sep 29,08
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Post Posted: 03:44pm - Sep 9,10 
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This is a sidenote for Chuckt,,,,I apologize for any misgivings that I may have put forth, but I had remembered that you had some issues & might be able to lend a helping hand. And, of course, you did. Thanks, Dave

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Post Posted: 06:25pm - Sep 9,10 
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C'mon Strobs, no need to apologize since no affront was given. And you are correct that the best person to give advice is the one in the same shoes (wading boots that is). Anyway, I plan to live for an eternity--so far, so good.

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Post Posted: 06:35pm - Sep 9,10 
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Try em on at the store. I fitted myself into a ton of different ones before I found the pair I liked. Ended up being a gander brand. Didn't like the boot/sock fit in one, the belly fit in another, the low crotch in one. I just had to put them on and go from there. didn't spend a lot.

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Post Posted: 07:22pm - Sep 9,10 
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Make sure you can bend the knees easily (try stooping) since you will be traversing over boulders and large stones and climbing down river banks.

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Post Posted: 07:38pm - Sep 9,10 
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Many thanks to all for the the suggestions. Certainly much more to this than it was back in around 1970. (but then the legs weren't a concern then)
I cut/pasted together a list of the suggestions. BPS is 5 mins away, Gander about 20. Though I probably won't do this for a bit yet, I'll let ya's know how I ended up.. You guys on this site are awesome! :thanks for taking the time to drop in a suggestion/comment.
Zig

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Post Posted: 06:05am - Sep 10,10 
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Also do not rule out Orvis. I bought a pair of their economy line (Endura) for $150. Then about a month later, I received a catalog which had inside a coupon for $25 worth of flies for free (guys and gals, if you have the catalog, look near the middle-it's a full page ad for it). So, the difference was little between the Hodgson's and the Orvis. Besides, consider that you will be using them for a long time and everytime you don them, you will be happy or frustrated.

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Post Posted: 07:26am - Sep 10,10 
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I'm a little late here but I'll add my 2 cents.

Like creeky said all waders and boots will eventually leak or fail so since your not sure how much you'll be wading go on the less expensive side or find a good sale. Breathables IMO would be better. You can put fleece, polypro etc underneath for spring or fall. Depending on how your knee(s) fair on your first outing you may want to wear some sort of knee brace. It'll be way easier to get breathables over a brace than it will neoprene.

Make sure you size everything correctly. I wear a 13 for shoes and I'm 6'2" but on the thinner side. I have to get XL waders or whatever size corresponds to a size 13 bootie. A friend of mine gave me a pair of LG waders. While appreciative I knew they would leak sooner than later. Sure enough with-in less than a year they were leaking in both feet and the crotch because while they technically "fit" they were too small and I stressed the seams just by wearing them. Make sure you also bring whatever socks you are going to wear to try on with the waders and boots. I personally still wear a lighter wool sock in the summer as it's more breathable and your feet will sweat in that neoprene bootie. Not much worse than walking around for several hours with pinched feet. good luck

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Post Posted: 07:31am - Sep 10,10 
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Never too late, tnx Kevin.

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Post Posted: 02:01pm - Sep 10,10 
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Post Posted: 11:59pm - Sep 11,10 
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When you wade 4 to 6 days a week year round and bust brush, you wear any brand out, even with warranties you have to wait for replacements. I can't wet wade any more for medical reasons and much of the year it's too cold for that so I don't have time to wait for replacements. Hence the cheapest I can find and just replace them on a yearly basis.

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