Sunday, March 30, 2008

Simms: Designs to combat invasives

Felt soles are considered by many anglers to be a piece of vital fishing equipment. Anyone who has ever tried to maintain their footing on a mountain stream bed covered in slippery rocks will agree that it is hard to beat felt for traction.

Now scientists are telling us that our soles may be causing problems for the environment in that they can harbor nasties like didymo or whirling disease and aid in their movement from watershed to watershed. Due to the fact that some biologists believe that the felt might be virtually impossible to clean, many areas are moving to ban them.

An recent press release from Simms Fishing Products via Pale Morning Media indicates that they recognize that this could be a turning point in wader and wading shoe design and that they are taking steps to make invasive species control a part of their business:

All of Simms’ waders – made in Simms’ exclusive U.S. manufacturing facility in Bozeman – are extra rugged and are DEET and saltwater resistant, providing exceptional strength and quality through the repeated washings necessary to battle aquatic hitchhikers.

“Many of the county’s outstanding recreational fisheries are under assault from aquatic invaders. Organisms like didymo (or “rock snot”), whirling disease and New Zealand mud snails threaten to alter forever some our most treasured fishing resources,” said K.C. Walsh, president of Simms. “Creating premium quality gear that makes it easier to care for the resources we all enjoy is a responsibility we take seriously.”

CleanStream™ is Simms’ way of melding modern fabrics and design to offer a comfortable, durable boot that is a snap to rinse and clean – and proper cleaning in the first step in stopping the spread of aquatic invaders.

AquaStealth® soles are made from high friction rubber designed to excel in and out of water. The, light sponge-like rubber provides added durability for hiking, and doesn’t absorb and hold water like a traditional felt sole.

Simms is a partner in the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers project sponsored by the U.S Coast Guard and the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service. For more information, log on to

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