I like the plastic snake gaitors, they are easy on easy off and comfortable.
Out of 12 years of digging sang, i've ran into 6 timber rattlers while digging, and out of 6 only one of em i was about to step on it, till the rattler hissed at me. It never rattled it only hissed, by the time i saw it it was deflating its body from the hiss. I usually see the rattle snake first from them being coiled up, which gives them away. They do rattle when you harass them with a stick, but i just leave them alone. It seems timbers are very mild tempered compared to a cotton mouth or a black racer. Ran into a huge black racer once and startled it and man ive never been so scared, it acted like a black mamba cobra staring right at me standing up 3 ft high everywhere i moved. creepy.
I used to never wear snake boots or gaitors till i ran into them in the wild, thats all it took for me to wear em all the time, especially places where i know thers ratters and copperheads, which is good places for dry land fish too.