Maine Guide

Canal Footwear?

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77 posts in this topic

Just now, bradW said:

don't be afraid to sit on your butt as you manuver your way down to the waters edge. 

Correct. It's not a fashion show. :)

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Thanks guys for all the great advice and tips. 

 

I used to to spend a lot of time at the Canal, then converted to mostly boat. This year I plan on getting back down there a bit more. Wanted to see what has transpired over the years when it comes to footwear safety. 

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I find Korkers to be a liability. I would never wear them at the canal.

 

A good pair of work or hiking boots laced tightly has served me well for years.

 

 

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49 mins ago, Maine Guide said:

Wanted to see what has transpired over the years

If  you haven't been there in a few years get ready for the crowds. It's reached even more absurd levels since 2017.

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I wear trail running sneakers with an aggressive tread. They grip really well on the rocks and are comfortable for biking. I stay away from the bubble weed. 

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59 mins ago, zak-striper said:

If  you haven't been there in a few years get ready for the crowds. It's reached even more absurd levels since 2017.

You can say that again.

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8 mins ago, bob_G said:

You can say that again.

I feel like last year was better than a few years before, if you avoid the “hot spots”

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Posted (edited) · Report post

rubber knee boots or hiking boots with kold kutter screws. just don’t forget to take them off before going inside. They cut through the algae and also good on bubbleweed. they will also cut up floors if you wear them inside. they’re cheap and quick to replace.

Edited by fishing bum wannabe

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Timberland leather hiking boot for protection from rocks and good ankle support. The rubber and tread grips well but you still need to be very careful especially on the wet slimy rocks and seaweed covered stuff. I have used some other boots and they were a lot more slippery. The type of sole material and tread makes a big difference. 

Unfortunately i cant tell you what material to look for. I think softer rubber.

I walk down the rocks sideways and have free hand on the rock side for some support if needed. I made the mistake years ago to walk on the rocks with both hand full. Tackle box and rod. I slipped and went down face first in a rock, cut my arm, face ,and chipped a tooth. Could have been a lot worse. 

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I use xtratuf deckboots to keep my feet dry. They work very well on dry rocks but have little traction on the seaweed covered rocks near the low tide line. I usually throw a pair of korkers casttrax sandals over the boots for traction on the lower rocks.

 

I should mention that my worst spill on the canal rocks took place wearing Korkers. I was moving too fast over the rocks and either hit a 'seesaw rock' or tripped, I forget. Blew my thumb out which took over a year to fully heal. As @bdowning mentioned, those seesaw rocks are ones to watch out for. Don't assume all rocks are fixed/jammed in place because they're not.

 

Last year I fished next to a guy who was on the lower seaweedy rocks in just regular hiking boots, without spikes. He slipped bad on the seaweed and went down hard. Landed on his rod, which snapped in half. Worse, his hand went in to either the hook on his jig below him, or some barnacles on the rocks. Either way his hand opened right up with a terrible cut. His night was over as he headed to the ER for stitches, broken rod in tow. 

 

Personally, I think Korkers or spikes of some sort have more advantages than disadvantages for the canal, when maneuvering on slippery rocks near the low tide line. 

Edited by rst3

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To handle the bubble weed covered rocks below tho tide line on the Canal, a pair of tungsten carbide studded ankle high wading boots as many are recommending here in my opinion is absolutely the way to go.

 

Taking a bit of a deeper dive into the topic, for saltwater fishing I prefer vibram soled boots. Felt is fantastic for river fishing as it grips very well on slick, moss covered rocks and it's very quiet, which is important when your trout fishing.

 

Felt doesn't translate as well to saltwater use mainly because it doesn't wear that well. On the Canal you're moving from spot to spot, unloading your bike, peddling back to your campsite or up to the parking lot..etc. 

 

Then you're getting off your bike and navigating down fairly sketchy banks that have lots of jagged rocks and mud. The canal is often foggy and you get a ton of moisture which can be slippery especially in the early morning and at night.

 

Vibram soles last a lot longer than felt & they dry quickly also. The tungsten carbide studs are also a must and less expensive studs wear out very quickly compared to a better quality stud so that's something to keep in mind also. 

 

When it comes time to change your studs it's a bit of a pain in the rump if you have poorly made waiting boots so you have to factor that in also. It's difficult to find the mounting points if you have to fiddle around through the felt sole. With the vibram soul it's easy to identify the exact spot where the new stud Will be screwed into. 

 

Neoprene socks come in extremely handy also as they keep your feet warm. When you go to buy your waiting boots if you don't already own some, try them on with a very light 2mm or 3mm summer weight wading sock underneath a heavier weight neoprene sock. Usually wading Boots are sized to accommodate 3mm neoprene socks. 

 

I don't wear any breathable fishing socks under the neoprene. The reason is because I may find myself stepping in as deep as my knees at times so my feet are definitely going to get wet. The neoprene socks can fold over the top of your Wading boot & this keeps all of the sand and grit out. 

 

Invariably you will find yourself walking a sandy beach in the summertime, maybe jetty hopping & these same ankle high studded wading boots are perfect for all sorts of other fishing applications.

 

I also wear a pair of swimming trunks with built-in underwear underneath a pair of synthetic pants that are designed to be worn with waders. If they happen to get wet they dry very quickly but their job is to keep you warm in the night & early morning. 

 

Then I wear a pair of synthetic rainproof pants known as deck pants. On top I wear a breathable t-shirt, a breathable insulated quick dry synthetic base layer & a waist length waterproof shell kind of like a deck jacket, which is different than a fishing wading jacket because it's a little longer. Most wading jackets are designed for freshwater fishing & they are often either too short because they're meant for wading up to your chest, or they have too many pockets that aren't big enough. I recommend a couple brands that make products that seem to cross over pretty well to salt water.

 

 

 

I've tried all sorts of different brands over the years & I like Korkers, Simms or Patagonia for boots. Stay away from wire based lacing systems as they crap out in salt water very quickly. Look for full synthetic boots. I like 1 piece soles opposed to detachable ones mainly because they never fail or fall off. Comfort & fit are also super important. Many types of boots simply will not hold up in saltwater. But some do pretty darn well. I wear Patagonia boots (Salt-X) which are actually made by Danner & they've been incredibly durable.

 

Simms boots are extremely comfortable but not as good for saltwater. Definitely give them a look though because they would be very good on the Canal.  Korkers have lots of gimmicks & I'm not sure they hold up that great in salt. I have a few friends who really like Korkers boots and both are very tough on equipment (big guys who fish a lot). However, I've observed that both completely destroyed the Korkers boots in salt. Take that observation for what it's worth.The Sims brand is about river fishing and a little flats fishing. Patagonia absolutely gets salt water & their boots have less gimmicks overall and I do think they hold up better. I've beaten the crap out of my boots and they're still going strong.

 

Storm-R for Jackets are the bee's knees for Saltwater fishing. Love them. However at times you might want a lighter weight Deck Jacket or Wading Jacket. I've been on two week long fishing trips where it rained for a week or more almost straight with little burst of sunlight here and there. Trust me when you're camping and it's raining sideways that's when you find out how good your rain gear is. I would judge the Canal to be a fairly demanding environment in terms of fog & the potential for rain. Again durability comes into play and also crossover use in other saltwater applications is important. Any product with a detachable hood is garbage. One piece hoods don't leak. Nuff Said on that! Waterproof technology has come a long way over the years and it's built on multiple layers all of which breathe. Soft shells are water resistant and very comfortable but useless as daily fishing gear. The water resistance eventually breaks down with a soft shell. So what you're looking for in a rain jacket is a bomb proof hard shell that will take a serious beating. Patagonia again comes in very strong as does Simms. Cabela's Guide Wear Jackets are also pretty good. In driving rain,  many wading jackets fail around the neck area. I'd recommend paying attention to that when evaluating a wading jacket.

 

Simms &  Cabela's have excellent insulated under the waders fishing pants and shirts. Simms seems to be the best in this department.

 

I really like Patagonia's R2 & R4 zip front fleece jackets. The R2 isn't windproof but you can wear it anywhere and it's a great layering piece a look also. The R4 is a windproof fleece Jacket That's pretty good.

 

Simms has some awesome zip front jackets that really hold up also.

 

Of course there are plenty of other companies out there that you could look at to fit your needs.

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10 mins ago, CaryGreene said:

To handle the bubble weed covered rocks below tho tide line on the Canal, a pair of tungsten carbide studded ankle high wading boots as many are recommending here in my opinion is absolutely the way to go.

 

Taking a bit of a deeper dive into the topic, for saltwater fishing I prefer vibram soled boots. Felt is fantastic for river fishing as it grips very well on slick, moss covered rocks and it's very quiet, which is important when your trout fishing.

 

Felt doesn't translate as well to saltwater use mainly because it doesn't wear that well. On the Canal you're moving from spot to spot, unloading your bike, peddling back to your campsite or up to the parking lot..etc. 

 

Then you're getting off your bike and navigating down fairly sketchy banks that have lots of jagged rocks and mud. The canal is often foggy and you get a ton of moisture which can be slippery especially in the early morning and at night.

 

Vibram soles last a lot longer than felt & they dry quickly also. The tungsten carbide studs are also a must and less expensive studs wear out very quickly compared to a better quality stud so that's something to keep in mind also. 

 

When it comes time to change your studs it's a bit of a pain in the rump if you have poorly made waiting boots so you have to factor that in also. It's difficult to find the mounting points if you have to fiddle around through the felt sole. With the vibram soul it's easy to identify the exact spot where the new stud Will be screwed into. 

 

Neoprene socks come in extremely handy also as they keep your feet warm. When you go to buy your waiting boots if you don't already own some, try them on with a very light 2mm or 3mm summer weight wading sock underneath a heavier weight neoprene sock. Usually wading Boots are sized to accommodate 3mm neoprene socks. 

 

I don't wear any breathable fishing socks under the neoprene. The reason is because I may find myself stepping in as deep as my knees at times so my feet are definitely going to get wet. The neoprene socks can fold over the top of your Wading boot & this keeps all of the sand and grit out. 

 

Invariably you will find yourself walking a sandy beach in the summertime, maybe jetty hopping & these same ankle high studded wading boots are perfect for all sorts of other fishing applications.

 

I also wear a pair of swimming trunks with built-in underwear underneath a pair of synthetic pants that are designed to be worn with waders. If they happen to get wet they dry very quickly but their job is to keep you warm in the night & early morning. 

 

Then I wear a pair of synthetic rainproof pants known as deck pants. On top I wear a breathable t-shirt, a breathable insulated quick dry synthetic base layer & a waist length waterproof shell kind of like a deck jacket, which is different than a fishing wading jacket because it's a little longer. Most wading jackets are designed for freshwater fishing & they are often either too short because they're meant for wading up to your chest, or they have too many pockets that aren't big enough. I recommend a couple brands that make products that seem to cross over pretty well to salt water.

 

 

 

I've tried all sorts of different brands over the years & I like Korkers, Simms or Patagonia for boots. Stay away from wire based lacing systems as they crap out in salt water very quickly. Look for full synthetic boots. I like 1 piece soles opposed to detachable ones mainly because they never fail or fall off. Comfort & fit are also super important. Many types of boots simply will not hold up in saltwater. But some do pretty darn well. I wear Patagonia boots (Salt-X) which are actually made by Danner & they've been incredibly durable.

 

Simms boots are extremely comfortable but not as good for saltwater. Definitely give them a look though because they would be very good on the Canal.  Korkers have lots of gimmicks & I'm not sure they hold up that great in salt. I have a few friends who really like Korkers boots and both are very tough on equipment (big guys who fish a lot). However, I've observed that both completely destroyed the Korkers boots in salt. Take that observation for what it's worth.The Sims brand is about river fishing and a little flats fishing. Patagonia absolutely gets salt water & their boots have less gimmicks overall and I do think they hold up better. I've beaten the crap out of my boots and they're still going strong.

 

Storm-R for Jackets are the bee's knees for Saltwater fishing. Love them. However at times you might want a lighter weight Deck Jacket or Wading Jacket. I've been on two week long fishing trips where it rained for a week or more almost straight with little burst of sunlight here and there. Trust me when you're camping and it's raining sideways that's when you find out how good your rain gear is. I would judge the Canal to be a fairly demanding environment in terms of fog & the potential for rain. Again durability comes into play and also crossover use in other saltwater applications is important. Any product with a detachable hood is garbage. One piece hoods don't leak. Nuff Said on that! Waterproof technology has come a long way over the years and it's built on multiple layers all of which breathe. Soft shells are water resistant and very comfortable but useless as daily fishing gear. The water resistance eventually breaks down with a soft shell. So what you're looking for in a rain jacket is a bomb proof hard shell that will take a serious beating. Patagonia again comes in very strong as does Simms. Cabela's Guide Wear Jackets are also pretty good. In driving rain,  many wading jackets fail around the neck area. I'd recommend paying attention to that when evaluating a wading jacket.

 

Simms &  Cabela's have excellent insulated under the waders fishing pants and shirts. Simms seems to be the best in this department.

 

I really like Patagonia's R2 & R4 zip front fleece jackets. The R2 isn't windproof but you can wear it anywhere and it's a great layering piece a look also. The R4 is a windproof fleece Jacket That's pretty good.

 

Simms has some awesome zip front jackets that really hold up also.

 

Of course there are plenty of other companies out there that you could look at to fit your needs.

Thank you for taking the time to post such a detailed explanation. I greatly appreciate it. 

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