Maine Guide

Canal Footwear?

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12 hours ago, Pescador710 said:

It’s not about knowing how to walk on the rocks, it’s knowing how to fall 

 

Yep. 

 

First thing you learn and it's almost instinctive is, as you fall, keep your rod held high. 

 

Bad enough to dislocate an ankle or hip or crack your skull, but you don't want to damage your rod. 

 

 

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I'm partial to Korkers.  If you plan on going a lot, get a heavy duty boot.  Regular wading

boots will deteriorate over the course of the year.

 

Like others have said make sure you have some large studs on the bottom of those boots.

 

Don't be ashamed to get on your hands and crawl around in certain spots.

 

Also, everyone falls at the canal at some point.  The rocks don't care what brand of boots you own.

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5 mins ago, zeke04 said:

I now wear a helmet when skiing after years of refusing to wear one, now considering wearing one when fishing the Canal.

 

You won't be the first. 

 

Unsure if he still fishes, but Bobby C., a well known canal bait fisherman, wore one.  Not only when he biked, but also when he fished.

 

He was quite a sight because Bobby wore his bike helmet backwards. 

 

I believe he took a bad fall at some point and that is what prompted him to wear head protection.

 

If my memory serves me, after his fall but before the bike helmet, Bobby wore what appeared to be in inverted Chinese wok with a jerry rigged chin strap on his head.    

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5 hours ago, Maine Guide said:

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

Absolutely MG, take your time and really try on whatever boots you wind up with. Make sure that you are 100% comfortable in them and that they are sized right with neoprene socks and bare feet. 

 

A lot of guys wind up buying a pair of boots without really doing this and then they start walking around in them and they are wincing in pain. I'm 6'3 250 13 Wide and if I get into a boot that's too narrow, I'm done. But I'm pretty athletic and I can run around all day long with something that fits right. 

 

I wear my studded wading boots all season long, spring, summer, fall and even when I fish in the winter. I've beaten the hell out of them and I have zero complaints. The one piece lug sole still works just fine. When it gets real hot out I will sometimes switch over to just a pair of Crocs which are not ideal when I'm on the beach and I really don't have any rocks or anything to contend with.

 

Jellyfish blooms can occur in at that point you need waders to avoid getting stung. They create a lot of micro punctures and so I wind up patching them a lot.

 

Typically I just turn them inside out and fill them up with water and then hang them from a tree. The leaks are obvious to see and you just circle them with a sharpie and then come back and use an iron on patch.

 

I got a good 10 years out of a single set of waders and I never buy anything but Sims for that. I have tried all of the other brands and nobody makes anything as good as they do.

 

In fact one time I took a trip to Alaska and I broke out a pair of Orvis 5 mm neoprene guide waders which had never been worn and the moment I stepped off the plane literally the very first step, my left leg filled with water at the ankle.

 

That's when I swore Orvis waders off forever. Simms waders Don't leak out of the box and they hold up. On the canal you're not going to need waders but certainly it's something to keep in mind.

 

Also I didn't mention above in my previous post that the reason I use all the layers is because temperatures go from hi 30 s or low 40s up to 70s or even hotter as the day progresses.

 

I always start off at night, fishing in the morning and then I'm back out there for dusk then I get a quick rest and then I'm back out there again depending on the tides.

 

Layering is really important because you can ditch base layers and then put them back on easily.

 

A lot of times when people buy things they forget this. They get something that fits right but unfortunately they didn't take into consideration they might have several layers on underneath. Always buy everything absolutely too big. You will be glad you did.

 

Think about that point for a second. You buy a pair of wading boots in the store and you try them on with just your socks. Now you had a pair of bulky neoprene socks and you're good for the summertime or the fall but keep in mind water is darn cold in the spring. So now you go to add a second pair of thicker neoprene socks and suddenly your boots are too snug. 

 

Daily fishing requires a system that is adaptable. It's definitely a little more expensive to get good gear but if you get the right stuff you will not be disappointed and you can use it on a daily basis and maintain it accordingly.

 

I've seen a lot of knock-off wading boots and while the price points are very good they really aren't made with salt water in mind. A good pair of boots should last you a very long time. In fact if your boots don't last long enough to have to reinstall numerous sets of tungsten carbide studs then something's wrong with the equation that you're using.

 

By the way with the studs they wear quickly on cement and hard surfaces. Rocks will also cause wear. Pay close attention to the type of stud you are using & try to walk on the grass whenever possible when you're moving to and from certain spots.

 

And then lastly let's deal with the bubble weed itself. Bubble weed is treacherously slippery. Felt works like crap on it. It does nothing. The studs will get through the bubble weed and give you okay gripping power. It's not phenomenal but it's enough to stand where you need to stand. You still need to be careful for sure.

 

If you want phenomenal gripping power and you're on a budget then just use the strap-on Korkers they fit over your boots, they are very uncomfortable and heavy and they're terrible for walking around getting to the spot you're going to be standing. But they have tremendous gripping power and amazing spikes. 

 

I can barely even walk in those freaking things I tried them and I hate them. I wind up using the studded boots and just being a little careful. 

 

In my younger years I took some amazing falls but most of the time I was a mountain goat and I was bouncing around surprisingly good.

 

The problem is when you get onto real jetties and slick rocks like they have on the canal it's a whole other world. 

 

I used in studded felt soles  in the Adirondacks and still fell a lot until I discovered a wading staff. I'm not too proud to use one on the canal and I think it's a great way to compensate when you need to get from rock to rock. 

 

Collapsible emergency staffs are very good and the best I've seen is from Simms. Might be worth it to augment your studded boots with a good staff. It's one more piece of extra clunky gear hanging off you but it really comes in handy and if you use it a lot you'll get your money's worth and then some.

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17 hours ago, CaryGreene said:

Absolutely MG, take your time and really try on whatever boots you wind up with. Make sure that you are 100% comfortable in them and that they are sized right with neoprene socks and bare feet. 

 

A lot of guys wind up buying a pair of boots without really doing this and then they start walking around in them and they are wincing in pain. I'm 6'3 250 13 Wide and if I get into a boot that's too narrow, I'm done. But I'm pretty athletic and I can run around all day long with something that fits right. 

 

I wear my studded wading boots all season long, spring, summer, fall and even when I fish in the winter. I've beaten the hell out of them and I have zero complaints. The one piece lug sole still works just fine. When it gets real hot out I will sometimes switch over to just a pair of Crocs which are not ideal when I'm on the beach and I really don't have any rocks or anything to contend with.

 

Jellyfish blooms can occur in at that point you need waders to avoid getting stung. They create a lot of micro punctures and so I wind up patching them a lot.

 

Typically I just turn them inside out and fill them up with water and then hang them from a tree. The leaks are obvious to see and you just circle them with a sharpie and then come back and use an iron on patch.

 

I got a good 10 years out of a single set of waders and I never buy anything but Sims for that. I have tried all of the other brands and nobody makes anything as good as they do.

 

In fact one time I took a trip to Alaska and I broke out a pair of Orvis 5 mm neoprene guide waders which had never been worn and the moment I stepped off the plane literally the very first step, my left leg filled with water at the ankle.

 

That's when I swore Orvis waders off forever. Simms waders Don't leak out of the box and they hold up. On the canal you're not going to need waders but certainly it's something to keep in mind.

 

Also I didn't mention above in my previous post that the reason I use all the layers is because temperatures go from hi 30 s or low 40s up to 70s or even hotter as the day progresses.

 

I always start off at night, fishing in the morning and then I'm back out there for dusk then I get a quick rest and then I'm back out there again depending on the tides.

 

Layering is really important because you can ditch base layers and then put them back on easily.

 

A lot of times when people buy things they forget this. They get something that fits right but unfortunately they didn't take into consideration they might have several layers on underneath. Always buy everything absolutely too big. You will be glad you did.

 

Think about that point for a second. You buy a pair of wading boots in the store and you try them on with just your socks. Now you had a pair of bulky neoprene socks and you're good for the summertime or the fall but keep in mind water is darn cold in the spring. So now you go to add a second pair of thicker neoprene socks and suddenly your boots are too snug. 

 

Daily fishing requires a system that is adaptable. It's definitely a little more expensive to get good gear but if you get the right stuff you will not be disappointed and you can use it on a daily basis and maintain it accordingly.

 

I've seen a lot of knock-off wading boots and while the price points are very good they really aren't made with salt water in mind. A good pair of boots should last you a very long time. In fact if your boots don't last long enough to have to reinstall numerous sets of tungsten carbide studs then something's wrong with the equation that you're using.

 

By the way with the studs they wear quickly on cement and hard surfaces. Rocks will also cause wear. Pay close attention to the type of stud you are using & try to walk on the grass whenever possible when you're moving to and from certain spots.

 

And then lastly let's deal with the bubble weed itself. Bubble weed is treacherously slippery. Felt works like crap on it. It does nothing. The studs will get through the bubble weed and give you okay gripping power. It's not phenomenal but it's enough to stand where you need to stand. You still need to be careful for sure.

 

If you want phenomenal gripping power and you're on a budget then just use the strap-on Korkers they fit over your boots, they are very uncomfortable and heavy and they're terrible for walking around getting to the spot you're going to be standing. But they have tremendous gripping power and amazing spikes. 

 

I can barely even walk in those freaking things I tried them and I hate them. I wind up using the studded boots and just being a little careful. 

 

In my younger years I took some amazing falls but most of the time I was a mountain goat and I was bouncing around surprisingly good.

 

The problem is when you get onto real jetties and slick rocks like they have on the canal it's a whole other world. 

 

I used in studded felt soles  in the Adirondacks and still fell a lot until I discovered a wading staff. I'm not too proud to use one on the canal and I think it's a great way to compensate when you need to get from rock to rock. 

 

Collapsible emergency staffs are very good and the best I've seen is from Simms. Might be worth it to augment your studded boots with a good staff. It's one more piece of extra clunky gear hanging off you but it really comes in handy and if you use it a lot you'll get your money's worth and then some.

All great advice. Thanks again for taking the time. 

 

 About  your last point - the wading staff. I always used one wading rivers, and was wondering if anyone uses them to get up and down the Canal banks. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

22 hours ago, Joe G said:

 

You won't be the first. 

 

Unsure if he still fishes, but Bobby C., a well known canal bait fisherman, wore one.  Not only when he biked, but also when he fished.

 

He was quite a sight because Bobby wore his bike helmet backwards. 

 

I believe he took a bad fall at some point and that is what prompted him to wear head protection.

 

If my memory serves me, after his fall but before the bike helmet, Bobby wore what appeared to be in inverted Chinese wok with a jerry rigged chin strap on his head.    

If it's Capt'n Bob that you're talking about, Bobby still wears his helmet. Most of his reasoning was his knees were so bad that he had terrible balance and was likely to fall, all of the time.  He's since had his knees fixed but still wears the helmet.

Edited by clambellies

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18 mins ago, clambellies said:

If it's Capt'n Bob that you're talking about, Bobby still wears his helmet. Most of his reasoning was his knees were so bad that he had terrible balance and was likely to fall, all of the time.  He's since had his knees fixed but still wears the helmet.

 

Could be the same Bobby.  I never heard him referred to as Capt. Bob, although I know he owned, maybe still does,  a Parker CC.   Kept it at the Sportsman Club next to Cape Cod Charlies.  Think he lived somewhere off Head of the Bay.  Nice, quiet guy.  

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26 mins ago, Joe G said:

 

Could be the same Bobby.  I never heard him referred to as Capt. Bob, although I know he owned, maybe still does,  a Parker CC.   Kept it at the Sportsman Club next to Cape Cod Charlies.  Think he lived somewhere off Head of the Bay.  Nice, quiet guy.  

Yep, that's him.  The Club guys called him Capt'n Bob because of the boat.   He sold the Parker 2-3 years ago.  He's a good guy, very knowledgeable about the Canal.  

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2 hours ago, Maine Guide said:

... 

 

 About  your last point - the wading staff. I always used one wading rivers, and was wondering if anyone uses them to get up and down the Canal banks. 

 

When it's necessary, lots of guys use their rods to balance themselves as they walk down the rip-rap.  Obviously, you don't put a lot of weight on it, just enough to maintain your balance.  

 

However, if you do this be aware of where your lure is attached to the rod.  

 

With any lure attached below where your grasping the rod and the rod butt, you run the risk of getting hooks imbedded in your hand if you fall while using your rod as a staff and your hand slides down the rod.     

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5 hours ago, Maine Guide said:

All great advice. Thanks again for taking the time. 

 

 About  your last point - the wading staff. I always used one wading rivers, and was wondering if anyone uses them to get up and down the Canal banks. 

I always bring my staff, it makes rick hopping a little safer. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

People may have their preference but IMO there is no better setup for the Canal or jetties than using these Chota wading socks and a good pair of wading boots with small spikes. It is like wearing stocking foot waders from the knee down. 
 

Can’t seem to add pics at the moment but they are called Chota wading/portage socks or knee high socks. Look them up. 

7CFCA0AD-7143-49CE-BA6E-73CEF8D2F85B.jpeg

Edited by Tailslap

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Anyone else have the experience of being fleet footed and balanced on rocks as a younger fisherman, then slow hobbling over the same terrain like a drunken miner, 20 or 30 years later?

 

Now in my mid40s, if beach sand is rough grained it practically trips me up. Used to occasionally fish rocks in bare feet as a teenager. Would slip-jog over slimy basketballs to reach the water line at low tide in boulderfields  Nowadays I gear up for winter mountaineering if there's so much as a clam shell in my way.

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1 hour ago, Tailslap said:

People may have their preference but IMO there is no better setup for the Canal or jetties than using these Chota wading socks and a good pair of wading boots with small spikes. It is like wearing stocking foot waders from the knee down. 
 

Can’t seem to add pics at the moment but they are called Chota wading/portage socks or knee high socks. Look them up. 

7CFCA0AD-7143-49CE-BA6E-73CEF8D2F85B.jpeg

 

The Chota's are good but I've found that I like the Canyon Hippers from Frogg Toggs.  Same type of breatheable Hip boot with a stocking foot.  They have a better strap arrangement than the Chotas, more like a traditional hip boot strap.  You have to order them from the Frogg Togg website.    

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2 hours ago, clambellies said:

 

The Chota's are good but I've found that I like the Canyon Hippers from Frogg Toggs.  Same type of breatheable Hip boot with a stocking foot.  They have a better strap arrangement than the Chotas, more like a traditional hip boot strap.  You have to order them from the Frogg Togg website.    

If you want to go in the water a bit deeper the hip boot is a good option but I am usually only ankle deep at best at Canal or jetty. I actually fold the Chota’s down making it more like a boot height. Even hip boots can get hot on a 90 degree day so I prefer the Chota’s. 

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