Proper Footwear For Fishing

If I could fish barefooted, I would. However, this is not practical in many saltwater situations. A good pair of fishing shoes is as important as is your favorite fishing hat, shirt or sunglasses. It’s important that you are properly shod for any occasion.

On the skiff
When skiff-fishing, a firm-soled shoe like a running shoe or deck shoe works well, and Columbia Sportswear has developed a fishing shoe that combines the best of both running shoe and deck shoe. The Power Drain combines the best of comfort, utility and function. This shoe’s ability to drain water out of the shoe helps keep your feet firm on the deck whether you’re fighting a big fish or pulling in the anchor. These shoes slip on easily, and the snug fit (but not too snug) gives great support. I find shoelaces are always an issue while fishing. The Power Drain’s pull-cored system helps avoid hang-ups or tangling with fly lines.

Sandals? I would advise you to leave those heavily strapped footwear at home. Again, like shoe laces the straps pose another problem in line hang up. If you’re wearing a stripping basket, you can use sandals because there is less chance of your line getting snagged on the straps or laces. Flip-Flops, if you are so inclined, are an acceptable and comfortable option. They sport no line-grabbing laces or straps, but they offer little protection to your tootsies for a full day on the water.

On the beach and flats
On today’s market there are hundreds of different types of practical shoes that will fit your needs on fishing trips. Select a shoe with high ankle support, a firm and solid toe, and stiff arch support. Since you’ll be wading in a variety of bottom conditions from soft mud, soft sand, hard sand and even coral reefs, it’s a good idea to get the shoe that has a thick sole to prevent punctures.

Rocks and jetties
Believe it or not, the best footwear for fishing from rocks and jetties are heavy-duty wading boots that provide great support. Also, they are comfortable, something that may not be said of the heavy, cumbersome wading boots of years past. Most likely you’ll be wearing waders when fishing from jetties or off the rocks. If you choose not to wear waders, wear two pairs of socks for a better fit. Remember, the boots when used without the waders’ built-in stocking feet need to have the void filled for a better fit.
Don’t overlook proper footwear when fishing the saltwater fly fishing.

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