Hawaii flats and surf fishing - Oahu - footwear adequate for coral/reefs ?

4sallypat

Active Member
Got a last minute fare deal to Honolulu Hawaii for next week - entire 4th of July week.

Then after I booked it, I heard that Hawaii is allowing vaccinated people to bypass quarantine & negative testing prior to flight = next month....
I ordered NAAT saliva testing and paid $120.


Got a day of flats fishing scheduled for the south western part of Oahu.
The guide has a hard on for bonefish and didn't understand that I didn't need to target bonefish and was happy with other species.
Guide says bonefishing is sight fishing and my spey rods won't do the job.
He said he will try to accommodate me with SH & spin reel fishing which I do not do...

I have used my old and trusty steel bottom lined boots for surf fishing the Pacific ocean for years but the guide I booked said I needed reef / coral safe flats boots.

So I need to know if my old surf fishing boots are fine for use in Hawaii flats fishing.


Will these suffice ?
IMG_7447.jpg
 

cdnred

Active Member
Try looking at these, they might fit the bill for being easy on coral..

 

Albula

swollen member
In my world experienced guides are expected to hear what the client is saying. Hope your day goes well. Those boots will suffice for a day of wade fishing but the black soles may be verboten while on the deck of a skiff.
 

Mike.Cline

Bozeman, Montana
Several years back I spent a week on the Big Island fishing off the coral cliffs on the Kona Coast, Hapuna Beach SP and Pololu Valley. My recollection is that the coral cliffs are slippery as hell. I had my normal pair of studded boots and at times there were places you could barely stand up the rock was so slippery with a thin slime. Other wise great fishing with sink tip for reef fish.
 

Mems

Active Member
Tabi felt soled reef shoes. Your boots will work on Oahu, you will be wading flats and want to avoid sea urchins. You might get shots at trevally but will have more luck stalking the big bones. Getting one to eat will be more of a challenge.
 

4sallypat

Active Member
Std flyfishing boots work well too, thickness is your friend with the coral.
Hmm - never thought about using my studded Vibram soled steelhead Simms river fishing boots.

Would that be too heavy to trudge around on the flats and then double up as rock hopping boots ?

Would you use a neoprene or wool socks instead of the stocking foot ???
 

Chucker

Chucking a dead parrot on a piece of string!
Hmm - never thought about using my studded Vibram soled steelhead Simms river fishing boots.

Would that be too heavy to trudge around on the flats and then double up as rock hopping boots ?

Would you use a neoprene or wool socks instead of the stocking foot ???

Saltwater will probably destroy those boots, and the studs won’t help you anyway. The ones in the pic will be fine.

Also, don’t walk on the coral!
 

scottybs

Active Member
Hmm - never thought about using my studded Vibram soled steelhead Simms river fishing boots.

Would that be too heavy to trudge around on the flats and then double up as rock hopping boots ?

Would you use a neoprene or wool socks instead of the stocking foot ???
Echo Chucker about walking ON the coral, that being said, it will save your ankles from Coral/rock/whatever run-ins. I have flats booties, saltwater boots and a couple std boots, have worn all in HI, if you’re walking a lot flats booties are best, that being said there are trade offs, if you wear boots make sure you wear a neoprene sock or you will chafe the hell out of your legs.
 

Biggiesixx

New Member
Aloha!

I currently live on Oahu, and I fish the flats along the south shores of the island as often as I can. Whatever you choose to wear for boots, make sure you wear a guide sock of some kind. The coral sands WILL chew your feet up if you don't keep it out of your shoes, and you can put a lot of miles in searching for fish.

Make sure you practice your casting before you come, especially your double-haul. The trade winds here are relentless. If you can't punch your fly through the "W," you will limit your opportunities. The evil "W" also makes sight fishing difficult. Trust your guide - he has trained eyes.

Bring everything you think you might need. There is only one fly shop on the island (Nervous Waters) and the inventory is good, but limited.

I hope you have a great time! And, don't swear off the bones here. You have the genuine opportunity to catch a ten pound ghost. They grow 'em big!
 

4sallypat

Active Member
Aloha!

I currently live on Oahu, and I fish the flats along the south shores of the island as often as I can. Whatever you choose to wear for boots, make sure you wear a guide sock of some kind. The coral sands WILL chew your feet up if you don't keep it out of your shoes, and you can put a lot of miles in searching for fish.

Make sure you practice your casting before you come, especially your double-haul. The trade winds here are relentless. If you can't punch your fly through the "W," you will limit your opportunities. The evil "W" also makes sight fishing difficult. Trust your guide - he has trained eyes.

Bring everything you think you might need. There is only one fly shop on the island (Nervous Waters) and the inventory is good, but limited.

I hope you have a great time! And, don't swear off the bones here. You have the genuine opportunity to catch a ten pound ghost. They grow 'em big!
Thank you for that very useful info!

I contacted Nervous Waters fly shop which is close by my hotel in Waikiki and will be stopping by to pick up some wading socks and flies.

As for casting, my guide says his rods are overlined and front heavy to make it easy to cast. I just don't have the coordination to haul or double haul so I am going to rely on spey casts with a SH rod.

BTW: Instead of carrying the spey rods as checked luggage, it was cheaper to send them via US Postal Priority which I just mailed out to my hotel. After the trip, I have a return label for them to ship back to me.

Will hopefully report back with a trip report.
 

skyrise

CCA, Hatchery Wild Coexist
+1 on felt soles for the extremely slippery coral and wearing socks while wading.
I don’t see how your going to make decent 2 handed casts with those winds ? Looking forward to hearing how you make it work as I am considering bringing my two handed next time I go. Where we go mornings are possible for this as the winds are lighter then. And of course sun protective clothing.
 

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