Posts tagged: Fly Fishing In Maine

Fly Fishing Waders: A Simple Understanding

Fly Fishing Waders: A Simple Understanding
Written by: Joe Webster & Josh Thelin / Photo by: Josh Thelin

Stockingfoot waders, bootfoot waders, wading pants, neoprene, GORE-TEX, Toray…Where do we begin? With so many options available in today's market, we are going to break down when you may want to choose one pair of fishing wader over another or maybe even why you may want to forgo them all together for wet wading. In this post we will compare the different types of waders available, what they are made of, and subcategories of each type to help you better understand how to outfit yourself for your next adventures. We offer Simms and Redington waders here at the shop because we feel that they are the most durable and best made waders on the market, however the following information and ideas can be applied towards many brands of waders. 

What Are Waders Made Of?

For a lot of us, our first memories of fishing waders were a pair of fully neoprene bootfoots that belonged to either our parents or grandparents. Whether they were for fishing or duck hunting, or just putting the dock in/out at camp during the spring/fall, they were clunky and similar to a suit of medieval armor. They also likely weighed a metric ton. However a very warm option, this type of fishing wader has been slowly pushed to the side in lieu of today's more common synthetic-based options. Neoprene waders are certainly still used today, but their application has mostly been applied to very cold conditions. Today, anglers are mostly using stockingfoot or bootfoot waders made of either GORE-TEX or some form of synthetic based material. 


GORE-TEX has become the gold standard of waterproof/windproof/breathable material and manufacturing technology. Developed in the 1960's by Bill and Bob Gore in Delaware, it made its appearance in the outdoor world in the 1970's with GORE-TEX jackets. A giant leap forward in weather/waterproof technology for many applications, it was not long before GORE-TEX is worn on everything from the top of the world's largest peaks to even the moon. Durable, lightweight, and worthy of the wettest conditions, it's well understood why most people prefer GORE-TEX compared to other materials when it comes to outdoor gear. However well-liked, GORE-TEX is costly to manufacture and garments/waders made with it are usually quite a bit more expensive in the retail world.


Developed in Japan in the mid 1920's, Toray now makes a wide range of synthetic/acrylic based materials. Nylon being the most well known, a greater percentage of outdoor gear is made of some form of Toray blend or similar woven synthetic based materials. When manufactured and made for outdoor gear purposes, it is produced in a similar way to GORE-TEX with the used of multiple layers and sealed seams. Whether it's Toray or a similar Nylon/acrylic based fabric, when manufactured properly, it can produce a weather/waterproof garment which is durable and worthy of our fishing needs.

Pound for pound, when put to the test, I will say that GORE-TEX has the edge in durability and overall weatherproof capabilities. It really however boils down to budget and application. GORE-TEX is a lot of times considerably more expensive. Waders made of GORE-TEX provide a likely longer lasting piece of gear and will give outdoor gear a more waterproof capability. But a fall on rocks, getting nicked by barbed wire or branches while walking, or a hook stuck will most times puncture or damage your waders whether they are Toray or GORE-TEX. So anglers should manage expectations of their usage and budget accordingly.

Types of Waders

Stockingfoot Waders

Stockingfoot waders are the most popular design of waders on the market. These waders are meant to be paired with a separate wading boot and usually come with a neoprene stocking foot combined with some sort of breathable material for the legs and body. Budget friendly waders will often be the least warm to wear (not a bad thing for warmer days) but often only have single or double layer technology that is prone to fail faster than waders such as the G3 or G4 wader by Simms that feature 3 and 4 layer GORE-TEX designs for greatly increased durability. Stockingfoot waders are also available in pant models that only go up to your waist. Stockingfoot waders will be the most comfortable for walking, but be weary of layering too many pairs of socks in them as they are known to cut off circulation which causes cold feet. It is not recommended to use foot warmers with stockingfoot waders as they are known to prematurely wear out the neoprene.

Bootfoot Waders

Bootfoot waders are one of the most underutilized and under appreciated pieces of gear in the fly fishing industry. It is safe to say most people will associate the term Bootfoot Wader with the fully neoprene, super heavy and very uncomfortable brown waders from a certain big box retailer. We want to change this. Bootfoot waders do not need to be heavy, do not need to be uncomfortable, and can make a subzero degree day feel like a summer evening on the beach. Bootfoot waders are really the only way to efficiently keep your feet warm when water is under 40 degree. Cold feet is the number one reason people will stop fishing in the winter months and bootfoot waders solve that. Another great use for bootfoot style waders is fishing in the surf or on sandy beaches. If you have ever warn stockingfoot waders when fishing in the surf, you know that no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to keep every grain of sand out from between your neoprene stocking and wading boot. Sand getting into a wading boot is the number one reason for failed neoprene and bootfoot waders completely solves this problem.It would not be recommended to walk long distances on the beach, or anywhere for that matter, but if you are taking a short stroll from your car to a hole on a freezing cold river or to a sandy beach close to a public parking area, you may want to reconsider boot foot waders. For the best Bootfoot Waders on the market click HERE

Wet Wading

When the water is warm enough, this is always your best bet. Wet wading takes away the need for waders and only requires a pair of wading socks, and your favorite wading boot or shoe. Especially when dealing with saltwater environments wet wading can save you a lot of money due to the harsh nature of wading in the salt. Simms freesalt boots paired with a wading sock and gravel guard is our favorite way to wade here on the Maine coast, especially on rocky shorelines and can also be applied to our rivers and streams around the state. If a rugged boot meant to be warn with a wading sock is too much, another option is using a flats sneaker or bootie that can be warn barefoot or with a lightweight sock. This can often be the best choice if walking very long distances or roaming skinny water flats all day long.


If you have any questions about types of waders/wading gear or are curious about what would work best for you, please give us a call or shoot us a message!

Read more

Top 5 Streamers for Brook Trout + Landlocked Salmon in the Spring

Top 5 Streamers for Brook Trout + Landlocked Salmon in the Spring

Here in Maine and many parts of New England, springtime means ice-out and smelt runs. In the early spring, smelt are spawning. Looking for tributaries and other feeder streams to complete their duty, trout and salmon will follow suit. Smelt can enter the river in many different ways, including getting tossed through dams, so they can be ever-present in many different areas in rivers, lakes, and ponds. Trout and salmon are hungry from a long winter and ready to feed. Baitfish meals that are full of protein are high on their list. This means it is a great time to get out those streamers. Some of the biggest fish are present and feeding this time of year and some of your best chances to find these beasts is to fish streamers. Here is a short list of some of our favorite ones at the shop!

Raptor Smelt 

Raptor Smelt Maine Smelt Streamer

This is streamer pattern designed here at the shop that is tied to imitate a smelt. This pattern features a wing with a combination of synthetic and natural materials including Raptor hackle, Steve Farrar SF Blend, and peacock herl. These flies are tied on size 6 Daiichi traditional streamer hooks. With smelt runs in full swing during the spring, patterns that imitate this forage are incredibly important to have in your box. These flies will work well on floating, intermediate, and sinking lines depending on the depth desired. Smelt streamers in general work very well when swung, but can induce bites by being stripped sporadically as well. If you think you will be fishing for trout and salmon that are actively feeding on smelt, be sure to pick up a few of these flies.

Check out this pattern HERE

Floating Smelt

Floating Smelt Streamer Fly

The floating smelt is an incredibly effective imitation of a dead or wounded smelt. This pattern is meant to be dead drifted on the surface to imitate this but can also be swung in the current with succesful results. The floating smelt works best when fishing on tailwaters that have smelt being washed down and injured through the dam turbines. With so many of our rivers heavily dammed in Maine this is a very regular occurence. This fly is tied with E-Z Tubing stuffed with foam and colored with a marker for the dark back. Tied on a size 4 Gamakatsu B10S stinger hook and features Fish Skull Holographic Living Eyes.

Check out this Pattern HERE

Grey Ghost

Grey Ghost Streamer Fly Maine Fly Fishing

As effective as it is famous, it doesn't make much sense to target Maine salmon and trout without a grey ghost in your box. Originated by the famous Carrie Stevens, this is probably the best known traditional Maine streamer pattern, and for good reason. This fly is very productive in the fall for inducing a territorial reaction bite, but is also a great pattern to be throwing during smelt runs. This fly can be effectively fished on a floating, intermediate, or sinking line depending on the depth desired. We offer a marabou wing version here at the shop that seems to be especially productive in our northern rivers and streams. These flies are tied on size 6 Daiichi traditional streamer hooks.

Checkout this fly HERE

Montreal Whore

Montreal Whore Streamer Fly

Sometimes you just need the biggest piece of white marabou you can find tied onto a hook. That is what the Montreal whore is. A classic and super effective Maine "attractor style" streamer pattern, the Montreal Whore shines not only during the fall but during our smelt runs as well. This fly is a quick easy tie, but produces a lot of fish. Somewhere in between an attractor pattern and a smelt imitation, this is one fly you should be sure to have in your box. Like the Grey Ghost, this fly fishes well in both Spring and Fall months. Our version of this pattern is tied on size 6 Daiichi traditional streamer hooks.

Check out this fly HERE

Bead Head Woolly Bugger

Purple Woolly Bugger

As obvious as it is, this one had to make the list. Woolly Buggers just down right catch fish. And in the spring when the trout and salmon are looking for a big meal after a long winter, they cannot resist this super popular pattern. In the spring we like them on the larger size 4 and 6 hooks specifically in olive, white, and purple. Black is also very productive, especially in stillwater scenarios. We have many different sizes, colors and variations at the shop.

Check out this fly HERE

Read more

EP vs. Steve Farrar vs. Squimpish Fibers

EP vs. Steve Farrar vs. Squimpish Fibers

Historically, fly tying materials consisted mostly of natural materials sourced from animals. With those resources dwindling and becoming harder to come by, a wider range of great options, and paired with the demand for fly tying materials seemingly increasing, synthetic fibers and other man made materials have become an integral part of the fly tying industry. In this article we will be talking about three of our favorite brands to compare and contrast the properties of the materials and when you might want to buy one over the other.

Our three most popular brands for synthetic fibers are undoubtedly EP, Squimpish, and Steve Farrar SF Blend fibers. Each brand offers an array of different products to be utilized in countless situations on the vice. We use each brand of materials in our shop flies, and through tying experiences and field testing, we believe these are products that must be in your stash of materials to work with. For the sake of this article we will be focusing primarily on saltwater and big game tying applications as that is where we personally use synthetic materials for the most.

EP Gamechange Fibers Blend Baitfish Olive

EP fibers are a staple of saltwater fly tying and have an enormous reputation in the industry. Unlike Squimpish and Steve Farrar Fibers, EP also offers a large array of materials other than hair/fibers such as rubber legs, crab claws and eyes and bodies. When talking about the fibers EP offers, the three products you will hear about the most will be the original EP Fibers, 3-D Fibers, and the Gamechange Fibers Blend. The original fibers are matte with no flash and a crinkled texture with a single tone of color. The 3-D blends are very similar to the original except have multiple color tones. The game changer blends come with similar fibers, but with flash mixed in and I think a slightly more rigid feel than the original or 3-D. All of these products have their time and place. One of the most popular applications for the Original fibers and 3-D blends is to build bodies for crab flies. Both of these products are perfect options for this application. The gamechanger blends we feel are more for baitfish patterns. All 3 of the products we mentioned above come in uniformly pre cut packs of 9” long fibers.

Squimpish Fibers Hair Mulberry

In contrast, Squimpish fibers are a relatively small family owned company that almost exclusively make fibers for wings, DIY brushes, and hollow techniques. Squimpish offers synthetic hair, boutique (flashy) blends, and their own version of craft fur. They also regularly release new products and color options that keep things exciting. The two products we will be focusing on for the sake of this article is the Squimpish “Hair” and the Squimpish “Boutique Blends." The Squimpish “Hair” is a product that comes on a patch similar to craft fur, with fibers that range from 7”-10” long. The hair also comes with an under fur that is fantastic for bulkier hollow ties and creates more water displacement, as well as provides as a foundation to prevent the material from fouling. The hair is usually a blend of a couple different color tones but does not have flash incorporated. The “boutique blends” are a little shorter, coming in around 5”-8” long, but have angel hair flash accents blended into the fibers. These blends come in a bundle rather than a patch like the hair does. The “Boutique Blends” are what our All Points Squimpish Fiber hollow fly is tied with. Squimpish fibers take exceptionally well to hollow tie techniques as well as have some of the best movement from any fiber on the market, synthetic or natural.

Steve Farrar SF Blend Bleeding Purple

Steve Farrar SF Blends have a strong reputation in the saltwater fly tying world. These fibers come in packs that are 10" long with flash blended into the fibers. The fibers are slightly rigid and have a crinkled texture which makes them the ideal fiber for building bulk on flies and preventing the fouling of other materials. SF blends are a great material choice to build a strong structure of a fly with. This material is extremely castable and does not absorb water whatsoever. These fibers are also available as brushes as well. 

EP Fibers Steve Farrar SF Fibers Squimpish Hair

In conclusion all three brands make fantastic products that can be utilized in many different ways. For crab bodies, EP takes the cake. Though both EP, Squimpish and SF Blend fibers can be utilized for baitfish patterns, our opinion is that it is hard to beat Squimpish for hollow tie techniques and acheiving great movement. If trying to gain bulk on your fly, especially when tying large patterns without articulated shanks or extensions, Steve Farrar SF Blends are probably your best bet. All of the products mentioned are easy to work with, are extremely durable, and are blend-able, trimmable, and versatile. We offer several different products from each brand. Check out our newly updated online store and try them out for yourself!

Written By: Joe Webster

Read more

Top 3 Budget Friendly Fly Rods for Trout and Landlocked Salmon

Top 3 Budget Friendly Fly Rods for Trout and Landlocked Salmon

Here in Maine, when targeting trout and landlocked salmon, a fly rod that can manage various type of techniques from dry flies to heavier, multiple nymph rigs is what most anglers are looking for, especially if they are going to only bring one rod fishing. A fly rod that can throw streamers in the early spring or fall, light dry flies in summer, and heavy nymphs in the warmer months can be hard to come by. It's tricky, as there are seemingly endless rod options even within the 5wt category. Even further, price options with fly rods is all over the map. $100-$1000 rods are advertised alongside each other, saying they can "do it all," so it can be difficult to understand the differences and what exactly you might be getting. Here at All Points, we have many different fly rod options, but we generally tend to steer a majority of our customers towards a few specific options when ideally looking to get that one "do it all" rod and to also not break the bank. Below are our three most popular choices which cover the general "budget friendly" category. These rods range from about $170-$425 and even include a fully American made option. 

ECHO Carbon XL

ECHO Carbon XL Fly Rod

The Echo Carbon XL is one of the first rods we suggest for an introductory set up for fly fishing. It is usually between this and the Redington Classic Trout that are our best options for a price-friendly/entry level and capable fly rod. The Carbon XL is classified in the medium/moderate action category and very much has the feel of a traditional trout rod. It does well with beginner and intermediate angers as the medium action helps with a wide range of casting abilities. This rod can also handle a wide variety of light weight fishing applications but does best with dry fly fishing and lightweight nymphs. Similar to other medium action fly rods, it starts to suffer when managing heavier multi-nymph rigs and heavy-weighted streamers or sinking lines. We have found the ECHO Carbon XL to be popular with guides as a good "all around client rod" because they are affordable and fit well with most anglers abilities. It is available in 7'3" 2wt - 9' 6wt.

Check out the ECHO Carbon XL HERE

Sage Foundation

Sage Foundation Fly Rod

The Sage Foundation, as it implies is a great introductory fly rod that you probably won't want to put down even after years of experience. This is Sage's most budget friendly rod and is made right here in the USA. The Foundation will be able to accommodate a broad range of fishing techniques and casting styles making it a great versatile rod. As is with all Sage rods, the fit, finish, and attention to small details is impeccable. Compared to the other rods on this list, this rod will have a faster feel giving it a little more capability with various fly and line setups such as heavier weighted streamers and sinking tip lines. In turn, this makes the Foundation a little better suited for either intermediate-advanced casters or entry level anglers looking to buy a rod they might never need to upgrade. The overall build quality will be noticeable compared to the others on this list as well. If you are looking for an American made fly rod but don't want to break the bank, the Foundation is a great option. A good looking Stealth black finish on a blank which utilizes Sage's high quality Graphite IIIe technology certainly set this rod apart from others in a similar price range. Available in 9' 4wt - 9' 9wt options.

Check out the Sage Foundation HERE 

TFO LK Legacy

TFO LK Legacy Fly Rod

This rod is, according to TFO, the direct replacement for the very popular BVK in both price range and also performance. The BVK, in its time, was one of the most popular fly rods in the industry. It was a fast action rod that had a softer tip. This allowed for a wide range of techniques. Now with the LK Legacy, Temple Fork Outfitters has continued with a rod that is also fast action but welcoming to beginner/intermediate angers. Though coming in at $289.95-$319.95 (depending on specific model), we see it as a high performance rod that keeps up with many of the American made or higher end brands. In addition to the standard 9' models, this rod also comes in shorter 3wt and 4wt models that are fantastic for precision dry fly fishing as well as navigating small streams, and 9'6" lengths in 6wt and 7wt models that are great for their mending and distance casting capabilities. If you want a rod at a very reasonable price that you can certainly "grow with," the LK Legacy is a great choice.

Check out the TFO LK Legacy HERE

Read more

Top 3 Budget Friendly Fly Rods for Striped Bass, Pike and Musky

Top 3 Budget Friendly Fly Rods for Striped Bass, Pike and Musky
(photo credit: Matt Sakakeeny/Casey Breeds)

Echo Ion XL

Echo Ion XL Fly Rod

The ECHO Ion XL is sub $200 and can out fish a rod 3x the price. Available in 5-10wt, this fly rod is extremely durable and has a great feel in hand. We have put this rod to the test on trophy striped bass, pike, and even small blue sharks (with a 10 weight rod) in the 4-5ft range and can confidently say it can take a beating. The only con to this Ion XL would be it is a little heavier than some of its close relatives, however we attribute that to one of the reasons it seems to be more durable than most. It is plenty fast enough to cast the biggest of flies and has enough back bone to land any trophy striped bass, pike or musky. This is a great rod choice for those who are looking to enter the world of big game predator fish from the world of trout and salmon as it is a little less aggressive than some of the rods today that we refer to as "broomsticks" (super fast and stiff rods with very little feel). If you want a great casting rod that will stand the test of time.

Click HERE to check out the ECHO Ion XL!

Redington Predator

Redington Predator Fly Rod

Coming in at $349.99, the Redington predator is a great deal for a truly fast rod meant to cast big flies with high line speed. Not the cheapest on our list, but this rod will do great in windy conditions and handling more aggressive fly lines. Especially for saltwater scenarios here in Maine where these conditions are all too common, we like to recommend this rod for the entry level striped bass fisherman. This rod is lightweight and feels great in hand. In addition to the wide range of 5-16wts, the Predator is made in two separate 400 & 450gr Pike and Musky specific models. There are a lot of options for a wide range of situations and conditions!

Click HERE to check out the Redington Predator!

Click HERE to check out the Limited Edition Sea Spray Predator!

TFO Axiom II

TFO Axiom II Fly Rod

For $339.95, this rod is a steal. Available in 5-12wt. The Axiom II rod in hand is comparable to any of the higher end Made in the USA companies and performs just as well in the field too. It will accommodate a broad range of casting strokes and is capable of everything from throwing tiny crab flies on the flats with extreme precision, to big baitfish patterns on aggressive sinking lines. The A2 technology not only makes this rod extremely pleasurable to cast, but is designed to fight large predatory fish while protecting tippets and leaders. At $339.95 you get more than you pay for with this rod.

Click HERE to check out the TFO Axiom II!

Read more