NC Angler Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,535 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Druminator mentioned recommending a wetsuit for cooler-weather paddling. I got to thinking about this... (dangerous pastime, I know...)

Druminator mentioned that wetsuit booties and bottoms could cost in the $100 range. If I'm not mistaken, once you get off the bottom price tier of waders, you're looking $140 and up. A wetsuit seems to have the advantage of not filling up with water and drowning you if you step into a hole. So why would anybody pay extra money for waders instead of a wetsuit? Is there anything other than the macho look? or simple tradition?

I read one brief article on About.com about these outfits -- apparently there's no such thing as a partial drysuit, is that right? It cinches tight at the edges and keeps you dry inside, whereas a wetsuit traps a small amount of water, which then remains warm.

In a wetsuit, how does the water get inside to begin with, without being able to circulate (and chill) afterward?

When you're paddling with a wetsuit, would you add additional insulating layers (I'm thinking wool) on top, or does the wetsuit (I'm thinking bottoms in particular) keep you warm enough?

Thankx for tolerating the novice questions
Lefty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,595 Posts
Lefty--- I'm with you on your questions. I'd like to know also since I have never gotten into the highfalutin end of yaking. Best advice that I can offer is to be sure to tether your paddle, because I can tell you from experience, that if you loose the paddle a kayak is extremely difficult to paddle with your hands. The more I read the more I think this old man should consider a system a little easier to get in and out of than the Pungo 120 that I presently own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
As it turns out, my youngest offspring got me a farmer john wetsuit for Christmas. It is a 3mm neoprene suit that will keep me nice and warm. I just haven't had the nerve to wear it out in public yet. (At this point, Lefty should not make any comments about beached whales or other leviathan creatures). I have tried it on and find that it offers plenty of warmth and the farmer john style allows me good freedom of movement for paddling.

I'd like to have a dry suit as they are more roomy and not tight fitting, however, the $400+ price tags I have seen on them make me shy away. I can think of many ways to fritter away that much money.

On another front, I went to Gander Mountain in Greensboro today to exchange some gifts and got myself a new cast net. The last one I bought in 1989 when I lived in Southport. Funny thing is, I never learned to throw the darn thing. I'll be in the yard practicing with this one before serious fishing begins for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,535 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Coach
That sounds kinda like what I had in mind -- something to protect the southern hemisphere. It seems simple enough to wear a wool sweater under the PFD and a windbreaker over it, and a wool cap on the tippy top.

And I don't see why one couldn't wear a pair of nylon athletic pants over the wetsuit if one didn't care for the skin-tight appearance.

And I've seen a lot of folks less fit-lookin' than thee.
Lefty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,639 Posts
The way a wetsuit works is to allow a small amount of water to enter and be trapped between it and your body (unlike a drysuit they are not sealed at the entrances) Then your body heat warms the water and the wetsuit acts as an insulator (much like a thermos). They work best when they fit tight against your body, but not tight enough to restrict movement or circulation. If they are loose at spots and water is easly exchanged they will not work well as the warm water will disperse and you body will have to reheat the new water and soon you will get chilled. You should not wear clothing underneath with the exception of perhaps a thin Lycra bodysuit or a bathing suit. Wearing outside clothing would have little effect on warmth (the suit is insulated which works in both directions) but if it made you feel better, why not.

A drysuit on the other hand seals at the seams (using tight fitting rubberband like material) and traps air instead of water. You stay warmer but they are heavy and cumbersome. I don't think they would work well for yaking.

I think the reason fishers use waders versus a wetsuit is you will always stay warmer when dry and you can pile on the warm clothing underneath. If you will get wet like when yaking, the wetsuit would be the choice as waders would allow water inside.

Hope this helps.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
If you decide to go the wet suit route a 3mm farmer john should be the one to go with. Anything heavier and you will want to get in the water. I have a 6mm farmer john and it is too heavy (hot) to paddle in on anything that's not frozen. It works good with a top in cold water though. With the 3mm farmer john and booties you have something to wear in the fall when surf fishing also. Addressing the wind pants issue. Not many people out this time of year to see you anyway, but they might help ease your mind until you get on the water. On a cold windy day they might even help you stay warm. Good floatation suits such as the Mustang survival suits cost as much as a kayak. If it were not for that issue I would reccomend that option. AL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
870 Posts
Farmer Johns are great. The open arms allow plenty of arm movement for fishing. Check out NRS for other wetsuit options. I simply use pants I made out of an old full suit. I plan on buying the Rodeo Pant from NRS soon.

If a wetsuit is still cold for you then try layering some fleece over or under it. Fleece stays warm even when wet.

If you are looking at booties I recommend high top style ones that will fit over the bottom of your wetsuit. The lower cut ones can expose your ankles and they get cold.

Waders are dangerous if you fall in. They will fill with water and cause you to sink.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,535 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Does a wetsuit need to be wet to insulate you, or does the rubber do an OK job by itself? (Do you have to dunk your legs periodically to stay warm?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
a little elaboration

Actually if your waders fill up they only reduce your bouyancy by the amount of the waders themselves. The water does not add weight until your waders break the surface. Some people have enough positive bouncy that they will float with full waders. Some people have negative bouncy and can not float without additional floatation. Neopreme waders will not cause you to sink as they add bouncy and the old style rubber type will subtract from your bouncy by a small amount. The big drawback is that with the rubber waders is that they will become very cumbersome but you should still be able regain your footing should you go step in a hole. If your feet go out from under you and get air trapped in them you might be floating on your back until you can swim ashore or unhook the suspenders and kick free. Either way you won't have such problems with a wet suit.The wetsuit will give you more bouyancy. Some days the wetsuit may be too warm unless you are in the water. Especially when you are exerting yourself. That is why I recommend going with a 3mm Spring suit. Druminator is more up to date on the newer options and the only reason for this post is to keep someone from panicking if they get a little to deep or fall and their waders do fill up. YOU SHOULD HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO ACT. THINK FIRST. THEN DO WHATEVER THE SITUATION CALLS FOR. AL ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,535 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
sinker man said:
the only reason for this post is to keep someone from panicking if they get a little too deep or fall and their waders do fill up. YOU SHOULD HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO ACT. THINK FIRST. THEN DO WHATEVER THE SITUATION CALLS FOR. AL ;)
Heh heh -- thanks for pointing that out. As I was reading (prior to that line) I was thinking "gee, I didn't mean to spark an argument".

I think that's always a wise thing. "Freak Not."
Lefty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,535 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Druminator said:
stumbled across an interesting topic of how to turn waders into a float for rescue. Wish I remembered where I saw it.
Hmm.. when I was in Scouts they taught us to turn our jeans into a PFD by tying the ankles together, lifting the waist above the water and trapping air inside the legs (the wet denim tended to trap the air) and then tucking our knees through the belt and the tied ankles behind our head.

I suppose you could try to do something similar with waders, but I'd imagine they'd be awfully heavy to try to heft out of the water. There was one example where the drawing splashed water downward and kinda trapped bubbles inside the garment -- it seems that would take an awfully long time to inflate that way. I don't recall any suggestion to stick your head underwater and blow into the garment -- might be too much of the wrong type of exertion for that situation.

Of course, the one they always demonstrated each summer at camp was the hour-long dead-man float. Much better in summertime water than in wintertime :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
I went out over the New Year's Eve holiday and wore a pair of rain pants and some NRS booties I picked up for 29.95 and they worked great. On top I had a kayaking shell that I had purchased several years ago to use for fall/winter surf fishing at the point. The shell had neoprene/velcro neck and wrist cuffs and was roomy enough for layering underneath and since it was designed for kayaking, there was plenty of room for paddling. A wet suit would be the best, but this worked well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Just wanted to point out that you should always wear a belt while wearing waders. As sinkerman pointed out your not going to sink instantly in them, but if they are full of water they will make it very cumbersome to try to swim or right yourself into a kayak. Also the idea of taking them off and making a floatation device would not work very well as they are tricky to get out of even on dry land especially with the neopherene varities.

I do not kayak but I used to float tube quite a bit and always used waders while doing it. I felts very safe as my float tube had 4 separate air chambers. I also attached a life vest to the back to the tube and always carried a whistle. I am not 100% sure, but I am guessing there is a law requiring some sort of secondary floatation such as a life preserver while operating a kayak.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,535 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Note to self -- skip the breakfast burrito!!
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top