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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK its summer and water temps are rising. Soon they will fall off and the fish will still be biting. How do we prepare for cold water/cold air kayak fishing?

1. never go alone
2. cotton kills- wear water wicking layers, dry suit? waders (with belt!) and dry top?
3. pack a spare set of dry clothes in a dry bag in case...
4. have a fire starter kit in there as well
5. Know how to deep water recover (should know this anyway...)
6. Know the weather and tides for the day
7. Pack to tip/dress to swim

Anything to add?

also check this sale out? love to hear thoughts on this.

http://nextadventure.net/nrs-defender-drysuit.html


Gremlinsrus
 

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Hard to think about cold weather when it's 90+ degrees outside. But I fish every month in the year... and I hate being cold. I definitely have to get me some better cold weather gear for the next cold season. Those 100mph suits from Bass Pro Shops seem to be a great investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks like that would be great for wind/rain but not if you go in the drink.
 

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Cell phone.......
 

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I like the price on that NRS suit -- compared to others, but do note that is NOT Gore-Tex, but "210-denier urethane-coated nylon material." Might be just fine, but have had too many bad experiences with coated nylon -- they all seem to leak and/or lose their waterproof capability sooner rather than later. I bit the bullet this last year and bought real Gore-Tex for a rain suit -- after wasting a lot of money over the years buying coated nylon or other materials that just didn't work. just FWIW.

// joel
 

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When it's cold, I wear a 3 mm neoprene wet suit under my kayak fishing clothes. I know if I end up swimming, I'm gonna get wet but it sure stretches the time to hypothermia... On a plain old boat, I wear a heavy weight Cabelas rain suit (long as PapaDave doesn't hit a stump, I won't be swimming)....
 

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Barring going overboard, Gore Tex is a good way to go. I have had two Gore Tex suits and have been very pleased with the protection and the warmth.
 

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I wore dry suits when I lived in CO and ran whitewater in my 20s. The trouble is that dressing for cold water is stinkin' hot when you are just in cold air. We would pop a roll every now and then if we weren't getting cooled enough by spray.

The main thing you need is a plan, IMO. If you are going to kayak in the winter in a spot where you can't get to the bank quickly and back to your car in short order, you really need to think about whether the trip is worth the amount of added risk. You can mitigate the risk to some degree with cold water gear, but you still need to consider whether it makes sense or not. It's not a crazy high risk, just higher than normal.

I like lined rain gear that is all nylon or poly. It is "warm while wet" according to literature, but that doesn't mean warm while swimming. If I use that gear, I have to make sure that the likelihood of a long swim is extremely low. What "warm while wet" means to me is that if you get back out of the water pretty quickly, you will be miserable until you dry off and change, but you will probably survive to do that. A swim would end the day. I am okay with that.

Whether or not getting back on your boat and then paddling in is part of the plan is something else you have to decide. How hard is deep water re-entry? Do you have enough support (other boaters you can depend on)? If you can't count on being back aboard paddling quickly, you have to stay really close to shore if you want to keep the risk low.
 

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I had your same experiences, and did the same as you. I ended up with the packable Gore Tex from Cabelas. Cost me a bundle, but it is till with me, and looks as good as it did when I bought it. Doesn't have the warm lining in it, but I can layer under it. I had 2 previous suits that ended up soaking through after a couple of hours of soak.

- I bit the bullet this last year and bought real Gore-Tex for a rain suit -- after wasting a lot of money over the years buying coated nylon or other materials that just didn't work. just FWIW.

// joel
 

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I do know a real Gore Tex dry suit can kill $1k (!), so that alone makes this NRS suit attractive. I also wear a 3.5mm farmer john wetsuit when water is cold. I flipped my yak years ago in 48F water, and the suit did a great job keeping me comfortable until I could get back to the ramp. I was surprised at the combined buoyancy of the wet suit and PFD -- I was bobbing like a cork and was able to pull myself back on my yak reasonably well. But circumstances were favorable, i.e., cold water but I was close to the ramp and air temps were pretty warmish and sunny.

OptiMystic's advice seems really sane to me: have a plan. And I'd add this: take a partner. Never bad advice regardless of water temps, but cold water is just so unforgiving that I'd think you increase your chances of survival significantly by always going with a buddy.

// joel
 
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It surprises me how many people don't plan. They get the gear but if you ask them for specifics about what they will do in the event of a capsize, they aren't really sure. I plan to get out, go back to the car, dry off and change. I would then likely go home. I am not saying that is the only safe thing to do, but it is what I plan to do. I would share my plan with others I fished with; if you think that might mess up your day then I won't come and will take no offense.

I will not assess whether I am still warm enough to keep at it and decide on the water. I would take bigger risks when I was younger (in some ways they weren't as big because I could overcome more) but now I won't. I might even decide not to go on some outings because I can't figure out a way to make a capsize easily recoverable.

I once swam (more like being flushed downstream) in Westwater Canyon on the Colorado in early March over a half mile in water that was in the 40s. I was in a dry suit with expedition weight capaline long johns, a polypro top and a wool sweater underneath. I was fine. Much of the day I was crazy hot and I probably sweated out 5# during the day. Fishing would not have been fun. I was with others but I missed my roll early in a long set of rapids and had to get to the bottom of them before I could get help.
 

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I'm not on the coast so I don't have to contend with the same issues as a lot of you. But when it's cold I'll wear breathable chest waders with a belt and a synthetic base layer under some nylon pants and shirt. Sometimes I'll wear a fleece also. I always keep a change of clothes in a dry bag along with an emergency blanket and fire starting materials in case a take a swim.

If anyone is interested in a good set of synthetic thermals I picked these up last winter and they are fantastic for the price. Made in USA too. Whatever you do, do not buy the "Sub Zero". The cold gear is more than enough for the temperatures we have in NC. https://www.goathleticapparel.com/i...tegory_id=36&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=118
 
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