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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello NCAnglers,

I have been browsing and posting a little on the site for the past few months, very neat forum. I've never done any fishing from a kayak but my Christmas present this year will most likely be a Heritage Redfish 14 with the angler package. I've read reviews of this yak and a few others, my other choice would be a Tarpon 120 or 140, but I have found the Redfish for a pretty good deal on sale.

On to the real topic, what do you guys wear during the winter on the yak? I have seen posts about wearing waders, which surely keeps you dry but seems pretty dangerous. I could definitely foresee falling out the kayak if a big boat 40mph+ comes by you on the lake (a common occurance at some lakes-in particular lakes that allow skiing, people still run these boats wide open in the winter) or a small wave comes by in the sound. Falling out with waders in deep water seems deadly. I have seen on other sites that the wear of choice is a drysuit, this looks optimal because it keeps you dry and warm, even if you take a dip, but they cost as much or more than the kayak. What are some other options? Would it be reasonable to wear waterproof pants, jacket and boots on top of warm clothes? This option should keep you dry while yaking and still give you the possibility to swim back to the yak (and get hypothermia) if you take a dip.

What do you guys wear, and why?
 

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i recall several conversation threads relevant to this topic; you might find more info by digging around with search engine.

i'm using a 2.5mm farmer john style wetsuit with neoprene socks and neoprene boots. doesn't really keep you dry, but keeps you reasonable warm -- and safe, if you happen to fall in the drink. i've only fallen off once, and that in heavy surf -- which tends to happen (duh?!). :) i layer a waterproof nylon suit on top of the wet suit, which i can peel off if i warm up. problem with a wetsuit is that it gets very uncomfortable (hot) unless it's *really* cold. the farmer john style helps, as it leaves your shoulder and arms free to move and dissipate heat. my feet still get colder than i'd like, even with the neoprene socks and boots. still looking for a better solution for my feet. am looking at a more "serious" boot like this:
Neosport Explorer Neoprene Boot from Campmor-- only $50 or so from campmor.

i have similar concerns with waders.

fyi -- joel
 

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Most people that wear waders do so with a drytop as well as a wading belt. For most people this keeps waders from filling with water if you fall in and keeps you dry. Its usualy cheaper for the two as opposed to getting a full dry suit. If you fall in the water with a water proof jacket and pants your clothes will still get soaked making it extremely tough to get back in the boat as well as the risk of hypothermia during the paddle back to shore in soaking wet clothes. Dry suits are made with latex gaskets at the neck wrists and ankels to keep water out waterproof clothing do not have the gaskets. If you go with the wader drytop combo make sure it works because it does leak for some people depending on body type. GanzAndere's suggestions may work for you as well depending on what type of weather you are paddling in.
 

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Most people that wear waders do so with a drytop as well as a wading belt. For most people this keeps waders from filling with water if you fall in and keeps you dry.
Don't forget that your PFD is also wrapped snugly around the chest portion of those chest-high waders, and around the dry top.

Depending on how hot a deal you got on your kayak, you ought to be able to find a drysuit for one step less than your boat. Kotokat's got some well-respected options in the $400-$500 range. Some people pick out and size what they want, and then watch eBay, prepared to spend a little extra time and/or money on repairs... If you can get mil-surplus drysuit for $250 and invest another $100 in repairs, you'll still come out way ahead and wind up with a suit that's probably worth about $800. (Let's try not to think about how much it cost the government to buy.)

Funny seeing you chime in on this, straps... Are you still wearing shorts?
 
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Don't forget that your PFD is also wrapped snugly around the chest portion of those chest-high waders, and around the dry top.

Depending on how hot a deal you got on your kayak, you ought to be able to find a drysuit for one step less than your boat. Kotokat's got some well-respected options in the $400-$500 range. Some people pick out and size what they want, and then watch eBay, prepared to spend a little extra time and/or money on repairs... If you can get mil-surplus drysuit for $250 and invest another $100 in repairs, you'll still come out way ahead and wind up with a suit that's probably worth about $800. (Let's try not to think about how much it cost the government to buy.)

Funny seeing you chime in on this, straps... Are you still wearing shorts?
Yup waters just getting to swimmin temps for me;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Don't forget that your PFD is also wrapped snugly around the chest portion of those chest-high waders, and around the dry top.

Depending on how hot a deal you got on your kayak, you ought to be able to find a drysuit for one step less than your boat. Kotokat's got some well-respected options in the $400-$500 range. Some people pick out and size what they want, and then watch eBay, prepared to spend a little extra time and/or money on repairs... If you can get mil-surplus drysuit for $250 and invest another $100 in repairs, you'll still come out way ahead and wind up with a suit that's probably worth about $800. (Let's try not to think about how much it cost the government to buy.)

Funny seeing you chime in on this, straps... Are you still wearing shorts?
I didn't think about the PFD helping out with keeping water out. I have a pair of breathable waders and a belt, guess I'll be looking to buy a dry top to fit over the waders along with a some different footwear (my wading boots' soles are studded felt). I don't really have my budget set up to get a dry suit, even at ~$350, but this sounds like a good idea for next Winter.

Thanks for the advice.
 

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Like Straps mentioned, a test drive in the bathtub is not a bad idea at all... or your indoor pool, if you're blessed that way...
 

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I've been using a O'neil barefoot drysuit (about $320 or so) fm Overtons for the past couple of years. Its a loose waterproof fabric on top (with good fleece under) with a waterproof zipper across the back, bonded to neopreme waterproof bottoms (with poly long underwear) that seal tight to my Chota waterproof thigh-high boots. A little pricy combo but been in the water a number of times throughout the past winters and aside from the face shock :), stayed dry and warm and with the PFD very saft. Cold shock and swimming failure are big drowners in cold water. Feb 08 Sea Kayaker mag has good article. Not worth any risk.
 
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