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Q's about wetsuits that were not answered with searches

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I have done quite a bit of reading up on the forums here about wetsuits and still have some questions that I hope some of you may be able come up with some possible answers.

 

I mainly fish NJ waters so fishing with a wetsuit is not that big of a concern locally, however been taking weekend trips to places with a bit more rock than sand and am loving every bit of it. These NE locations are where I am most interested in venturing out or joining others in a wetsuit (more so the fall).

 

I have also been itching to do some free diving to learn the areas I fish a bit better and I may as well spear a tog, or trigger fish from time to time as well (would dive when ever vis allows).

 

The wetsuit would primarily be used in the fall.

 

Longevity of a wetsuit?

How badly do they get beat up on rocks? I have read that the open cell suits are warmer than closed, but it also sounds like they rip easily. If this were a free diving suite I would be going open cell, but is that out of the question on a suite to use when surfcasting?

 

One piece or two?

This seems very opinionated but this is what I am thinking, let me know if I am on to something or am asking too much out of the suits. A one piece that would work well for general surfcasting and probably be a tad on the warm side for free diving. Then I could get beavertail type top (possibly hooded) for colder temperatures or deeper dives.

 

Now to possibly the hardest part, thickness.

Most of what I have found relates to months of the year, without regard to actual temperatures and by looking at wetsuit write-ups, manufactures specify temperatures without considering body types.

 

I am 5'9" and float around 150. I have wrestled my entire life and have very low body fat in the 2-5% range. I can acclimate to the cold and would like to think that it doesn't bother me more than anyone else, but I deff. get cold sooner than most (i hate being cold, and dislike being cold and wet even more, but still love fishing around a NE storm in November on a jetty that is washing over and am fascinated by an underwater world).

 

Thank you for any help

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I'd go to a good dive shop and talk to them. Lots of variables here.

 

Some notes:

 

1) depending on the abuse your suite takes it could last 3 or 4 years. when i surfed a lot i got 3 years out of a suite, i usually got a new one as my old suit got too tight.

 

2) thickness - that's a tough one. i used to get away with a 5 mil suit in 45F water. others i knew would freeze unless they were in a 7 mil suite.

 

Some of the heavier suits have built in hoods. I never used one of these, I preferred a hood I could put on before my suit. I always uses thicker gloves and booties as my feet get cold quickly.

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you don't like getting wet? well, wetsuits work by getting wet, inside, next to your skin. your body heat warms up the wetness and you stay somewhat warm. i used to surf year 'round and it took a 5/6 mil wetsuit, with hood and booties, to keep from getting ice cubed ... maybe. perhaps you need a dry suit ........

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Ive only been fishing a wetsuit for about a year, but here is my two cents.

 

I've fished montauk for about 10 years now, with the past five being a serious surfcaster and no longer a googan. Last year an incident while fishing the south side of Montauk made me research wetsuits the next day. Like you, I'm 5'9 ~150lbs and pretty athletic being that my other hobbies are triathalons and surfing, so I figured I was a good enough swimmer to take on the roughest conditions. I would wade (waders & drytop) deep into the low tide and fish the incoming. When I was done fishing, usually when the tide reached high, i would do the backstroke back to shore, floating and be fine. This worked for about 4 years.

 

One night, I was landing a fish when a treble went into my waders near my ankle, no big deal, right?. Well another went into my hand, and the back siwash had the fish. With my only free hand being on my pole, I tried holding it between my arm and body and tried pulling a hook out of anything...wader, hand, fish flapping like a madman, the second i tried to grab the plug, a wave knocked me of the rock. Soon i was underwater, upside down and getting hammered by waves - the waders began filling and I slightly panicked. Thankfully the fish came off relatively quick and i was able to grab the plug and rip it out of my wader. Thankfully, it was still attached to my pole because i lost it in the mess. I was able to make it back to shore with no harm done aside from ripped wader and a hole in my hand.

 

To answer your questions, I chose the Henderson Hyperstretch H2 because it was the most confortable one that I tried on. If I get to a rock and its too hot, I simply unzip the back. The only benefit to the two-piece that I saw was the ease to take a leak. I dont pee in my suit because I'm not dealing with the smell.

 

I got the 5mm because I fish all year and this one provides the most universal usage. Weather its the middle of the night in May, August or October, i'm neither too hot nor too cold. I only began getting cold in November, then I put on a second wetsuit top that was an additional 5mm. It was bulky, but kept me warm.

 

Paired it up with an aquaskins phantom and korker cross currents and I'm golden.

 

Feel free to ask any other questions.

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View Postyou don't like getting wet? well, wetsuits work by getting wet, inside, next to your skin. your body heat warms up the wetness and you stay somewhat warm.

 

 

Yup...but the difference is, its much more comfortable and warm to be wet in a wetsuit than wet in your waders

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Disliking being wet/wet and cold and putting up with it was me trying to explain how much I love the shore and the lengths I will go to enjoy it. Actually being wet is not bad when fishing and I can put up with the cold it is just when I stop fishing and am back at my car with a pile of wet stuff that only gets bigger with each outing on a trip.

 

I would go dry suite and I have a semidry suite that is suitable for in the kayak, but it is not meant or immersion. The material has cadora in some good places for kayaking but not the best for jetties/or NE bolder fields.

 

Dooley...thank you for your response. having little experience with wetsuits and never in cold water, I still know there is a big difference between an athletic body and one that is carrying a bit of extra padding. This is the main portion of information that is lacking with the search function.

 

I should be good with boots as I have recently resigned my korker sandals to back up and or loners (or when I will mainly be on the beach using boot fit) and went the wearbar studs.

 

I also plan on uing my Aquasucks Raptor top to cut down on the wind b/c that thing did not last a year as a dry top.

 

Any freedivers/ spearfisherman able to provide some experience?

 

Jason

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I wear a 7mm one piece most of the time, skishing & freediving,,, but I'm a bit further north and when it's cold I add a 7mm hooded shorty over the top of that. A 5mm is nicer in July & August, even up here.

 

Like rods & reels, it's tough to find one set up that works for everything. Keep in mind you can layer to make it warmer in the cold months, add a hooded shorty over the top, etc, but you can't make it any cooler. Another thing to keep in mind is that a thicker suit is going to require you to use more weight when freediving, so don't go overboard on the thickness if you don't need to....

 

Really what it boils down to is that every one is different and you'll probably go through several suits before you find what really works best for you, and you'll probably end up using different suits during different parts of the season....

 

If using for surfcasting as well, opencell on the INSIDE is OK, and warm, but do NOT go with an completely open cell suit... you definitely want it to be lined on the outside. As long as you're careful donning and doffing a suit that is open celled on the inside, it will last just as well as a lined suit, but will probably require some lube (water & hair conditioner 50/50 mix works well) to slide on. Overall, most wetsuits hold up pretty well, as long as you don't try sliding across too many barnacles.... even then they can be patched easily and still function fine even with a hole or two, unlike waders.

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Just to update this one. My September and October of 2011 was spent mostly in a wetsuit. I had rolled the dice on a 5mm and it worked out ok. Toward the end of the fall I was given a 3mm and it has its place as well.

 

A few notes.

my 5mm is 100% stretch from Xcel and is comfortable. The 3mm is no name and not as nice fitting. For the most part I got away with the 3mm during the day and the 5mm at night last October. I know that does not help with air/water temps but i guess you can look up last year’s averages.

 

Putting on a wet wetsuite at night is not fun. Almost worth getting two of each thickness, but it heats up quickly once you start moving around.

 

I need to find some thicker booties.

 

The wetsuite opened up a new world to me. Yes you can go do some stupid things, but the best part was not being concerned with taking a fall in the surf. In fact it is actually often easier and probably safer to stumble around and take a few falls in a wetsuite than it is to try and stay upright in waders and top.

 

At night I almost always has a paddling top to cut the wind.

 

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