SwimBait

Fishing in a Wesuit 101

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I have never fished in a wetsuit, either wading or skishing, but plan on starting this season. My questions are really more related to wading/swimming out to rocks, etc. and what gear people use.



 



I used to compete in triathons and have extensive experience in both fresh and ocean open water swimming in rough conditions so I'm 100% comfortable in the water.



 



I also already own a swimming specific wetsuit, an older Orca Predator 2 that seems like it would be ideal for fishing (depending on temps), as it is a 5mm body with 1.5-2mm arms/shoulders, allowing for excellent freedom of movement. I also have flippers.



 



So here are my questions for the guys that use wetsuits to wade/swim out to rocks, etc.



 



What thickness neoprene gloves are you using, or are you using any at all? I'm looking at some from Cressi that seem pretty good.



 



Do you wear neoprene booties and wading boots, or just the booties?



 



How much stuff can I reasonably expect to bring out there on my surf belt, before it gets to be a PITA?



 



Who makes a nice rod leash?



 



What is the best technique to swim with a rod in your hand?



 



Are you guys bringing your 3 tube bags out there with you, or a single/double tube on your belt?



 



What are the essential things I need to bring with me?



 



What else do I need to know about to get started using my wetsuit?


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What thickness neoprene gloves are you using, or are you using any at all? I'm looking at some from Cressi that seem pretty good.



 



I used to just wear aquaskinz gloves but ditched those and use mechanix gloves that you could buy at an autozone... look for the 2 for 19.99 so you have an extra pair.



 



Do you wear neoprene booties and wading boots, or just the booties?



 



I use 2mm wetsuit socks but I suggest you go with a 4-5mm sock if your feet get cold quick... and i wear a pair of addidas terrain shoes(they are running shoes) and I strap my korkers on... You can buy booties and use korkers or you can just wear wading shoes with korkers



 



How much stuff can I reasonably expect to bring out there on my surf belt, before it gets to be a PITA?



 



I fish a 3 tube which works but a 2 tube would be better and just be more selective with your lures at the end of the day you are only fishing 1 plug at a time... I also carry a good waterproof light on surgical tubing to spot rocks and another to change lures or land a fish



 



Who makes a nice rod leash?



 



I would just use a dragon tail leash with a carribeaner



 



What is the best technique to swim with a rod in your hand?



 



rod in one hand and a side paddle ... i generally don't put any plugs on while swimming just attach your TA clip to a guide or a single hook plug so things dont get messy incase it releases on its own...



 



Are you guys bringing your 3 tube bags out there with you, or a single/double tube on your belt?



 



3 tube... 2 works just as good



 



What are the essential things I need to bring with me?



 



a gatorade and a friend lol... i don't like to wetsuit by myself...



 



What else do I need to know about to get started using my wetsuit?



 



just be safe fish with a friend know your limits scope the area make sure when you pick a rock its a good platform and you have a good landing zone behind you (i.e. no rocks you can hit your head on etc. 



 



good luck!


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Thanks, that is good info. I was looking at a pair of Keen Sandals I have because they have really thick and solid soles and good coverage on the toe box. I could screw in some pegs or machine screws for traction, plus they wouldn't hold water. Not sure how well they would work in heavy rocks though using a wading sock. Might be better to go with a full wading boot, but I also like the running shoe option. I have Korkers for fly fishing and I really like the BOA lace system for its simplicity and one hand operation, but these boots are pretty much dead, beyond dead, so I'm hoping the next pair I get can serve double duty in the salt.



 



I know of lot of these questions depend on the water temps and the conditions and ideally having a range of options would be best. I fish all over, up in Maine, Rhode Island, down on Long Island sound in CT, MA beaches, etc., so it's hard to get one size fits all gear for this kind of stuff. In Maine I would want 4-5 mm socks and thick gloves for sure, but on the sound, probably not so much, again, depending on time of year, etc.

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i know you said mostly just swimming out to rocks, but this is from my skishing site minus fins pretty much everything else is close. also regarding the wetsuit i have listed a 7mm, because thats what i use swimming, but i usually were a 3mm in the summer just rockhopping and a 5mm before ill need the 7mm. mag gave some great responses too, he knows he stuff with it :)

 

 

Wetsuit: So lets start with the basics. The wetsuit does many things for the skisherman. First off is the obvious it keeps you warm while submerged in the water. Most importantly is the fact that the wetsuit keeps you afloat. Do to the lack of pfd, the wetsuit gives you buoyancy so that you wont have to tread water. Because of this a 7mm or 7/5mm wetsuit is preferred.I personally use a Neosport 7/5mm suit. Its a fine suit and does what its supposed to and best of all it was fairly inexpensive. I am looking into some new suits though for this year.

 

Boots, gloves, hood, jacket: In addition to the wetsuit I have other gear that I wear to stay warm. In the early spring and late fall, i usually wear a 5mm hood with the wetsuit, as well as 5mm neoprene dive gloves. I might also wear a jacket. Some guys like to wear a 7mm vest, others use a neoprene jacket when its colder. that would be up to the angler. When it comes to my feet I wear a pair of 5mm dive booties w/ soles for walking to the water, and keep them on even when i put on my fins. Under the booties I wear NRS hydrasocks. They are 2mm, and keep you warm. in the summer months i might not wear them

 

Fins: Fins are a very important aspect of the skisherman’s gear. they get him out past the waves and beyond. For NJ I use and really like Force Fins. You can’t break them and the heel strap is very durable. You really can use any open heel dive fin. On some of the cheaper fins though, changing the standard heel strap to spring strap is recommended. In other places where rocky shores are around, studding your fins can really be helpful.

 

Rod: As a rod builder myself I’m a little picky with my own rods, but generally any 9′-11′ 1-4 or 2-5 oz rated rod should work fine.earlier and later in the year with smaller fish i reach for the 9fter, it does compromise some casting but the lighter rod is more fun to handle small fish with. My favorites are Centuries. They all cast well out there, and have backbone. Remember too short of a rod wont cast well enough, and too long becomes more of a hassle then it worth.Im actually going to be looking into several century rods, in an attempt to find the best skishing rod.I’ll make sure to report back on which I find the best for skishing.

 

Reel: here is the expensive part of it. I use the same reel that many other skishermen use and that is the Van Staal VS200 and VS250. Most importantly it is fully sealed, but it can also hold plenty of line. Any size van staal (vs or vsb series) is fine out there though. 150-250 being the most popular sizes. Another popular choice is the ZeeBaas. People like these for the same reasons as Van Staal. Penn currently has the Torque spinner out, and only time will tell how that holds up in this environment. There is another option though if you don’t want or can’t spend $700 on a Van Staal or $900 on a zeebaas. That option is an older penn spinfisher, such as the 704 or 706z. These packed with grease will work fine, just makes sure they are cleaned well after each use. I used one for most of 2011 with few problems.

 

Accessories: As with any fishing there are accessories that are nice to have. First is pliers. I use a pair on abels kept in a Sheath and they are connected by a lanyard. (also thought i would mention the importance of a quality belt, I use a commando surfcasting belt, and its excellent) next on my belt you will find a knife. I carry a wenoka squeeze titanium knife on my belt with a lanyard to locking sheath) for two reasons one is if I get tangled in my line and two its there to cut off my line if need be. No it’s not for killing fish or scaring boaters. next thing i have is a couple of carabiners one has one end of my rod leash (the rod leash is an absolute must it allows you to drop your rod on purpose and have two hands free and it also allow you to save it if you do drop it). the other carabiner holds my knock of boga grips from Cabela’s attached to a lanyard, for bluefish if i was to catch one. I also keep have a small watertight pelican case slipped on, in which i can keep extra batteries for my lights and/or camera and a spare light. I also keep my bag on my belt which I’ll discuss later. On my wrist i keep a watch to help figure out what the tides are going to do. Around my neck I keep two things, one being a waterproof flashlight held around my neck with a piece of surgical tubing. I also keep a whistle and a compass, even if you aren’t expecting fog, you never know and better safe than story. around my head besides a hat and a helmet cam, I prefer to have nothing at risk of it getting washed off.

 

Bag: A bag in skishing is often overlooked because you don’t carry a lot, but it’s important. I personally use a custom ordered 3 tube bag from commando surfcasting. It is stripped down with just the main compartment, a small internal pocket and 4 bucktail slots. This allows for maximum room with as little bulk as possible. Tom added extra drainage and velcro making it the ultimate skishing bag. It is also hookproof and waterproof. really any bag will work s long as it has plenty of drainage and plenty of velcro, or clip and velcro. Inside I like to have a few things. First is plugs 1 bring 2 plugs out 1 per tube and in the third tube a throw a water bottle. In the front I usually have 2 sluggos and maybe a swim shad. I’ll also have 1 or two bucktail in their slots. Finally I have a marine whistle for boat warning if deemed necessary and a leaer wallett. other than that."

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I have never fished in a wetsuit, either wading or skishing, but plan on starting this season. My questions are really more related to wading/swimming out to rocks, etc. and what gear people use.

 

I used to compete in triathons and have extensive experience in both fresh and ocean open water swimming in rough conditions so I'm 100% comfortable in the water.

 

I also already own a swimming specific wetsuit, an older Orca Predator 2 that seems like it would be ideal for fishing (depending on temps), as it is a 5mm body with 1.5-2mm arms/shoulders, allowing for excellent freedom of movement. I also have flippers.

 

So here are my questions for the guys that use wetsuits to wade/swim out to rocks, etc.

 

What thickness neoprene gloves are you using, or are you using any at all? I'm looking at some from Cressi that seem pretty good. - new StormR gloves - then kevlar tape on the casting finger. the aquaskinz wear out super fast and the mechanics gloves holder water.

 

Do you wear neoprene booties and wading boots, or just the booties? i use neoprene sox with wading boots and also dive booties with korkers direct. both work fine. the korkers boots with the neoprene socks are lighter. The booties allow for the change to skishing (not very often for me)

 

How much stuff can I reasonably expect to bring out there on my surf belt, before it gets to be a PITA? pliers, boga/gripper, belt bag or should bag clipped to belt....

 

Who makes a nice rod leash? IMO, uneccessary, I use my d-ring as a holder when necessary. try kayak shops or DRAGONTAIL Lanyards (best available)

 

What is the best technique to swim with a rod in your hand? don't open your hand... I use my rod more as a walking stick and don't go full swim very often. (swim to the deep water, not IN the deep water.

 

Are you guys bringing your 3 tube bags out there with you, or a single/double tube on your belt? 3 tube with a shoulder strap

 

What are the essential things I need to bring with me? a 6oz bucktail - used to cast back to shore to anchor yourself so you can swim in, in case of emergency: dont panic, cast back toward the bank, hook the rock/kelp, anchor yourself and swim in.

 

What else do I need to know about to get started using my wetsuit?

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SwimBait View Post


Thanks, that is good info. I was looking at a pair of Keen Sandals I have because they have really thick and solid soles and good coverage on the toe box. I could screw in some pegs or machine screws for traction, plus they wouldn't hold water. Not sure how well they would work in heavy rocks though using a wading sock. Might be better to go with a full wading boot, but I also like the running shoe option. I have Korkers for fly fishing and I really like the BOA lace system for its simplicity and one hand operation, but these boots are pretty much dead, beyond dead, so I'm hoping the next pair I get can serve double duty in the salt.



 



I know of lot of these questions depend on the water temps and the conditions and ideally having a range of options would be best. I fish all over, up in Maine, Rhode Island, down on Long Island sound in CT, MA beaches, etc., so it's hard to get one size fits all gear for this kind of stuff. In Maine I would want 4-5 mm socks and thick gloves for sure, but on the sound, probably not so much, again, depending on time of year, etc.





 



I just purchased a pair of korker chromes with the BOA lace system... When you say they are "beyond dead" is that from saltwater use causing rust to the laces?  or Sand jamming in the BOA system?  or something totally different?



 



I do most of my fishing in my wetsuit but in the early season and late season when its cold I use waders and will be using my korkers... I just want to make sure I purchased the right boot and not something thats going to die on me in a a few months...



 



Let me know!



 



Thanks,

MagDarter


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Those are the boots that I am going to pickup as well.



 



My old korkers were an earlier version I got a few years ago on discount--they use the older Omnitrax 1.0 system, but came with the BOA lacing. I didn't really use them too much in the salt apart from rock hopping jetties from time to time, but they have a lot of mileage, two full seasons of year round fly fishing on them and they are ripping apart in the toe box. For all the abuse I have put them through I can't believed they lasted this long. As for the BOA, the system has never failed me. I have gotten sand in the mechanism but it washed out just fine.



 



The Chrome boot uses a much more rugged raft material and should hold up well, I plan on using mine for both salt and fresh water.

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Welcome aboard SwimBait. I've been wetsuiting (not skishing) for about 5 years now and like you, had plenty of surfing and triathlon experience prior to expanding my fishing horizons.

 

What thickness neoprene gloves are you using, or are you using any at all? I'm looking at some from Cressi that seem pretty good.

 

I use aquaskinz gloves or a pair of Mechanix gloves from home depot (depending on what pair is dry from the previous outing). While it may be tough to see, submerged rocks are typically covered in small barnacles that will destroy your hands while trying to scale them (that's why you should never slide off of a rock to get in the water, the barnacles will destroy a wetsuit). They also aid in grabbing eels and landing fish.

 

Do you wear neoprene booties and wading boots, or just the booties?

 

I wear a pair of 3mm surfing booties under a pair of korker boots. The korkers are a must as almost all submerged rocks will have some sort of weed or slime on them. They especially help in rough water as they allow you to brace yourself better.

 

How much stuff can I reasonably expect to bring out there on my surf belt, before it gets to be a PITA?

 

On my belt are the following: knife, pliers, boga and eel bag. If I'm walking a good distance, I usually leave to boga in the truck. Make sure to have lanyards on everything mentioned.

 

Who makes a nice rod leash?

 

I do not use one. It's just one more thing to get tangled out there.

 

What is the best technique to swim with a rod in your hand?

 

I use the backstroke.

 

Are you guys bringing your 3 tube bags out there with you, or a single/double tube on your belt?

 

I bring out a three tube bag that has both, belt loops and belt clips. Either one will easily keep the bag where i want it. Try to keep it on the lighter side unless you are a die hard bucktailer.

 

What are the essential things I need to bring with me?

 

Fluids and a back up light if you're going at night. As you know, wetsuits can dehydrate you pretty quickly. I take coconut water if I can, otherwise it's gatorade or water. Back to the lights, I use a headlamp. have a second one around my neck and a third, small one in my bag. I had my sole light fail me once when I was about 30 yards from shore and 2 miles from the car during a new moon. I never want that to happen again.

 

What else do I need to know about to get started using my wetsuit?

 

Learn the areas you will be fishing during the day, particularly at low tide. Learn how the water moves under various tides, winds, moon phases, etc. Do your homework and creep out a little further each time you get more comfortable.

Feel free to ask my any questions.

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I just purchased a pair of korker chromes with the BOA lace system... When you say they are "beyond dead" is that from saltwater use causing rust to the laces?  or Sand jamming in the BOA system?  or something totally different?

 

I do most of my fishing in my wetsuit but in the early season and late season when its cold I use waders and will be using my korkers... I just want to make sure I purchased the right boot and not something thats going to die on me in a a few months...

 

Let me know!

 

Thanks,

 

MagDarter

 

I've had huge issues with sand jamming the BOA system. I switched to the Korker Redsides and have not had an issue.

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Those are the boots that I am going to pickup as well.

 

My old korkers were an earlier version I got a few years ago on discount--they use the older Omnitrax 1.0 system, but came with the BOA lacing. I didn't really use them too much in the salt apart from rock hopping jetties from time to time, but they have a lot of mileage, two full seasons of year round fly fishing on them and they are ripping apart in the toe box. For all the abuse I have put them through I can't believed they lasted this long. As for the BOA, the system has never failed me. I have gotten sand in the mechanism but it washed out just fine.

 

The Chrome boot uses a much more rugged raft material and should hold up well, I plan on using mine for both salt and fresh water.

 

If you're ever in a jam, you can always sew holes in your boots with power pro and a hook.

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Those are the boots that I am going to pickup as well.

 

My old korkers were an earlier version I got a few years ago on discount--they use the older Omnitrax 1.0 system, but came with the BOA lacing. I didn't really use them too much in the salt apart from rock hopping jetties from time to time, but they have a lot of mileage, two full seasons of year round fly fishing on them and they are ripping apart in the toe box. For all the abuse I have put them through I can't believed they lasted this long. As for the BOA, the system has never failed me. I have gotten sand in the mechanism but it washed out just fine.

 

The Chrome boot uses a much more rugged raft material and should hold up well, I plan on using mine for both salt and fresh water.

 

Thanks for the assurance! They are sweet boots but coming from simms I owned a pair for 7 years and put them through a lot abuse all I had to do was change the laces a few times lol. I hope I get way more than 2 years out of my korkers!

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I've had huge issues with sand jamming the BOA system. I switched to the Korker Redsides and have not had an issue.

 

I've heard mixed feelings about this i guess I'm going to have to try and see. I'm ordering split laces and knobs incase I need to cut and replace they are pretty cheap and korkers warrantys the boa for life

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So here are my questions for the guys that use wetsuits to wade/swim out to rocks, etc.

 

What thickness neoprene gloves are you using, or are you using any at all? I'm looking at some from Cressi that seem pretty good.

 

I use the aquaskinz black thunder gloves, mainly because I like the velcro closure.

 

Do you wear neoprene booties and wading boots, or just the booties?

 

I wear 5mm booties, with a pair of wading boots over them, my boots have the studs installed on the bottom.

 

How much stuff can I reasonably expect to bring out there on my surf belt, before it gets to be a PITA?

 

All depends on what your comfortable with, my belt has a d ring which is an attachment point for the fish grip, plier sheath with pliers attached on a lanyard, and another d ring where I attach my rod leash if i'm deep swimming.

 

Who makes a nice rod leash?

 

Princeton makes a nice lanyard with ss carbiners on each end, that is long enough to fish with but when its not in use it takes up very little room cause it clips to itself

 

What is the best technique to swim with a rod in your hand?

 

I hold the rod in my left hand and swim on my side and use my legs and right arm to push along.

 

Are you guys bringing your 3 tube bags out there with you, or a single/double tube on your belt?

 

I either use a commando 3 tube or two tube plug bag.

 

What are the essential things I need to bring with me?

 

some other items people usually have is dive knife, neck light with whistle attached, fish stringer, really whatever else you might need as long as its not too cumbersome.

 

What else do I need to know about to get started using my wetsuit?

 

go slow, first time i went to a beach in the day time and got use to the feeling of the suit and water rushing into the neck, which is something you avoid while wading, start by fishing areas you know and can fish safely.

 

i do a lot of daytime scouting and will swim or deep wade to a rock i want to fish to make sure its doable, flat or has a standing area. nothing worse than swimming to a rock only to find out it a peak and has no standing area.

 

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I am not sure if this was said, but in the spring and fall when the water is colder I wear wetsuit booties and a strap on korker sandal over them. When the water warms up I wear a korker wading shoe.

If you catch a fish and put it on a stringer, don't bleed it while it is swimming around like I do. Do as I say not as I do!;)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MagDarter View Post

Thanks for the assurance! They are sweet boots but coming from simms I owned a pair for 7 years and put them through a lot abuse all I had to do was change the laces a few times lol. I hope I get way more than 2 years out of my korkers!



MagDarter, these are the boots I used the last several years, the old Korker Guide Boot. Part of the stitching gave out on the tow box, where those small holes are seen on the black rubberized piece. I'd post a picture but I don't have them with me at the moment. I definitely can and will fix them with braid and I think I can get another season out of them. Those boots are super comfortable but lack support and are not nearly stiff enough for my liking. They are really no comparison to the Chrome boot.



korkers-k8700-220.jpg


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