lisurfexplorer

Wetsuit Advice

17 posts in this topic

Can anyone offer and good advice on what type of wetsuit I should wear for kayak fishing in the south bay?  Last year was my first out there and I now realize that shorts and a t-shirt are not going to cut it anymore especially for the early and late season.  Looking for something that will be comfortable early spring to early fall- is that possible or would I need both a light weight and heavyweight suit?  Appreciate any thoughts out there.

 

Thanks! 

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I would go with a dry suit if you can, a wet suit only works if you're in the water. You can also go with the wadders and a good dry top too. 

 

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NRS makes some farmer John Wet suits for kayaking. Much better then shorts and  t-shirt. Not as good as a dry suit. Many various opinions on wader dry top combo. Lots of good reading on this site. Good luck with your decision.

 

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I didn't even realize till now there was both a dry and wet suit option.  I do have 2 pairs of waders already that I use for surf fishing, 1 is heavy neoprene and the other is light fabric type material.  I always figured waders would be to dangerous if I fell in and they filled with water but is that fear unwarranted when coupled with a life jacket?

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Just now, lisurfexplorer said:

I didn't even realize till now there was both a dry and wet suit option.  I do have 2 pairs of waders already that I use for surf fishing, 1 is heavy neoprene and the other is light fabric type material.  I always figured waders would be to dangerous if I fell in and they filled with water but is that fear unwarranted when coupled with a life jacket?

Waders with a good gasket dry top would be ok, but not as safe as a full drysuit in cold water. You can youtube wadders in kayak and see some test people have done. 

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Here is a thread with some interesting  paddle clothes suggestions. You can make up your own mind what you feel comfortable paddling with. 

 

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I sometimes use a full wetsuit that has a fly, a nice item on any suit, dry or wet. More often I’m in separates that offer more flexibility. Yesterday I wore a wetsuit bottom, splash pants and a drytop.

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The problem with a wet suit for cold water is the correct thickness needed for the water temp.  A 5/4/3 is decent for upper 40 and 50 degree protection. The problem will be when the air temp warms up. Overheating sucks. The only way to combat that is a dunk in the water to actually cool off and warm that trapped water layer. When people say "Wet Suits Work Only When In The Water", are probably just repeating what they read online but the truth is it's the overheating that sucks.  Neoprene offers plenty of insulation. Some folks work with it and it works. But to say Wet Suits don't work for Kayak Angling is just not true.

 

I wear wet suits or even farmer johns along with a top during warmer water and the air temps dip but you don't need a dry suit. I see that in late spring and early fall. That's just for me.

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That is the advantage of the farmer john, You can use different tops with it to adjust for changing temperatures. It is hard to adjust your dry suit on the water when you start to heat up. You are pretty much stuck with what ever base layers you went out with or you have to head to shore and change  your base layers. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

3 hours ago, lisurfexplorer said:

I didn't even realize till now there was both a dry and wet suit option.  I do have 2 pairs of waders already that I use for surf fishing, 1 is heavy neoprene and the other is light fabric type material.  I always figured waders would be to dangerous if I fell in and they filled with water but is that fear unwarranted when coupled with a life jacket?

What we recommend is to buy a good semi dry or full dry top and buy the home depot back belt to wear over the top and create a half ass seal. Then in a safe area flip your kayak over and dunk with the clothing on. You will see you will have ample time to get your **** together and get back into the kayak.

 

I use a dry suit too and lets be honest about dry suits.....dry suits are not survival suits. Believe me, I fish all winter with water temps in the 30's and take full swims in my dry suit. It 100% keeps water out if all the seals and fabric is free of holes. I bulk up the layers...but if you dump your time is EXTREMELY limited to get back into that kayak even with the best polar tech liners and bulking up on layers fleece whatever. The majority of kayak anglers will not be wearing neoprene gloves either, so even with rag wool mittens the hands will be useless quick and will not be able to get back in. Time to swim back. Not easy. Which is why I don't venture too far from shore in case something happens in the Winter or even early spring.

Edited by The Riddler

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8 mins ago, dbjpb said:

That is the advantage of the farmer john, You can use different tops with it to adjust for changing temperatures. It is hard to adjust your dry suit on the water when you start to heat up. You are pretty much stuck with what ever base layers you went out with or you have to head to shore and change  your base layers. 

But the problem is the farmer john does not give enough protection in the cold water. It gives a very small window to buy time to get back into the kayak. I dig being able to wear a farmer john with mysterioso top. Then when it heats up off comes the top and I still have protection.

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You are 100% correct, When I wear the wet suit I am banking on the fact that I can climb back into my kayak quickly. If my kayak sinks or I am separated from it I need to be close to shore to have any chance

of survival.  Also if I have a failed surf launch I could be in for a cold day.  If I wear  the dry suit a  failed surf launch  is less of a concern.  I rarely wear my wet suit anymore. I mostly use the dry suit and vary my base layers. If needed I will come to shore to shed some layers.

 

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I would say semi dry or dry suit would cover most of the situations...if you are in white water kayaking or similar than you may need a wet suit...or if you to get in spear fishing

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A properly fitting wet suit really is not all that comfortable for sitting on a kayak.  The right fit is skin tight.

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