ReadySetGo

Dry Suit vs Wet Suit - thoughts

56 posts in this topic

Hey all!

 

I'm hoping to break this COVID lockdown by getting out on my yak in NJ Raritan Bay.  I often fish from my kayak in the summer, but not this time of year because work is so busy I don't have time...well, now I do.  I was looking at some wetsuits on REI during their current discount sale, but thought I'd ask if guys are using full Dry Suits this time of year.  

 

I searched the forum and found some recommendations on footwear -- NRS boots, etc. but couldn't find a topic on Dry Suit vs. Wetsuit.  What are you guys wearing?  Cost is on my mind because I still won't get out for more than a few times.  Can I get away with a 3mm wetsuit, footwear and a good PFD? 

 

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

As you might expect, you'll likely get a range of answers on this. Personally, I opted for a semi-dry suit, despite the high price (even on sale). I've been in sub-50 degree water before and know that it can incapacitate even the best swimmers, and/or guys in very good shape.  Even with a wetsuit, there is that initial period when the water floods the suit. I haven't, however, tried a wetsuit under the same conditions so I can't give you a full comparison.

 

BTW, the price difference between a full dry suit and a semi-dry suit can often be substantial, and a semi-dry suit may be a better choice for you (as it was for me). The only difference is that the neck gasket doesn't seal as fully on a semi-dry, but that also makes the semi-dry more comfortable. A tight neoprene collar around your neck can be pretty uncomfortable.

Edited by fishinbill

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Posted (edited) · Report post

You can get away with 3mm wetsuit and some guys prefer it.

Imo the price is the only upside. You won't really be "wet" so the wetsuit won't really be functioning as intended. No bead of water to keep you warm. 

 

I have a few wet suits of different thicknesses and I would much rather wear normal clothes and a dry suit while fishing. 

 

Also, no awkward parking lot dance to get it on or off. 

 

Edited by EricM

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You can search this site and get so many ideas and thoughts of what to wear. I will say one thing and that is to respect the conditions and do not be an idiot and wear freakin shorts on your yak this time of year. I seen a few guys today doing it. I'm telling you and others on here will also say it, you fall in you do not have much time in this water. Yes its 50 degrees but dont let that fool you. Be safe and make the right choice and protect yourselves. 

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Yea, I'm definitely not trying to be one of those foolish guys who end up in a bad predicament because they pushed the limits.  It's just as easy to stay on shore with waders and enjoy my time on the water just the same. 

 

I'm going to take a look for semi dry suits and see what I can find on discount.  Worst case scenario I can pick up a wet suit and wait until the water/air temps are more appropriate.  

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The 3mm wet suit you mentioned will keep you alive in 45 degree water, as long as if fits. You will just be uncomfortable when not in the water. Which ideally will be most of the time. 

 

And that's just my opinion. A lot of guys on here like it. 

 

I don't like the feeling of resistance bands every time I move my arms. That's just me. If you wan't to save money a wet suit won't really be risking your life. 

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For me 3mm is not enough in under 50 degree water and under 50 degree air.  The problem with wet suits in kayak fishing is the risk of overheating or its not enough protection if you go in.  Same thing with a dry suit or semi dry suit.  The insulation is what you wear underneath. 
 

You know who you can lean a lot from?  Surfers.  Winter Surfers especially. In my area I talked to a few who surf in the 40's water temp in a 6.5/5.  Some go heavier all depends.  They are in the water for over an hour....way longer than what a dry suit with layers can give you.  But, when out of the water, you may roast your ass off in a 6.5/5 in 40 degree water temps and 50's air. 
 

 

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We all must chose what we wear on the water, and to each his own. I’ve been totally comfortable in a 3/2 full or a 5mm Farmer John, drytop, and splash pants since late Feb. A properly fitting wetsuit should feel like a second skin. I don it at home, fish, then drive home in it. What you wear under a wetsuit is also important.

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A well timed Number One in the suit could....A.) Keep you warm and toasty

                                                                       B.) Cool you down

                                                                       C.) Really piss you off.

                                                                       D.) All of the above.

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4 hours ago, ReadySetGo said:

Hey all!

 

I'm hoping to break this COVID lockdown by getting out on my yak in NJ Raritan Bay.  I often fish from my kayak in the summer, but not this time of year because work is so busy I don't have time...well, now I do.  I was looking at some wetsuits on REI during their current discount sale, but thought I'd ask if guys are using full Dry Suits this time of year.  

 

I searched the forum and found some recommendations on footwear -- NRS boots, etc. but couldn't find a topic on Dry Suit vs. Wetsuit.  What are you guys wearing?  Cost is on my mind because I still won't get out for more than a few times.  Can I get away with a 3mm wetsuit, footwear and a good PFD? 

 

 

If cost is no object what would you choose?  After you answer that how much is your life worth? That should give you and idea of what to get.

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I generally use 3mm Farmer John wetsuits in late, late Fall.

Early Spring it's stocking foot waders and a dry top plus the belt.

I have mixed feelings for Winter wear but those crazy surfers in Disney land know their sh@t.   I used to party with them and they're good people.

Anything they recommend works for me as long as you're healthy and bat sh@t crazy!

 

If your old or are a heart patient....stay out of cold water!   Not worth it!

 

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4 hours ago, ReadySetGo said:

Yea, I'm definitely not trying to be one of those foolish guys who end up in a bad predicament because they pushed the limits.  It's just as easy to stay on shore with waders and enjoy my time on the water just the same. 

Good point. Even with a good dry suit, being on a yak on a frosty day can be a chore, with cold feet, trying to tie down your kayak to the roof rack with frozen fingers, etc. I’m OK with this, and try to pick my days carefully, but for some people staying on shore until things warm up may be a better option. 

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17 hours ago, The Riddler said:

For me 3mm is not enough in under 50 degree water and under 50 degree air.  The problem with wet suits in kayak fishing is the risk of overheating or its not enough protection if you go in.  Same thing with a dry suit or semi dry suit.  The insulation is what you wear underneath. 
 

You know who you can lean a lot from?  Surfers.  Winter Surfers especially. In my area I talked to a few who surf in the 40's water temp in a 6.5/5.  Some go heavier all depends.  They are in the water for over an hour....way longer than what a dry suit with layers can give you.  But, when out of the water, you may roast your ass off in a 6.5/5 in 40 degree water temps and 50's air. 
 

 

Roasting and resistance when you go for those thicker winter suits. Resistance mainly. 

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I have both and I prefer the dry suit. I drink a lot of water and stay out long on the kayak. It’s nice to have a relief zipper on the dry suit to be able to pee. 
 

Can’t imagine that sitting in piss for a few hours is all that comfortable lol.

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1 hour ago, EricM said:

Roasting and resistance when you go for those thicker winter suits. Resistance mainly. 

You have to buy the right suit. The Winter surfers know. They don't look resisted to me. They appear to be mobile to me. 

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