Primary logic is that ifI go in, I must be able to swim to stay alive. Clothes that get heavy when wet must be abandoned easily. Be wary of waders, lace up boots, sweatshirts that must be pulled over the head, and bibs that are attached under other layers and impossible to remove. I also don't like anything that requires taking off the life jacket first.
Secondary logic is that after I abandon the heavy out layers, I still have to stay warm. THis could be in the water or back on the yak for the time it takes to paddle back to land (sometimes hours). Since I've just abandoned the heavy, wet outer layers, I count on a wetsuit for the time in the water and ride home.
My set up is farmerjohn Wetsuit, then warm pants, then top with rain pants to keep drips, splashes and hopefully fish blood from getting me wet/cold. I put my outer jacket (zipper style) on over the PFD so I can get it off without removing the pfd.
A wetsuit alone won't work because they are not warm when dry and cold wind will cut right through them. Spray jackets work well as outer layer for nice days.
Dry suits will reverse the order of clothing since you wear the warm stuff under the drysuit and just leave it all on. This works great but drysuits are expensive for most.
My set up is farmerjohn Wetsuit, then warm pants, then top with rain pants to keep drips, splashes and hopefully fish blood from getting me wet/cold. I put my outer jacket (zipper style) on over the PFD so I can get it off without removing the pfd
how fast does it take for the wetsuit to begin the warming process ?
i've read that breathable waders are popular among 'yak fishermen. the consensus being that if properly belted, a set of waders will not allow very much water to enter them. there has been many debates on this subject, i'll leave it up to each reader to reach their own opinion.
i like the idea of the wetsuit (base layer) followed by others, but i'm concerned of the time needed for the warming effects to begin.
I don't wear a wetsuit... but then again... I'm not sitting in water either... anymore with the Hobie. I normally wear my bathing suit.. then shorts... under a pair of sweats. I didn't feel the cost of one was worth it. Actually... I have two... a wetsuit and a drysuit.. when I use to windsurf... but now I couldn't get my fat butt in either if I wanted to.
If it's going to be really cold and wet.. I wear a good pair of rain pants and the jacket. It keeps me pretty warm. If it gets too warm... I can start removing the layers... Last year when it was really cold, we had a little fishing contest.. I believe it was around 27 -28 degrees at 5am.. when we signed up. The rain suit kept me nice and warm... other than my feet and hands getting cold... it was great!!!
Pam, at the risk of lecturing, I remember that day last winter. If you had capsized we would have been treating you for hypothermia. I still suggest wearing clothes that are safe/warm for at least a few hourswhether wet or dry. Don't assume your Outback SUV will always be dry.
The article on the other forum is great because it recommends either a wet or dry suit. Both are expensive but safe.
In my opinion, people who wear neither are taking huge risks. Reentering a kayak is damn hard wearing heavy wet clothes. What good are swimsuit and shorts if you are at the middle of the 3-mile bridge and have a 1.5 mile paddle against a strong winter wind after you have gotten wet and possibly had to stip off outer layers to reenter your kayak. I don't know how long it takes to get back to Jim's fish camp from way North of the X but I would guess it is a long haul.
Sorry for the lecture. It is turning cold out there and everyone needs to be safe. In many places where we fish it could take an hour or more to get to dry land and warmth.
Yeah... I know Ted. Maybe I'll find a shortie somewhere... to wear under all of that.... AND some hand warmers.
Yeah... and as I start heading in after ~4~ hours fishing...most of the guys were on land ALREADY. Heck.. it was so cold that day.. I popped a top when I got out of my yak!!... at 10:30am. Definately... need hand warmers... maybe some feet warmers too!!!
Been at this for about seven years and belted waders work just fine. First, don't take the risks you might in warmer seasons and do a winter flip. Second, use a safety step if your worried about re-entry.
Lastly, I keep a dry windbreaker or zip sweat shirt in a dry bag in the forward hatch for insurance. Yes, I can get in there while out on open water.