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When fishing from the surf, how can you tell how far out you can go?

Has anyone ever been sucked out by a riptide or strong waters?

Are waders safe? If so what's a good brand name, and where can I buy them?
 

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Most of the time you don't need to go very far out because the bass are feeding close to shore. Wade out until you feel you've gone far enough and that you are safe.

Get a good pair of neoprene waders from any tackle shop or sporting goods store and also get a wading belt. The belt is good for holding things like pliers and lip grippers and should you get wet it helps to keep your waders from filling up.
 

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Agree with Younger. Most of the time you don't need to go out very far. Even if they are way out there, it just ain't worth it.

Waders are safe as long as you don't push it. Walking out too far can be a recipe for disaster. You can step in a hole or drop-off that can't be seen. You can get whacked by a strong wave. It's just too unpredictable.

I own a pair of chest waders from Cabelas. They're great in the fall with a pair of sweats or in the winter with some long johns. I also own the neoprenes but just don't like 'em.

Even with the chest waders I'm hardly ever in the water past my hips.

Definitely wear a wading belt strapped tight. A pair of inflatable suspenders is a good idea too. Also, should you happen to get caught under, immediately bend your legs at your knees. This will create an air bubble and, hopefully, will help float you a bit.

Are waders safe? Only if used with intelligence. Don't push it for an extra few feet and you'll be fine.

Hope it helps.

Mac
 

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YG24,good advice, I started off this season with a cheap pair, they're trash already - save yourself money in the long run and get a decent pair of neoprene... and that's if you need it for the type of fishing your interested in. Neoprene are safer. If you're wearing a baggy rubber pair and get knocked over, the waders "cling" to you from the pressure + fill with water and you can't get them off (and no matter who you are you're gonna have an accident at one time in your life). As mentioned, you really don't need to rocket launch your rigs, a lot of times people cast over the fish IMHO. But as far as the threshhold: depends where you fish - the barrier islands + north jersey(belmar, P.Pleasant) have steep drop offs be careful. And especially this time of year with the winter surf, holes and drop offs can form over a tide. Be especially careful when fishing alone - even from the beach ... and 10x's more careful when fishing from rocks (they may seem dry but when they get wet they're like snot on a glass door knob)
 

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Dakota,

95% of my fishing is done wading, although I prefer wading in the Delaware Bay to the ocean (for convenience).

Neoprene is my recommendation in the Fall since the water temps drop your body temp quickly. I also have a wetsuit to wear under them when fishing in late Nov-Dec.

Make sure that the waders have a quick release type suspender, in case you do go under. I don't wear a conventional belt, I wear a plug bag on my waist that also has a quick release.

It doesn't take much of a wave or an extremely hard current to make you lose your footing. We use extra long sand spikes for two reasons, one it makes a good wading stick and secondly to hold the rod when changing lures or taking off a fish.

If you do go in, you need to stay calm.

This past summer I was wading with Fly-Ty-R and we were fishing a creek during a full moon tide. I lost my footing and was pushed down the creek and around the sandbar until the water eddied and I could regain my footing. I was scared since it was pitch black and I wasn't sure how far I would get pushed, but I kept calm as a bobbed up and down and was ready to release the straps to swim free if necessary. Luckily things worked out and I just ended up soaked from the neck down and had a pair of water filled waders.

Initially, I wouldn't go past my hips and I would avoid bridge areas, channels and sod banks.

Find some gently sloping beach and fish it until you get accustomed to wading.

Good luck and be careful.
 

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On the boat, I fish alot at night by myself. I use infatable sospenders. You pull a cord and they inflate. I now wear them when jetty fishing and when wearing waders in the surf. Cheap insurance.
 

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When surf fishing what you have to watch out for is surge, from Nor'easters, on shore blows of any direction (NE, E, SE) and surge from off-shore storms or hurricanes. Basically, the ocean is very rough and water coming in on a wave can go from your ankles to waist deep in a few seconds - these are the conditions you need to be very careful in because enough water can get behind you to knock you over or suck you out. South Jerseys shallower beaches allow for a lot of water to surge up the beach and can be deceivingly perceived as safer - don't make that mistake. The north jersey beaches which are deeper with steeper beaches get a lot of water surging up the steep slope. This will get most to stand back but I've seen waves come in strong enough to surge up to the dunes - so there are times when in the north, the beach is unfishable.

If you spend enough time surf fishng and doing it with someone who is experienced you'll get the skills necessary to read the water well enough to stay out of danger and to know when and where the fish will be. And more importantly, when and where they won't be.
 

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In the surf I usually won't go out past my knees. Why? First, because the fish are typically right where I'm standing or even behind me. Also, because usually the water is rough enough to soak me from that shallow a position. Every wave that hits me runs up my waders, so I stay as shallow as possible. Even at knee depth, I still gain about 100ft on my casts.

Like Steve said, watch your footing. Water can push a lot of weight with very little current. Rip currents are especially dangerous in the surf. When they are around, I stay high and dry on the sand.
 
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