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I'm new to kayaking this spring. What is the right thing to wear in the spring with colder water? Chest waders with boots?? I am fishing freshwater small lakes and ponds in South Jersey. I'll be fishing from a SOT kayak.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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Lots of options each with benefits and downsides.

Drysuit + PFD- awesome...but lots of money.
Wetsuit + PFD- somewhat uncomfortable. Works well when you're in the water but not if you are wet and sitting on the yak.
Waders + PFD- will keep your feet and legs dry but maybe dangerous if you go in and they fill up. (I say maybe because this is some people's experience. I float in my waders/pfd combo but I'm also fat too lol)
Waders + Drytop + PFD- You will stay dry up top too.
Regular clothes + PFD- If they get wet you will be cold and clammy...not fun.

Dress not for the air temp but instead dress as if you were going to go in the water every time and always wear a pfd even if your in <1 ft of water. That's ideal advice but, admittedly, I will go out in jeans and a fleece jacket in the winter in local ponds sometimes. It's not safe but I do it anyway. My go to is stockingfoot waders with neoprene booties in a water resistant jacket and a pfd. If I go in the water in that outfit I will definitely get soaked and I acknowledge that. When wearing the waders/jacket combo and when the water is cold, I will only fish where I can quickly get back to my launch in the event that I go overboard. That means small ponds, lakes, and backbay areas. If you decide to venture into inlets, surf, and out front fishing...a drysuit is a great investment if you can afford it.

Lot of other guys will chime in and their advice and experience will be invaluable so I would take it all in and then decide what is best for you.

PS- If you can yak with a buddy, do it! If you get into trouble you will have some help.
 

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I think Moosegate nailed it, it really depends on where you are going and what you are doing. Lakes and ponds you can get by with bibs or waterproof pants, bay or ocean in the winter months and you probably want a dry suit. I don't where waders in my yak but that's just me, a lot of guys do. I prefer a dry or semi dry suit which is really a wet suit bottom with a roomy dry top. If I am hitting the local pond and I know I can walk ashore I'll go out in jeans and thermals sitting on a cushion.....My hands get cold so I pack jersey gloves and hand warmers that help a lot....foot gear is important too, you need to be able to step out of your Yak sometimes in ankle or knee deep water, Good boots that fit are a must in lakes and ponds where you'll sink and if the boots are to big you end up walking back to shore bare foot......
 

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great advise moose"always dress prepared for the worse :eek: you fill up with water you aint swimmin !!! i always yak with loose fitting shoes its no fashion show your fishing :thumbsup:
In the summer loose shoes are fine, this time of year I want something I am not going to step out of in the mud........but you are correct it isn't a fashion show so whatever works for you and is safe:D
 

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I got a wet suit last year in the fall of 2010 and I have used it when it starts to get cold in the fall but more so when early spring fishing starts. I wear a sweatshirt over it and then my life jacket and it has kept me warm even after getting a little wet. I would just say that its uncomfortable to be in a wet suit for an extended period of time. I used to do waders prior to that but tested out how it would be in the water with them over clothes in a pool and it was tough to get back on the yak for me.
 

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If you go with the waders invest in a wader belt. It will seal out most of the water if you do go in and will trap the air acting like a float. No problem getting back on the Yak. Always practice in shallow water first though.
 

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Stocking foot wader pants work nicely and also have a belt.Worn with oversized crocs (pedal or paddle) it will get u out there w/o much hassle for winter lake fishing.Add a PFD and a neoprene jacket and u wont be wet or cold and its much cheaper than a dry suit and can b used for multiple fishing situations.I dont even remove the pants/crocks when driving to a different lake.Shorts and crocks in summer work great w/light PFD.
 

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i had found a pair of grundens rain pants that are super light and you can layer underneath. ill wear them in the cold/night along with some gill yachting boots with a drawstring in the top. i also use either a grundens half rubber pullover w a hood, has neoprene cuffs and rubber sleeves or i wear a dry shirt that is getting pretty worn out around the neck from alot of squeezing in it for yak and surf fishing.
 

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If yur gonna wear waders get a tight fitting belt and cinch it as high up to yur chest as possible if u do fall in only limited water will get in them. But u still need to gwt out quickly. I also still wear a hip belt with them.
 

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ok well as having a kayak mishap on opening striper day and being in 52degree water for 30 min. at this time of year i would definatly say dry suit or wet suit. i had on knee high boots, pants and grunden rain pants, longsleeve shirt and a grundens half rubber with my pfd underneath. i was protected from splashing but not prepared for swimming. i was lucky enough to make it out ok with a short 2 hour stay at hospital to warm of due to exposure. good luck and please BE SAFE. be sure to let someone know where your going to be at and a est return time. always wear your pfd.
 

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sorry toady. l just posted thiis in the other thread.

hey man glad your ok. good job.:thumbsup:
can l ask a few questions? first time dumped? how deep? what were you wearing? how cold did you get? how easy to swim? would yo wear the same thing next time?
your way ahead of most guys. l see yakkers wear all different stuff but how many have ever been in your situation for real? l think everyone should take their yak and outfit to some water and ditch their boat to see what its like in cold deep water. on purpose so they dont panic when it happens by accident.
you guys should all do it together, leave the rods at home for 1 day. teach, practice safety self rescue. maybe make some new buds. then enjoy the rest of the year with some peace of mind. :wave:
 

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well i have been kayaking for about 19 years or so, bought my first one in 93 when i graduated from 8th grade. and thats the one i was using. 81/2 foot sit in. i also have a small whitewater that i have used in class 2-3 rapids along with alot of surfing with it. ive practiced getting out many times. in my ww yak i can roll back over but this one is not desinged for that. when i felt it going down and i first went in i said oh sh!t then got wet took my breath away and just assesed the situation. didnt panic cause new that would make it worse. i did have a pfd on as you always should cause you never know. i was not wearing a wet suit just wearing normal clothes with light grundens rain gear over top to protect from splashing. i was in the water for about 30 min, if it had been colder maybe not have gone, and definatly wouldnt have lasted as long, i had a float plan, told my wife where i was going and when i was coming back. I DID learn some thngs from this and my advice to other yackers. DO IT SAFE. float plan, PFD, if possible go with somone else, and if its a sit in, go out to paddle shack in mays landing, or jersey paddler (idk if anyone else around sels them) you can buy inflatable airbags for behind seat and possibly in bow. extra floataion never hurt anyone. im very lucky i made it out ok
 

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sorry, no i have been dumped before years ago and practicing in pool, the water was about 16 to 25 feet probably in that channel. i would not wear the same thing in these temp. i would opt for a wet suit or a dry suit.
 

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Waders are a bad idea even with the belt. Last season the weekend of the shell tournament it was nasty and I wound up in the water. Coming in from a tough day fishing i Knocked over my eels and slipped on the slime right at the dock. When I tried to climb back in the boat I split the crotch of my waders and they filled with water. It was a king tide and the water was over my head. My pop managed to get one line tied off in the comotion but the wind was howling and the boat was 10-12' off the dock. I hung on that rope like it was a hammock until a break in the wind and the boat pulled over to the dock from my weight. My dad got the other rope tied but with slack and I got my feet up and drained my waders. I layed on the ropes for a good 5 minutes resting and then got on the dock. My dad said he felt helpless as I am 6'1" and 275lbs plus the weight of the water in my waders there was no way he was pulling me out. Ill never wear waders on a boat again.
 
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