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PostPosted: December 19th, 2019, 4:00 am 
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Joined: December 18th, 2019, 2:35 am
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Location: Boston
For those of you who brave the cold, what is on your list of must have gear? I imagine that fishing on the water when its cold out, you are bound to get wet, especially your feet. So curious what everyone does to stay warm and somewhat dry?

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PostPosted: December 19th, 2019, 8:50 am 
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Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
I ice fish. Most of us use a floater suit---1 or 2 piece.

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PostPosted: December 19th, 2019, 9:31 am 
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Joined: July 21st, 2004, 7:58 pm
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Can you paddle in a floater suit? My usual cold weather paddling outfit is a dry suit, neoprene balaklava, neoprene socks and mits. I wear poly or fleece layers appropriate to the water temperature. There is ice in the water at the beginning and end of the season, so it must be about +1-2 C. Never been cold, although fairly frequently immersed.


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PostPosted: December 20th, 2019, 3:22 pm 
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Joined: September 16th, 2019, 1:47 pm
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I'm not a fisher, but for winter paddling here my go-to base layers are neoprene. Neoprene shorts, polypro rashguard, with a merino shirt over it, a neoprene vest, and a neoprene farmer-john over it all. Wool socks over polyester socks keep my feet warm. I've a thin stretchy-rubberized over-top I use to cut wind-chill, and will often throw an oversize thick-wool v-neck sweater overtop to keep the heat in when I'm not exerting myself. I can easily slide out of it in a capsize. My drysuit has unfortunately been retired - it is the better option. Winter air temperatures rarely drop below zero celsius here. If I'd be sitting still for long periods - the floater bibs and jacket would be my preference. I really like bibs that have high fronts and backs that cover my chest. The neoprene caps look like a good option - my friends swear by them. I wear a favourite wool toque knitted by a member of the Cowichan Band. Beware of imitations. They knit high-quality garments that are ideal for the prolonged wet-cold of our climate. Highly recommended!


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PostPosted: December 31st, 2019, 6:23 pm 
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Joined: October 31st, 2016, 9:32 pm
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Location: Missoula, Montana
I'm from Montana, and do a lot of kayak fishing from a sit-on-top kayak (a Hobie Revolution). In the spring and the fall, I frequently fish in weather which is below freezing, snowing, and blowing, and when the water is cold, sometimes with ice floating in the water. I wear a drysuit with sufficient layers underneath it to keep me warm when I'm in my kayak, and to increase my survival time if I end up in the water. I dress for the water temperature, not for the air temperature.

Because a good drysuit is essential for cold water and cold weather kayak fishing, here's what you need:

Size. Get a drysuit which is large enough to wear over a number of insulating layers. In cold weather, I typically wear thin polypro long underwear, heavy polypro long underwear, and two or three layers of polypro pile or heavy sweaters. My drysuit fits comfortably over this much clothing. Consequently, it's kind of baggy when I wear it in warmer water and weather conditions with less clothing underneath it. If you buy a drysuit which fits slim and trim for warm weather use, it won't be adequate for cold water and weather use.

One piece versus two piece drysuits. For cold water and cold weather fishing in situations where there is any chance of ending up in the water for an extended period of time, you definitely should get a one piece drysuit, because any dry top/dry pants setup will leak if you end up in the water for more than a short time.

Dry socks and footgear. The dry suit must have dry socks, not ankle gaskets, because your feet are likely to be wet or in the water much of the time. I wear two or three pairs of warm socks under my drysuit's dry socks. The warm dry socks are what keep my feet warm, not my footgear. The footgear is likely to be full of water, and is only to protect the dry socks from damage. Get footgear which is two or three sizes larger than your street shoe size, so there is plenty of room under the footgear for lots of layers of socks. If your footgear is too small, it'll constrict your feet and make them cold. I use high top wet suit booties with a zipper, but anything which protects the sole and ankles of your drysocks will be fine. I don't like sandals and other footgear with holes in the uppers, because they let gravel and sticks get inside the footgear where they can damage the drysuit's dry socks.

Pee zipper. If you get a drysuit which doesn't have a pee sipper which is appropriate to your sex, you will be very very sorry. As I have gotten older, I need to pee fairly frequently, and a pee zipper allows me to pee while I'm sitting in my kayak in the middle of a lake or the ocean. I use a funnel with a foot of hose stuck onto it.

Breathable fabric. It's definitely worth paying extra money for breathable fabric. At the end of a long day of fishing in a breathable drysuit, your clothing will be dry, and you can wear the same clothing while driving home. You get a lot of condensation inside a non-breathable drysuit.

Gasket covers. Some less expensive drysuits don't have wrist and ankle cuffs or a collar which protects the neck gasket. The problem with this is that it exposes the neck and wrist gaskets to sun, which means that you will need to replace them more frequently, and unless you wear high-top footgear it exposes your drysocks to being damaged when you're walking around on shore.

Head protection. When wearing a drysuit, one way to control your comfort is by adjusting your headgear. I usually bring a couple of different hats, so if I get cold or hot, and can adjust my headgear.

Gloves. When whitewater kayaking, for many years I have worn latex drygloves with polypro or acrylic glove liners underneath them. The dry gloves have a wrist gasket which keeps the glove liners dry. But these dry gloves are pretty expensive, and would quickly get damaged by hooks or the spines and teeth of fish. So when kayak fishing in cold water and weather, I wear 8 mil nitrile disposible work gloves over glove liners, and tuck the wrist of the nitrile gloves under the wrist gaskets of my drysuit. In addition to keeping my hands warm, this setup makes it easy for me to rinse fish slime and guts and the goobers from cut bait off my hands. I bring a couple of pairs of spare nitrile gloves and glove liners in case I poke a hole or create a rip in one of my nitrile gloves.

With good equipment, you can fish comfortably and with relative safety in quite cold, windy, and snowy or rainy conditions.

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