There seems to be a mystery to what to wear on a kayak and its a very important question, actually one that could be life saving if you go over in your kayak. Lets take this time of year which probaly is most dangerous and difficult to dress for-last week we had a 90 degree day but the water temp was only 50 degrees or so, if you had a major mishap out there and you ended up in the water far from shore and you couldnt get back in your kayak you probaly have hyperthermia in about 20 minutes. Ok the likly thing to wear would be a wetsuit-right? paddle around in a wetsuit in 90 degree temperature and tell me if you wont want to give hyperhtermia a try, wetsuits are made to be wet to regulate a body temp, same goes for when the air gets cold and you have a wetsuit on-it wont keep you warm unless you get wet and the water in your suit heats up. I was surfing yesterday and I was nice and warm in a 3 mm suit but if I was out of the water to long the water flushed out and I got a chill.
Ok here is the good part we have alot of high-tech stuff out there to keep you comfortable and warm. Most of the time like this time of year I wear breathable waders and a breathable drytop, now you might think waders are pretty dumb to wear on the water but this set up will keep the water out if you did go over (I never gone over since I have been kayaking and have no plans to)the dry top has a 6 inch neoprene seal around the waist hip and neck, now if I was in the water for say hours I would get some water in but waders contrary to popular belief wont sink you if they fill up in the water.
alot of guys wear farmer john wetsuits and just put a a spray top over it and they're fine. getting something thats "breathable" is worth the extra bucks , it keeps water and cold out but lets your body breathe and lets persperation flow out I have a couple but I have a light one that I can be out in if its 90 degress and if the temp drops at night I can just put a fleese on under in. I always layer if its cold and I shed them as i need but keep the breathable top to stay dry.
now that you are thoroughly confused, let me say with the purchase of a few items you can be like me and be out in any weather, last year I was catching schoolies in march and a couple days before xmas I was catching big stripers feeding on hearing, so you can be in for a long season if you have some of the right stuff. We are already reaching the point where the water temp is rising and you really wont need a wetsuit- and can be out in just a pair of shorts, but I always carry a dry bag with a extra fleese and a rain jacket, you never know when the weatehr turns on you to throw on if it gets cold. I will post in a next couple days what products I wear with some pictures if I get my camera working. Remember guys most of the time you going to be fishing a stones throw from shore so if weather got bad you can always make a run to shore, but if you plan on be miles from shore you should take extra precautions.
they're expensive ($400 plus), but well worth it, especially if you want to paddle fish early season.
Unlike nylon, if you sweat in gore-tex, your sweat evaporates. And unlike neoprene, gore-tex drysuits don't restrict your arms and torso...issues in a wetsuit that can really wear you out fast. Both companies have websites. All seakayaking shops carry them.
For under a hundred bucks 3 mm farmer johns will protect you. Not going to make an arguement for comfort but the ones made for paddling aren't bad and wearing polypropylene under it helps. Dry suits are necessary for winter conditions but they leak when you rip them, the seals at the neck and wrists can drive you nuts and and it's a bit of a chore to get them on and off. Don't worry too much, though, buy FJ's first, eventually you'll own all of it.
Dry suits are great but we're passing the that time of year now. When late fall rolls around we can discuss it again. Soon it will be splash pants and shorts.
Right now I'm wearing stockingfoot, breathable waders with kayak booties and a kayak dry top. Both the top and the booties can be seen at our site. We also have a great breathable wetsuit that has a layer to stop wind. Its the NRS Hydroskin. Getting back to the breathable system I use. It works great, keeps me dry and depending upon the temps I can layer for any weather. I use modern fibers underneath like capilene and fleece, when necessary. I carry a dry bag with me so I can have a place to keep extra layers dry. I can also shed layers if needed and put them in the dry bag.
Magilla, check compnies like Cabelas and Bass Pro. They make some waders for big boys. Also check Orvis.
For the kayak get the inexpensive breathables. Kayak fishing doesn't present any wear and tear so they last. I've gotten 3 full season out of my Bass Pro White Rivers. They were a great purchase at $99.
A great way to go is to do the farmer john and with some poly pro underneath and wear a paddling jacket over it all...We have some hydro skin johns that have a fleese inside that wicks water away...it costs a little more but worth it on water.
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