I may have asked this last winter and forgotten the answer by now. But, what do you experienced kayakers recommend wearing while fishing in cold weather? Would prefer to stay as dry and warm as practical.
i personally wear the following - (never wear any cotton)
Skin layer - Ski Socks, thermal underwear bottom/top (or something artificial/performance that will stay warm even when wet). Mid layer - Pants (usually lightweight), long sleeve shirt, Life Jacket (sport variety) Outer layer - light weight waders w/ belt, Ski Jacket - gortex outer and primaloft inner (w/ arm vents - <3 those vents for paddling), Hat (wool/artificials), neck/mask (ski-ing again), Gloves (3/4 finger) - i've found that full gloves drive me batty for fishing tasks.
That setup lets me strip/cool off if i'm hot and warm up if i am not. Also keeps me dry even if it is pouring rain and you can survive a good bit even if you fall in since the water doesn't move away from your body as fast (you'll still be cold and need to get out asap... its not a dry suit) - but it does act a little bit like a wet suit would.
Additional items 1) Always wear your life jacket! 2) Always bring a change of clothes + towel 3) Always wear your life jacket! 4) Try to paddle with a buddy - reduces risk if someone goes over. 5) Know the weather/wind conditions 6) assume you WILL fall IN at some point - plan your paddling routes/company appropriately so you can either get assistance or get to shore. 7) i usually carry warming packs of various types in zip lock baggies in my jacket (as a habit from ski-ing) - but never had to use them.
My line up of clothing Is either splash suit with wool clothing under it, or a short sleeve short legs wet suit under light clothing and head covering and for boots, I use the NRS Boundary Water Shoes. And of course the PFD.
At the beginning of fall I pack a change of warm clothing and a light military blanket into a dry bag with a survival pack and keep it in the front hatch until late spring.
Dry suits are great for salt fishing, but to darn bulky.
LAYERS!!! I wear: 1. Upper and lower long johns 2. Another pair of upper and lower long johns 3. Blue jeans or other heavy warm pants 4. 2-3 thin pull over shirts to keep my body mass warm 5. I wind breaker or hoodie jacket 6. 2 pairs of thick wool socks 7. Rain suit top and bottom 8. knee high insulated rubber boots in case I have to get out of yak 9. latex gloves under my full finger fishing gloves 10. PFD
Layer and you will be better off in the long run. Just make sure you can move if you fall in. I would suggest you practice falling in with all your layers to test in the summer before it gets cold. It could save your life.
USAF Retired and Fishing!
In winter I look at the predicted temperature to decide whether it will be breathables or neoprene waders. Good socks if it is cold. Layer up on top. Warm cap for the head. Waterproof gloves if it is cold. And I always wear a PFD regardless of the weather. I'll fish in most any weather except a hard freeze or heavy wind.
Edited by RealBigReel (12/18/1607:28 AM)
RealBigReel My kayak STRIPER. I don't go too fast but I go pretty far.
Then, for my next dumb question - how do you keep your butt, legs, and feet from getting wet? Seems like the layers would soak up water and chill you down (or me anyways!)
"7. Rain suit top and bottom"
You can't "soak" up water unless you are getting in the water and getting wet. If you fall in then you must get out of the water and quickly get back to shore to get dried off if it is very cold out. I always bring extra layers in case.
I use Academy rain suit and NEVER get wet. With my knee high boots I can get out of yak in shallow water and not get water in them and my rain suit keeps me dry.
USAF Retired and Fishing!
Loc: South Texas
And here it is Christmas and New Years and the temps are in the 80's. One of the reasons that here in south Texas I don't own any expensive cold weather gear. Layering your clothing, and a rain suit is enough to get you by. If it gets really cold like it did a week or so ago, I'll just stay home and wait a few days until it's summer again.