Let's talk a little about some of the dangers of saltwater fishing. Mainly Stingrays and Vibrio Vulnificus (flesh eating) bacteria.
Stingrays are very common on our gulf coast and are caught by rod and reel often. A stingray has a self-defense mechanism near the base of their tail often referred to as a barb. They will use their barb when accidentally stepped on or handled.
Getting "stung" or "hit" with a stingray's barb is a very painfull and possibly expensive experience. It is extremely painful as the barb is venomus and has some nasty bacteria to leave you with. It is in the same realm as being bitten by a rattlesnake. You won't die, unless of course you are hit in the heart, but you do need to go to the hospital and have the wound thoroughly cleaned. Infection is common. Some people end up in the hospital for several days fighting the infection.
So, take steps to avoid the above. If you are wading, shuffle your feet, at least that way you kick the stingray out of the way rather than step on him. In addition, there are knee high boots and leggings you can wear to prevent the barb from penetrating. If you catch a stingray, the safest thing to do is cut them off and re-rig rather than try to handle them. Tackle is cheap compared to the emergency room.
Vibrio (flesh eating) bacteria is naturally present in warm saltwater environments. It is more prolific in the summer. It enters your body through open wounds and can cause major damage, limb amputation or death. Typically those with comprimised immune systems are most at risk. Heavy smokers and drinkers fall in this category. If you have a major wound, avoid the saltwater, but even a minor fin prick from a bait fish can contract it. It doesn't matter if you are wading or fishing from the boat, if saltwater gets on a wound, you are at risk. Disinfect (alcohol/peroxide) your wounds often and at the end of the day. If, while or just after coming in contact with saltwater, you do have a wound that starts to swell rapidly and you begin running a fever, get to a hospital quick
I'm certainly not a biologist or a doctor so don't take my word for it. Do your own research and be prepared. Here's a link or two.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vibrio_vulnificushttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stingray#Stingray_injuries