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User avatar
By NativeSon
With cooler weather now upon us, would very much like to know what folks are using to protect themselves from cold/wet, particularly ones legs, feet, and lower torso. I paddle a WS Tarpon 140, scupper holes, my butt invariably gets wet. Plus wave splash/paddle drip. No problem in warmer weather, but would rather be comfortable when the temps dip. (I do have scupper hole plugs, but honestly have never used them).
Much appreciated!
User avatar
By Ron Mc
I've worn waders for 40 years, Simms, Patagonia, Cloudveil - all guide grade. None of these would be my choice for paddling - they're bad enough when you have to drive the truck from spot to spot.
Last year, picked up some Kokatat Tempest dry pants.
Come in 2 grades of breathable, Goretex or Hydrus, and of course the goretex are spendy.
They have built in socks, but thin, not neoprene like stocking-foot waders.
They come up to about mid torso, and while they're more snug than waders, they wear like clothes, and are very comfortable sitting in a kayak.
There's room for warm socks, base and insulation layers inside.
Add insulation layers and a wind shell on top, and you're set.
here's a forum search with 49 posts for "dry pants" - not all fit, but there are enough that do

when I searched Kokatat pants, other forum members wearing these include Chubbs, rgv_cap10 , AlanC, mpg2yahoo, Jigawatt, quincyraybon, Kayak Kid, SOUTHWESTPADDLESPORTS, The Nothing, back to 2009...

If you need gloves, I like fingertip gloves, and either neoprene or merino wool will keep you warm even if the gloves get wet.
Synthetic fleece gloves turn into a cold air conditioner when they get wet.
I've caught rainbows at 14-degrees wearing these Filson merino gloves
A few weeks ago in the 2am 40-degree windy chill at Arroyo, was wearing my neoprene Pelagic fingertip gloves.
They were very cozy, even if I put them on cold and wet, they quickly warmed up.
Also easy enough to clean fish slime - if you wear merino, take them off before handling fish.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
By Neumie
I wear waders, wading boots, and a wind/water proof jacket with the appropriate layering underneath for the temperature. IF the water isn't too cold or I don't plan on wading I'll wear my normal kayaking shoes (feet get a little cold but's not too bad) and Frogg Togg pants and a wind/water proof jacket. All my winter clothing is either wool or polyester, because when cotton gets wet it won't insulate like wool or polyester.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
searching around, Kokatat Paclite goretex waterproof pants closed out last year - they have XL at OutdoorPlay for $108, vs. the original $175 retail. This is a good buy.
These don't have the built in socks, but neoprene cuffs, and will definitely keep most of you dry sitting in a kayak.
They call this style "semi-dry" pants, and the Paclite have been replaced by the similar Kokatat Session Hydrus pants.

I bought my Goretex Tempest dry pants at Olympic Outdoor using their $15% off coupon, KOW15, and free shipping, which is also a good deal - this may be the only place to get a discount on Kokatat, except closeouts.

Outdoor Play has a sale going on many different styles and brands of dry and semi-dry paddling pants, some as low as $46.
User avatar
By karstopo
The last time I was out was Saturday. Air Temperatures stayed in the mid fifties and winds light. Sun was out the entire time. I wore shorts and a light fleece pullover on top of a synthetic long sleeve shirt, plus a brimmed hat. No shoes, fished barefoot. I was completely comfortable.

I generally fish in shorts and a fleece pullover during the fall and winter. I generally don’t fish on windy, post front days, but prefer fishing on days 36 -48 hours post front up until the next cold frontal passage. Most often, those days are in the 50-60s degree range.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
well yes, but not the question that was asked.
I went out in that February 50-degree overcast photo, mist coming down, wearing nylon quick-dry pants, with my dry pants in the milk crate. It was supposed to end and the sun break out and warm, but that never happened and kept misting all day.
When I decided on the water I was too cold to be wet, put on the dry pants - easy enough - and when I pulled them off later at the truck, my clothes were dry.

Steve's not wearing dry pants here, but rain-shell pants, which worked well enough for him. And that's another option for our OP - enough to keep your bottom dry seated in the boat.

That April photo that Josh took of me above, we went out at 40 and 18-kt NNW. It was calm, cloudless and 75 when we came back in, and the Kokatat pants were never too much.
Can't say that about any of the waders I've owned (I still use my Cloudveil guide waders for winter wading in the Guadalupe tailwater with the heavy cleated boots).
Last edited by Ron Mc on Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:31 am, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
By karstopo
I’ve worn breathable waders and nylon and other hydrophobic materials on my legs in more extreme cold or wet weather. Paddle drip doesn’t bother me no matter the water temperature so long as the air temperature is above about 45. The worst material I’ve ever worn in the winter is neoprene. It only traps moisture and sweat, sweat being something that’s generated by physical activity no matter the air temperatures. In my experience, if one wants to experience maximum discomfort, wear neoprene waders, shorts, tops, etc, next to ones skin. Gloves and booties might be an exception since they cover very little of the skin.

To sum up my winter kit, it’s breathable waders for me in 45 degree days or less, rare as those coincide with my desire to kayak fish. Wet weather, a water shedding jacket and the breathable waders if the air is very chilled. Otherwise, I’m completely comfortable in shorts in the kayak in sunny/partly cloudy and cool, some might describe as cold, weather. Never, ever wear cotton anything below the waist, except possibly underwear. Denim blue Jeans in a kayak are a sure sign of inexperience.

Naturally, everyone’s cold tolerance varies.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
neoprene in waders is inexpensive, and that's the only good you can say for it.
The neoprene Pelagic gloves have breathing strips in them, and people wear them BTB in the summer.

Something else to keep in mind, when you factor in the life v. cost of good gear, e.g. 12-15 years on guide grade waders, buying the right stuff is smart and cost-effective, especially if you shop well, finding closeouts and using coupons.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
By mwatson71
I used to wear neoprene waders with the built in boot when it was really cold and they worked very well. I paddle so there was no concern about having to pedal in neoprene with big, heavy rubber boots on. Recently though, I have started wearing Kuhl water-resistant pants. They have a very generous cut and are contoured. I even wear them snow skiing in the spring with just a base layer under them. They keep my legs warm and dry. And Smartwool socks keep my feet and toes warm.

For torso, I just layer various long-sleeved shirts, typically a dri-fit material as a base layer and then one or two more thin layers followed by a waterproof windbreaker. I can peel the layers as needed. Plus, my life jacket provides a nice level of warmth as well.

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