By Jeff Herman
Winter outer wear is essential gear for the kayak fisherman and I bet bottom dollar that your old patched and glued waders are leaking like Edward Snowden. No worries, replace those leaky old bibs with some quality breathables. Hodgeman makes some great affordable waders that will keep you warm while not breaking the bank. The company is launching the new Aesis Sonic line around the new year. In the meantime some older models such as the Hickory Swale Stocking Foot may be available at a discount. Don’t forget your wading belt!
Next let's look at upper body water protection. Addling a quality splash top over your waders is a great way to stay dry and warm. Check out Kokatat's Tropos Tempest Jacket. It is waterproof and breathable. The wrists are gasketed to retard water entry so when you reach down to grab that big fish your arms stay dry and warm. The jacket also features a stowable hood that helps cut the wind and will keep you dry in pesky winter rain.
Finally let's look at wetsuits. You have a ton of options here and you have to decide what kind of wetsuit is best for the waters you fish. Why? In case you fall into that cold and wet stuff. But which kind? A shorty suit? A full suit for colder environs? Thickness is also key. For gulf coast and mild winter fishing get a thin 2mm. Go 3 or 4 mm as your waters get colder. Again, spring is the perfect time to grab a wetsuit on sale so check out web sites like NRS or your local surf/dive shops for off-season deals.