Waders In A Canoe

I know it’s generally not advised to wear waders in a boat but has anyone fished a river in a canoe and beached it in different areas to get out and wade? If you have did you leave your waders on getting back in the canoe? Have you tipped wearing a wading belt?



There are waders, and there are waders

– Last Updated: Jun-22-15 5:23 PM EST –

The old advice about waders came about when the only kind of waders available were the super-heavy, rubberized canvas ones that had very rugged rubber boots permanently attached. A pair of those things weighed more than 15 pounds. There's a well-known set of videos posted online by a guy who seems to have great fun "debunking the myth" of how dangerous the combination of waders and boats can be, but he does so wearing waders that are no heavier and no bulkier than lightweight rain pants (his waders don't even have built-in boots). It's an extreme case of comparing apples to oranges and he clearly doesn't even know it (the guy is probably too young, and lives in too warm of a climate to even be aware of the old-fashioned kind, or he wouldn't be acting so smug about the whole topic).

So, it depends on what kind of waders you have in mind. If it's the modern, lightweight kind, there's not much danger. Even if they flood, you really won't feel weighted down until you get out on dry land (check out the videos - they are easy to find). Even the modern insulated waders made of neoprene probably aren't too bad if well belted at the top. If it's the old-fashioned kind that are so bulky and heavy that it would be awkward to try to carry them if draped over one arm, you might want to re-think the idea. Falling out of the boat wearing that kind would be a tough situation, and anyone who says otherwise has never worn them.

I do it regularly
I don’t think you can even buy the waders that are considered “deadly” anywhere.

I skip the belt and wear a life vest. Once I slipped on a rock and banged my head and the life vest saved me so I wear it when wading too whenever there are rocks.

I use neoprene waders in the winter and dry pants in the spring and fall.

Waders of Death
I have a few swims under my wading belt and lived to tell the tale.

I use them sometimes in the fall when I don’t want do go around dressed like a middle aged fat batman in my wet suit.

I have breathable bib style waders with neoprene booties. I use a wading belt at the waist and sometimes a second one around my chest after burping the pants. Over that I put any insulation layers and top it off with a paddling jacket with neoprene wrists and neck. A good fitting PFD on top of all that, worn nice and tight, really does lock it all down. Depending on the water temp I will wear water shoes or neoprene boots.

With all of that I can stay very dry and warm walking in the water or if I go swimming. You do have points that water will trickle in but maybe a shot glass worth over 5 mins at most. If you pair it with a semi-dry top or dry top it should reduce the leak or eliminate it.

Kokatat sells a paddling dry bib that is essentially waders http://kokatat.com/products/bibs-and-pants/gore-texr-whirlpool-bib-with-relief-zipper-and-socks-men.html

There are still a lot of people out there that think waders will kill you. I have had a number of paddlers tell me that the waders I am wearing will kill me. I think it is good he made the videos to show those people that waders don’t equal instant drowning if you swim for a brief time.

What is funny is no one says a word until I take off my PFD, jacket, and insulation layer. I guess when they see the bib and the wading belt they feel the need to lecture me that if water gets in the waders it will drag me to my death at the bottom of a 5 foot creek bed.

In warmer water I just go with wading shoes and shorts. I’ve stepped in over my head while fishing with waders and a wading belt in streams and was able to get to shore quickly, but I wouldn’t recommend being in open water and relying on the air in the waders to keep you up. I’d definitely wear a PFD along with the waders to make sure I can get to shore, with or without the boat. You aren’t getting back into that boat with waders on in open water.

Waders In A Canoe
Thank you!

Waders In A Canoe