spearfishing in winter

Section for the discussion of fishing in the water, be it scuba or free-diving
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YAKuZA
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Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:08 pm

Does anyone spearfish in winter? If so, what thickness wetsuit do you wear and is it very productive?

I've never tried because I'm a sook and think it would be too cold.

cjnatan
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Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:19 pm

Hi mate,

I spearfish in winter. I use Oceanhunter wetsuit 5mm and find it good enough to last for at least 2 - 4 hours before I start feeling the cold (depending on the day). Hope it helps;0)

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JUZZY
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Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:05 pm

i use to spearfish mid winter.. 9mm wetsuit an wear a hood you lose alot of heat from there. i try to limit the time i spend in the water during winter and depending on the depth of water im goin to work at but 9mm keep me toasty warm for an easy 4hrs 6hrs with a wee here an there :lol: :lol:

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Kayak Rob
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Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:20 am

A good specific suit designed for spearfishing that consists of a top and long johns is what anyone who is into this sport should be wearing (the top has a hood built in) over winter. These suits don't allow water to enter and will often need to be lubed to put on as they have no lining on the inside.
5mm will be good for up north and thicker 7mm for down south.
I dive all year round and often reduce my thickness during summer ie: 5mm top and 3mm long johns for summer.
When you have the top and long johns together in the stomach/kidney area you have a layer that is in the case of a 5mm suit double the thickness.
I have used many types of specific spearfishing suits and they all work well with some better than others when the water temp is low. If you have an older suit it will be less efficient (compressed) as it get older so a new one will improve the ability to keep you warm.
Decent gloves will also help as when your fingers are cold you will lose the feeling in them.

I use this wetsuit and it is great over winter: http://kayakadventures.co.nz/shopping/p ... d=375&=SID
Plus these gloves: http://kayakadventures.co.nz/shopping/p ... d=381&=SID

Mention you are from here and I will give you a 10% discount.
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GBC
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Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:13 am

Great offer Rob but I dont need a wetsuit at the moment
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Mental
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Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:01 pm

I haven't done it 'cause I don't dive but when talking to the SharkSkin guys... SharkSkin was created for divers who couldn't dive in the winter because they were too cold in their summer dive suits, so rather than saying buy a second suit they came up with something to wear under your summer suit to make it feel like and give you the warmth of a winter suit, worth a look, you can also wear the SharkSkin for yaking too...
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cjnatan
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Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:15 pm

I use Ocean hunter wet suit (5mm) and its serving me well. I found that I was usually staying in the water for 2 to 5 hours. Hope it helps :)

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MikeAqua
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Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:53 pm

In addition to the wetsuit, if your face/lips are getting cold or chapped, a liberal coating of vaseline will help keep them warmer. Seriously, I used to use this trick on winter trips to Stewart Island and that was cold.

Just be careful who sees you buying large tubs of vaseline though ... people talk :lol:
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Kayak Rob
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Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:17 pm

Mental wrote:I haven't done it 'cause I don't dive but when talking to the SharkSkin guys... SharkSkin was created for divers who couldn't dive in the winter because they were too cold in their summer dive suits, so rather than saying buy a second suit they came up with something to wear under your summer suit to make it feel like and give you the warmth of a winter suit, worth a look, you can also wear the SharkSkin for yaking too...
Clearly this shows! SharkSkin was designed to wear under a dry suit Mental and is not compatible with wearing in conjunction with a specific wetsuit for free diving. Sharkskin is not great when it gets wet as it absorbs water and then becomes heavy!
The cost of a Sharkskin full body suit is around $490 see here:http://www.kayakadventures.co.nz/shoppi ... d=350&=SID
This is about the same as a new wetsuit.
MikeAqua wrote:In addition to the wetsuit, if your face/lips are getting cold or chapped, a liberal coating of vaseline will help keep them warmer. Seriously, I used to use this trick on winter trips to Stewart Island and that was cold.

Just be careful who sees you buying large tubs of vaseline though ... people talk :lol:
Nice idea MikeAqua however in the north of NZ it isn't that cold during winter and if you have a good open cell 2 piece wetsuit like the one I mentioned above you will be fine. I spend at least 8 hours in the water over winter and the temp can be no more than 12 to 13 degrees.

The best thing to do is get a decent 5mm wetsuit for winter and then purchase a pair of 3mm long johns for summer to allow for the warmer temp. I am referring to a wetsuit setup in the north of NZ. The long johns will set you back around $290
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Fish'N'Snork
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Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:55 pm

Have a one piece 5mm wet-suit with no hood for summer & add 5mm vest with hood for winter up here. I also have a one piece rain-suit (that was for rain protection on the Motorbike) that I use over the wetsuit when out of water. You can get quite bad wind chill from a wet wetsuit when you are out of the water, so wearing something over top of them to act as a wind breaker will help keep you warmer on the kayak. Hot soup and hot drinks helps too.
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Mental
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Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:57 pm

I stand corrected :) it would appear that Sharkskin is only suitable for use under a regular wet suit and not a specific free diving / spearo suit (different materials) like I said I'm not a diver :lol:
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GBC
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Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:49 pm

Mental wrote:I haven't done it 'cause I don't dive but when talking to the SharkSkin guys... SharkSkin was created for divers who couldn't dive in the winter because they were too cold in their summer dive suits, so rather than saying buy a second suit they came up with something to wear under your summer suit to make it feel like and give you the warmth of a winter suit, worth a look, you can also wear the SharkSkin for yaking too...
Interesting point Mental and thanks for your input Rob. If you have a read of the tag on a Sharkskin it says for diving and snorkling and then on the inside of the swing tag it says it adds 2.5mm to a neoprene wetsuit. If I had read this on its own I would have understood it could be worn as a top for in the water in summer or under a wet suit in the water in winter.
I am confused now.
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Kayak Rob
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Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:22 pm

Okay because things are getting a bit confusing with winter spearfishing and the type of wetsuit etc I thought it time to clarify what a proper wetsuit for spearfishing is. This is taken from one of my past articles written on the subject of spearfishing equipment in NZ Fishing Coast to Coast Magazine!

Spearfishing Wetsuits
Starting right at the heart of any spear fisherman’s equipment is the wetsuit and having the right suit can make a big difference to your diving. Most spear fisherman will spend large amounts of time in the water so the suit must be able to keep you warm. It should also be very comfortable and not restrict your movements in any way, unlike a suit worn by a scuba diver which can be quite stiff (we spearo’s refer to them as cardboard wetsuits). Because of these requirements the best wetsuits are two piece, made from a very flexible material that are nylon lined on the outside only and have no zips. The suit consists of a top with built in hood and long john with inner lining that is either titanium or plain (smooth). Outer nylon can be black or camo design and the top will have a pad on the chest area for loading a spear gun. Choosing your suit thickness is also something to consider as five millimeter will be ok in the winter if you are up in the northern part of NZ but may be too much over summer when you may require three millimeter. The two piece suit offers the user a double layer (5mm equals 10mm) of material around the vital organ areas meaning better warmth. Also the general design allows for no water to enter the suit because of the fit which is like a glove on the body. Some wetsuits can also have a knife pouch added on the leg or arm. Spearfishing wet suits are one of the most soft and flexible available, however these suits are not as hard wearing and can be easily damaged when putting on and off the body due to no lining on the inside. Because of the lack of lining you will in most cases need to lubricate your wetsuit before you put it on and this is done by using a soapy solution made from shampoo and water.

I have also written an article on Spearfishing during winter and will let you know when I have this up on my website.
hope this clears up any ms-conceptions
Kayak fishing is life

Rob Fort
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Old Town, Ocean Kayak & Humminbird Pro Team member, supported by: Sharkskin, Maxel, Jigstar, Gamakatsu, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Salt A-Way, NZ Bay Fisher, Neptune, Pelaj, Railblaza, Zest

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