Waders and Drowing, again....

Despite the same nonsense repeated again and again and again, wearing waders is not going cause somebody to drown if they go head over heels in a big river.

The water in the waders is the same weight as the water outside the waders. Water in your waders isn't going to bring you down.

Scuba suits work by water going in and staying (then your body heat warms up the water inside the suit). Anybody ever hear of a scuba diver drowning because he's wearing a wet suit?

In other news, Catskills don't float on the tips of the collar and tail with the hook out of the water.

-Steven
«13

Replies

  • JasonJason Member Posts: 33 Member
    I thought the theory goes that air gets trapped in the bottom of waders taking your feet up and your head down. I've never tested this theory... Also, wetsuits are generally tight and made of neoprene, which floats and is pretty much only worn for warmth. Divers wear lead weights to make them sink.

    I would think of fisherman as an emerger - with floatant you float, without you slowly sink and a scuba diver as a foam beetle with just enough lead to sink it
  • Brian D.Brian D. Senior Member Posts: 4,011 Senior Member
    I have fallen in the water with waders.

    1. Steven is right - the water doesn't have any "weight" that drags you down.

    2. There wasn't enough air in the waders to float my legs up. Whatever air was there was offset by the weight of my legs, I guess, but they didn't really float.

    3. The wading belt doesn't really stop the water from coming in as much as you'd think. In one instance in particular, I fell in wearing waders in the winter. The rush of ice water against my nards confirmed for me that the wading belt wasn't slowing the water down much.

    4. The main problem I experienced with going into the water with waders on is that wading boots are clunky, cumbersome, and make it harder to swim.

    5. Steven, if you pee in a scuba suit, does it help warm you up faster?

    bd
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 0
    Yes it does, but kind of embarrassing if anybody is watching when you get out of the water.
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 0
    Jason wrote: »
    I thought the theory goes that air gets trapped in the bottom of waders taking your feet up and your head down. I've never tested this theory... Also, wetsuits are generally tight and made of neoprene, which floats and is pretty much only worn for warmth. Divers wear lead weights to make them sink.

    I would think of fisherman as an emerger - with floatant you float, without you slowly sink and a scuba diver as a foam beetle with just enough lead to sink it

    Sea water is a natural floatant to some extent. Some seas, like the Dead Sea, are so salty that people eat breakfast out there on floating tables.

    The air trapped in the bottom strikes me as a fallacy as well. If you fill a jug with water, does air get trapped permanently on the bottom? I don't think so.
  • ricinusricinus Senior Member Posts: 6,214 Senior Member
    The main problem with water in your waders is trying stand up to get out of a river. As soon as you start lifting all the water in your waders above water level the weight becomes very apparent. I think that is why a wading belt is important.

    Mike
    My new goal in life is to become an Alter Kaker...
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 0
    ricinus wrote: »
    The main problem with water in your waders is trying stand up to get out of a river. As soon as you start lifting all the water in your waders above water level the weight becomes very apparent. I think that is why a wading belt is important.

    Mike

    This is absolutely true. Water is heavier than air.

    But presumably, by the time you're in such a position, you're going to be pretty much safe.
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 0
    Steven wrote: »
    Scuba suits work by water going in and staying (then your body heat warms up the water inside the suit). Anybody ever hear of a scuba diver drowning because he's wearing a wet suit?

    while I am not neccessarily disputing your overall concept ... this I have to say is playing a lil fast and loose with the facts

    the volume of water that enters into a wetsuit on a diver versus the volume of water that can fill a pair of waders is siginificantly different ... buoyancy of an object is based upon water displacement if the volume of water inside a set of waders combined with the ability of a anglers clothing to absorb water and add to that the amount of water absorbed by any external gear then an angler in waders exceeds that displacement then an angler can most certainly sink

    also the neoprene in a wetsuit is actually millions of small cells and they don't all fill up with water and a wetsuit is not completely water tight as there is an exchange of volume inside with water outside ... the more minimal the better but unlike a pair of waders that can just keep filling until full using the wetsuit as a comparison isn't exactly same-same
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 0
    Brian D. wrote: »
    5. Steven, if you pee in a scuba suit, does it help warm you up faster?

    bd

    no

    but after a week of that the dogs in customs can't smell the Cuban cigars wrapped up inside them in your luggage
  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 24,278 Senior Member
    I have seen demonstrations where people jump in the water with waders on and they are just as buoyant if not more so than they would be without them. I myself have had my waders fill up and the only thing that made it difficult was finding my footing and getting the waders out of the water.
    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 10,016 Senior Member
    Fishing can be dangerous, with or without waders.

    An old acquaintance and colleague of mine, a skilled outdoors-man and a far better fisherman and writer than I could ever hope to be, Datus Proper, died while fishing. Most likely he slipped, hit his head and thus drowned in a few inches of water just off the bank in Hyalite Creek, near his home in Bozeman, MT..

    Sad, but there are far worse ways to go.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • I remember this story, having grown up fishing Hyalite it was a real shocker if you had told me someone would die on that creek I would have considered it a complete fluke, there are some rough patches but ... and you are correct over confidence or over familiarity can be a killer too

    Ya hitting your head or falling from a height, etc all while alone

    fact is any activity has risks
  • Brian D.Brian D. Senior Member Posts: 4,011 Senior Member
    monkeydoes wrote: »
    ... and you are correct over confidence or over familiarity can be a killer too

    This seems a little off to me. As in "this guy was over confident or over familiar, and he died because he got careless and that wouldn't happen to me."

    The fact is, none of us are 100 percent vigilant all of the time, and stuff like this could happen to any of us. The fact that this guy died instead of any of us just means we're lucky, not good.

    bd
  • monkeydoes wrote: »
    while I am not neccessarily disputing your overall concept ... this I have to say is playing a lil fast and loose with the facts

    the volume of water that enters into a wetsuit on a diver versus the volume of water that can fill a pair of waders is siginificantly different ... buoyancy of an object is based upon water displacement if the volume of water inside a set of waders combined with the ability of a anglers clothing to absorb water and add to that the amount of water absorbed by any external gear then an angler in waders exceeds that displacement then an angler can most certainly sink

    also the neoprene in a wetsuit is actually millions of small cells and they don't all fill up with water and a wetsuit is not completely water tight as there is an exchange of volume inside with water outside ... the more minimal the better but unlike a pair of waders that can just keep filling until full using the wetsuit as a comparison isn't exactly same-same

    Unless you're fishing naked, which is a picture I'd like to immediately forget, wearing or not wearing waders adds nothing to the equation. And I doubt waders absorb sufficient amounts of water to cause a problem.
  • I have seen demonstrations where people jump in the water with waders on and they are just as buoyant if not more so than they would be without them. I myself have had my waders fill up and the only thing that made it difficult was finding my footing and getting the waders out of the water.

    Lee Wulff jumped off a freaking bridge in waders to prove this, yet the myth goes on and on.
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 10,016 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    Unless you're fishing naked, which is a picture I'd like to immediately forget, wearing or not wearing waders adds nothing to the equation. And I doubt waders absorb sufficient amounts of water to cause a problem.

    The only caveat is that if your waders fit loosely at the top you should wear a wading belt. The danger is not how much water enters, but that that you can lose control as filled waders act like a reverse drift anchor, pulling you in a swift current.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • What's a reverse drift anchor?
  • On the topic of Datus Proper, What the Trout Said is one of the finest books about trout fly design that has ever been written.
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 10,016 Senior Member
    Steven,

    All of Proper's other books are well worth reading - Pheasants of the Mind, The Last Old Place and Running Waters.

    http://www.amazon.com/Datus-C.-Proper/e/B001K7ZPFW

    A drift anchor (AKA sea anchor) looks like a wind sock. You let it drift behind a boat on a lake or at sea to stabilize and slow the drift. If loose-fitting waders fill with water in a swift current they can pull the angler downstream rapidly.

    Another analogy: a drift anchor is like a parachute brake on a dragster, but full waders in a rapid current would be like a spinnaker.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • George K wrote: »
    Steven,

    All of Proper's other books are well worth reading - Pheasants of the Mind, The Last Old Place and Running Waters.

    http://www.amazon.com/Datus-C.-Proper/e/B001K7ZPFW

    A drift anchor (AKA sea anchor) looks like a wind sock. You let it drift behind a boat on a lake or at sea to stabilize and slow the drift. If loose-fitting waders fill with water in a swift current they can pull the angler downstream rapidly.

    Another analogy: a drift anchor is like a parachute brake on a dragster, but full waders in a rapid current would be like a spinnaker.

    I think I might have read Running Waters - I've definitely read two books by him. I'm pretty jealous you knew him.

    I'm not buying the drift anchor thing. I'm having a running discussion with Ross on the home page about this.

    Here's a question for you. If a sailboat was in a current that was the exact same speed and direction as the prevailing wind, would the boat go faster than the current?
  • Very funny.

    http://www.sexyloops.com/articles/killerwader.shtml

    But he makes a number of good points. Not sure if swimming a across a pool measures drag in the same way as the current of a strong riffle, but something to think about.

    I had to swim across a deep pool last year (got in to one of those positions where you can't go forwards and can't go backwards). I don't remember any serious drag.
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 10,016 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    I think I might have read Running Waters - I've definitely read two books by him. I'm pretty jealous you knew him.

    I'm not buying the drift anchor thing. I'm having a running discussion with Ross on the home page about this.

    Here's a question for you. If a sailboat was in a current that was the exact same speed and direction as the prevailing wind, would the boat go faster than the current?

    I think the sailboat would go faster than the current if it had enough sail. This would vary greatly by hull design.

    BTW - I hardly knew Datus Proper. I think we had lunch in the State Dept. cafeteria once, organized by a mutual friend who knew we both fished, and I ran into him in the corridors a few times. We never fished together or got to know each other beyond that.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • Steven wrote: »
    And I doubt waders absorb sufficient amounts of water to cause a problem.

    not talking 'absorbance' but rather the volume that will fill a pair of waders ... not matter how you try to splain it as the weight being the same it interferes with the wearers ability to displace water which interupts buoyancy

    comparing it to a diver and neutral buoyancy and saltwater is wayyyyy off
  • monkeydoes wrote: »
    not talking 'absorbance' but rather the volume that will fill a pair of waders ... not matter how you try to splain it as the weight being the same it interferes with the wearers ability to displace water which interupts buoyancy

    comparing it to a diver and neutral buoyancy and saltwater is wayyyyy off

    You ever swim with waders on? It ain't that hard and you don't sink. That's a fact as experienced by yours truly dog paddling one handed while holding my fanny pack in the air.

    F-cking beavers.
  • TomTom Senior Member Posts: 253 Senior Member
    ...is spot on. That is the real danger of wearing waders when you take a swim. And yes, ive swam several times with waders on, in all seasons save dead of winter...thankfully. I also used to make a weekly habit of swimming in the blackfoot when I lived in msla, including red rocks, johnsrud, heaven and hell, all of which have strong currents to negotiate if you choose to swim across the river.

    When you are negotiating the current, even swimming at a downriver angle, until you make the eddy, the current is dragging you wherever its headed, which means dragging you towards the sweepers its piled into the outside bank alot of the time.

    This force is much more difficult to fight with waders on because of the wind sock effect. Add in no life jacket and youre in real trouble if you arent a really strong person, both from a swimming perspective and from the perspective of negotiating the near death experience youre going to have when you get jammed into those sweepers.

    If you dont believe me, try swimming out of the sweeper before youre on the rocks just above axtell bridge on the gally next time youre out here, even without waders youll have a hell of a time. I dont think I would try it with waders on.
  • Tom wrote: »
    ...is spot on. That is the real danger of wearing waders when you take a swim. And yes, ive swam several times with waders on, in all seasons save dead of winter...thankfully. I also used to make a weekly habit of swimming in the blackfoot when I lived in msla, including red rocks, johnsrud, heaven and hell, all of which have strong currents to negotiate if you choose to swim across the river.

    When you are negotiating the current, even swimming at a downriver angle, until you make the eddy, the current is dragging you wherever its headed, which means dragging you towards the sweepers its piled into the outside bank alot of the time.

    This force is much more difficult to fight with waders on because of the wind sock effect. Add in no life jacket and youre in real trouble if you arent a really strong person, both from a swimming perspective and from the perspective of negotiating the near death experience youre going to have when you get jammed into those sweepers.

    If you dont believe me, try swimming out of the sweeper before youre on the rocks just above axtell bridge on the gally next time youre out here, even without waders youll have a hell of a time. I dont think I would try it with waders on.

    You're waders are filled, more water isn't getting in creating a windsock effect. You're effed, as you noted, even without the waders. I doubt you're more effed.
  • P.DieterP.Dieter Super Moderator Posts: 968 Senior Member
    There are a lot of bad analogies going on here (and the main page) and some good points.

    I think Ralph on the FFM thread makes some very good points. Especially about the reversal of the white water norm of feet first floating, think he's dead on there about turning around if you aren't in a rapid. But that also made me consider something I've never thought of. If wearing a wading belt (that's tight) I wear one of those large back brace ones, it might be a good idea to undo your shoulder straps in a swept away situation.

    No one that I noticed has mentioned the tactic of wading up to your belt right off the bat and redoing your belt with all the air pushed out of your waders...this is helpful with drag just wading the rest of the day.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________
    it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it
    - Aristotle



    Northwest Fly Anglers
  • Steven wrote: »
    You ever swim with waders on? It ain't that hard and you don't sink. That's a fact as experienced by yours truly dog paddling one handed while holding my fanny pack in the air.

    F-cking beavers.

    I think the presumption on all this academic discussion is that a wading belt is being used and intact ... the odds of that happening 100% especially in swift water is about nill

    as for the sailboat question ... think of it this way ... when drift diving along a reef wall the dive boat is usually drifting with the current as are the divers at depth most often when the divers surface the boat is in the same spot
  • Steven wrote: »
    You're waders are filled, more water isn't getting in creating a windsock effect. You're effed, as you noted, even without the waders. I doubt you're more effed.

    uhhh no

    the surface area on the Outside of the waders whether filled or not is what the current is catching and creating that affect ... plus even when filled that effect will still occur because water cannot compress and it is pushing that larger volume along as well

    I think your presumption about displacement and equal weight are incorrect ... especially when involving complex currents and water column that is not moving uniformly
  • TomTom Senior Member Posts: 253 Senior Member
    ....you had with ross purnell, berquist, and ralph cutter. They are right and you are wrong.

    To illustrate in a way that you can reproduce easily. Take a bucket with a handle to your gill pond, wade in, submerge it and then slowly spin yourself in a circle dragging the bucket in your hand. You will notice there isnt much drag effect, that at a slow enough speed, the bucket feels like its at an equilibrium with the still water.

    Then spin as quickly as you can and you will notice the drag coefficient increase significantly on the bucket, making it tiring for you to drag the bucket at the higher speed for long. That is the sea anchor effect that made the person jammed in the logjam feel like he weighed 1000lbs in purnell's anecdote and why the guy had his waders ripped to his ankles in Bob's madison river anecdote.
  • The water in my gill pond isn't moving, just like the air in my parachute isn't moving.

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