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"Breathable" Waders

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#1 Guest_UncleWillie_*

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 01:04 AM

This may be a dumb question...
Are 'breathable' waders more prone to give one a tickle while electrofishing?
I ask this because I am about to purchase some waders, and I came across a great deal on breathable waders. Last summer, working for GA DNR, only one of us used breathable waders and she was shocked everytime we used the backpack shocker. This got worse and worse as the summer went on - the waders had no leaks or moisture in them. Everyone else's waders we Cabela's, and I forgot the brand of hers, but no one else had breathable waders.
Any thoughts / experiences with this?

#2 Guest_ashtonmj_*

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:22 AM

Don't bother with them. In fact, I'm surprised they were allowed to use breathables and electrofish.

#3 Guest_farmertodd_*

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 08:13 AM

On a one time deal, it's tolerable. But if you're going to be going repeatedly, forget it. I had the rat tail roll right between my legs while wearing breatheables, and I think that may have provided the discontinuation of the Crail family line in this brach of the tree.


#4 Guest_daveneely_*

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 09:56 AM

Some breathable waders work much better than others. I've used Simms and older Patagonia breathables without too many incidents, and know a lot of folks out West swear by them. Critical thing is making sure they have no leaks... I've also taken pieces of wader material, placed them in an gel electrophoresis rig, and tested conductivity across the membrane with a voltmeter; no matter what material, if you flood the waders or have moisture on the membrane, you complete a circuit and WILL get shocked. I think the only reason that some fabrics (esp. gore-tex) seem to work is because they breathe better... Wearing pants also helps; bare skin against the membrane is asking for trouble, even in coated nylon waders; I've gotten nailed many times due to a combination of shorts and pinhole (dang Smilax!) leaks in my nylon waders... still like 2 or 3mm neoprene, even in the South...

#5 Guest_UncleWillie_*

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 11:06 AM

Thanks, everyone, for the quick replies. The breathable waders are now out of the question.
I usually use my old rubber hip-boots, but I have been meaning to get a pair of waders so I can access other places.
Matt, I also am surprised that the folks I was with didn't really know that breathables were bad during e-fishing (that is until my friend found out first hand).
Todd, I am going to be doing a good deal of shocking aiding one of my friends with his grad work in the spring, and hopefully (if all goes as planned) I will be needing them for my potential graduate position. So shocking will not be a one-time thing.
Dave, Thanks. That's very cool that you actually tested the waders. Another reason why I think my friend got shocked so badly is becuase we all had on shorts underneath our waders.. No extra layer and sweaty skin pressed against the waders didn't help I'm sure :blink: .

Thanks again, everyone!

#6 Guest_ashtonmj_*

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 11:37 AM

Are the 420 Denier nylon breathable? I've used plain old Cabela's waders (50 bucks) for years now and the only problems I had with electrofishing was when I was in deep water, wearing shorts, and sweating because it's the end of July in Tennessee. I made the seal so tight aroung my leg that I might as well went without waders. I know EPA won't allow breathable waders on any of their projets and even stopped a contracted crew doing work this past summer during a field audit.

#7 Guest_daveneely_*

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 09:43 AM

Are the 420 Denier nylon breathable?

I use the same waders too, can't be beat for the cost. No, they are not breathable (it's a sprayed-on urethane coating that waterpoofs the nylon), but are susceptible to pinhole leaks (what you get nailed through when an electrode gets too close and you're in shorts). They also hold up to bleaching well.

#8 Guest_ashtonmj_*

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 10:06 AM

Agree about their cost/benefit, leak susceptability, and ability to be bleached to all hell.

#9 Guest_Kanus_*

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 10:26 AM

Hey guys, thanks for bringing this up. I'm trying to get a job this summer doing stream surveys and will be in the market for new waders too...guess I'll stick with my old neoprene also.

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