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When I was a kid my dad would always tell me, "be careful not to fall in, those waders will fill up with water before you know it". Well one day I was fishing with my BIL and I happened to fall in, first thing that popped in my head was my dad telling me about wader filling up with water. Well, I was in the water splashing like a crazy man and all I could see was my BIL laughing his head off, I only fell in 2' of water.
 

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Sad. When I was in HS a friend and I knocked the day off of school and headed to a deep hole we knew held two big trout. Got there and saw something at the bottom of the hole but the darkness of the morning didn't let us see what it was. Half hour later we had made our way to the next hole and saw another fisherman hit the one above us. He started yelling and we went up to find that sometime the night before an older gentleman drown in the bottom of the deep hole, waders filled up and down he went. That was the "new object" we could see at the bottom of the water. Very sad and traumatic day.
 

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I really think that it is a myth that water-filled waders drag a person under in deep water. I believe I read somewhere that Lee Wulff, a famous fly fisherman, once jumped off of a bridge into deep water just to prove this.
 

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In fast water though, if your feet are downstream of your head, I would think that the pressure of the water filling the waders would tend to drag you downstream. Again, this isn't sinking you, but it would, in my opinion, cause a significantly higher amount of drag than if you were not wearing boots. If I get time I'll try to draw an illustration...
 

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psychobeagle12 said:
In fast water though, if your feet are downstream of your head, I would think that the pressure of the water filling the waders would tend to drag you downstream. Again, this isn't sinking you, but it would, in my opinion, cause a significantly higher amount of drag than if you were not wearing boots. If I get time I'll try to draw an illustration...
I get what your saying. I think that would depend on the type of waders. I have neoprene waders and I couldn't picture much water getting into them in that scenario because they are pretty snug against my buddy.
 

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A couple of years ago, I was in a kayak on the Little J. It was pretty high but fishable. I rolled the boat over under the first RR bridge as you walk up from the lot at Barree. I went in over my head in the current. I had chest waders on but also had a wide wading belt on. Some water went in my waders, but it did not drag me under. I was able to grab the upside down kayak and move to the nearest trestle with rocks sticking out.Needles to say, I have never nor will I ever again be in a kayak. NO I did not have a life vest on either.
 

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Might use up a ton more energy if it was a place you had to actually pull yourself up to get out as well (steep bank or cut bank) with waders full of water. Not to mention kicking your legs to swim will be much more difficult with your waders filled. keeping in mind we are talking very cold water right now with every bit of energy wasted being critical. Waders may not have caused it, but they definitely wouldn't help. If I wear chest waders I only hook one side just in case I need to slide out of them in a pinch.
 

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Wading belts! Years ago as a teen I fell in once on South Sandy Creek while salmon fishing. A steep bank gave way and I slid, practiclly still standing, right down into the swift, deep run. My rubber chest waders filled right up and made it very difficult for me to move. So much so that the current was actually pushing me deeper into the run. My buddies actually lowered a rod down for me to at least grab hold of while one scrambled down to help me pull myself out. It took a lot of effort on all 3 of our parts too.
 

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I think a combo of waders and strong deep current can do it. That section of Pine Creek can have some swift moving deep water especially if it came up 6 inches like they said. I know the rapids below my camp (we're right below slate run) are probably 4-5 feet deep and rage when the water comes up. You go in there with rubber waders and I guarantee you're not staying up. It's not that the water drags you down inside them but they make it impossible to swim and give the current something to pull on.
 

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Last year I stepped into a hole in the Lehigh. The water was pretty stained and I thought I was farther away from the edge of the hole than I actually was. One step and under I went. Had I not been wearing a safety belt I might not be here today.
 
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