Float from a Boat

Never underestimate the danger of cold water. On the ice the natural response is to worry about going through so multiple companies have made safety products like ice spikes and float suits. Plus, anglers regularly use this safety equipment. But, floating on a boat the six weeks before and after ice can be just as dangerous without the right gear.

A person in 40-degree water has 40 minutes before hypothermia sets in. On a boat, dropping the trolling motor from a slippery bow, jigging from the front seat in rough water, and even a cold wave while on plane can start the clock. Going overboard in cold water is more serious than people think.

Obviously, wearing a life jacket is more common on a boat than on the ice. Plus, inflatable life jackets like the Onyx make it unnoticeable in most conditions. The next layer of safety is the float suit. Multiple companies have developed safety outerwear unnoticeably different than a standard jacket and bibs. The new Ice Armor by Clam Ascent, Lift, and Rise parkas and bibs use Motion Float technology to both insulate and provide flotation while allowing an extreme level of floatation. The design of these suits also drains water fast while still insulating so returning to the dock after an incident becomes a low-worry excursion.

As an extra level of safety, we keep wearing our float suits until water temperatures have risen above 50-55F. Above that level, we switch to the Cabelas Guide Gear to stay warm and protect us from rain. The extreme level of comfort of lift suits along with the additional safety features make it a no-brainer while we search for the Next Bite.

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