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Flotation Ice Bibs

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12/20/21 @ 11:04 AM
INITIAL POST
perchdr
PRO MEMBER User since 10/19/02

Is there a floatation ice bib out there where you will not sweat when simple walking around? this may be an impossibility, if it floats it does not breathe{Arctic Armour} and if it breathes it does not float [Columbia}. I own both and am not happy with the Arctic Armour no matter what I wear underneath. Jackets on both suits are fine.

Displaying 1 to 15 of 30 posts
12/30/22 @ 5:40 PM
Gman762
User since 1/10/21

The bibs and parka arrived from WindRider today. They are very excellent quality and well thought-out. It is MHO that they run true to size. Was advised by the manufacturer's sizing chart to go one size larger than normal and both garments were one size too large. The garments will be replaced at no charge. Hopefully, I will never have to use the flotation feature, but it is nice to have.

12/5/22 @ 10:55 PM
madfisher
User since 1/1/10

I have Arctic Armor jacket and bibs and like them very much. I am a "heavy sweater" and ventilating the bibs and the back of the jacket is an issue. For me, this is an issue with any jacket and pants/bibbs I wear simply because I sweat so much, even under light exertion. I have two Columbia jackets, one with a fleece liner and one with lofted fiber liner, and they both get quite damp in the back. 

Three tips:

(1) I use nylon notted fish net (yes, real fish net, as in the kind fishing boats  use to net fish) inside the the back of the jacket up out the hood and over the shoulders to help get rid of moisture laden air from the back. 

(2) I also use the fish net on the back of the bibs so moisture can ventilate up into the back of the jacket.

(3) When its colder, i use two peacocks in the back to help keep warm air flowing up and out the back of the jacket. This helps dry out the back of the jacket and radiate more heat to your backside.

I wear the thinnest wool or wool blend long underwear (after 20 years, it gets pretty thin!) or fish net underwear and save my wool shirt or sweater for after I am done walking to my fishing spot, cut my holes,  and have cooled down some. If necessary, I will wipe the back of my jacket and inside of the bibs at my thighs with paper towels to remove excess moisture. 


12/5/22 @ 11:37 AM
Gman762
User since 1/10/21

Anyone have the Windrider flotation bibs/coat?

12/1/22 @ 10:25 AM
Junkie4Ice
Junkie4Ice
User since 12/19/11

Surprised to still see people recommending Striker. After paving the way in the ice suit game, they've really slacked in recent years and allowed most companies to pass them up. Like someone mentioned, I'd highly recommend trying on a pair before buying them if possible. They all fit very differently and I would never personally recommend the same suit to a tall skinny guy as I would to a short stout guy for this reason.

At the end of the day they are all plenty warm across the brands. The warmest suits are too warm for hole hopping or sitting in a shack with a heater so I prefer the mid tier suits. Last season I made the switch to Norfin after buying their boots the year before and have zero regrets so far. I've owned frabill, striker and Norfin and bought my dad Strikemaster. Each has their own fault but all are good suits. I've never tried on the Clam suits but I'm sure they are great as well.

Unless you fish early or late ice, I see no reason for the float feature. They are bulkier and you sacrifice comfort, but well worth it for the peace of mind this time of year.

11/30/22 @ 11:20 AM
hockeyguy39
User since 8/24/07

I have a mismatched set (Trekker jacket and Predator bibs). While they're at the lower levels of insulation in their product line, I think they're fine for what I need. I'm not that hard core that I'm going to be out in -15 or 30mph winds. If you are, though, definitely go with one of the upper levels of insulation they have available. I mainly went with the lower levels so I could use them for MN trip in October and (now that my boat is on a slab and not on my lawn) late winter/early spring walleye fishing. 

11/30/22 @ 7:05 AM
Pheasants & a Lab
User since 1/29/22

I think your original thinking is correct.  They are warm.  I have the Striker float suit and its warm.

I would try brands on if you can.  The Striker coat has a very annoying collar.  Great if you are in a blizzard but constantly sticking in your face any other time.  Just a thought.  Great quality suit however.

11/30/22 @ 6:26 AM
Bemidji-Bergquist
Bemidji-Bergquist
User since 3/23/20

Striker ice is your best choice IMO. I was wearing walls Blizzard proof jumpsuit for about 20 years with a bunch of layers underneath and was still old but  then striker ice started getting popular so 2 of my fishing buddies bought the hard water jacket and bibs and after a year of them never being cold I pulled the trigger and got the hard water bibs and jacket and I can say ill never buy from a different company. The striker bibs are really durable and very warm with a ton of pockets and have knee padding built in so when your kneeling on frozen ice chunks from your anger you don't even notice them and have wash cloths that attach to the pockets on the bibs and they float. I've fished miles out on  lotw and upper red to alot of the Mississippi backwaters I was never cold once no matter the temperature or wind. But if you wait till the season is almost over you'll get them alot cheaper if you can wait. I also at the end of  last year got the wife a striker suit she loves it and I got the striker climate suit which I have yet to try but both where to good of a deal to pass up. one guy in our group has the artic armour suit and he never complains about being cold but I don't think it floats but could be wrong. I do like alot of clam products just not the suits the material looks cheap and thin compared to the striker bibs or jacket IMO. In 7 years of wearing the the striker hard water suit I've never been cold even driving the ATV miles out on below 0°  mornings and back after dark also never had to use the float option its just extra insurance if you go in. There's cheaper prices than FF like pro fishing supply, marine General, reeds and up north sports to name a few. Also used them when in the boat during the early walleye run on the rainy river. Try them you'll like it. I don't go by what guys on tv like john Gillespie he where's what he has to wear to keep the sponsor I go by what works.


11/29/22 @ 11:52 AM
Mendota Jim
User since 7/1/02

So as you might know, I'm an Ice Team/Clam pro so it may be assumed I'm a shill for the float suits designed by Clam.  True, I've had the Rise, Ascent and currently run the Defender.  I fell through on Waubesa in 30 fow, alone when I was in my late thirties and more able bodied.  I was able to flutter kick my body parallel to the surface, get as much of my upper body on the good ice, and rolled out of the hole.  I talked my way through it, imploring not to panic and when out of the water and done fishing $60 worth of gear out with my hand auger, carefully made it to shore without repeating.  My point of all of this is that I was wearing gore tex insulated taffeta lined, cordura camo waterfowler nylon bibs.  When you are walking and step on a bad area (goose hole, in this case) your legs are under water.  I remember putting these bibs in the washing machine to get off the fish slime of success and having a heck of a time.  They refused to get under water.  The trapped air from the insulation was held in by the inner and outer nylon fabrics.  I believe this assisted me to get my upper body on the good ice, after the nightmare of dog paddling and grasping at breaking ice, to get out by rolling.  It was as if someone was giving me a boost out of the pool onto the deck.

If anyone is wondering about how their clothing would do (especially hunting clothes), just try to push them under water to see if and how long they provide buoyancy.

11/29/22 @ 5:12 AM
44/45
PRO MEMBER User since 3/9/11

I need to do an upgrade from my 25 year old snow suit. Was at FF yesterday and saw at least 2 different manufactures hanging on a hook. Flotation or not as I usually don't take risks, is there a preferred bib manufacturer that you can say I would buy this again?

1/16/22 @ 12:53 PM
JPitzen42
PRO MEMBER User since 1/8/20

YUP!!  Been there done that once!  I was coming back off the ice in Little Sturgeon a couple years ago in my Toyota Camry and cut the corner heading towards Carmody Park.  Didn’t see or realize that there was thin ice and some open water and low and behold, my Camry and I were going down fast!!  

I was able to open the door before the ice prevented me from doing so.  I climbed out of my car just in time to realize I was under water.  When I surfaced I kicked like hell and dug my bare hands into as much ice as I could muster the strength to do so (I didn’t even OWN a set of picks at this point).  Somehow I got on top of the ice, not being very knowledgeable about going down in a broken ice scenario I immediately stood up to make a break for solid ice.

Guess what happened next!?  Yup, splash back in the bay I goes, and once again I’m finding myself clawing ice and kicking my legs like there’s no tomorrow!  Somehow by divine intervention I think I was able to belly up on the ice and since the shock wore off by then I was starting to get my wits about me and some of my military training (NAVY) cold water survival popped back in to my head.  I remembered to spread my body weight out as much as possible and barrel rolled for about 20’ then slowly got on my knees, thank god I didn’t go back into the freezing cold water.  I stood all the way up and same results.  I started the quarter mile trek to some guys that were perch fishing and they offered wonderful assistance, (nice warm vehicle, blankets, and even a ride to Southern Door School where my wife teaches.

Long story short, I went out and bought an ICE ARMOR RISE float suit and all the safety equipment an ice angler should always have I.e. picks, whistle, rope, float suit, spud bar, and everything essential to WALK out on the ice.  I will never drive a vehicle out on the ice ever again!  If conditions suck I just don’t go.  No perch, Walter, whitey, crappie, etc.  is worth risking my life again!  When you hear people say there’s two kinds of ice anglers, the ones that have done the INVOLUNTARY polar plunge and the ones that haven’t YET, I now understand where they were coming from!!

I hope my experience and story will save at least one life for whoever reads this!  Tite-lines to all!!

1/9/22 @ 10:52 AM
mkjo
User since 8/18/06

Best I have ever used: Arctic Armor

1/7/22 @ 10:47 PM
Mr.Seaguar
User since 2/5/05

I got a Stryker suit this year. I was sitting on the ice no shack today. 13* and 20mph winds. I never sweated a drop, lol.

12/24/21 @ 12:09 AM
Master_Piker
Master_Piker
User since 12/7/05

Brother of the brush,

That I'm not sure of...never really thought about it or looked into it since I don't rely on my bibs/suit to float me. Those Striker Climate bibs ARE toasty warm tho...even with the insulation liner removed! Like I said, they are meant to buy you a little time, not float you until the fire department arrives. Even with all zippers closed, they will eventually lose their buoyancy. A PFD is designed to float you for long periods of time. 

Like I said in my previous post, every ice fisherman that has the opportunity should do a Polar Plunge at least once. It is a great experience, especially to let you know what it happens when you hit that 33-34 degree water. It takes your breath away and paralyzes you for a few seconds (shock). This can be deadly if you don't know it is coming and end up under the ice as a fisherman, especially with no PFD on.

12/23/21 @ 8:40 PM
Brother of the brush
User since 1/22/12

Forgive me if I'm wrong but if you keep all these zippers open on the bibs, doesn't that defeat the purpose of a floating ice bib?


12/23/21 @ 1:42 PM
Fv.screaming drags.com
Fv.screaming drags.com
User since 3/29/20

In my own opinion and from experience if you are going to fish ice you know or think is sketchy wear a life jacket it will help save your life. The lake I fish is notorious pockets of thin ice so early ice I. Always wear a life jacket and one day after fishing I was traveling back to the cabin and was following my buddy when I hit one of those spots I was over 20ft of water and felt the back of my snowmobile drop. And when I looked back I saw water coming over the seat back and bailed landing on my stomach and immediately breaking through now fully in the water. It took me several attempts to get myself back up onto the ice as it kept breaking under me. All this time watching my buddy slowly disappear with no clue what was happening behind him which was very scary. And I believe that if I hadn't been wearing a life jacket that I might not be here anymore. It was single digits for temperature that day and I was losing energy fast also was very scary and surreal watching my snowmobile disappear under the ice. Glad  I didn't disappear with it.

Displaying 1 to 15 of 30 posts

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