Chest waders or such for shallow water dredging?

Jomsa

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So i've been for past almost half a year been gathering all sorts of gear for next summers dredging, but i forgot one critical equipment, namely the protection of it, myself. I'll be dredging in quite shallow waters, but i have no idea what sort of waders should i get, and should i modify them? (i see many of you apply some sort of thing on knees to protect them from rocks i believe)... any tips and thoughts are welcome?
 

RTR

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Waders are pretty much like everything else,Get the best you can afford.These are many years old used for Deer hunting swamps,Trout fishing creeks,and chasing Gold their still good w/ high mileage :). One thing,When your done with them store them away from sunlight & hang em up, straight,not folded.
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brianc053

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Jomsa, when I started summertime panning, sluicing, highbanking and eventually dredging I was doing it in New Hampshire and Virginia. here in the US, and it was a hobby with my teenage son. I'm not sure if your dredging in Finland is just for fun, or if you are more serious about it. When I was doing it for fun I used chest waders at first, but I quickly learned that I got wet anyway.
Example: your arms get wet, you lift them above your shoulders, the water runs down your arms and onto your chest/torso. Do that enough times and your whole body ends up sorta wet. Also, shallow water dredging requires you to bend down a lot toward the water and you'll inevitably get your chest wet - and may even dip the top edge of the waders into the water (Flood!).

My suggestion (after 5 or 6 years of experience in NH and VA with a recreational 3" dredge): don't try to stay dry.

Instead, if you're worried about being cold, consider a wetsuit. If you can handle the cold, just wear a swimsuit - but make sure you have kneepads.
My favorite shallow water approach involved laying face down in the river with a snorkel & mask so I could reach about 3' down into the river without compressed air. If you're doing this as a hobby on weekends digging down 3' in a day or two is a pretty good accomplishment.
If you want to move more material you probably want to jump right to figuring out how to have compressed air so you can go deeper.

I'm not a YouTube content creator but I did put together a few videos between 2016 and 2019 if you're interested:

NH trip #1 in 2016:
short NH trip #2 in 2016:
VA trip in 2019:
NH in 2019:
 
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Jomsa

Jomsa

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Hey thanks for good tips, keep them coming.

I think getting cold might be issue as the water is mostly thawing permafrost. It will be standing water mostly though (as we are not allowed to mine in streams at my claim) ... You can actually check the types pits i work on this video from my Youtube Channel (jump few mins ahead so you can see the pit) :

Yeah i was mostly worried about the knees getting damaged and i was wondering could it be done in some seating position or how. Hmm that gives me idea to maybe do a sort of "working chair". I dont expect us to be deeper in water than maybe at maximum half a meter (1½ feet i guess?)

As for professionalism, i'll be dredging for 2 - 5 weeks a season, so its bit more serious than casual weekend stuff, but not commercial still.
 

brianc053

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Does the bridge look familiar :)
It sure does! Haven't been there in a few years, and I understand there have been changes to the rules surrounding the river banks with the end of the CCPL and the change in ownership of that property on the north side of the Creek.
 
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traveller777

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I've met people from all over the country & world at Contrary :) Does the bridge look familiar :) View attachment 2004868
Good information. Could not stand my waders an like you said, got wet anyway. And my searches were in swift water with drop offs so made me nervous in those things. Wet suit or bear the cold. I agree with Brian's excellent suggestion.
 
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Jomsa

Jomsa

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Wow this got offtopic fast.
 

N-Lionberger

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Long arm dredging is not the way to go it’s hard on the back and the recovery rates are often terrible as you can’t see what you’re doing. And you get wet anyways. I saw your other post you posted about your infinity jet in your YouTube video you mentioned dryland dredging, over here a lot of people use suction nozzles with a built in blaster to suck material off the bank, my experience is they get terrible recovery. Some of us run Vortxrex dryland dredges which are small scale hydraulic gravel elevators, you could build a second infinity jet with an air inlet for a forward nozzle and run your preexisting jet as the booster.
 
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Jomsa

Jomsa

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Long arm dredging is not the way to go it’s hard on the back and the recovery rates are often terrible as you can’t see what you’re doing. And you get wet anyways. I saw your other post you posted about your infinity jet in your YouTube video you mentioned dryland dredging, over here a lot of people use suction nozzles with a built in blaster to suck material off the bank, my experience is they get terrible recovery. Some of us run Vortxrex dryland dredges which are small scale hydraulic gravel elevators, you could build a second infinity jet with an air inlet for a forward nozzle and run your preexisting jet as the booster.
My water permits wont propably allow two jets, would require too much water. I can barely use one.

Yeah i am bit worried that it will be a murder for the back, but so is our current situtation where we must shovel dirt upwards from pit 2 meters (6 feet?) deep. It is very rough on shoulders.

Also yeah, when i mentioned the "dryland"... it will be luck if we get a pit without water in it, what i mainly mean by it, that it will be standing shallow ground water where i will dredge.
 

AKSasquatch

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I only have one season of dredging up here in Alaska on some weekends with an old 3" Keene Dredge. If your back bothers you, lying down will be way more comfortable. Really doesn't matter if you can't see anything, just a more comfortable position than squatting with a dredge nozzle. One big benefit of a wetsuit with a hood, mask and snorkel is the mosquito protection, no different here in AK than in your video. I was dredging a small stream shallow enough you could practically lie on your belly until you dredged a hole.

If you need a good Wetsuit, I really like MAKOSpearguns.com Wetsuits, they will ship, not sure about import taxes though. They are very reasonably priced, I have a 5mm and a 7mm. They are smooth skin interior which is a little more prone to small tears if not put on with lube or taken off properly, but are almost like a drysuit, they let very little water in. They are have separate tops and farmer johns, so you can wear just those if you are hot or want to dredge upright. They have sewn in knee pads but I would wear a pair of knee pads if rocks are sharp, I have seen pics of guys wearing an old pair of jeans over wetsuits to protect them.
 
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Jomsa

Jomsa

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I only have one season of dredging up here in Alaska on some weekends with an old 3" Keene Dredge. If your back bothers you, lying down will be way more comfortable. Really doesn't matter if you can't see anything, just a more comfortable position than squatting with a dredge nozzle. One big benefit of a wetsuit with a hood, mask and snorkel is the mosquito protection, no different here in AK than in your video. I was dredging a small stream shallow enough you could practically lie on your belly until you dredged a hole.

If you need a good Wetsuit, I really like MAKOSpearguns.com Wetsuits, they will ship, not sure about import taxes though. They are very reasonably priced, I have a 5mm and a 7mm. They are smooth skin interior which is a little more prone to small tears if not put on with lube or taken off properly, but are almost like a drysuit, they let very little water in. They are have separate tops and farmer johns, so you can wear just those if you are hot or want to dredge upright. They have sewn in knee pads but I would wear a pair of knee pads if rocks are sharp, I have seen pics of guys wearing an old pair of jeans over wetsuits to protect them.
Aye, yeah i've been wondering about the ergonomics of this thing. And i must say i am bit worried about it. I've planned to start doing some dredging specific exercise for few months before the season starts to strenghten my back specifically. I was also thinking about getting this big o slap of this foam board material so i could lay / kneel on it to protect any waders i might have.
 

russau

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I had one of Dave Franks (VORTEX) dredge venturi jets and I used it on my 4 inch (mostly) Keene dredge and loved it for many year's ! I even bought Dave's plans for building one , just to see how he built it ! I am / was VERY PLEASED with it & it's performance ! And it isn't as heavy as it appears !
 
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Jomsa

Jomsa

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I had one of Dave Franks (VORTEX) dredge venturi jets and I used it on my 4 inch (mostly) Keene dredge and loved it for many year's ! I even bought Dave's plans for building one , just to see how he built it ! I am / was VERY PLEASED with it & it's performance ! And it isn't as heavy as it appears !
Is it Infinity Jet or what type of jet is it? I've looked at it many times but not figured out it really.
 

njcommercialdiver

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when we dredge at Contrary creek in VA, one of our club members with a bad back uses a folding lawn chair without a back and lays across it to dredge
 
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Jomsa

Jomsa

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when we dredge at Contrary creek in VA, one of our club members with a bad back uses a folding lawn chair without a back and lays across it to dredge
Oh how does this work? I am not sure do i understand.
 

njcommercialdiver

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he took the back cross fabric off a folding chair and lays on his stomach thru the back, so he is about 2ft off the ground
 

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