👕 What should you wear to go fishing? Clothing guide!

What should you wear to go fishing

Anyone who is an experienced angler knows how important fishing clothes is.

We have all seen old pictures of fishermen in wool sweaters, but today, fishing clothing evolved.

For a beginner, choosing an appropriate clothing can be challenging. Unlike many other sports, fishing takes place in various weather conditions, and anglers know that sometimes the weather that other people call “bad” is actually very good for fishing.

Depending of the time of the year, except wind and rain, you can find yourself fishing in extreme cold or heat.

As fishing usually takes some time and it is not a half-hour activity, anglers must protect themselves with appropriate fishing clothing.

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What should you wear to go fishing?

To get the answer to that question, we must ask ourselves where are we going, what is the temperature, do we expect rain or sun?

There are numerous fishing clothes manufacturers. They provide specialized clothing designed for fishing.

Sure, you may think your cycling jacket will be enough but unfortunately that is not the case. Fishing clothes is designed for a specific purpose.

Here we are going to explain why is it important to wear appropriate clothing, what is necessary for different weather conditions and list the specific items and their characteristics.

Why are fishing clothes important?

As an angler, you will be spending a lot of time in your fishing clothes, and it should help you instead of limiting your abilities.

First of all, it should be comfortable and let you move easily. Fishing is not just standing at one place. When you catch a big one and start to retrieve it, you don’t want your clothes to get in the way.

Other reason is camouflage. Fish can detect movement and see unnatural patterns outside of the water. Blending in with the surroundings is the key to success.

Except that, appropriate clothing will protect you from harsh weather conditions.

Fishing in Hot/Warm Weather

First of all, in hot weather we must protect us from the heat. We should wear hats, a pair of good (polarized) sunglasses, a facemask or something to cover our necks and protect from the sun.

Breathable clothing is necessary, especially as we sweat a lot.

Also, there are specialized shirts with UV protection too, which are fast-drying. Beach shorts and flip-flops are not the option, they do not provide necessary protection and traction. Long sleeves and pants protect us from the sun.

Footwear is as important as the rest of the clothes. Some anglers, while fishing on flat terrain use sandals. If fishing in rough terrain, deep mud or rocks, that should be avoided and although hot, you should protect your feet and use boots.

Underneath your boots, you should avoid cotton or wool socks, and wear polyester ones. They dry faster and are not heavy when wet.

The same goes if you want to use neoprene fishing socks (waders). Getting wet in the water cools us down and may be refreshing but we do not want to feel heavy and soggy.

If it is not extremely hot, you can wear a fast drying base layer and a comfortable and breathable shirt on top.

Fishing in Cold Weather

In cold weather it is important to keep warm and not to get wet a lot.

So, starting from up to bottom, we should wear warm hat. If sunny, a pair of sunglasses is welcomed. To protect our face from cold and wind we can use a buff, but a winter model, which is warmer.

Layers of clothes are necessary.

As a base layer has to keep the warmth in and let the sweat out. There are base layers available both for upper and lower body. Fleece fabric is usually used for warm base layer.

Mid layer we use for more insulation to keep the warmth. We use sweatshirts and hoodies for this purpose. Outer layer has to be warm and waterproof to protect the inner layers from getting wet. If you want, you can combine a warm jacket which is not waterproof with a thin outer shell that is waterproof.

Also, we need a good pair of fishing gloves. Gloves can also have layers, thermal insulation as a base layer glove, and water/windproof outer layer.

Footwear is extremely important in the cold. Rubber boots are good for keeping our feet dry but they are not a good insulation. High-quality wool thermal socks are necessary.

If you plan to get wet, fishing waders are a must-have item. There are all kinds of waders available, make sure you pick warmer versions. Neoprene is a material that does not breathe well, so base layers are necessary.

Fishing in Rain

Waterproof boots are essential. They can be made of rubber or materials like gore-tex. There is a variety of boots available in specialized stores. Some are better insulated and more suitable for cold conditions.

Waterproof pants are also necessary. Materials like gore-tex are also used in making them. Base layer underneath is desirable, maybe even 2 layers if cold. There are cheaper options, thin over-pants that are waterproof too. Waders are an option too, but it’s harder to move in them and are more suitable for standing in the water.

Rain Jackets are very important as your upper body is more exposed to the rain.

Cheaper solution is a PVC shell over your base/mid layer. More expensive, but better solution is specialized fishing waterproof jacket which is also breathable, sweat will evaporate but the moisture will not get in. It should have a waterproof hood also. Having easily accessible pockets is a plus.

The best option is to buy fishing rain suit. Matching pants and jacket from the same manufacturer guarantees they have the same properties and complement each other. PVC is cheap, easy to use but if you move a lot you will get wet from the inside, because of the sweat. High-tech material, except breathable, have greater durability.

If it is cold, a pair of waterproof gloves are necessary.

READ MORE: Fishing In The Rain: How Rain Affects On Fishing?

BEST Items and Details

Now, when we have an idea how to dress for specific conditions, we will focus on individual items.

Fancy T-shirts and Hoodies

T-shirts and light long sleeved shirts made especially for fishing are light-weight, fast drying, offer UV protection, and some of them can even protect you from insects.

All those qualities are desirable while fishing. If feeling hot, you can wet a part of it to cool down.

Cotton and similar materials should be avoided because they are heavy when wet and take ages to dry. Modern materials are easier to clean and retain less odor.

Better option is long sleeves as it protects the whole length of your arms from the sun. Some of them have ventilated areas in armpits or lower back to enable moisture to evaporate.

Fishing hoodies can be used to keep you a bit warmer when t-shirt is not enough, or you can use it as a mid-layer in winter. They have a hood to protect your head if necessary. They can be made from the similar materials like t-shirts but thicker or you can choose fleece option. First one dries faster but it is not as warm and thick as fleece or similar materials. Pockets with zippers are a plus.

Some hoodies are water-resistant because they are covered with polyester soft-shell. They are actually light jackets which can withstand light, occasional rain and they are windproof.

READ MORE: Best Unique and Funny Fishing Shirts and Hoodies

What to wear fishing - Fishing Guide - T-Shirt

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Pants and Shorts

Shorts are good to use in ideal conditions. They should be lightweight and fast drying.

They are also pants with zippers above knees so you can turn long pants into shorts. Those are especially useful if you are fishing all day and it gets colder in the evening.

Long pants protect us from the environmental influence like bugs and mosquitos, sun, or thick vegetation.

Shorts and pants should also have a lot of pockets.

Same as shirts, there are models certified to protect from UV rays.

Outerwear-windproof and waterproof jackets

First option is PVC. It is relatively small when packed so you can take it with you just in case. PVC does not breathe well. If you move a lot, you will sweat and the moisture will stay inside, making your inner clothing layers wet. It will keep the rain out, but there is no point of getting protected from the outside if you are getting wet inside. PVC is a good option to be used for shorter time. Also, PVC has the advantage of being lightweight, flexible and easy to clean. Also, PVC is not warm, so if used in winter, underneath you need to have a warm jacket.

High-tech, waterproof and breathable materials are also popular. Materials like gore-tex are warmer, durable, and they will allow the moisture from the inside to evaporate. Disadvantage is the price. If you are fishing in the rain/winter a lot, you should consider this option.

Both materials are completely waterproof and windproof.

When buying waterproof clothes make sure you don’t choose water-resistant option as they will not endure hours of rain.

Every manufacturer has some kind of rating system for their product, so be careful to choose accordingly. Also, high-end quality products use different stiches. Cheap suits will leak moisture trough the stiches.

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Footwear-Shoes/Sandals

We already mentioned boots as an essential part of fishing clothing.

Shoes and sandals sometimes a good choice too. Flip-flops and similar footwear should be avoided because of possible danger. Sandals can be trekking or hiking sandals, suitable for different terrain. Foot-bed of the sandal should be padded to ensure comfort. Material has to be strong and durable. Traction is needed while moving. Bottom should be rubber. Sandals have the advantage of fast-drying. Only flaw is that they can become slippery from the inside when wet and your foot could slide within the sandal.

If you prefer shoes, there are different options. They also have to have good traction. If they are waterproof but not breathable odor could be a problem. Either you take light, fast drying materials which will get wet, or invest in a quality waterproof product.

Specialized fishing shoes are wet wading shoes that resemble hiking sneakers. They provide amazing traction. They are durable, lightweight and comfortable. Wet wading shoes have enhancements in some parts to be able to withstand rough use. They can be worn by themselves or with socks inside. If wearing socks, use polyester thin socks. The only downside is higher price.

Hats - summer and winter

In winter, hat will keep your head warm. Hats made from wool/thick fleece will do the job. Over that you can put a waterproof hood which is usually a part of the jacket.

In summer hats are there to protect us from the sun. Make sure it is lightweight and fast drying but also not from a half-transparent material. If that is the case it will not protect you from UV rays. Some summer hats have a piece of fabric hanging from the back side, and that is used to cover your neck. Also, instead of having a brim on the front, you can choose a model with wide brim all around for maximum protection.

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Gloves

Gloves are important mostly for colder seasons. Gloves are a part of “heavy” equipment them most anglers would avoid if they could. But when you get used to them it will be no problem to wear them all day.

Full gloves are the best for thermal protection. Some specialized fishing gloves have slits through which you can put tips of your fingers out to be able to tie knots without removing the glove. There are fingerless options too and those will not limit your finger movement. They are good to have when the temperature is not so low. Fingerless gloves usually last longer, as full gloves get worn and torn on fingers because of casting.

They can be made of different materials, such as neoprene. Good gloves usually have enhancements on fingers to protect the glove from wearing out while casting.

Both of these options are for warmth and they are not waterproof. Waterproof gloves can be double-layered. Inner layer is to keep warm, like fleece or wool, and the outer layer is water/windproof, made of gore-tex or similar materials. Those should have the ability to tighten around your wrist to keep water outside and long enough you can push them underneath your jacket.

Sunglasses

Staring into water surface under bright sun is not good. You need a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays, reflections and occasional flying hooks.

The best option is polarized glasses. Also, the shape needs to be suitable. Usual, everyday sunglasses are not recommended. They have to fit your face, cover the eyes completely and they have to be static while you move.

When you tilt your head forward, they shouldn’t fall or move. You can use any suitable sporty sunglasses.

If you want to go into details, then you can choose according to lens color. Grey is universally good and can be used all the time, silver is for fishing in environment with varying light conditions, yellow or copper are better for dusk/dawn, green will enhance color contrast and its good for clear water…

What to wear fishing - Fishing Guide - Sunglasses

Facemask

Facemasks, sometimes called “buffs” are useful in every time of the year.

In summer use it to cover your face/neck to protect it from the sun. Winter models protect from wind and cold. They are usually thicker or have fleece parts. If it is very hot, you can make it wet and put it on to cool yourself.

They can also protect from bugs and mosquitos. Facemasks are cheap, made by numerous manufacturers and have the same properties. There are some models which have integrated UV protection and those cost a bit more.

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Socks

In winter, wool is the best option. Thick, long socks will provide thermal insulation under your boots. Merino wool is one of the most popular material components. They are breathable.

Fishing socks usually have additional padded support on the bottom and above the heel. If you feel extra cold you can use summer socks as base layer. That will also help to prevent blisters.

Summer socks should be made from polyester which dries fast. Cotton does not breathe and excessive sweat will make your socks wet, heavy and soggy.

General Fisherman Clothing Tips

When we have all the fishing clothing we need, there are some universal tips about making the most of it.

• Waterproof clothing – no matter where you go are how long you plan to stay, it is always good to have one basic, cheap light PVC-overcoat with you, just in case you need it. In spring or autumn, even if the day is nice and it seems hot in the sun, try to wear waterproof shoes because temperatures are not that high and your feet will get cold.

• Layering – having layers of clothes is useful in many ways. Inner layers are needed for insulation and outer for protection. It is better to have one too many and remove the extra than missing one. Also, during the day it is always warmer than night so you might need an extra layer later in the day. Also, it is advisable to have spare clothing, at least inner layers, so if necessary you can change it to stay warm and dry.

• Comfortable clothes and footwear – so you found an ideal clothes and boots with all the qualities you were searching for. Before buying it make sure it is comfortable. All of it. There is no point to spend a lot of money on high-end clothing if you can’t move in it, or your shoes cause blisters. Keep in mind you will be wearing that clothes for many hours at a time and it need to fit perfectly. Clothes shouldn’t be too loose because it will be in the way while you move, or too tight because it will limit the range of your moves.

• Accessories – Except clothes there are some other useful items. Fishing Vest is a piece of equipment that is versatile. As a final layer on your upper body it provides some warmth and protection. Numerous pockets are used for storage of different small items. They are very handy and useful if fishing in the water or from a small boat where you can’t store all of the items you may need. Another good thing to have is Hand warmers. They are light and simple to use, cheap, sold in most fishing and sport stores. In winter you can put them inside your gloves or boots, or you can warm up your hands if they accidentally get wet. They are air activated and start to heat when removed from plastic package. A lot of anglers think they are useful.

• Sun protection – Except hats and shirts that we already mentioned, you need a sunscreen lotion. When buying it make sure it is SPF 50 or more, because you will be standing in sun for hours. Buy a waterproof and sweat resistant lotion, because regular one will not do the job well. Some sunscreen lotions contain insect repellents, and for anglers that is the best option.

• Keeping warm – it is easy to get cold if not dressed properly. Make sure you have enough layers and that you need to keep yourself dry as much as possible, even if it is not freezing outside. Many people forget about gloves, socks and hats but those items are very important. In winter keep your feet dry. It is always good to have spare socks with you.

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Conclusion

Fishing clothes is designed differently than everyday clothes for a reason.

Every experienced angler knows the importance of it. Inadequate clothes can ruin your fishing experience.

High-end items are expensive and unavailable to many, but still you can protect yourself adequately by choosing cheaper alternatives.

There are numerous brands and manufactures, and prices vary. Your clothes should be in appropriate color, warm, and comfortable. Prolonged sun or cold exposure can have serious health consequences, so to be able to enjoy fishing as long as you want, dress up!

Base camp for fishing enthusiasts.