If you are a seasoned fisherman, you know there are an abundance of fishing clothing brands on the market, selling from the very basics to highly specialised gear. If you are new to the sport, it can feel like a jungle. But do you need it all?  

Let’s just start by saying that it is with fishing clothing as with a lot of outdoor gear – the sky is the limit. You definitely don’t need to buy the most expensive or technical clothes to enjoy fishing but staying warm and dry while waiting for the big catch is key. Your clothing is also dependent on the type of fishing you are planning to do. For example, fly-fishing in rivers requires waders, which are typically made of waterproof neoprene. For big-game fishing offshore, waterproof fishing trousers or bib and brace trousers made of PVC are usually the best choice, since they will protect you both from foul weather and sprays from waves.

Layering your fishing clothing

While you should always be prepared for inclement weather when fishing, more casual fishing clothing will usually suffice if you are simply fishing from a dock or from a boat on a freshwater lake. Think comfortable, breathable, and flexible. Using the layering principle will help you prepare against sudden changes in the weather and protect you against cold, wind and rain.

Baselayers for fishing

The baselayer wicks away moisture from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable while angling. Baselayers made of a lightweight, synthetic fibre like polyester are perfect for cool days on the water, whereas the coldest fishing days may call for a microfleece or merino wool baselayer for extra warmth. Wool socks will keep your feet warm and dry as well.

Mid layers for fishing

The main purpose of the mid layer is to insulate, by trapping pockets of air near your body. A fleece hoodie or jacket make for an excellent mid layer on cool days on the water but if you are planning on ice fishing, you may want to opt for a lightweight jacket with synthetic filling, for example Primaloft®. The advantage of synthetic material is that, unlike down, it retains its warming properties when wet. For your legs, a pair of joggers will work well as an insulating mid layer.

Outer layers for fishing

The outer layer is possibly the most important part of your fishing outfit, since it protects against the weather. In the summer, a thin, breathable shell jacket will probably suffice in most situations to keep out wind or a sudden rain shower. As the temperature drops, you may need an insulated jacket for extra warmth. A good fishing jacket is made of durable materials and has a waterproof, windproof and breathable membrane, like Gore-Tex or Airtech®. Combine with waterproof shell trousers or water repellent outdoor trousers.

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