So, You’re Going Fishing! But What Should You Wear?

When it comes to fishing, it’s not just about having the right gear—it’s also important to dress for the occasion. The right fishing attire can make a world of difference in terms of comfort, protection, and overall performance. You may be asking, “What do I wear to go fishing?”

You should wear comfortable clothing that is suitable for both the climate and the environment you will be fishing in.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, this article will guide you through the essentials of fishing attire, ensuring that you’re well-prepared for your next fishing adventure.

In this article we will discuss:

Understanding the Fishing Environment

To choose the most suitable attire, it’s essential to take into account the fishing environment you’ll be venturing into. Whether you’re planning to fish in freshwater, saltwater, or engage in the unique practice of fly fishing, here’s what you need to know:

Weather Conditions

The first step in selecting appropriate clothing for fishing is to assess the weather forecast. This will serve as a key factor in determining what you should wear to stay comfortable throughout your fishing expedition. Different weather conditions call for different attire considerations.

Assessing the weather forecast

Before you head out, make sure to check the weather forecast for your chosen fishing location. This will help you prepare accordingly and ensure you’re equipped with the right clothing to combat any unexpected conditions that may arise during your fishing trip.

Hot weather fishing

If you’re planning to fish in scorching temperatures under the blistering sun, it’s crucial to prioritize protection from harmful UV rays. Opt for lightweight, breathable clothing that provides ample coverage to shield your skin. Consider wearing a long-sleeved fishing shirt with built-in UV protection paired with quick-drying fishing pants. Don’t forget to wear a wide-brimmed hat and polarized sunglasses to keep the sun’s glare at bay.

Cold weather fishing

In colder climates, staying warm without sacrificing mobility is key. Layering is your best friend here. Begin with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep your body dry as you sweat. Over that, wear an insulating mid-layer such as a fleece jacket or a thermal hoodie. Finally, top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer to shield yourself from the elements. Don’t forget your gloves, beanie, and thermal socks to keep your extremities cozy during those chilly fishing sessions.

Types of Fishing Locations

The fishing location you choose will have specific requirements when it comes to your attire. Let’s explore the different considerations for freshwater, saltwater, and fly fishing:

Freshwater fishing

Whether you’re casting your line in lakes, rivers, or streams, there are a few essentials to keep in mind. Comfortable and breathable clothing is a must, as you’ll likely be spending hours on your feet. Consider wearing moisture-wicking shirts and pants that allow for ease of movement. Don’t forget to bring along waders or waterproof boots to keep you dry while wading through water.

Saltwater fishing

Fishing in the vast ocean or sea requires some special considerations. The saltwater environment can be harsh on your gear and clothing, so opting for saltwater-specific apparel is advisable. Look for clothing made from quick-drying and corrosion-resistant materials. Additionally, prioritize sun protection by wearing lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, hats with neck flaps, and water-friendly shoes with non-slip soles.

Fly fishing

Fly fishing presents a unique set of clothing essentials to ensure a successful and comfortable experience. Since you’ll be spending a significant amount of time in and around the water, waders are indispensable. Combine them with durable wading boots for optimal grip and protection. It’s also crucial to wear layers that allow for easy movement, as fly fishing involves casting and maneuvering in varied conditions. Don’t forget to invest in a good-quality fly fishing vest with multiple pockets to keep your gear within reach.

What to Wear: Fishing Attire Essentials

When it comes to fishing attire, there are specific considerations for both upper body clothing and lower body clothing, as well as essential accessories and gear. Let’s break it down:

Upper Body Clothing

Fishing Shirts: Features and Benefits for Comfort and Performance

Fishing shirts are more than just stylish attire; they are designed with functionality in mind. Look for shirts made with moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool and dry on those hot summer days. Additionally, shirts with built-in UPF (Ultraviolet Protective Factor) offer excellent sun protection, safeguarding your skin from harmful UV rays. Opt for shirts with long sleeves to provide additional coverage, while still allowing freedom of movement.

Jackets and Vests: Protection Against Adverse Weather Conditions

Mother Nature can be unpredictable, so it’s crucial to have the right outerwear when you’re out on the water. Invest in a high-quality fishing jacket or vest that is both waterproof and windproof to shield you from rain, wind, and even the occasional splash. Look for jackets or vests with multiple pockets for convenient storage of essentials like tackle boxes, line cutters, or small tools.

Hats and Headgear: Shielding from the Sun and Providing Visibility

Hats and headgear play a vital role in protecting your face, head, and eyes from the sun’s harsh rays. Opt for wide-brimmed hats made from breathable, lightweight materials that provide ample shade and ventilation. Ensure that your headgear has a built-in sweatband to keep perspiration from interfering with your fishing experience. Additionally, consider wearing a hat with a bright or reflective color to make yourself more visible to fellow anglers and boaters.

Lower Body Clothing

Shorts vs. Pants: Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Bottom Wear

Choosing between shorts and pants for your fishing trip depends on several factors such as weather conditions, location, and personal preference. While shorts offer breathability and freedom of movement, pants provide better protection against sunburn, insect bites, and abrasions. Consider convertible pants that can be easily zipped off into shorts for added versatility during transitional weather.

Waders: Understanding the Different Types and Their Uses

For anglers who prefer wading into the water, waders are a must-have item. There are two main types of waders: chest waders and hip waders. Chest waders provide full coverage, allowing you to wade into deeper waters, while hip waders are best suited for shallower waters. Look for waders made from durable, waterproof materials that offer excellent insulation to keep you dry and comfortable while you cast your line.

Footwear: The Importance of Appropriate Shoes or Boots for Fishing

Choosing appropriate footwear is essential for maintaining stability, grip, and comfort while fishing. Opt for lightweight, waterproof shoes or boots with non-slip soles to prevent accidents on wet surfaces. Look for footwear that provides adequate ankle support to prevent injuries, especially when navigating uneven terrains or slippery rocks. Consider shoes or boots with drainage systems to keep your feet dry in case of accidental immersion.

Accessories and Additional Gear

Gloves: Protecting Your Hands & Maintaining Dexterity

Wearing fishing gloves not only protects your hands from sunburn, cuts, and blisters but also provides insulation in colder conditions. Look for gloves made from materials that offer both flexibility and grip, ensuring that you can handle your fishing gear with precision. Consider gloves with added palm padding for extra comfort during prolonged casting or reeling.

Sunglasses: Shielding Your Eyes from Harmful UV Rays & Enhancing Visibility

Investing in a good pair of polarized sunglasses is crucial for any angler. Polarized lenses not only provide clarity by reducing glare but also protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Look for sunglasses with a wrap-around design to provide maximum coverage and prevent unwanted sunlight from entering your peripheral vision. Opt for lenses with different color tints to enhance visibility in varying light conditions.

Fishing Hats and Buffs: Additional Accessories for Added Protection

In addition to a wide-brimmed hat, consider wearing a fishing buff or neck gaiter for additional protection against sunburn and insects. These versatile accessories can be worn in multiple ways, such as a face mask, headband, or even a cooling bandana. Look for buffs made with moisture-wicking materials to keep you dry and comfortable throughout your fishing trip.

Fly Fishing: Clothing Essentials for This Unique Fishing Method

Fly fishing requires its own set of clothing essentials due to the specific conditions encountered. Breathable and quick-drying clothing is crucial, as fly fishing often involves getting partially submerged in the water. Look for garments made from lightweight materials that offer freedom of movement and allow sweat to evaporate quickly. Additionally, consider wearing specialized fly fishing gloves that provide additional dexterity and grip for intricate fly manipulation.

Fishing Apparel Selection Tips

When it comes to enjoying a successful fishing trip, wearing the right apparel plays a crucial role in ensuring your comfort, protection, and overall experience. From the material and fabric considerations to the size, fit, and comfort, let’s dive into some key aspects to keep in mind when selecting your fishing attire.

Material and Fabric Considerations

Breathability: Choosing fabrics that allow for better airflow.

Opt for clothing made from breathable fabrics such as nylon or polyester. These materials allow air to circulate and prevent excessive sweating, keeping you fresh and cool throughout your fishing adventure.

Look for garments with mesh panels or ventilation systems that further enhance breathability and promote moisture evaporation.

Quick-drying materials: Benefits of moisture-wicking clothing.

Fishing often involves exposure to water, so it’s essential to wear clothing made from quick-drying materials like synthetic blends or microfiber.

Moisture-wicking clothing pulls sweat away from your skin, evaporating it quickly and leaving you comfortable and dry, even in humid conditions.

UV protection: Optimal fabrics for shielding against the sun’s harmful rays.

Protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is crucial during fishing trips.

Look for clothing labeled with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating, which indicates the garment’s ability to shield you from the sun. Fabrics like polyester and nylon with UPF ratings provide excellent UV protection.

Size, Fit, and Comfort

Importance of appropriate sizing for mobility and comfort.

Choosing the right size of fishing apparel is paramount to ensure unrestricted movement and comfort throughout the day. Opt for clothing that allows for a full range of motion and doesn’t restrict your casting or reeling movements. Consider clothing with stretchable fabrics or articulated designs for enhanced flexibility.

Layering techniques: Ensuring adaptability to changing weather conditions.

Mother nature can be unpredictable, especially during fishing trips. Therefore, layering your clothing enables you to adjust to varying weather conditions efficiently. Begin with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep your skin dry, then add insulating mid-layers for warmth. Finally, top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer shell to protect yourself from rain and wind.

Waterproof and windproof clothing: Benefits and factors to consider.

Investing in waterproof and windproof clothing is essential, particularly when fishing in rainy or gusty conditions. Look for garments made with materials like Gore-Tex, which offer excellent water resistance while still allowing breathability. Additionally, consider clothing with sealed seams for added protection against the elements.

Fishing Gear Storage and Organization

Pockets and compartments: Exploring practical clothing designs.

Investing in fishing apparel with ample pockets and compartments can significantly enhance your fishing experience. Look for garments with strategically placed pockets to store small items such as hooks, lures, or a fishing multitool. Some clothing designs even feature specialized pockets for sunglasses or fishing licenses.

Vests and tackle bags: Carrying essentials for easy accessibility.

Wearing a fishing vest or carrying a tackle bag can provide convenient storage for your essential fishing gear. Vests with multiple pockets and D-rings allow you to distribute the weight evenly, ensuring easy access to items like extra fishing line, bait, or a pocket-sized fishing guide. Similarly, tackle bags offer larger storage compartments for easy organization and quick retrieval.

Waterproof bags and cases: Protecting personal items and electronic devices.

Fishing adventures often involve exposure to water, making it crucial to protect your personal belongings and electronic devices. Consider investing in waterproof bags or cases to shield items like your phone, camera, and wallet from getting wet. These protective gear solutions ensure your valuables remain dry and functional throughout your fishing expedition.

Safety Considerations

When it comes to going fishing, safety should always be a top priority. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, there are a few key safety considerations to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and enjoyable fishing experience.

Life Jackets and Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs)

Importance of wearing PFDs during certain fishing activities.

While it may seem unnecessary, wearing a life jacket or personal floatation device (PFD) can be a life-saving decision when participating in specific fishing activities, such as kayak fishing or deep-sea fishing. Accidents can happen unexpectedly, and having a PFD on will provide an extra layer of safety and peace of mind.

Types of PFDs suitable for various fishing scenarios.

There are different types of PFDs available, each designed for specific fishing scenarios. Automatic inflatable PFDs, for example, are compact and comfortable to wear, inflating upon contact with water. They are ideal for kayak fishing or any activity where mobility is crucial. On the other hand, traditional foam PFDs provide a more constant buoyancy and can be a good choice for activities involving prolonged periods in the water, like fly fishing in rivers.

Insect Repellents and Protective Measures

Preventing insect bites: Choosing the right repellents.

When spending time near bodies of water, one must be prepared for dealing with pesky insects. Choosing the right insect repellent can make a significant difference in keeping these bugs at bay. Look for repellents containing ingredients like DEET or picaridin, as they are effective against a variety of biting insects. Remember to apply the repellent to exposed skin and clothing, following the manufacturer’s instructions for safe usage.

Protective clothing against ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects.

In addition to using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing can provide an excellent line of defense against ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects. Opt for long-sleeved shirts, lightweight pants, and socks when venturing into areas prone to insect activity. Additionally, consider wearing clothing treated with insect repellent or seeking out garments made with bug-resistant materials for added protection.

Fishing Clothing Maintenance and Care

Washing and drying techniques: Maintaining cleanliness and longevity.

Proper maintenance and care of your fishing clothing are essential to ensure their longevity and functionality. When it comes to washing, always check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent to preserve the fabric’s integrity. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as they can degrade the clothing’s performance and durability. After washing, air drying is highly recommended to prevent shrinkage or damage caused by excessive heat.

Proper storage: Avoiding mold and mildew formation.

Storing your fishing clothing correctly is crucial to prevent mold and mildew growth, ensuring they stay fresh for your next fishing adventure. It’s best to hang your clothing in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or sources of heat. If storing for an extended period, consider using garment bags or airtight containers to protect them from dust, insects, and moisture. Before storing, make sure clothing is completely dry to prevent any unpleasant odors or potential damage.


The Importance of Comfort

When it comes to fishing, comfort is key. Spending long hours on the water requires that allows unrestricted movement and keeps you at ease. Consider these factors for optimal comfort:

Material Matters

Choosing the right fabric for your fishing attire can make all the difference. Opt for lightweight and breathable materials such as moisture-wicking polyester or nylon. These fabrics help regulate body temperature, keeping you cool and dry on those hot summer days.

Proper Fit

A well-fitting fishing outfit can significantly improve your comfort levels. Avoid anything too tight or restrictive, as it limits mobility and can cause discomfort. Look for clothing with adjustable features like elastic waistbands or drawstrings, ensuring a personalized fit that adapts to your body’s needs.

Layering for Versatility

Weather conditions can change unexpectedly while fishing. To stay comfortable throughout the day, layering is key. Begin with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your skin, add an insulating middle layer for warmth, and top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer shell. Layering allows you to adjust your clothing to match shifting weather patterns, so you can focus on reeling in that big catch without distractions.

Performance Enhancing Gear

To optimize your fishing experience, incorporating performance-enhancing gear into your attire is essential. From specialized accessories to technologically advanced fabrics, here’s what you should consider:

Fishing Hats

Protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays is vital during a fishing trip. A wide-brimmed hat with UV protection safeguards your face, neck, and ears from excessive sun exposure. Look for hats made of quick-drying materials like nylon, featuring mesh panels for enhanced breathability.

Angler Gloves

Having the right gloves can significantly improve your grip and protect your hands from cuts, blisters, and the elements. Look for fishing gloves with reinforced palms, made of durable materials like synthetic leather. These gloves provide excellent dexterity while ensuring a firm grip on your fishing rod.

Technical Fishing Shirts

Investing in technical fishing shirts can greatly enhance your performance on the water. Look for shirts with integrated sun protection, moisture-wicking properties, and ventilation features like mesh panels or back vents. These shirts are designed to keep you cool, dry, and protected from both the sun and potential insect pests.

Waterproof Footwear

Your choice of footwear can make or break your fishing experience. Opt for waterproof shoes or boots with non-slip soles for optimal traction on slippery surfaces. Look for supportive designs that offer ankle stability and quick-drying capabilities to keep your feet dry, even if you accidentally step into the water.

Adapting to Weather Conditions & Locations

Fishing conditions can vary depending on the weather and the location you choose. Being prepared for different scenarios ensures a successful and enjoyable fishing trip. Here’s what you need to know:

Sunny and Hot Weather

When faced with scorching temperatures, protect yourself from the sun and stay cool. Wear lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants made of breathable materials. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to exposed areas, wear a hat and sunglasses, and stay hydrated throughout the day.

Rainy and Wet Weather

Fishing in the rain requires waterproof clothing that keeps you dry and comfortable. Opt for a waterproof jacket and pants made of quality materials such as Gore-Tex or similar fabrics. Additionally, consider packing a packable rain poncho in case of unexpected downpours. Remember to protect your gear as well by using waterproof bags or containers.

Cold and Windy Weather

Fishing in chilly and windy conditions necessitates strategic layering and wind-resistant materials. Start with a thermal base layer to retain heat, add insulating mid-layers, and finish with a windproof outer shell to keep gusts at bay. Don’t forget to wear a hat, gloves, and insulated waterproof footwear to protect yourself from the cold.

Saltwater Fishing

If you’re heading for saltwater fishing, keep in mind the corrosive nature of saltwater. Opt for attire made from materials designed to withstand the harsh saltwater environment, such as corrosion-resistant zippers and rustproof snaps. Rinse your gear thoroughly with freshwater after each saltwater fishing trip to prolong its lifespan.


Choosing the right fishing attire is not only about comfort but also about ensuring your safety and performance on the water. By investing in appropriate clothing items and accessories, you can protect yourself from the elements, enhance your fishing experience, and ultimately improve your chances of a successful day on the water. So, next time you’re preparing for a fishing adventure, remember to dress for success!

Tight lines, warm breezes, good friends, plenty of bait; it doesn’t get any better!


Q: Can I wear regular clothing when fishing?

A: When it comes fishing attire, it’s essential consider comfort and functionality. While clothing can be worn, it’s advisable to opt specialized fishing gear. Regular clothing not provide the same level protection and performance that fishing-specific does. Fishing gear is to withstand the demands of the, offering features that can enhance your fishing. Here are a few reasons why investing in fishing attire a great idea:

Q: Enhanced Mobility

A: Fishing involves various physical movements such casting, reeling, navigating through different terrains.ized fishing clothing typically offers improved range of and flexibility, allowing you move freely without any restrictions.

Q: Protection from the Sun

A: Depending on the weather fishing location, you might face to the sun, rain wind, or even insects. Fishing attire often incorporates UV protection, moisture-wicking fabrics, and insect repellent properties, shielding you from these elements.

Q: Practical Features

A: Fishing gear usually includes features like multiple pockets for storing small equipment, built-in sunglasses holders and even attachment points for accessories like fishing tools. These practical additions make your angling experience more efficient and convenient.

While regular clothing may suffice for casual fishing trips, investing in fishing-specific attire can greatly enhance your comfort and performance on the water.

Q: What type of fishing attire is suitable for hot weather?

A: Fishing during hot weather requires careful consideration of your attire. You’ll want to prioritize clothing that keeps you cool protects you from the sun’s harmful rays, and offers breathability. Here are some excellent options for hot weather fishing attire

Lightweight and Moisture-wicking Shirts

Look for shirts made from moisture-wicking fabrics like polyester or nylon. These materials draw sweat away from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable. Additionally, opt for shirts with long sleeves and a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating to shield your skin from the sun’s rays.

Breathable Pants or Shorts

Choose lightweight pants or shorts made from breathable and quick-drying materials. Avoid heavy fabrics that can make you feel hot and sweaty. Look for breathable options that provide flexibility and unrestricted movement.

Wide-brimmed Hats

Protecting your face and neck from the sun is crucial in hot weather. A wide-brimmed hat with UPF protection will shield you harmful UV rays while keeping your head cool and preventing excessive sweating.

Sun Gloves

Consider investing in sun gloves to protect your hands from both harmful rays and potential burns from handling fishing gear. These gloves are lightweight and designed to provide excellent grip and dexterity, allowing you to handle rods and lines with ease.

Remember to apply sunscreen on exposed skin, wear polarized sunglasses to reduce glare, and stay hydrated throughout your fishing trip in hot weather conditions.

Q: Should I wear a life jacket while fishing without a boat?

A: Safety should always be a top priority when enjoying any water-based activity, including fishing. Wearing a life jacket, also known as a personal flotation device (PFD), is highly recommended, especially if you’re not fishing from a boat. Here’s why wearing a life jacket is a crucial safety measure:

Accidents Happen

Even the most experienced anglers can encounter unexpected situations on the water. Whether it’s a slip and fall, wading or terrain, accidents can happen. Wearing a life jacket significantly increases your chances of staying afloat and surviving in case of any mishap.

Legal Requirements

Different regions and jurisdictions may have specific regulations regarding the use of life jackets around water. Familiarize yourself with the local laws and adhere to them to avoid potential fines or penalties.

Setting a Good Example

If you’re fishing with others, especially children or novice anglers, wearing a life jacket sets a good example of responsible behavior. It promotes safety consciousness and encourages others to adopt similar practices.

Ensure the life jacket you choose is approved by the appropriate authorities and fits correctly. A properly fitted life jacket should not be too loose or restrictive. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to water safety.

Q: How often should I wash my fishing clothes?

A: Proper maintenance of your fishing attire is essential to prolong its lifespan and ensure optimal performance. While the frequency of washing may depend on individual usage and environmental factors, here are some general guidelines to follow for washing your fishing clothes:

After Each Fishing Trip

It’s advisable to wash your fishing attire after every fishing trip, especially if you’ve been exposed to dirt, fish slime, saltwater, or any other contaminants. Promptly removing these substances helps maintain the integrity of the fabric and prevents odors from setting in.

Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions

Always refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Different materials and brands may have specific recommendations for washing and drying. Following these guidelines will help preserve the quality and functionality of your fishing clothes.

Avoid Harsh Detergents and Treatments

When washing your fishing attire, use mild detergents specifically designed for delicate fabrics. Avoid bleach and fabric softeners, as they can deteriorate the fabric’s performance and negatively impact its ability to repel water or resist UV rays.

Pay Attention to Odors

If your fishing clothes develop persistent odors even after washing, consider adding odor-eliminating laundry additives or techniques such as baking soda or vinegar. Always ensure your clothes are fully dry before storing them to prevent mildew or mold growth.

By following these guidelines, you’ll keep your fishing attire clean, fresh-smelling, and in the best possible condition for your next angling adventure.

Q: Can I wear sneakers while fishing?

A: While sneakers can be worn while fishing, they may not provide the best combination of comfort, support, and functionality. Fishing-specific footwear offers a range of advantages tailored to the needs of anglers. Consider these factors when deciding what to wear on your feet:

Traction and Grip

Fishing often involves navigating various surfaces, including slippery boat decks, rocks, or riverbanks. Fishing footwear, such as deck shoes or wading boots, provide specialized outsoles for increased traction and grip, reducing the risk of slips or falls.

Drainage and Quick Drying

Fishing-specific shoes often incorporate drainage systems or materials that allow water to escape easily. This feature is particularly useful if you’re wading or frequently exposed to water, preventing shoes from becoming waterlogged and heavy. It also aids in quick drying, minimizing discomfort and potential foot issues.

Support and Protection

Fishing footwear is designed to offer adequate arch support, cushioning, and protection from potential hazards like sharp objects or impacts. This can be especially beneficial during long fishing trips, preventing fatigue or foot-related injuries.

However, if you decide to wear sneakers instead, ensure they have a good tread pattern for traction and consider using waterproofing sprays to enhance their water resistance. Remember, your footwear choice should prioritize safety, functionality, and the specific demands of your fishing environment.