How to Dress for Ice Fishing

Clothes for fishing in winter

Your comfort, health, and success in fishing depend directly on the equipment: warm and comfortable clothes in winter are essential. To keep the body warm is the primary purpose of clothes and boots. 

What did anglers use to wear in the past? The list of clothes was endless: three pairs of trousers, two jumpers, a sheepskin coat and a raincoat against the wind. And at the same time, they still needed to move, sort out your tackles and land fish. Now, thanks to modern technologies, you can stay warm for a long time. Let's look at winter fishing clothes in more detail. 

First of all, you need to buy high-quality thermal underwear. Thermal underwear retains heat, removes vapor, and absorbs moisture.

When choosing thermal underwear, follow these rules:

  • it should fit tightly, that is why itis essential to find the right size;
  • the fabric should absorb moisture.

When choosing thermal underwear for ice fishing, we recommend paying attention to the models made of merino wool. It allows you to feel comfortable in cold weather conditions for a long time (up to 5-4ºF). Less expensive models made of cotton or synthetics are not able to provide a lasting thermal insulating effect. Synthetics retain heat at temperatures up to 14ºF.

We suggest you wearing knitwear as a middle layer since a jumper or a sweatshirt can provide reliable insulation. As for the outwear, such clothes provide irreplaceable protection against moisture and wind. The comfort and freedom of movement will depend on the choice of outer winter clothes. The task of the third layer is to protect from moisture outside and not to entrap its evaporation from the inside. Winter clothes made of fabric membranes cope with this difficult task very well. Look for the jacket with a high collar and trousers with a wide belt. Doing this, you will enhance warming. The outerwear material should have moisture and wind-stop-properties; otherwise, you feel cold quickly.

And what about winter suit? Without any doubt, winter suits, which include a jacket and high trousers with straps, are still considered to be the most suitable for ice fishing. If a winter suit limits your movements, fishing won't bring you any pleasure.

Pay attention to several details when buying a suit for ice fishing as angler's performance and health depend on it.

  • the winter suit must necessarily be convenient and comfortable with no movement restrictions;
  • the length of a jacket and pants shouldn't be too long or  too short;
  • many experts suggest buying jackets with the back longer than the front;
  • it would be good if some mittens with an elastic band are supplied to the winter suit;
  • pants and a jacket should be equipped with additional pockets to place necessary little things;
  • jacket pockets should be located on the bottom sides, and be large enough to warm hands;
  • the jacket should have a collar and a hood to protect the neck and head from strong wind gusts.

The requirements for boots for ice fishing are the same as those for clothes — thermal insulation and moisture resistance. The optimal footwear to use at sub-zero temperatures has polyurethane or rubber sole and the central part of the fabric membrane, which consists of several layers. The primary material is Teflon. It passes the steam generated during walking, but due to microscopic pores, it does not allow moisture to get inside the boots. Socks and heel should be trimmed with compacted rubber; the sole should have a good grip with ice coverings.

Inside the boots, there should be a three-layer insole (felt, fabric coated with foil, insulation). The thicker the boots, the warmer they will be in winter. When choosing, consider the temperature regime, for example, if a temperature of 14ºF characterizes your area, it makes no sense to buy boots for a -40ºF frost; your legs will sweat regularly. 

Perhaps ice fishing can be called an extreme kind of sport (the process lasts a long time while the temperatures are extremely low). Therefore, you need to take care of the first vulnerability in case you feel cold — your legs. What boots are suitable for sub-zero temperatures?

Ice fishing is not common as summer or spring fishing; therefore, a lot of fishers have many rubber boots which some people risk using for ice fishing. The fact is that in rubber boots it is hot in summer and cold in winter. If in summer such discomfort can be bearable, then in winter it threatens you with cold. Avoid using rubber boots for ice fishing, even in combination with three pairs of woolen socks. PVC is another bad material for ice fishing.  Condensed vapor forms in the PVC boots; as a result, your legs feel even colder.

Feel free to take these pieces of advice into consideration. Dressing properly for a day of cold weather fishing without sacrificing comfort and mobility will lead to an enjoyable day on the water!

ClothesIce fishingThermal underwear