How to Layer for Fishing with Maximum Comfort & Style

Long weeks require a time to relax and reflect on what’s happened. It’s a time where your mind is only for you and no one else. When you go fishing the only sounds you hear is the gentle stream flowing across the landscape, birds chirping in the background looking for food and fish rapidly swimming from the cool water to the sun powered areas giving them energy. You don’t have to listen to your boss or figure out where to park for the dinner party you were forced into.

While fishing is one of the top getaways for many Americans, it’s important to wear the proper outfit before heading out the door. Pulling over a t-shirt and waders is acceptable, but it can leave you with musty feet, dry skin or even the weird feeling of being both sweaty and cold. Layering can change fishing from an alright pastime you do for an hour, to an exhilarating moment going on for hours.

The Various Layers

Your casual Saturday night style might be fantastic, although, taking it fishing can leave you a damp and cold mess. However, If you have never layered before it’s important to note there are three levels you need: the Base Layer, Insulating Layer and Outer Layer. Each layer has a certain function to keep you comfortable during your period of relaxation.

Nonetheless, it’s important you don’t wear cotton while you layer your clothing. Cotton might be a common fabric we’ve grown accustomed to, but cotton loves water—it’s hydrophilic. Were you to wear cotton on a day-long journey of fishing, you would end up going to your car after an hour to warm up and dry your clothes from the sweat you protruded.

Base Layer

The first layer of clothing will be your basic set-up: pants, shoes, socks and shirt. Depending on the weather, and if you wear waders, you will want to wear either two packs of socks or one. Your feet might be the type to sweat and smell often, this is why it’s important to wear at least two forms of socks with you. One pair of socks will get sweaty and make the area musty. This will increase your desire to leave sooner.

What you want as a base layer is a type of fabric able to wick off the sweat. The most common choices of fabrics are polyester and merino wool, but either one will get the job done. The shirt will want to fit snugly, so it can wick off the sweat you’re perspiring. There’s also the decision of choosing between a lightweight, middleweight or heavyweight shirt, which can be tricky. But, if you’re the type to be banned from controlling the house air conditioning because you keep making it 45 degrees, get a heavyweight shirt. The heavier the shirt, the warmer it’ll be.

Your underwear is a perfect example of the type of material you should use. Most forms of underwear naturally wick off sweat, to allow the perfect climate for you. For the ultimate form of protection, wear clothes with Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) to keep your natural skin color. As a reminder for many, breathable clothing means you can still sweat while wearing it. You will still sweat, but the shirt allows for air to pass through.

Insulating Layer

For some, a base layer is all they need, but almost all would be wrong. It’s important to wear a second layer—the insulating layer—to keep the heat you radiate with you. Think of how you put on a jacket when the wind has a gale force of 10 miles-per-hour; it’s similar. Many fishers will wear a fleece jacket or insulated jackets, which makes the decision to pick the item easier.

It’s important to note, this layer isn’t meant to keep you dry, it’s here to keep you warm. Nonetheless, you don’t want to wear a jacket where you sweat the whole time, making you sticky.

Outer Layer

Unlike the basic layer and the insulating layer, this one is meant to keep you as dry as possible. While this one isn’t as needed compared to the other two layers, it is still important to remember. The outer layer usually requires something waterproof and wind-resistant. This will not help insulate the heat you are radiating, but as well as keep you dry from nature’s elements.

One of the most notorious outer layer jackets is the bright yellow raincoat. Depending on how much activity you are doing you’ll be able to choose from a variety of fabrics. Some are intricately and deeply woven nylon or polyester fabrics, able to keep out rain and wind. However, you don’t want to pick a jacket with such tight insulation you can’t do any extracurricular activities outside of fishing and bird watching.

The Importance of Layering

Layering your clothes is vital when you go fishing. During each season, the peak times to fish are usually during the colder parts of the day. For Fall, the best times to fish are 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm. During Summer though, the best times are 4:30 am to 9:30 am and 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Typically, during these times, the temperature above the water is frigid, requiring you to stay warm or get sick.

There are many options to choose from when it comes to finding the perfect layers. Clothing companies, like Hook and Fly Apparel, are becoming more prominent since people have started to take more of an interest in an active lifestyle. While it’s healthy to get outside and move, it’s important to remember, you can’t beat nature.