July 1, 2022

8 Gear Tips: Cold Weather Fishing Clothing

Fishing in the winter can be extremely rewarding. However, finding the best winter fishing clothing to keep you warm and dry can be difficult. How do you know what to wear fishing in cold weather?

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8 Gear Tips - Base Layer - Samurai

One of the keys to a comfortable day on the water during bitter cold conditions is proper layering. There are multiple layers needed for winter fishing, including a base layer, mid layer and outer shell. Equally important to your cold weather fishing gear is a good pair of fishing gloves, headwear for freezing temperatures, cold weather footwear and a good set of cold weather rain gear in case of wet cold conditions.

Proper planning for a day of cold weather fishing can make all the difference in your level of comfort, as well as your ability to concentrate and perform to the best of your abilities. Let's take a look at the type of winter fishing gear you need to tackle a day of winter fishing.

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Winter Weather Layering

Layering is dressing based on the weather and activity level that you will experience during your day on the water. There are numerous options to choose from when layering for winter fishing, all offering different benefits.

1.  Base Layer

Your base layer is the first line of defense against cold conditions and serves dual purposes. Insulating your body's natural heat and preventing it from escaping, as well wicking moisture away from your skin to the outside of your garment to evaporate, are essential elements that a quality base layer offer. A prime example of a base layer is AFTCO's Samurai Sun Hoodie.


Samurai Sun Hoodie

Our best-selling UPF 50 performance shirts should be a staple in every angler's clothing arsenal. Built with advanced quick dry properties, stain resistance and an antimicrobial treatment to keep you feeling fresh during those long, warm days on the water.

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Mid Layer Reaper Fleece

2. Mid Layers

A good mid layer is designed to preserve the natural warmth of your body, holding it in while keeping the brisk cold out. A mid layer can take on various forms during a winter time fishing trip. One great option is a hooded technical fleece like the Reaper sweatshirt.


Reaper Technical Sweatshirt

Designed with a toasty microfleece fabric and integrated face mask, Reaper is ideal for those chilly mornings on the water. Whether worn standalone or as a crucial layering piece, it's the go-to when warmth is paramount.

3. Waterproof Rain Gear

Choosing your outer layer is a crucial element of creating your outer line of defense against cold weather. Protecting the underneath layers from precipitation and wind is essential in keeping you warm, dry and comfortable during a day of winter fishing. The Hydronaut waterproof system was designed specifically to tackle cold conditions and keep you on the water no matter what card you're dealt by mother nature.

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Hydronaut Front

Unlike many other waterproof fishing bibs that cause shoulder and neck fatigue based on their design, the Hydronaut bibs are designed with an adjustable shoulder strap to help reduce dig while eliminating uncomfortable buckles.

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Women's Hydronaut
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Boat Lifestyle Shot

4. Winter Weather Fishing Gloves

All fishing gloves are not created equal. Finding the best cold weather fishing gloves can be challenging, but are a must to keep your extremities from getting cold. Utilizing a two pronged approach to protect your hands during cold weather fishing is something we highly recommend.


AFTCO Helm Gloves

As a base layer for hand protection, the Helm Insulated Fishing Gloves offer a 4-way stretch outer shell with microfleece insulation and reinforced silicone textured palm.


AFTCO Element Gloves

The element gloves live up to their name being the perfect pair of gloves to weather the elements. A good standalone pair of gloves that you can wear running the boat as well as fishing. More warm than the Helm Gloves, but less than Hydronaut Gloves. However, there is more mobility than the Hydronaut Gloves.


AFTCO Hydronaut Gloves

Combine the Helm Insulated Gloves with a pair of waterproof fishing gloves and you have a functional cold weather glove system that will keep your hands warm even on the coldest winter days. The Hydronaut gloves are constructed with a 220D 4-way stretch shell and feature 3M™ Thinuslate™ insulation, water-resistant DWR, adjustable Velcro wrist straps, touchscreen compatible index fingers with integrated screen wipes and reflective accents for low light conditions.

5. Footwear

Anglers can easily lose a large amount of heat through their feet, so choosing the proper boot for winter fishing is crucial. The new AFTCO Ankle Deck Boot is the choice when comfort and durability is needed. A heightened level of comfort is provided by a neoprene inner liner that is eco-friendly, quick drying, and fully flexible. Paired with a custom compression-molded anti-microbial insole that offers the proper amount of cushion and rebound. Pairing a good set of boots with a quality sock like the Smartwool Men's PhD can make all the difference between leaving you with cold feet or keeping your extremities nice and toasty.


Ankle Deck Boots

Meet AFTCOs new deck boot that was designed from the ground up to fulfill the high demands of our pro team, guides, and customers. A heightened level of comfort is provided by a neoprene inner liner that is eco-friendly, hypo-allergenic, quick drying, and fully flexible. Paired with a custom compression-molded anti-microbial insole that offers the proper amount of cushion, rebound, and support season over season.

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Boat Takeoff

6. Winter Fishing Headwear

Keeping your head and neck area warm and protected from the cold weather is a must during a winter fishing trip. While there are numerous styles of cold weather hats available, something that covers your ears along with your head like the Summit Beanie is ideal.

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AFTCO Summit Studio

7. Hand & Feet Warmers

Another helpful item that anglers should carry with them on a cold weather fishing trip are hand warmers. It's always a good idea to grab some disposal HotHands® to provide extra warmth in key areas. For a longer lasting and more sustainable option, ThermaCELL offers rechargeable options.

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Hot Hands

8. Other Cold Weather Gear Tips

Don't forget to cover your face during a day of winter fishing. A quality balaclava not only will protect your skin from the bitter cold, but can also serve as a layer of protection against harmful UV rays that are present even during the coldest of winter days.

Dressing properly for a day of cold weather fishing without sacrificing comfort and mobility will lead to an enjoyable day on the water. Staying warm is essential to maintaining your level of concentration when fishing on a cold winter day. With the advancements in cold weather gear that are available in today's marketplace there is no reason to spend your time shivering rather than fishing the next time you hit the water.

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