Fishing is typically done in the sunshine on calm waters, but sometimes the weather changes while you’re on the water or it is raining and you just don’t want to cancel your plans. So it is important to accommodate for that and have the proper rain gear when you are going to fish. So whether you want to be prepared for anything, or just refuse to cancel on your plans depending on the weather, proper rain gear is always a must have for any fisherman.
What To Look For In Fishing Rain Gear
There are several things you should look for and strive to have in your fishing rain gear. This includes:
Is It Completely Waterproof?
Perhaps the most obvious and necessary factor when looking for the best rain gear for fishing, the item must be waterproof. Waterproof materials allow the rain to slide off the item rather than absorbing into it and soaking your clothing. Without this you will not only be cold and miserable, but you can end up exposing yourself to hypothermia.
It is important to make sure the waterproof material will be up to the task as well. Not all waterproof materials are created equal and it is important to understand the difference between waterproof materials that can handle heavy rain droplets and waterproof materials that cannot handle such high impact.
For example, the standard, everyday waterproof materials used for casual rain jackets and umbrellas is a vinyl material known as polyvinyl chloride resin, or PVC. But this material is not going to tolerate a down pour and still keep you dry. So materials with permeable membranes are ideal because they allow air to circulate through it, but not water droplets or moisture. This means you stay dry in even the strongest rain fall and moisture won’t stick to the material and weigh you down.
Gore-Tex is also a great, high tech waterproof material that is very commonly used in fishing gear. Everything from jackets, to full suits and even boots are made from this material. This is because Gore-Tex is both waterproof and breathable, making them ideal for all-weather jackets and gear. The breathability is due to pores in the material so it is important for you to maintain the material by regularly cleaning it so you get the full effects of the product.
Does It Have Enough Build In Storage Space?
Rain can make things slippery and hard to hold onto while you are on the water. To prevent dropping and even losing your equipment it is important to find clothing that has a lot of storage and pockets. This makes it easy to access your items without worrying about losing them and guaranteeing they stay dry.
Don’t forget it look for how the storage on your clothing will be closed. Whether it is with a zipper, Velcro or a simple button, if the storage on your clothing doesn’t have a closure it can leave you at risk for water getting into the storage spaces and defeating the purpose of keeping your items in there to begin with.
Is It Lightweight?
You don’t want to be weighted down with heavy or bulky materials while trying to move around in your kayak. Whether you are setting up your bait, casting your line or trying to reel in a fish, you want to have something that allows you to move freely and would restrict your movement in any way. Heavy materials can weigh down your arms and make it not only harder to move around, but make them tire more quickly, requiring you to cut your fishing trip short.
You also want a lightweight material that is breathable to prevent sweating or overheating while trying to fish. You want to be able to keep your body temperature as regulated as possible and if your gear is too thick and won’t breathe properly you can quickly overheat. This is especially important for those who want to fish in warmer weather and are subject to sporadic spring and summer showers.
Is It Made Of A Durable Material?
Between knives, hooks and anything that the material can snag on, you need to opt for durable materials that would rip while out on the water. If the material rips or tears it is not only going to allow rain and water in, but expose you to the cold or wind.
Are The Seams Properly Done?
The seams of your clothing are an important thing to look at before buying because they are a clear sign of quality and craftsmanship. If seams are loose, unfinished, missing or coming apart it is a good sign that the clothing will not only fall short when it comes to protecting you from the rain, but will quickly fall apart. The seams are what holds the entire thing together so if there are any signs of problems with them it should be an immediate sign that the item is not going to work. You should also try to avoid glued seams because they are not as strong as the sewn ones.
What Are The Safety Features Included?
There are three main features to look for in best rain gear related to safety you should look for. These include insulation, visibility and flotation. Insulation is key when fishing while it is raining, especially while it is cold out, to keep your body warm and prevent hypothermia from affecting you.
Visibility is always important to keep you in view and easy to spot if something goes wrong. Whether it is foggy from the rain, the rain is coming down so hard it reduces visibility or you are going to be out in a large body of water like the ocean and even the slightest drizzle may impact how clearly you can see the shore, having bright, reflective colors will make you easy to spot and allow others to come help you if you need it.
Personal flotation devices, or PFDs, are a must have whenever you are on the water because they will save your life if you end up out of your boat. Some of the best rain gear items have PFDs built into the design or at least some very simple floatation aids sewn into the material. It can be bulky and uncomfortable to wear additional layers over the PFD, so if the PFD is built into the clothing it can be much more efficient and also avoid any problems that may occur by covering your PFD with additional gear.
Will It Fit Properly?
This should go without saying, but fit matters. Know your measurements and look on the website for sizing details if you are buying online or try on the items in the store and move around to see if it will be tight or restricting in any way. You want the item to fit well enough to keep you warm and dry while still loose enough to move around in without restricting your movement.
Is It Insulated?
Insulation can be a massive bonus for any rain gear in the cooler months. But if there is insulation in your clothing during the warmer months it can cause you to sweat and overheat while out on the water. So you should look for one item with insulation and one without for the different temperatures and times of year. Or opt for one item that has insulation that you can remove and add back in as needed.
How Easily Can You Pack It Away?
You may not want to wear the gear to begin with, or at least all of it pieces right from the get go. So being able to easily pack up and transport the gear can make it easy to access and put on when you need to.
Does It Fit Your Desired Aesthetic?
Do you want to stand out in the environment or blend in? This greatly impacts which aesthetic you go with when picking out your clothes. If you want to blend in with your environment you should choose clothing in darker, more natural colors like brown, green or camo. If you plan your outfit more for safety then you want bright colors like orange, neon greens and other colors that will stand out in the environment.
What Pieces Of Rain Gear Are Most Important
There are several important items of clothing you need to have when fishing in the rain that will keep you warm, dry and comfortable while on the water. These include:
Proper boots can make all the difference while fishing because it forms the basis for solid footing and traction in the boat. But good boots do a lot more than that. Because your feet help retain heat and regulate body temperature it is important to keep them covered and protected while out on the water. Whether the weather is warm or cold, it can still be important to have waterproof boots, even when there are no signs of rain to make sure you are protected if you fall out of the boat or need to get out and walk in the water to get your boat to and from shore.
But waterproof boots also help prevent issues while it’s raining both while you are in the boat or out of it. Water can collect in the boat as it rains, soaking your shoes through to your feet. This can be cold water, or even freezing rain that your feet are exposed to without any relief. They are also important on shore because the rain will create mud puddles that can also soak through your boots. To keep your feet dry, insulated and prevent hypothermia, you should always opt for waterproof boots while on the water, especially when rain is predicted.
Pants are often overlooked when people think of the best rain gear, especially when you are kayak fishing, because you are sitting down and the cockpit style seating can keep a lot of the rain from getting to your legs. But waterproof trousers are a must have when fishing because you can end up waterlogged while out on the water and have to rush back to the shore and cut your fishing trip short to get warm and dry. You can go for a simple pair of waterproof paints, go with a waterproof trouser to go over your pants, or opt for waders to allow you to both fish from your boat and standing in the water.
But it is important to consider what parts of your body will be exposed to the rain on the water and on your way back to your vehicle and properly cover yourself to stay dry and prevent hypothermia. Even a simple pair of inexpensive rain pants will do in a pinch. But the most common option for fishermen for waterproof pants are waders. Waders will not only protect you from the rain, but function as overall great fishing gear to keep you dry and greatly increase your ability to fish in other locations without issue.
Rain coats and waterproof jackets are a must have in everyday life, fisherman or not, to keep you dry as you negotiate the rainy outdoors. So on warmer days it may be perfectly fine to wear your everyday rain coat while fishing as long as it doesn’t restrict your movement and won’t rip under pressure.
But if the weather is colder, your everyday rain coat isn’t durable enough to handle the movements associated with fishing, or you just want something with more designated storage and is designed for fishing, you should look into an actual waterproof fishing jacket or coat. They come in either the standard PVC material that everyday rain coats are made from, or a stronger, more durable and breathable material that have permeable membranes to keep air flowing and moisture out.
Rain suits are a combination of jackets and pants that come as a set. This can help you save money by buying the set rather than buying them separately and you will guarantee that they are the same style, material and aesthetic and match completely without having to worry about spots or sections left uncovered and exposed to the rain. Suits are available in all types of waterproof material from PVC to Gore-Tex and everywhere in between and the prices also range to provide something for every budget.
Gloves can really be a matter of personal preference for whether you want to wear them year round or just when the weather is cold like in winter. But gloves do more than keep your hands warm. They protect your hands from scrapes, scratches and gashes and of course, keeps your hands dry. Your hands are such an interictal part the fishing experience and being able to fish successfully that they need to be protected as much as possible. If it starts raining your hands can get slippery, making you more prone to accidents and cold making it hard to move them or repress shaking. At the very least, you should always have a pair of gloves in the boat or in your bag to have on hand in case of rain and any other situations where you may need them.
To best protect your lures, GPS, fish finder, and anything else you want with you out on the water, it is important to have a good quality waterproof bag or case for your gear. If even the smallest hole or opening is made available to the rain, water will get in and can ruin your belongings. So opt for the higher grade material that won’t rip or tear and can handle heavy downpours to always keep your belongings safe and dry.
Top Rain Gear Brands To Consider
If you are looking for your first rain gear purchase, or just want to update your gear, there are several brands that should be the first places for you to check out for high quality materials and clothing well worth the money. The top ten fishing rain gear brands are:
A great combination of quality and affordability, Grundéns and Gage strive to make products that everyone can afford and will withstand everything from a light drizzle to a heavy downpour. The products are primarily made of a waterproof rubber material, which is why it is affordable compared to items made from material like Gore-Tex.
With high quality products designed for comfort as well as function and customer service, Simms stays affordable without skimping on anything. While not as affordable as Grundéns and Gage or some other brands on this list, they still strive to offer their products for a fair price and not overcharge their customers. But the products are well worth the money considering the high quality design, amazing warranties, and Simms will help you anywhere along the way if you need help.
Similar to Simms, Stormr is designed to be both functional and form fitting, making them comfortable and stylish while serving a purpose. Thin layers of neoprene and fleece are included in the clothing to keep out water and keep in your body heat to keep you warm in cooler weather or when the rain is cold enough to drop your body temperature. All Stormr products are backed with a one year warranty as well.
Rather than using neoprene or rubber in their products to waterproof it, Cabela’s Guidewear utilizes Gore-Tex, one of the most durable waterproof materials there is, to keep the moisture out. The Gore-Tex material will not only keep out moisture, but circulate air flow and wick away sweat. Gore-Tex does require slight cleaning maintenance to retain its optimum water resisting capabilities. Cabela’s Guidewear is available in both insulated and non-insulated designs so you can have something for the warmer and colder weather without having to look too much further.
Carhartt is one of the most well known clothing lines for durable and reliable clothing for any weather. So it is no surprise that they also have fantastic rain gear available. Heavy duty vinyl material repels the rain and is resistant to rips and tears. The Carhartt brand prides themselves in affordability as well as availability, making their clothing in much larger sizes than other rain gear brands. However, because Carhartt is designed to be more for work clothing rather than fishing it can be bulkier and restrict your motion more than other brands.
Helly Hansen Brand clothing is over a decade old and it is easy to understand why they are still around. They pride themselves on making clothing that will keep you dry without breaking your budget. While much more affordable than many brands on the list, Helly Hansen brand clothing does not skimp on quality and is just as durable as many of the more expensive brands.
With a comfortable, lightweight design and durable waterproof materials, REI Raingear gives you great quality for your money without breaking the bank. If you have any issues with the gear, or just want something different, REI Raingear has a fantastic return policy that is second to none.
While not directly meant for fishing, Marmot rain gear is incredibly lightweight and comfortable, making it easy to use in many different areas. Because they aren’t designed to be rain gear for fishing, it will not be nearly as durable as other brands so you should consider that before purchasing a Marmot product directly for fishing. They can be a great addition to any wardrobe, but may not be the best primary fishing gear.
Another very well-known brand name in the outdoor gear world, Columbia are a great combination of water resistance and comfort. You will need to keep up minimal maintenance and it is recommended that you take additional precautions to better strengthen the water resistance. This includes spraying the outside with additional water repellents and seam sealers to guarantee the moisture stays out. It is important to look for insulated and non-insulated options because using an insulated jacket during the summer can cause you to sweat and even overheat.
Hands down the most durable and affordable, Frogg Toggs are a less known brand that packs a big punch. But getting such a bang for your buck means that there needs to be a catch somewhere. For Frogg Toggs it is that you will need to apply additional water proofing treatments over time to prevent the gear from being less waterproof over time. You will also need to look into additional storage options because there are no pockets on the design.
Whether you are going out knowing there will be rain, or you just want to be prepared for anything while out on the water, having the proper rain gear can make or break a fishing trip and keep you safe from downpours and hypothermia. So consider what you want out of a waterproof product and start looking for gear to have on your next fishing trip today.