Which fishing rain gear is best?
Whether you’re a professional angler or enjoy recreational fishing in the rain, being prepared with the right gear is vital. Everything from your jacket to your boots should be durable, water-resistant or waterproof and fitted to your proportions. For example, the Simms Challenger Waterproof Fishing Rain Coat is the best outer layer because it can keep you dry and comfortable as you fish.
What to know before you buy fishing rain gear
Fishing rain gear has the following main purposes:
- It should be comfortable enough for any fishing trip, no matter how wet you get.
- It should never restrict your movements, especially if you’re trying to reel in a tough catch.
- The clothes should be waterproof or water-resistant so outside moisture doesn’t get on your skin. Ideally, it also wicks away sweat or water that does get inside the clothes.
- For colder climates, it should keep you warm without overheating. In warmer weather, it should be breathable, too.
- It can protect you from the elements, including sharp rocks and slippery terrain.
There are many types of fishing rain gear, including:
- Ponchos: These can keep you dry in a downpour, but they can also keep waves from getting you wet. They’re usually breathable, comfortable and wind-resistant.
- Jackets: Similar to ponchos, rain jackets keep you dry and block out some wind. Many have hoods for full head and torso coverage.
- Bibs: Similar to overalls, fishing bibs can keep you warm and dry from your ankles up to your chest. They’re worn over other clothes, such as a base layer shirt and pants.
- Waders: If you plan to stand in the water, waders are essential to keeping you dry and warm. They’re waterproof footwear or overalls that usually extend from the foot to the thigh, though some reach higher.
- Boots or waterproof shoes: A pair of hard-soled waterproof boots can protect your feet from rocky terrain, help with balance and keep your skin dry.
- Gloves: Fishing gloves keep your hands dry and give you a better grip on the fishing rod. They also protect your skin from blisters, sores and the cold.
In light rain or mild climates, or if you’re fishing from the shore or a boat, go with lightweight fishing gear. If you’re out there in colder conditions or plan to wade into the water, be prepared with heavier, more durable apparel.
Gear for fishing in the rain consists of several materials, including:
- Gore-Tex or rubber: Found in high-quality gear such as jackets and bibs, this is breathable, lightweight, waterproof and durable. It’s also resistant to strong gusts.
- Polyester or nylon: Apparel made from these materials, such as jackets, are water-resistant and durable. They’re also easy to maintain and usually dry quickly.
Some types of fishing gear have two or more layers for extra insulation and waterproofing.
What to look for in quality fishing rain gear
Most apparel that’s meant for outdoor use in the rain is either made from waterproof material or treated with durable water repellent. This keeps the material from absorbing moisture and adds another layer of protection.
Some gear indicates how waterproof it is using a measurement called hydrostatic head. It’s measured in millimeters and refers to how well the material keeps water out. For heavy rainfall, look for apparel with a rating of around 10,000 millimeters. If you’re out there in light rain, 5,000 millimeters should be enough.
Most fishing rain gear comes with a size chart. As with most apparel, this chart typically follows standard conventions, from XS (for extra-small) to XL (for extra-large).
There is no one standard sizing across brands, so consider taking your measurements before buying any apparel. Most charts also include specific measurements for key areas of the body, such as shoulders, chest, waist and feet.
If you’re participating in any outdoor recreational activity, including fishing, it’s wise to get breathable gear. That way, there’s minimal risk of overheating. The best gear often has vents in strategic areas, such as:
- In the hood.
- Under the arms.
- Along the sides.
- At the back of the legs.
Closures and seals
Fishing rain gear usually has full zippers, seals and other closures to keep out water. Depending on the type and design, the apparel should be able to either withstand torrential downpours or light rain.
Additional features to look for in fishing rain gear include:
- Secure pockets with zippers or buttons for storing essential items, such as a phone, spare tackle or keys.
- Reflective stripes or bright colors for extra visibility in rain and dim lighting. This is especially helpful in emergencies.
- Elastic materials or cuffs that create a seal around the knees, ankles or wrists to keep out water.
- Hood with a cord to keep your head and neck warm and dry, even when it’s windy.
- A camera mount in the suit or jacket for those who want to record or take photographs of their trip.
How much you can expect to spend on fishing rain gear
The cost depends on the apparel type. Gore-Tex bibs, for example, are around $200 to $450. Waders are about $100 to $150. For more casual anglers, expect to spend $30 to $150 per item.
Fishing rain gear FAQ
Does fishing gear come with ultraviolet protection?
A. Some materials, including polyester and nylon, have sun protection. Choose apparel with UPF 30 or above for maximum protection.
What else should I use for fishing in the rain?
A. If you don’t have a hood, consider using a hat. Also, use sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Choose base or mid-layers that are lightweight, breathable and water-resistant.
What’s the best fishing rain gear to buy?
Top fishing rain gear
What you need to know: This high-quality coat is durable, reliable and can keep you dry in heavy rains.
What you’ll love: Available in five colors, including black and camo, it has an adjustable hood for maximum coverage. It also has two-layer Toray Delfy fabric technology in the outer shell, which keeps water out and lets sweat evaporate.
What you should consider: It runs small.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top fishing rain gear for the money
What you need to know: Waterproof and breathable, this rain suit is an all-in-one solution to fishing in the rain and similar outdoor activities.
What you’ll love: With 23 colors and patterns, this affordable polypropylene set comes with an adjustable hooded jacket and elastic pants. It’s breathable and nonrestrictive, making it ideal for long days outside.
What you should consider: The sleeves run short.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Made with heavy-duty polyurethane fabric and polyester, this set is best for anyone who needs a bib and jacket combo.
What you’ll love: It comes in four colors, including dark green and black, and has two large pockets with reflective tape. It also has a front zipper and Velcro flap to keep out moisture.
What you should consider: It can start to absorb water in heavy rain.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2023 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.