What to wear under waders?

It's currently 8° F with snow on the ground, depressing right?... I know. It is supposed to be 40-45 this weekend however and Intend to go fishing and would like to try out my new wading pants. I have footwear down, just going to wear my trusty heavy wool socks, but as for pants I'm not sure what would be appropriate. My wading pants are 5 layer breathables and are also dark in color which should help. I have lots of fleece pants of varying thickness, will one layer of thick fleece be enough or do I need to add at least 1 more layer of something thinner under those? I am well aware that cotton is the enemy by the way. I just don't want to layer up too much and feel like the Michelin man out there... lol
 

Grayone

Fishin' to the end, Oc.P
WFF Supporter
It's currently 8° F with snow on the ground, depressing right?... I know. It is supposed to be 40-45 this weekend however and Intend to go fishing and would like to try out my new wading pants. I have footwear down, just going to wear my trusty heavy wool socks, but as for pants I'm not sure what would be appropriate. My wading pants are 5 layer breathables and are also dark in color which should help. I have lots of fleece pants of varying thickness, will one layer of thick fleece be enough or do I need to add at least 1 more layer of something thinner under those? I am well aware that cotton is the enemy by the way. I just don't want to layer up too much and feel like the Michelin man out there... lol
I find the water compressed up against me makes me cooler faster. So I wear merino wool layer with synthetic down type puffy underwear. It gives me the air barrier I need. The more air space the better.
 

Chromer J

Active Member
Your needs may vary depending on how physically active you'll be while fishing, and the average water depth you'll be standing in. On one extreme, if you're going to be relatively immobile throughout the day standing in waist deep water, I'd lean towards heavier insulation. At the other extreme, if you are walking a lot of river edge and rarely wading in past your knees, you'll want to go lighter to avoid overheating and sweating. Since you're not yet dialed into what will best suit you for your conditions, I like meeshka's idea of packing for flexibility in case you need to adjust. It's worth the 10 minutes to de-wader and add or subtract a layer to enjoy a day of fishing in comfort.
 
Your needs may vary depending on how physically active you'll be while fishing, and the average water depth you'll be standing in. On one extreme, if you're going to be relatively immobile throughout the day standing in waist deep water, I'd lean towards heavier insulation. At the other extreme, if you are walking a lot of river edge and rarely wading in past your knees, you'll want to go lighter to avoid overheating and sweating. Since you're not yet dialed into what will best suit you for your conditions, I like meeshka's idea of packing for flexibility in case you need to adjust. It's worth the 10 minutes to de-wader and add or subtract a layer to enjoy a day of fishing in comfort.
I apologize for the lack of detail, I fall in the second category, more physical with shallower/lighter wading so lighter it is, thank you. I also agree that bringing along an extra layer or two is a great idea.
 

Zak

Active Member
I'd go with a layer of capilene/polypro long underwear under medium thickness fleece pants and the waders.

Edit: and "if your feet are cold, put your hat on." I doubt you will want to strip down to change your lower body layers, but it's easy to add a warm hat, gloves, or extra top layer.
 

wanative

Retired, gone fishin'
WFF Supporter
Whatever you wear have fleece be the layer that's the outside layer that contacts the wader.
Simms recommends this as the softer fleece will chafe or wear less than other fabrics like denim or other stiffer fabrics.
They say most leaks develop from the inside and wearing rough or stiffer fabrics against the wader is a major cause.
 

IveofIone

Active Member
WFF Supporter
If you already have fleece pants of varying thickness you've got it covered, just adjust according to ambient temp and water conditions. I hate to flog a dead horse but I'll mention again the importance of keeping the head, ears and neck covered so that as little skin as possible is exposed. Any bare skin that is open to cold air and a breeze is the same thing as running the furnace in your house with all the windows open.

The brain wants to protect itself at all cost and when the going gets tough it could care less about your fingers and toes. Keeping it warm and happy will enhance blood flow to the rest of the body.
 

GeorgeV

Active Member
WFF Supporter
I'm not familiar with the new super fabrics, I used to wear 'Malone pants' heavy wool , similar to a Filson cruiser coat. My long johns were 100% wool 'itchy scratchy', secret weapon of every logger, cowboy and gunfighter. Hip boots or waders with insulated feet. Lots of wool on top also. Cold wasn't an issue, wading or fishing from a drift boat or hunting ducks on the ice. BUT, at the end of the day it was nice to get in a warm camper and have "a pull on the jug".
 

Zak

Active Member
I love the synthetic polypro and Patagucci's better capilene, but a friend of mine wandered too close to a campfire wearing it and it melted onto his leg, causing serious burns. Made me reconsider wool.
 

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