When it comes to choosing the right footwear to wear outdoors or when wading in rivers, it is important to consider your needs, price, weather, and what items you already own. On that note, one of the most common questions among fly fishing enthusiasts is whether you should wear socks with waders.
When beneath waders, a sleek base layer shirt can allow for smooth casting and a nice rain jacket can come in handy to keep you safe from elements. But what should be worn beneath waders? In this article, we will cover items of clothing that you might want to consider while beneath your waders alongside those you absolutely should not wear even when the majority are saying it’s okay.
We interacted with people who’ve spent more time wading in the water from recreational flying fishermen to persons cutting cattails in freezing winter water in drainage and canals. We have also seen poor clothing choices and we’ve seen better, which will recommender to you.
Should You Wear socks With Waders?
The truth is you should wear socks with waders. No matter what you choose to put on under your waders, you’re going to need a pair of tall, lightweight socks. Tight-fitting long underwear or wading leggings are also a good choice for bottoms. Avoid cotton socks because once they get wet, they remain wet. Wool socks will stay dryer and keep you from becoming chilled to the bone while in cold water.
Also, you might want to put on a pair of thermal wader pants to help insulate your legs from the very cold water. For socks, most people often prefer a thick pair of wool socks. You might, however, opt for thinner socks, but this can be harder on your feet and toes and could cause injury. If you are wearing pants, make sure that you tuck them into your socks. This is because the pants will ride up and create an uncomfortable gap of wetness on your footwear.
We thought we’d be the best start with some general advice before getting closer into the nitty-gritty. When planning how to kit out your feet half for a day of fishing, there’re several things that you should keep in mind. Once you have the answers, you’ll be in a much better position to decide on your attire. Here are several things to consider:
Wading Boots and Wading Socks
If you already have a stocking foot wader, keep in mind that you’ll need a suitable wading boot to go along with it. There are many options out there, but we recommend the Simms Tributary Wading Boot as a great budget-friendly option strong enough to handle abuse and protect your feet while delivering great traction.
Meanwhile, if you want a premium wading boot for maximum wading comfort and protection, check out the Simms Freestone Wading Boot. These are two great options and you cannot go wrong.
While it is important to stay warm during winter, a sleek tight base layer such as a workout Under Amor shirt is suitable as the sleekness will allow your arms to glide seamlessly when you cast. You can then wear a fleece or down vest to help keep your body core warmer. A pullover hoodie is ideal on top of that as the hood will work as a windbreaker or scurf around the neck.
During the summer, layering up isn’t so necessary. Simply dress for the weather. Be sure not to go too tight as the water will keep you very cool even in the dead of summer. We think a simple t-shirt and wader leggings or wader pants will be okay. While you could wear pants and even jeans, we strongly recommend that you stay away from shorts no matter the temptations.
You might want to carry along a windbreaker or a light rain jacket to protect you from elements. It’s important to have some extra layers just in case the weather turns or you start getting chilled in the water. Some people also choose to get away with wearing a single pair of thin socks during warmer months, yet their feet remain cool in the cooler water.
Keep Comfort in Mind
Comfort is probably the priority when choosing undergarments. Note that you can be warm and dry and still be uncomfortable; it’s like sleeping in the bed while wearing a pair of jeans. Of course, you’ll be warm and dry, but you’ll most likely be really uncomfortable. The same case applies to what you choose to wear beneath your waders.
Comfort is vital, and the point when getting dressed to go fly fishing is to make sure you could stand there all day and feel as comfortable as when you first arrived. Another thing to note is that the longer you’re going to stay in the water, the greater the chance that you’ll start getting chilled.
Even during the summer, bit by bit, the body will start to radiate out, and you’ll end up with icy legs. So if you’re planning for a longer session, it’s always important to dress a little too warm than to pack light and risk getting cold as the session draws on.
The Bottom Line
Water is considerably colder than the ambient air. Even on days reading 88°F, the water is usually down towards the 50°F mark at best. Therefore, if you are wading, you are going to get cold. Given some streams are warmer than others you might want to keep the tips as mentioned above.