What to Wear Under Waders

So what to wear under waders or what should you wear under your waders ? Well, majorly it depends on the weather or season and the waders you have for that season.

I can bet when you began fly-fishing you didn’t give much attention as to how you dressed. You probably got a pair of jeans, any old shirt from your wardrobe and a hat on your head then got into a pair of boots that were just around.  

Maybe you never had a pair of waders. The weather was just warm as well as the water, and you thought you were just fine for a few days. Suddenly it was cooler and windy then you just realized you didn’t prepare well for the outdoor conditions.


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It is important for every fly-fisherman to go out in proper dressing. Fly fishing is an activity that you can carry out every season. You should be well armed for all the adversities that come with the different weather conditions. So, what should be the ideal under wader clothing for fly-fishing?

What to Wear Under Waders During Winter

Winter temperatures usually fall under 30 degrees even up to 0 degrees depending on your geographic region. The priority is to keep warm and stay dry at the same time. What to dress under waders starts from the feet way up.


Be aware that boots are usually not breathable and so your feet tend to sweat a lot in cold waters. The excess sweat will cause condensation build-up in the foot area due to the difference between the inside and outside wader temperature. This will cause dampness and cold feet sending you out of the water sooner than anticipated.

So to be safe, a two-sock system will be essential. Start with a lightweight or synthetic sock on the innermost layer for a comfortable fit. This will help in wicking moisture away from your skin. On top of it should be mid to heavyweight insulating sock for retaining warmth. The socks should also extend just above the ankles.

Keep in mind not to have so much bulk on your feet as this will encourage a tight fit. Also, consider buying another pair of boots a size larger to accommodate the extra bulk. A bootfoot wader can also be an excellent option.


The same principle goes with the body layering as for feet layering. Consider lightweight synthetics or a blend of wool and synthetics for the inner layer. These are efficient at wicking moisture away from your skin. Your next layer, the insulating layer, should be fleece material. It should be light enough so you won’t feel overloaded. You can opt for double fleece layering during extreme cold conditions but also be keen on how your waders will fit then.

How to Dress In Spring/Fall

During these seasons, temperatures are just moderate ranging from near freezing to comfortable 60+ degrees. So, flexibility is important during these times as you want to stay warm and manage temps when the mercury rises.


The double layering system will still be ideal for this transitional season. But, it might be unnecessary as the temperature rises. A single pair of socks made from a mixture of wool and synthetics will be the most suitable option in this situation. It can be midweight or heavyweight.


During this season, moisture management will be the priority when the temps rise. Still, you need to ensure you have proper insulation. For the base layer, a lightweight synthetic or a blend of wool and synthetic will do. They will be great in managing the increase in moisture effectively.


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Go for fleece material for the insulation layer. Some of the fleece pants integrate stretch materials which help to achieve a proper fit and allow for flexibility and unrestricted motion. In any case, this season tends to be unpredictable so you should always be prepared for the unexpected.

Layering for Summer

The hot season calls for inner layers that will help to manage moisture as temperatures rise up to 100 degrees. You should still not overlook the insulation factor especially if you hunt in fishing grounds with temperatures around 40 degrees.  


You might be tempted to wear cotton socks like your normal working day but they can get wet on your feet. Rather, a single sock preferably, a blend of synthetic wool will be ideal, whether midweight or heavyweight. Keep in mind that the wading boots that were perfect to accommodate bulk in winter might feel loose this time. So, you might consider a pair for the summer season.


Warm weather needs a base layer that effectively wicks moisture away from the skin. A lightweight synthetic layer will be a great choice. Most materials feature some level of antimicrobial treatment to prevent bacteria growth and eliminate bad odor, which are predominant factors in warm conditions. Don’t be tempted to wear jeans under your waders. It will act as a sponge and saturate your sweat thus becoming moist.

All Things Considered

These are the simple guidelines to help you understand the proper layering under your waders for different situations. If you are serious about comfort while spending enough time in your favorite fishing ground, then proper under wader garments comes in handy.

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