Fishing in the Rain: How to Choose and Use Rain Gear

Fishing when it’s raining can be an exhilarating experience. The pitter-patter of raindrops on the water creates a serene backdrop that muffles outside noise. Fish often become more active when it rains, darting out from shelters to feast. With fewer anglers willing to brave the elements, you may have the whole area to yourself.

However, without the proper gear, wet weather fishing can quickly go from peaceful to miserable. Choosing rain protection designed specifically for anglers helps you stay dry and comfortable, so you can focus on catching instead of shivering. Discover the essential rain gear tips that will ensure you remain passionate about fishing, even during downpours.

Why Fish Love the Rain

Fish are sensitive to the pressure changes that storms bring. To them, a drop in barometric pressure signals feeding time before heavy winds and rain make catching prey difficult. The low light and noise created by rainfall also provide cover for fish to hunt. They can move into shallow areas more freely to chase bait pushed downward by the waves.

Be Ready for Changing Conditions

The beginning of a storm often brings a flurry of activity. But as rain persists, fish tend to shelter in deeper water and become less active. Having rain gear that allows ventilation during downpours but blocks wind gusts helps you adapt when the weather shifts. Pack extra layers and storage bags too. Consider keeping a packable womens fishing clothing rain jacket handy for sudden storms.

Choose Waterproof Over Water-Resistant

Waterproof material uses a coated membrane to block moisture from seeping through. Water-resistant fabric repels light rain but succumbs to heavy downpours. Waterproof options better withstand the drenching rain anglers often encounter out on the water.

Seek Out Storm-Tested Features

Standard raincoats and pants often let rain seep in through areas like pockets and sleeve cuffs. Fishing-specific rainwear uses storm flaps, water-tight zippers and high collars to seal out moisture. Look for generous hoods that accommodate hats and chafe-free cuffs that fit over gloves.

Ventilate to Stay Dry Inside and Out

Look for rain gear made from breathable, waterproof fabrics such as Gore-Tex. Without ventilation, perspiration gets trapped inside, leaving you soaked even in quality gear. Pit zips, built-in vents and mesh linings allow air flow to keep you drier.

The bar chart displaying test results showing significantly reduced moisture buildup inside different ventilated raincoats compared to non-breathable and unventilated options.

Make It Easy to Move and Adapt

Steer clear of bulky rain suits that hinder your ability to cast and paddle. Seek athletic cuts with articulated sleeves and knees. Take into account the range of motion needed for your preferred fishing style. Built-in stretch and adjustable hems and cuffs permit easy motion.

Consider Layers for Changeable Weather

Having multiple lightweight layers allows adapting as conditions shift. Start with moisture-wicking thermals and wind-blocking outer layers. As rain eases up, shed pieces to remain comfortably dry, not overheated. Zip-in liners and jackets offer versatility too.

Keep Essentials Accessible but Protected

Plentiful accessible pockets let you quickly grab gear while keeping it dry. Look for water-resistant compartments to safeguard phones and valuables. Use waterproof cases for items that must remain completely dry, such as cameras. Have backup chargers and supplies.

Make Yourself Visible in Low Light

Raindrops disturb the water’s surface, making it harder for other boaters to spot you. Wear high-visibility colors and have lights ready if fishing near dusk. Don reflective additions like hat strips for pre-dawn wading.

Guard Against Slips and Trips

Docks and trails become more hazardous when they are wet and slippery. Pack reliable rain boots with non-slip soles. Cleat additions like strap-on spikes provide extra traction for slippery decks. Keep extra gloves handy in case the ones you’re wearing get wet.

Caring for Your Rain Gear

Adhere to care instructions to maintain the waterproof quality of your gear. Heat from dryers and irons can damage coatings. Instead, drip dry out of direct sunlight then use a spray-on waterproofer to renew protection. Scrub off saltwater and disinfect muddy gear to avoid damage over time.

Handling Fish in the Rain

Bring a folding table to keep gear and fish off wet ground. Have partners pass tools to each other rather than setting them down. Minimize handling and the time fish spend in the cooler. Fillet and cook as soon as possible or freeze catches. Sanitize surfaces and wash hands frequently.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about my electronic gear?

Protect devices in waterproof bags or hard cases. Carry backup batteries and emergency chargers in case water seeps in. Larger waterproof boxes hold cameras, phones and connectors safely. Some boxes allow using touchscreens without removing devices.

Can I wear my regular rain jacket?

Basic raincoats work fine for brief shore fishing when you won’t be submerged in consistent wetness. But inexpensive vinyl or coated nylon jackets wet through after hours of exposure. Seams allow interior soaking too. Fishing-specific gear better withstands prolonged wetness.

How do I stay warm in the rain?

Layering is key for maintaining warmth and removing pieces as you heat up. Synthetic thermals draw moisture away from skin. Insulated mid-layers add warmth without bulk. Outer wind and rain barriers lock in heat. Hand and foot warmers boost comfort on cold, wet days.

Won’t rain rinse off sunscreen and insect repellent?

Sun protection and bug sprays made for active use resist wash-off. Reapply often, particularly if you’ve dried off with a towel. Wear tightly woven hats as added sun protection. Head nets help ward off insects when sprays fail. Keep back-ups handy!

Do I need special shoes or boots?

Your regular fishing footwear works if it has sturdy soles with deep lugs for traction.Some anglers favor tall rubber boots or lace-up neoprene shoes to ensure their feet stay dry and avoid accidents. Add strap-on spikes for extra stability. Replace smooth sole waders for rubber fishing boots.


For many anglers, embracing the challenges and nuances of fishing adds to its appeal. Instead of shying away from inclement weather, experience the unique joys of fishing amidst the raindrops. With reliable rain protection and strategic adjustments, you can adapt and thrive when wet weather strikes. Stay safe and relish the peace of having the waterways to yourself.