Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Fishing Pants Reviewed

We have reviewed and compared the best fishing pants on the market. Serious anglers and amateur fisherman will appreciate these dry and comfortable brands.

by Andrew

Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Fishing Pants Reviewed

We have reviewed and compared the best fishing pants on the market. Serious anglers and amateur fisherman will appreciate these dry and comfortable brands.

by Andrew

by Andrew

Fishing exposes anglers to high winds, rain, and water at all temperatures. To make it through, the right fishing apparel is critical. The best pair of fishing pants will keep water out and offer plenty of storage for extra bits of tackle and personal items. If you’re looking for a quality pair of fishing pants, this article is for you.

Preview

Product

Material

Key Feature

Check Price

Columbia Men’s Men's Silver Ridge Cargo...

Columbia Silver Ridge

Nylon

Zip-close security pocket

CA9901W-M Caddis Men's Breathable...

Caddis Taupe Wader

Polyester

Waterproof interior

Striker Ice SI HardWater Bibs, X-Large

Striker Ice SI

Polyester

High warmth rating

4ucycling Mens Fleeced Windstopper Cycling...

4ucycling Windproof

Polyester

Water-repellant design

Helly Hansen Workwear Men's Mandal Fishing...

Helly Hansen

Polyester

Oil & mildew-resistant coating

prAna Men's Stretch Zion Convertible 32',...

prAna Stretch Zion

Nylon

Convertible legs


Buyer’s Guide to Choosing Quality Fishing Pants

Fishing Environment/Purpose

Of course, different styles of fishing require different gear. Fly fishing and offshore angling both require waterproof wading pants. Boat fishing and kayak fishing are likely to involve lots of spray from the sides of the vessel. Ice fishing requires insulation against the cold in addition to water protection.

The target species can also involve specific tackle. Extra space for backup fly lures and hooks can really come in handy if your line suddenly snaps. Saltwater can cause damage to fishing pants the same way it can damage a rod and reel.

Material

Some material is heavier and more durable, while other kinds can be lighter, stretchier, or more breathable. Protection from harmful UV rays is also important to prevent damage during long fishing trips. Waterproofing and the ability to repel water are also huge assets.

Nothing is more imperative for ice fishing apparel than insulation. Even when there is no ice, exposure to cold water can bring a fishing trip to a quick close because of the risk of hypothermia. In any scenario, the fabric should be durable enough to withstand scrapes and stabs without getting holes in it.

Ease of Maintenance

Unfortunately, fishing pants need to be cleaned just like all other fishing gear. Some varieties have so many design elements that they have to be meticulously cleaned, which can take much more time. A sleek design makes fishing pants more versatile and makes them easier to clean.

One of the most desirable additions to fishing pants is a mildew-resistant treatment. Avoiding the smell and visible damage of mildew can help fishing pants last much, much longer than they would otherwise. Pants should also fold up easily for storage.

Comfort & Breathability

Fishing pants should fit snugly but not constrict movement. Many manufacturers achieve this by adding stretch to the material over the knees. Flexibility can be added to the whole pair of pants by adding stretchier material like nylon.

In both warm and cold weather, pants that don’t allow sweat and body heat to escape at least somewhat will cause excess sweat and discomfort for the angler. Breathability can be provided by special fabric design or mesh construction. Many times, a gusset in the crotch of the pants will have extra breathable fabric to ensure the angler can stay cool.

Extra Features

There are many ways the best fishing pants can stand out. For the perfect balance between insulating cold-weather pants and warm-weather shorts, removable lower leg sections on convertible fishing pants are popular. Zipper pockets are other standout features.

Personal items and extra bits of tackle are more likely to stay put in a zippered pocket. Regular pockets can also be built with mesh to make sure water doesn’t fill them up. Adjustable hems and waistbands are also great for ensuring the perfect fit on a wide variety of body sizes.

Price

While there’s not much reason to spend four figures on fishing pants, there are often benefits to investing a hundred dollars or more. Resilient materials cost more to manufacture, and that’s usually reflected in the price.

Additional benefits like mildew-resistant treatments and complete waterproofing are more likely to be found on fishing pants that cost between one and two hundred bucks than on pants that cost less.


6 Best Fishing Pants Reviewed

1. Columbia Silver Ridge

Best Recreational Fishing Pants

Material

Nylon

Available Sizes

Waist: 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44

 Length: 30, 32, 34, 36

Water Draining Feature

Yes

UPF Rating

UPF 50

Key Feature

Zip-close security pocket

These Columbia fishing pants are the perfect combination of rugged material and lightweight comfort, ideal for wearing over long periods and not so thick or stiff that they’ll get in the way. The gusset detail strengthens the fabric while ensuring it doesn’t bunch up.

The waist is elastic, so the snug fit never feels overly tight or restrictive. Some lightweight fishing pants just look too tactical and aren’t enough like everyday trousers to wear off the water, but these Columbia fishing pants come in various colors that look just like regular apparel.

The moisture-wicking on these pants keeps the skin dry. Exterior water beads up on the surface of the pant material and slides right off, although these pants aren’t completely waterproof. With their included zip-closed cargo pocket and tough mesh pocket bags, these are the best lightweight fishing pants for carrying personal items like keys and phones or backup tackle like fish hooks and line if you’re on a fishing kayak with limited space.

After the fishing is done, these pants machine-wash as easily as any other pair of khakis. They can also handle abrasion if you like fishing spots that take a bit of hiking to reach. Pair their overall functionality with their comfort and high sun protection rating, and you get the best men's fishing pants around.

Pros
  • Mesh pockets drain water
  • Elastic waist
  • Lightweight
  • Built-in moisture wicking
  • Everyday style
Cons
  • No waterproofing

2. Caddis Taupe Wader

Best Fly Fishing Pants

Material

Polyester

Available Sizes

Small, medium, large, XL, XXL (in standard, stout, long, & short stout)

Water Draining Feature

No

UPF Rating

None

Key Feature

Waterproof interior

Casting out for brook trout or salmon knee-deep in a river or lake is much more comfortable in these waders, which keep water out while allowing heat and sweat to escape. The breathable material stays cool in hot weather, and there’s plenty of room inside to add layers of insulation for ice fishing and other cold-weather angling.

There’s even a pocket in front of these waders for keeping hands warm that should be big enough for just about any pair of ice fishing gloves. The material is a one-layer construction that allows the wearer a great range of movement.

Suspenders hold these waders in place for the surest fit, and the top of the lower section makes a great place for temporarily hanging flies and hooks. The watertight foot sections do a great job keeping the water away from the wearer, and the seal on them can last years with the proper care.

They are relatively easy to clean after each use, requiring little more than a spray down. Buyers should pay special attention to the sizing of this model, as a too-small foot can cause rising discomfort throughout a day of fly fishing. However, with the right size, these are easily the best waterproof pants for fishing in warm weather.

Pros
  • Included 1-year limited warranty
  • Front pocket for warmth
  • Watertight foot section
  • Easy to clean & maintain
  • Great range of motion
Cons
  • Not built for cold weather

3. Striker Ice SI HardWater Bibs

Best Ice Fishing Snow Pants

Material

Polyester

Available Sizes

XL, XXL, XXXL, 4XL, 5XL, 2X tall

Water Draining Feature

Yes

UPF Rating

Unspecified

Key Feature

High warmth rating

Tons of pockets, sufficient water draining at the hems, and additional protection at key points make these Striker Ice bibs the best ice fishing pants for rugged cold-weather conditions. They work great as safety precautions against cold, biting winds, water seepage, and hard surfaces.

In addition to the hard padding on the knees, these fishing pants also have extra padding in the seat to make sitting for long periods more comfortable. There’s also plenty of storage space in the multiple pockets, which is great for carrying flashlights, lures, and personal items. The pockets close with either zippers or magnets to make sure essential items don’t fall out.

The adjustable inseam helps anglers of all sizes get a snug fit out of these fishing pants and prevent bunching that can compromise heating and cause snags. Tightly-woven 600D polyester and a breathable waterproof layer create a rarely-seen combination of durability and functionality that beats even the best ice fishing pants.

Safety features like reflective stripes and a water-resistant flotation membrane add a sense of well-preparedness. The insulation in these bibs might be a bit much in warm weather, but there’s nothing that beats them for ice fishing. 

Pros
  • Tough & durable
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Flotation assistance
  • Extra padding in the seat
  • Breathable waterproof layer
Cons
  • Not great for warm weather

4. 4ucycling Windproof

Best Pants for Kayak Fishing

Material

Polyester

Available Sizes

Small, medium, large, XXL, 3XL, 4XL

Water Draining Feature

No

UPF Rating

Unspecified

Key Feature

Water-repellant design

Blocking windchill and repelling water spray are the strongest effects of these fishing pants. They’re lined with micro-fleece to retain warmth on the inside and woven with spandex and designed to be water-repellant in the front and in the seat, so if a little water gets into the yak, then the worst of it will be kept away.

Of course, some water will soak through if there's sitting water in the cockpit, but these are some of the best dry pants for kayak fishing in normal spray and light precipitation. The pockets close with zippers for extra item security and the knee caps are designed to flex to avoid chafing or tightening when lots of movement is required.

One of the nicest things about this pair of fishing pants is the zippered ankle design, which allows the wearer to comfortable wear boots no matter how large they might be. For anglers who have a preferred pair of waterproof fishing boots, these pants are ideal.

A reflective logo on the thigh will help anglers be seen in the dark and should remain reasonably visible even in the seated position. What makes these the best kayak fishing pants is their ability to keep the wearer dry and accommodate sitting or standing positions.

Pros
  • Fit great around boots
  • Zippered pockets
  • Handle water readily
  • Flexible knee section
  • Reflective logo for safety
Cons
  • No sun protection

5. Helly Hansen

Best Fishing Pants for Offshore Boating

Material

Polyester

Available Sizes

X-small, small, medium, large, XL, XXL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL, 6XL

Water Draining Feature

No

UPF Rating

Not specified

Key Feature

Oil & mildew-resistant coating

The simplicity of the Helly Hansen Mandal bib is exactly what makes them the best fishing pants for offshore boating and the best waterproof pants for fishing in general. Whether it’s on a kayak, dock, or boat, these overalls are completely waterproof and will be a great help to anglers looking to withstand spray and surf alike.

What makes them so well-suited to offshore fishing is the PVC coating on the outside of the bib, which also gives them a resistance to oil and mildew. Cleaning them is a cinch since there aren’t many fancy design elements, and the mildew resistance ensures that any water accidentally left on the material during storage won't damage them the way it would competing models. 

This bib isn’t closed at the foot like some comparable ones, which allows a wider variety of anglers to use them without worrying about foot discomfort. Wading into rivers and the sea is easily done with the Mandal bib and the right pair of waterproof fishing shoes.

There’s also a zippered chest pocket for holding personal property and small pieces of tackle. Since there’s no heating element or fleece lining, these are some of the best wading pants for fishing in warm weather.

Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Open at the feet
  • Zippered chest pocket
  • Adjustable suspenders
  • Easy to clean & store
Cons
  • No additional warming

6. prAna Zion Convertible

Best Fishing Pants for Hot Weather

Material

Nylon

Available Sizes

W: 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 40

 L: 30, 32, 34,

Water Draining Feature

Yes

UPF Rating

UPF 50+

Key Feature

Convertible legs

PrAna has manufactured one of the best pairs of fishing pants for anglers who want theirs to look like regular trousers. Added to that are the convenient zip-off legs and water-repellent finish that make the Stretch Zion pants both versatile and high-performing. 

Dual cargo pockets on either side give anglers plenty of storage space, and the small percentage of nylon in the material gives these pants a great fit that’s snug without being too tight. The stretch in the proprietary Zion fabric is ideal for anglers who move around a lot, even if they only do so during a fight with a fish.

In addition to being water-resistant, these pants are also abrasion-resistant. They’re great for fishing and also for other outdoor activities like rock climbing, camping, and cycling. Casting lines in the early morning when it’s chilly outside and staying into the hot hours of the sunny afternoon is equally easy to do with the zip-off lower leg sections of these pants.

There's also ventilation in the gusset of the crotch of these pants, which makes them much more breathable than many comparable fishing pants, and the best fishing pants for hot weather. The variety of colors matches well with just about any other fishing apparel and many different environments.

Pros
  • DWR finish
  • Two cargo pockets
  • Ventilated crotch
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Stretchy zion fabric
Cons
  • No built-in insulation

What’s the Difference Between Fishing Pants & Waders

There are some similarities in purpose, but simply put, fishing waders are for situations when anglers plan to be leg- or waist-deep in water for extended periods. They are usually more waterproof and may cover everything from the ankle to the chest. Fishing pants look like regular trousers most of the time but have additional design features.

Waders might be less breathable and a bit inconvenient for anglers who are on a boat or the shore. Fishing pants usually don’t protect as well against cold temperatures and are usually water-resistant rather than being completely waterproof.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What is ripstop fabric?

Woven material designed to be abrasion- and pierce-resistant is called ripstop fabric. This is most often done with nylon. The thick weaving construction not only protects against rips but also ensures that small rips won’t spread more widely across the fishing pants.

How can I improve the waterproofing feature of my fishing pants?

Waterproofing sprays and treatments that can be applied in the washing machine are both popular ways to make fishing pants waterproof. It’s hard to get them as waterproof as a factory-made pair of fishing pants will be, but there are some ways. These DWR treatments can also be effective at improving the waterproofing that’s built-in from the manufacturer.

What are some tips for caring for fishing apparel like pants?

As with other pieces of gear, it’s essential to make sure fishing pants are cleaned after each use and stored in a dry place. If there are lots of pockets or other design features, take care to detail around them and make sure all dirt and grime are removed. Many pants are machine-washable, but air drying can help protect them against damage in a high-temperature machine dryer.

Where is the best place to buy these fishing pants?

Since manufacturers have begun providing measurement charts, it’s been easiest to find the best deals and compare more different models of fishing pants on Amazon. Many of the sellers on Amazon are the original manufacturer anyway, so the advantages in shipping and handling are nothing but beneficial.


Conclusion

The best pair of fishing pants should be durable, comfortable, and have storage space. For any application, the Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Pants are the best fishing pants on the market. They’re sure to make ice fishing, boat fishing, and shore fishing much easier in both cold and warm temperatures and fit anglers of all sizes snugly.

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