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Dress For the Weather – Choosing Ice Fishing Gear


Dressing warm and staying warm while out on the ice is a big consideration, so getting the right ice fishing gear is important in making your day pleasant and comfortable. Not only are the new moisture wicking fabrics on the market great for assisting in keeping the fisherman dry, but the ultra light and very insulating microfibers are excellent at holding in heat and providing maximum strength wind resistance.

Dress in Layers

The key to choosing ice fishing gear that will keep you warm and dry is to focus on dressing in layers, rather than in selecting one heavy or bulking item to try to do everything. Obviously the inner layers should be designed to keep moisture and perspiration away from your skin, then the next layer should be for insulation, followed by a final layer for wind and moisture resistance from the outside. Each layer of ice fishing gear is critical in preventing hypothermia from setting in on those long hours out on the ice. Even if you have a shanty or ice fishing tent or shelter it is always important to dress fully prepared to get back to shore and to spend time out on the ice in the event of an emergency or blizzard that prevents you from getting back to your vehicle or the shoreline.

The following ice fishing gear is a must:

• Moisture wicking underlayer – most sports stores sell moisture wicking clothing for work-outs in the gym, and this can double up for a good under layer for winter. The polypropylene fabric actually draws the moisture away from the skin, preventing that damp feeling that often is seen with cotton. Once your skin gets damp, the cold is much more intense and uncomfortable.

• Warming layer – there are many traditional fabrics that work great as the warming or insulating layer of your ice fishing gear. Wool, fleece and even down items can be used. Remember if you are using wool or fleece they will need to have a wind breaking fabric such as a nylon blend on one side to prevent the wind and outside moisture from getting in. Microfiber has become increasingly popular because it is both lightweight and very warm, with water resistance to top it all off.

• Water and wind resistance layer – nylon or leather can be used to act as a wind breaking outer shell, with nylon being much lighter and easy to carry as an extra only to be used if required. Many of the nylon windbreakers or shells fold into clip on pouches, ideal for packing into tackle boxes for use when needed.

• Foot Protection – waterproof rubberized boots with a removable felt liner are a great idea when combined with moisture wicking socks and sports socks. If you have room take an extra pair of felt liners if your feet tend to give off a lot of moisture.

In addition goggles, scarves, face-masks or wool hats with ear flaps are important to keep your head dry and warm, even if your jacket has a hood. Mitts, gloves and hand warmer packets are great ideas to add to your ice fishing gear.


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