Can you Wear Waders Ice Fishing ?

Ice fishing is a unique experience. People go to frozen water bodies, dig holes in the ice, and fish for the best catch available. It involves working with ice, water, and wet fish. Due to extremely cold weather, you may not like to get wet. Because if you do, you will take a long time to dry your clothes – something you don’t want during an ice fishing trip. So you may wonder if you can wear waders during an ice fishing trip. Are they useful for ice fishing as they are useful for regular fishing?

Yes, you can wear waders during an ice fishing trip. You will have to tap through the ice sheet and reach the water. This may get you wet. Also, your feet may have to deal with the water surrounding the ice hole while you sit and wait for the fish. It is thus advisable to wear thigh-high or chest-high waders to protect yourself. Do remember that waders are primarily to keep you dry. You will have to wear adequate warm clothes to keep yourself warm.

If you are planning your next ice fishing trip soon, you may like to know if you need waders for it. Also, you may want to know the best way to cover yourself from the extremely cold climate at an ice fishing site. This article will serve as a guide and help you decide on your clothes for your next fishing trip. You should not compromise your health and know what to wear during your next fishing expedition.

Waders and ice fishing

Waders are waterproof overalls that extend from the boots to the neck, chest, or thighs. They are meant to keep you dry while working in water. Traditionally waders are made of vulcanized rubber. Nowadays you will get waders made of neoprene, PVC, or Gore-Tex. Waders originate in the 1850s when a company named Hodgeman started making them. They become popular in the early 20th century and were extensively used during World War II.

Waders are primarily of two types:

  1. Stock footing waders: They do not have a boot fixed to them. The waders are attached to the boots when worn.
  2. Boot footing waders: The boot is already attached to the wader.

For ice fishing, you may select from these types of waders. However, there are certain legal restrictions attached to the waders you are allowed to use in certain parts of your state. Waders with porous felt soles are not allowed in several places. This is because the soles may host several invasive species that may get introduced to other water bodies. These invasive organisms threaten the flora and fauna of the lake or the river.

During ice fishing, you will first have to dig a series of ice holes to select the best spot for yourself. Also while sitting at the ice holes, your feet may get wet due to the water splashing at the hole. Due to the cold weather, you will not like this to happen. So waders are the right choice for ice fishers. You will do well to select neoprene waders as they provide some amount of thermal insulation.

What to wear during an ice fishing trip ?


You may have often wondered about the right clothes to wear for an ice fishing trip. Basically, to avoid heat loss, you need to cover every part of your body. We bring to you some pointers regarding the matter.


You can cover your head with a woolen cap. If possible, wear a thin cap first and cover it with a thick cap. It will be wise to choose a cap with ear covers. It will help you from the winds.

The upper part of your body

Wear warm woolens. Use thermal clothing and wear a few layers. Top off with a quality jacket to keep the cold and wind out. If the weather turns out to be sunny, you can remove the jacket.


This is a tricky part. You need to keep them warm as well as work with them. You may have to hold the fishing line, lift something, tie a knot, bait the hook or remove the fish from the hook. So choose a pair of gloves that is waterproof as well as flexible enough to let you work with them.

The lower part of your body

Wear layers of thermal inners under a pair of waterproof trousers. Waterproof trousers will let you stay dry for your ice fishing trip.


You will need a pair of anti-skid boots that will hold you on the ice. Use woolen socks to go with it. Wear multiple socks for extreme weather.

Tips for dressing right during an ice fishing trip

Here are a few tips for dressing right during an ice fishing trip. Though general points, they will help you choose your ice fishing clothes in a better manner.

Wear clothes in layers

Layered clothes trap the body heat keeping you warm. It is truer in icy and windy conditions.

Choose wool over cotton

In general, when you select your clothes, better to choose Marino wool clothing over cotton layers. You can even select from synthetic thermal clothing.

Choose your hand and foot gear wisely

You need to work with these body parts. Hence you will have to protect them and not hinder your work at the same time.

Use sun goggles

Ice leads to sun glare. You may have difficulty seeing things. So keep a pair of sun goggles handy.

Cover your nose and mouth with a mask

These are sensitive parts of your body. Use a woolen mask to keep your nose and mouth covered.

In the end

You can use waders for your ice fishing expedition as well. They will keep you dry and protected from the wind. You may however have to wear thermal clothing to keep the chill-out. We hope that this article has given you a good insight into using waders during ice fishing.

Please read other articles on ice fishing and happy angling!

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