Best Fly Fishing Pants – 2023 Buyers’ Guide

// Updated: January 6, 2023.

Last updated on December 21st, 2023.

Leonard Schoenberger
Latest posts by Leonard Schoenberger (see all)

While sportfishing may be one of the most enjoyable activities for all outdoor enthusiasts out there, it is also one of the messiest.

That being said, being cold and wet would sometimes take out all the fun when doing it, because let’s face it, no angler would enjoy a day into the water when their bottoms are drenched and soggy. 

That’s when a good pair of fishing pants should swoop in to save the day. Switching from regular jeans for fishing to a quality pair of wader pants would make all the difference in giving you a more enjoyable and comfortable fishing experience. 

Disclaimer: All products in this guide are independently researched by our team. We only recommend products we believe in and never c paid for the reviews. Learn more about our review process here.

Table of contents:

Why you should Invest in a Quality Pair

Different Types of Pants for Fishing

Important Features

Best Pants of 2023: A Review


A fishing cooler backpack and fly fisherman at a lake
Pants for fishing can make your day at the water more comfortable

Advantages Of Having a Great Pair of Pants for Fishing

Wearing a regular pair of pants might save you a couple of bucks but you will eventually make amends with the fact that these pants will give you maximum comfort and convenience in the water without fail. There are a lot of things that having a great quality pair will give you, particularly:

Temperature regulation

Fishing in all weather conditions comes with the threat of being exposed to hypothermia or the heat of the sun either way, and a good pair of bottoms will help protect you from both. For a greater fly fishing experience, wading through the waters will amplify your success. However, spending hours immersed in water might give you a risk of catching a cold but with a quality pair of fly fishing pants, you will find yourself worrying less about comfort in the middle of your journey.

Keeps you clean and dry

The best kinds are made with nylon or rubber materials that help wick off both sweat and water from your skin. Quality wader pants help you stay dry below the waist level, no matter how many hours you have already spent in the water while fly fishing. That being said, these types of pants also dry quickly after you use them and won’t leave you soaking wet. 

Comfort and convenience

What’s a day spent fishing if you are uncomfortable most of the time? While it may be one of the most important things that anglers need to consider before going out into the waters, comfort and convenience are something that people usually overlook. Even if you are already physically active, the right pair will provide you maximum comfort. They will help you easily move around and won’t restrict your movements at all, especially those built with lightweight and durable materials.

Fly Fisherman wearing Fishing Pants

Different Types of Pants for Fishing

What makes pants for fishing different than regular pants? Like any other clothing or equipment for fly fishing, there are also different types of pants that could cater to your comfort needs, depending on the factors and location you will be angling in. 

While others may view the term “pants for fishing” as solely a pair of pants you wear to fish in, it actually means having the right type of pants that is suitable for your angling plans and the elements that you are about to face.

Pants for ice fishing

Evidently, ice fishing involves a lot of exposure to cold, and the right pair must be able to combat the harsh temperature. Pants to go ice fishing with are usually in the form of bibs or overalls.

Quick-dry pants

Quick-dry pants are ideal for fly fishing in warmer conditions, as they are usually built with materials that wick moisture and sweat away from your skin. This is a great option for angling inshore or on a freshwater lake, especially when the area you would be angling in usually experiences light rain showers. 

Offshore pants for fishing

If you are a fan of fishing in the deep offshore for tuna, then offshore fishing pants are your best bet. They are designed to combat strong winds and foul weather conditions, keeping you dry while fishing in tough waters. Offshore pants generally feature a moisture-wicking layer beneath the exterior and sealed seams. 

Wader pants

For traditional fly fishing, wader pants are the way to go. A pair would be a great staple to have especially when you frequently go fishing for bass and trout in freshwater lakes, rivers, or creeks.

Fly fisherman wearing wader pants (1)
A fly fisherman wearing wader pants

Important Features To Consider When Choosing Fly Fishing Pants

In order to choose the most suitable pair to buy, you must be knowledgeable enough about the factors and features that you need to consider when shopping for one. Aside from keeping the advantages of having a quality pair of pants for fishing in mind, you must also consider that you will eventually have to choose one, one way or another. 

Some features are non-negotiable, and must always be considered if you want to have an optimum fly fishing experience that won’t leave you hanging.

Materials and durability

While it may be less burdening to your wallet if you buy pants made with cheaper materials, you must also consider the fact that investing in a pair with great quality will still save you money. Great options are those made with vulcanized rubber and nylon, which both have great resistance to water.

The resistance of these materials is also important especially if you fish in various weather conditions as well as constant exposure to different water bodies. The fishing pants you choose must be able to handle the risk of wear and tear cases so that you can make most of your purchase.

Wind and waterproofing abilities

Choose one that is reliable enough when it comes to its waterproof and windproof capabilities. Going back to the types of pants, quick-drying ones are best if you do not mind being wet for a couple of seconds while buying completely waterproof ones is best if you want to stay dry as much as possible. 


Consider looking for ones that are designed to be lightweight, because you would not want to wear something that will only hinder your movements while in the water. Heavier pants will just most likely restrict your movements and will lessen your chances of success especially when you are not comfortable with them. 

A good pair will give you the freedom to move with ease, whether you are sitting, wading, standing, crouching, or balancing yourself in the middle of a stream.


This may be a minor thing to consider but if you are not a fan of bringing vests or bags in the middle of the water, then consider buying a pair that come with enough pockets to accommodate all your essentials.

Best Fishing Pants of 2023: A Review

Given that you already know a thing or two about the advantages, the types, and the features that you need to consider while choosing a suitable pair, here are some of the top choices on the market that you just might want to look at!

Best Men’s Pants for Fishing

Notice: The Wading List is reader-supported. We take part in the Amazon Associates Program and other affiliate programs and earn a small commission at no extra cost for you if you end up making a purchase. We only recommend products we are convinced of and use ourselves. Thanks!

Simms Bugstopper Pant

Why we picked it:

One thing about fishing: you will also be exposed to the breeding areas of insects and mosquitoes. When you find yourself in a spot with standing water, you would most likely have a problem with warding insects off, but with the Simms Bugstopper Pant, you’ll be surprised how much of these worries will just evaporate away. This pair is built with lightweight nylon woven fabric integrated with Insect Shield® repellent that also comes with a UPF 50+ Finish to protect your skin from the sun. I like the inseam with a stretchy waistband that can be easily adjusted for your comfort. It comes with four pockets in total from the front and back.

I found the Insect Shield® repellent technology to effectively repel not only mosquitoes, but ants, flies, ticks, midges, and chiggers as well. Don’t worry about this wearing out though, because this Simms Bugstopper Pant is built to last throughout the lifetime of your purchase. It’s the perfect choice if you fish more often on hot days and in water bodies that are prone to give you itchy contacts. 


  • Highly breathable
  • Stopps bug from biting you


  • It’s an investment



Columbia Men’s Blood and Guts III Convertible Pant

Why we picked it:

If your priority is to stay clean and dry, then these Columbia Men’s Blood and Guts III Convertible Pant would probably be the best choice for you. It features the brand’s signature stain repellent fabric that effectively resists absorbing liquids and moisture, keeping you mostly dry and free from stains. It also comes with UPF 30 sun protection to protect you from the harsh UVA and UVB rays.

The Columbia Men’s Blood and Guts III Convertible Pant is built with lightweight and durable materials that are 100% nylon, which allows you maximum comfort and movement while out in the water. I cherish the fact that it can also be converted into shorts with its zip-off legs, providing you versatility and convenience, no matter what style you need or prefer. The pair also comes with four packets from the front and back, with one self-draining cargo pocket, and a tool pocket. As for the fit, it comes with a partial elastic waist that features belt loops that will enable you to adjust accordingly.


  • Can be converted into shorts
  • Stain repellency


  • Not quite as durable as the Simms



Patagonia Men’s Sandy Cay Pants

Why we picked it:

For a more casual look, check out the Patagonia Men’s Sandy Cay Pants that are made to look and fit you like regular work pants. It’s made with 100% recycled nylon Taslan embedded with UPF 50+ sun protection, which is one of the perfect choices if you are a fan of fishing in warmer weather since it also has quick-drying features. The material is also great at resisting abrasions and is built with a double-layer fabric for protection and durability. 

The Patagonia Men’s Sandy Cay Pants come with two slash pockets in the front with mesh drainage, and two back pockets at the back, in which one is zippered. It also has a zippered security pocket located on the right thigh that’s easily accessible.


  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Made from recycled nylon


  • No zip-off option



Grundéns Gaff Pant

Why we picked it:

If you prefer a more stylish, active fit, then consider this pair of Grundéns Gaff Pant. It’s made with 89% nylon and 11% spandex with a Durable Water Repellant (DWR) coat, giving you a quick-drying and water-resistant finish.

The Grundéns Gaff Pant comes with a zippered side pocket that you can easily put and access your essential tools.


  • Highly elastic
  • Excellent water repellency


  • Fit is quite tight



Huk Next Level Cargo Pant

Why we picked it:

This Huk Next Level Cargo Pant would probably be your safest choice if you want something that comes with full features, providing you with an excellent performance that won’t disappoint. It’s built with 55% cotton, 35% polyester, and 10% spandex, fused together to give you maximum comfort and convenience.

It’s built with a gusseted crotch and an adjustable waistband for maximized free movements. The Huk Next Level Cargo Pant comes with quick-drying and stain-release properties for a clean and dry angling experience that won’t leave you hanging.





Best Fishing Pants For Women

Simms Women’s Mataura Pants

Why we picked it:

An ode to New Zealand’s Mataura River, the Simms Women’s Mataura Pants is perfect for women anglers who would still like to fish in style, without sacrificing the essential features needed. This pair is built with stretchy fabric that provides a flattering cut and doubles as casual wear.

I like the fact that its water-resistant material is also fused with UPF 50+ sun protection. The Simms Women’s Mataura Pants come with a handy group of hand and back packets that could accommodate your essential tools. 


  • Lots of pockets
  • Good fit for all-day comfort


  • Cannot be converted into shorts



Columbia Women’s Aruba IV Pant Fishing Pant

Why we picked it:

Take your fly fishing experience to the next level with this Columbia Women’s Aruba IV Pant Fishing Pant that features versatility like no other. It has zip-off legs, which you can use to convert the pants into shorts whether you are in or out of the water. It’s made of 100% lightweight nylon with excellent quick-drying properties, as well as UPF 15 sun protection. 

The Columbia Women’s Aruba IV Pant Fishing Pant comes with self-draining pockets and an interior mesh lining designed to keep you clean, dry, and comfortable. It also includes a side elastic waistband, front slant pockets, and flap-closure pockets on the side.


  • Convertible
  • Very lightweight


  • Limited water repellency



Orvis Women’s Jackson Quick-Dry Stretch Pants

Why we picked it:

Stylish, comfortable, and versatile—that’s what this pair of Orvis Women’s Jackson Pants takes pride in. Whether you’re going fishing or on a hike, this excellent quick-dry pair would be your best choice. It also has UPF 50 sun protection, fused in its moisture-wicking fabric that’s also stretchable so that you are free to move.

The inseam of the Orvis Women’s Jackson Quick-Dry Stretch Pants can be converted to 23” from 32” and it sports an active fit with a sport rise. 


  • Solid sun protection
  • Slim fit


  • Limited pocket options



Best Waterproof Fishing Pants

Simms Waypoints Rain Pant

Why we picked it:

If you would like to opt for a handy pair of waterproof pants, then consider this Simms Waypoints Rain Pant. It’s lightweight and fully waterproof, and won’t fail you even under heavy downpour conditions because you can just cinch it down with its adjustable hook and loop hem feature. It’s made with breathable nylon that comes with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) rain protection and it can be rolled up into an elastic loop for easier and convenient storage. 

The Simms Waypoints Rain Pant is designed to allow you maximum movement with its gusseted crotch and articulated knee seams, and it also comes with side zippers that pass through the interior for convenient pocket access.


  • Waterproof and very lightweight at the same time


  • Can get a little hot on warmer days



Orvis Men’s Ultralight Storm Pants

Why we picked it:

True to its name, the Orvis Men’s Ultralight Storm Pants is one of the best lightweight and waterproof pants in the market that can withstand even the harshest conditions. I like the fact that they can be easily slipped on without hassle, and they are easily packable on the go. Its nylon shell is coated with a DWR finish, with a dry-touching coat beneath for maximum comfort and airflow whether you are in or out of the water.

The Orvis Men’s Ultralight Storm Pants has YKK AquaGuard® urethane-coated side zips that effectively shut out moisture, as well as help you easily pull it over boots or shoes. It’s designed with an elastic waist packed with a zipper and a snap button at the front for an easy fit.


  • Solid water repellency
  • Highly packable


  • Waterproofness is not at the level of the Simms



Conclusion on the Best Fly Fishing Pants

Choosing the right clothing for your fishing endeavors is just as important as choosing the right gear to accompany you on your journey. You must first consider your needs, the conditions you usually fish in, and the water bodies you plan to go to before choosing the right kind of pants for you. 

Notice: The Wading List is reader-supported. We take part in the Amazon Associates Program and other affiliate programs and earn a small commission at no extra cost for you if you end up making a purchase. We only recommend products we are convinced of and use ourselves. Thanks!