Good fishing pants are essential, whether you wear them to protect you from the summer’s sun or the winter’s cold.
Tough and easy wearing, the best options provide the protection you need while still being comfortable. And whatever season you wear them in, they need to be able to shrug off stains.
That’s a tall order, and plenty of pants advertised to anglers just aren’t up to it.
So if you don’t know where to start, we’d like to help.
Below, you’ll find reviews of some of our favorites, as well as a few things to consider when you’re selecting your next pair of fishing pants:
Warm Weather and Three Season
Winter and Ice Fishing
Table of Contents (clickable)
Material: 100% nylon treated with stain repellant
Columbia’s fishing clothing is popular among anglers. That’s a testament to its no-nonsense quality.
Their PFG Blood and Guts III Convertible pants are a comfortable, hard-wearing option for fishermen who like the idea of switching to shorts when necessary.
Constructed from 100% nylon that’s been treated with a proprietary stain repellant, these pants are very, very light and extremely comfortable in sweltering summer temperatures. If you’re like me and don’t like the idea of sunburnt legs and ankles, these pants are a fantastic choice.
The pockets on these pants aren’t huge, so don’t expect to store a ton of gear in them. That said, wallet, keys, knife, and phone will be no trouble, and you can count on them to be well-executed, secure, and quick draining.
The zipper and other hardware are top quality, as is the stitching. Durability is excellent.
As their name suggests, these pants are pretty good at resisting stains, and they wash easily. They also dry very quickly, allowing you to hand-launder them in a sink or tub while on a longer fishing trip. Hung overnight, they’ll be dry--no question, and remarkably, they’ll look pretty good when you’re done.
True to size, Colombia’s Blood and Guts III are a great choice for hot weather angling.
Material: 91% Polyester, 9% Elastane treated with stain repellant
Columbia manufactures several different lines of angling pants, and the Terminal Tackle is a direct competitor with the Blood and Guts III.
Made from a combination of polyester and elastane, these pants are stretchy by design, allowing a slimmer fit while still providing freedom of movement. They’re also very light, though probably not quite as cool as the Blood and Guts III, though that’s largely a subjective assessment.
They’ve been treated with the same proprietary stain repellant, and whatever chemical wizardry Columbia has cooked up really works. They’re easy to launder by hand and dry quickly, allowing you to wash them as needed in a sink or bathtub, hang them to dry, and wear them the next day, guaranteed.
The mesh pockets on the Terminal Tackle are less capacious than on the Blood and Guts III, so anything more than the bare essentials will get crowded. When you combine this with a slimmer, stretchier fit, I’d say the pockets are more for decoration than real use.
That’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, especially if you’ve got plenty of tackle storage already. Realistically, though, anything much beyond a phone and a slim knife is going to push the front pockets to their maximum.
Aesthetically, these are among the best-looking fishing pants out there, and if you’re pressing your gear to cover you on the water and in the restaurant at the marina, these pants make even more sense.
Some anglers find this product runs a tad small, so you may want to consider sizing up, but they are quite stretchy.
Material: 98% Polyester, 2% Spandex treated with stain repellant and antimicrobial agents
HUK is another time-tested and respected name in fishing apparel, and their Reserve Quick-Drying Performance pants show why.
Essentially chinos made from a mix of polyester and spandex, they look like normal dress pants but wear like fishing gear.
Very light, they’re probably the warmest of the three options on our list, but they still dry very quickly. And like the offerings from Columbia, they’ve been treated with stain-resistant chemicals, making them easy to launder. HUK added an antimicrobial agent, too, meaning that they won’t collect sweat and skin cells and start to stink like polyester can.
Expect storage equivalent to dress pants, meaning that you’ll want other options for things like pliers or a lipper. That said, these are another great option for anglers who’ll be socializing during or after a fishing trip and want to look smart while doing so.
True to size, these HUK pants are hard-wearing, belying their dress silhouette.
Material: 600D Endura nylon and Hydrapore waterproofing
Striker’s Ice SI HardWater bibs are simply amazing, providing plenty of warmth while still allowing free movement.
Built with a 600D shell of Endura nylon, they can really take a beating. And thanks to a proprietary waterproofing and 150 grams of toasty Thermadex insulation, these are some of the driest, warmest bibs available.
They’re also pretty darn comfy, offering plenty of padding where you’ll want it most, at the knees and seat.
D-rings, a zippered pocket at the chest, and two large accordion-style pockets provide plenty of storage, and these bibs get really high marks on this metric.
Overall, these are a very comfortable, very warm option for the coldest weather, but probably overkill unless you really are working the hard water. That said, windy, rainy, just above freezing days on the water were made for this kind of clothing.
Material: 300D nylon
Frabill is a trusted name on the ice, and the I-3 won’t let you down.
These bibs surrender some absolute durability to their competitors, seeing as they’re made from 300D nylon, but that also means they bend and stretch a bit more, making them better for more active fishing.
The knees and cuffs sport an extra layer of 500D nylon, reinforcing these points of abuse. Durability, as you’d expect from Frabill, is excellent.
150 grams of Thinsulate insulation and plenty of both waterproofing and windproofing make these bibs a great option for nasty weather and cold temps. Padded where you’d expect, kneeling and sitting on the ice is no trouble.
Full-length zippers allow easy on and off, and thoughtful details like lots of storage and D-rings set the Frabill apart from its competitors.
You’ll even find 3M reflective panels high on the chest and back to improve visibility in poor conditions.
This is another very warm option for climates where winter temperatures can be brutal, but worn above non-insulating layers, these might be a good choice for cold days on open water, too.
Material: Duradry 600D polyester fabric
On the hard water, you’ll see plenty of Eskimo Roughneck bibs, and that’s saying something. Built with quality in mind, but not quite as insulated as their competitors, these bibs just might be the best option for cold-weather angling on open water.
Made with a durable 600D polyester fabric shell, these bibs are lined with fleece and include a proprietary floatation material should you fall in the water. While they may not keep you afloat alone, they’ll certainly help you keep your head above water.
Treated to assure wind- and waterproofing, these are a good option in foul weather, a fact that’s reinforced by details like storm flaps on the long, durable zippers up both legs.
Storage is plentiful, with a zippered chest pocket and two big pockets on either thigh at the front.
Plenty warm enough for temperatures down to -10 F, they’re suitable for warmer weather, too, and I like these bibs a lot for cold days on the open water.
Fishing can be really tough on your gear, and from kneeling to squatting, sitting on rocks and logs to a sudden slip and fall, you want your fishing pants to be tough.
Durability is largely a function of the material and the quality of manufacturing. Stronger, more reliable hardware like zippers and buttons cost more, and more robust--and stain-resistant--materials are equally expensive.
Those extra costs are almost always passed down to you, the consumer, and typically, you can expect to get what you pay for.
When discussing the heavier options available in ice fishing bibs, you’ll see references to “D,” shorthand for “denier.” That’s just a measurement of the mass of the individual fibers, and what really matters is that higher numbers indicate heavier, tougher fabrics.
When the heat’s on, light, breathable fabrics are king--and the lightweight nylons and polyesters in the pants on our list will really shine.
But as the temperatures drop, you may find these summer pants to be uncomfortably cold.
I’d strongly recommend an insulating underlayer if you intend to wear the pants on our list across three seasons.
For colder weather, nothing beats ice fishing bibs, as they offer an unbeatable combination of windproofing, waterproofing, and warmth.
In climates where spring and fall can be downright chilly, these are a great option.
Ideally, fishing pants can help you organize some of your gear, whether that’s your phone and knife or something more substantial like pliers, grippers, or a hemostat.
But frankly, that’s not always necessary, especially on a boat, where tackle bags, PFDs, and other storage options abound.
Nevertheless, we noted the storage capabilities for each product we reviewed.
We can’t tell you which option best suits your needs, but you can rest assured that at least one of the products we’ve reviewed will serve you well, wherever and whatever you fish.
If this article has helped you pick your next pair of fishing pants, we’d love to hear from you.
Please leave a comment below.