Fishing apparel has come a long way and it continues to get better each year as advancements in technology have made clothing lighter, warmer, and better equipped to handle the elements. Professional bass angler Jared Lintner makes his living outside. Having gear that keeps him comfortable is a top priority as he must fish through whatever Mother Nature dishes out that day.
Keeping warm and focused on fishing becomes a top priority each year during the colder months and Lintner has learned that layering is the best way to do that.
"Growing up, I would just use the heaviest jacket I could find and you would still freeze your butt off on the water," Lintner recalls. "I didn't think of trying to properly layer because I didn't even know anything about it. I've learned that planning out each layer is the best way to stay warm and comfortable and that means you can keep fishing through any type of weather."
The first layer you wear is likely the most important one to keep you from getting cold.
"The biggest mistake anglers make is using a cotton shirt as their first layer," Lintner shares. "Cotton collects any moisture you have from sweat and when it cools, it makes you even colder. I wear a nice performance shirt as the first layer because they don't hold any moisture."
His choices are AFTCO shirts with their DriRelease® technology that keeps him dry all day long.
"I'll start with a long-sleeve and then add a short-sleeve with the same material over that," Lintner shares. "I believe staying warm above the waist is the best way to make sure you stay warm all day long."
For the bottom, he'll wear an AFTCO Hexatron Technical Jogger beneath jeans to ensure his legs stay warm.
The next layer opens up a wide range of possibilities and Lintner has several favorites and will adjust them based on the air temperatures.
"AFTCO makes tons of different hoodies, vests, jackets, and sweatshirts," he says. "There really is something for anyone's style or preferences and they all keep you very warm. What I like about all of their products is that they are very light and even if I have a bunch of different layers on, I'm not eight inches thicker and can still move freely and fish comfortably."
One of his top pics is the Reaper Fishing Sweatshirt, both because of the warmth and built-in face mask and neck warmer.
"It is really warm and I will often add over something like the Vista Performance Fleece when it is freezing," he adds. "The neck warmer on the Reaper is great because you lose so much warmth out of that area and it helps to keep you warm and it is great for boat rides. You can also get the Reaper fleece face mask by itself and wear it with other sweatshirts."
On other days, he opts for the Adder down jacket or the Pufferfish Insulated Vest.
"The Adder down jacket one of the best jackets I have ever owned and fits great," he says. "It also packs down nice and small, so it is easy to store in your boat. I also really like how well a vest fits as a layering piece."
Rain Gear and Gloves
The outer layer is where Lintner will wear bibs and a jacket in the Hydronaut lineup.
"It keeps you dry in all conditions and has a bunch of features built-in to make it more comfortable," he says. "They also just added an insulated version that is great for freezing temperatures."
To keep his hands warm, Lintner is a big fan of wearing gloves while on the water for some winter fishing.
"The Helm Insulated Gloves are really warm and they are light and flexible enough that you can fish with them on," he says. "For driving the boat, I love the Hydronaut gloves. They are comfortable and warm and what is great is that you can still use your touchscreen graphs because the index finger works on touchscreens and lets you wipe the screen. I used to hate having to take my gloves off every time I wanted to touch my screen."
There are many different options when it comes to layering, but the biggest thing is understanding how each layer works together to keep you warmer and comfortable on the water.
"Doing it right will keep you warmer and let you fish longer," Linter says. "AFTCO tests everything they make in the harshest elements and everything they make is built to perform on the water. They've come a long way and continue to get better every year with great gear."