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A guide to finding the ideal lightweight rain jacket for fishing in the United States

A guide to finding the ideal lightweight rain jacket for fishing in the United States

lightweight fishing jackets for America

A prepared fisherman or woman is one who can anticipate the weather, but also one who understands that conditions can’t always be predicted. The U.S. experiences widely variable temperatures, meaning that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to lightweight fishing gear.  

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Preparing for North America’s variable climate


North America is a vast country, with variable conditions from state to state. Unless you plan to buy a new set of fishing gear for each state you visit during professional or leisure fishing, you’ll need to choose something versatile. This means lightweight rain jackets for fishing in California that are adaptable and versatile enough to be worn with lots of layers in colder states too.

How tough is PVC?

First things first – the waterproofing of your next lightweight fishing jacket

lightweight rain jackets for fishing in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, New England or wherever all need to have one thing in common. They need to keep you dry. To ensure 100% waterproofing, avoid oilskins that promise ‘water resistance’ or anything else that isn’t a guarantee of keeping every drop of moisture out. Look out for rain jackets with welded or reinforced seams, adjustable cuffs and storm flaps.

Remember – warmth is just as important as waterproofing when it comes to lightweight fishing jackets

Being cold when out on a boat can be just as unpleasant as being wet, and just as dangerous. Even if you’re prioritising versatility and a lighter design, you’ll find that some lightweight rain jackets for fishing in New England and other colder climates simply aren’t warm enough. Choose your materials carefully and follow the tips below.

Reinforced seams will prevent water entry at vulnerable points. This also helps to give the item a longer usable life.

Essential tips for effective layering

As we’ve discussed, the key to staying warm in cold conditions is insulation. This means layering, where you trap layers of warmth from your body so that the heat can’t escape and be lost. Here’s what you need to do for effective layering:

  • Choose a larger size rain jacket than you’d otherwise wear. This means you can fit warm layers underneath.
  • Prepare to be too hot as well as too cold. Layering is also good for those unexpectedly warm conditions, which can happen when out on a boat. The advantage of multiple layers is that you can peel some off when too warm, and layer back up if the weather changes.
  • Choose breathable fabrics. This includes everything from an insulating under layer to your waterproof shell on the outside.

The benefits of lightweight fishing jackets vs heavy oilskins

Extra features to look out for on a lightweight fishing jacket

The lightweight rain jackets for fishing in the Gulf of Mexico all the way up to those worn in Alaska have come a long way in recent years. They’re now optimised for comfort, with extra features such as raglan sleeves, longer backs to encourage rain run-off, glove-friendly zips and deep, easy-access pockets.

Choose whatever works best for you, but make sure you get it from an expert in rain jackets for fishing in North America such as Stormline. We also offer bulk buy discounts of up to 15%, take a look here at our full range of wholesale fishing gear including lightweight oilskins.