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Warmest base layer under breathable waders

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Underarmor long underwear and fleece pants.  This is for wading in very cold water.

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UA Coldgear and fleece pants. Cotton will eventually get wet from moisture, sweat, and condensation, and will not insulate as it should. 

 

Specifically, Under Armour Base 4.0 top and bottom. Patagonia makes their Capilene, which is really high quality stuff, but a little more pricey. As for the fleece pants, there are specific "wading pants" which have stirrups so the fleece doesn't ride up on you when you put waders on. I have a real thick pair from Redington. 

 

Either way, fleece + a synthetic or wool baselayer is the way to go. Same goes for your socks. Layers. Wool blend socks are my preference.

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I’ll throw Patagonia’s heavyweight capilene into the mix. In my experience, it far exceeds Under Armour and the like—merino is ideal but it comes at a cost that maybe not all can afford. But I wear my heavyweight capilene in the dead of winter and am very comfortable. Patagonia is also a brand that does a lot more for things like keeping our natural environment intact, using recycled products, etc., so you do get more for your money than you would from a brand like UA, just saying. 

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UA Cold gear top, Followed by Patagonia Thermal weight capilene top and bottoms. Fleece wader pants with stirrups by Redington that also have a zipper. One of the only brands that had a zipper. Simms, North Face, Orvis did not have zippers. Silk base layer socks under 0 degree rated wool blend socks that I got in Vermont. I bought 4 pairs 20 years ago. I have 2 pairs left. Very rarely feel cold, even standing waist deep and casting for 4 or 5 hours.

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Like DZ and other guys posted, polypropylene base layer and fleece. I found those dumb jogger sweats work great. That's what I've been wearing lately. On my feet thin silk with heavy weight wool over. That combo keeps me warm in the dead of winter fishing. Sitting in a duck blind, neoprene waders are kind of a must.

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I wear UA long johns, and some form of cotton or wool over them for wicking. Wicking properties are just as important as the temperate your gear is rated for. 
 

I don’t normally get too cold in my legs or body, but my feet can really ruin my day. On my feet, I wear nylon or silk dress socks, with wool over them. If need be, I’ll wear two pairs of wool over the silk. 
 

The best thing you can do for staying warm is doing your best to not get dressed until you’re at the water. You don’t want to sweat before you start fishing if you can avoid it. Sweat gets cold rapidly, and your body will feel it. Once your clothes/socks are damp and sweaty it’s impossible for them to dry throughout the day while you’re wearing them. 

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