In my younger years, well before spray tanning, the “cool thing” was to go shirtless and see how olive you could turn your skin. This was a problem for me even thirty years ago because I can get burned by just thinking about the sun. Society’s shift and technology have made it so that these same fishing guides and professionals now more closely resemble a mummy than a bay watch lifeguard. Nowadays function and fashion are mixing and here is how.
Microfiber pants and shirts that nearly completely cover your skin actually help lower your core temp while avoiding damaging sun rays. Companies such as Simms have clothes literally labeled “super light” that keep you from getting burned and at the same time keeping you more comfortable. Easily my favorite piece of clothing is the lightweight hoodies Simms labels under Solarflex. These stretchy and super light and cool fabric can totally change your outlook on warm weather fishing. The hood makes it very nice to keep your neck and ears from get exposed. Yes sunscreen helps…but most of us don’t hit all the spots, reapply nearly enough, if even use it at all. For me it is much easier to just flip up the hood. The Solarflex series hoods stay up much better than other brands I have used, enough that they typically stay on even while driving 40mph down the lake. Simms even has a series of clothes entitled “Bugstopper” in the Solarflex lineup which help reduce those pesky buzzing creatures. While I prefer the aforementioned sun shirts with a hood and a regular old ball cap, if you have a bunch of shirts without hoods look for a full brimmed hat that can help shield your face, neck and ears.
This same microfiber material is crafted into neck gators or masks that makes completely comfortably covering your face around sunglasses a breeze. When facing tons of bugs, big winds or driving down the lake at Mach 1, a Simms SunGaiter is a must have. I literally have them in my truck, boat glovebox and pockets of my raingear to make sure I’m never without. They also do wonders when it comes to windburn.
While sunglasses, hats and even sun gaiter have become no brainers in recent year’s, one area that typically goes overlooked is your hands. Many people that work outside develop skin cancer on the tops of their hands where sunscreen either wears off or is never applied. I know I am guilty of this myself. In recent years I have started to wear sun gloves for just this reason. Another added benefit is that my hands don’t get as chewed up from nicks and cuts in the boat and from fish handling. Simms alone offers three different types to cover a multitude of situations.
While sun gloves aren’t an everyday item for those that work outside, even less know about sun sleeves. Essentially these are microfiber sleeves you can place over your arms allowing a short sleeve shirt to still have complete coverage. Many anglers like them because they feel less inhibited that the pulling long sleeves can create. Regardless they seem like a neat item to carry in case you are getting too much sun or keep you from having to get more long sleeve shirts.
Simply put we all know the sun is bad for us and if you fish enough you know that it can make you just plain uncomfortable. Since I’m on the topic of acting motherly, make sure you all drink A LOT more water while fishing. I know I fish better when I more comfortable and it’s no longer cool to look like a lobster!
Capt. Ross Robertson