Wearing sun protection clothing while fishing protects you from the sun by blocking or absorbing harmful UV radiation. Whether you are new to saltwater fishing or a seasoned freshwater fishing veteran, protecting yourself from the elements is the key to a long day on the water. Below we explore how you can pick the right sun protection clothing for your fishing needs. As a bonus, we’ve included 5 additional sun protection tips.
Why Do I Need to Protect Myself From the Sun?
Many years ago, awareness around the need for sun protection was lacking. As any full-time fishing guide will tell you, that has changed. The increased awareness of skin cancer is very real, often resulting from long days on the water. 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. To help combat that and help you select the right sun protection gear for your needs, AFTCO makes a wide range of sun protection clothing.
Here are some of the benefits of wearing sun protection clothing:
It can help prevent skin cancer.
It can help prevent sunburn.
It can help keep you cool and comfortable on hot days.
It can help protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
What is UPF? How is it different than SPF?
Clothing’s Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) measures both UVB and UVA protection. UPF is integrated into the fabric, leading to constant protection as long as it covers the skin. A UPF rating of 50 will protect you from 98% of the sun’s rays. That means protection against both UVA and UVB Rays. UPF fishing clothing will add additional levels of protection.
Sunscreen is classified by its Sun Protection Factor (SPF). SPF is only rated to protect from the sun’s UVB rays, which are the rays that can burn your skin. Selecting a “broad spectrum” sunscreen will help by adding against UVA rays as well. However, SPF in sunscreen loses protection as it rubs off your skin, requiring constant reapplication, which can be a hassle.
Which clothing is best to protect me from the sun?
Different companies make varying levels of sun protection clothing. From the very basic to highly breathable UPF gear, AFTCO offers a range of sun protection clothing for fishing. When looking for the best clothing for your needs, we suggest a UPF rating of at least UPF 30, and most importantly, we advise that you cover all body parts that you want to protect. That includes face masks, hats, shirts, and even pants.
Sun Protection Options
The AFTCO Samurai is considered our basic level sun protection. However, this fishing shirt is by no means ill-prepared for your day on the water. With a UPF rating of 50, the Samurai Fishing Shirt will help protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays and is a great option at an affordable price point.
A step up from the Samurai is the Yurei Air-O Mesh Breathable Fishing Shirt. It features a UPF 40 rating that allows for maximum breathability derived from AFTCO’s Air-O Mesh fabric. When held up to the light, the shirt seems slightly see-through, yet the fabric itself is woven in a way to provide sun protection. This is key in the summer when the heat may deter you from wanting to put on a long-sleeved shirt. This shirt will allow the slightest breeze to blow through it so you won’t overheat. That makes the Yurei shirt the next level in sun protection.
The next option and winner of the ICAST Best of Category for Warm Weather Technical Apparel is the Adapt Phase Change Fishing Shirt. Adapt was designed to be the most versatile fishing shirt you will wear. With the phase change technology, you will always be comfortable when out on the water.
Phase change refers to the intuitive temperature regulating technology, designed by Optimer, that is infused in the Adapt Fabric. In the same way that a warm-blooded human performs thermoregulation, the Adapt Fishing Shirt will regulate your body heat to keep you at a comfortable level throughout the day regardless of the outside temperature. The fabric is designed to reuse, restore, and recycle the body’s thermal energy. Learn more about the best cooling fishing shirt you need.
Button Up Fishing Shirts: There is one other category of sun protection fishing clothing out there, and it is vented, or button up fishing shirts. These tops are not only effective in the sun, but offer a clean, more suitable look for everyday wear. These shirts are more of a preference piece than having any real advantage over the other styles. Check out AFTCO’s best-selling button up shirt, the Rangle Vented Fishing Shirt.
All these options come in a crewneck as well as a hooded version, giving you the ability to cover up both your torso and neck. The Yurei Air-O Mesh Breathable Fishing Shirt and Adapt Phase Change Shirt also come with an integrated face mask, allowing you to cover up your face for maximum protection. These are added features you may want to consider when choosing sun protection clothing with maximum protection.
5 Tips for Protecting Yourself From The Sun While Fishing
1. The CDC website recommends that if you plan to use sunscreen, you should combine it with other sun safety options. This is important because sunscreen degrades over time, so using it in combination with other sun protection methods will give you the best possible protection.
2. Use sun protection clothing with a UPF of at least 30. UPF 50 will provide maximum protection.
3. Wear a baseball cap at the very least, but a wide-brimmed sun hat is a better option.
4. Don’t forget your hands! If you protect your whole body except your hands, they will be exposed to the sun and can suffer sun damage. Fishing sun gloves provide amazing protection for the tops of your hands, which is a usually overlooked and neglected spot.
5. Don’t forget your eyes! The eyes are a widely overlooked area that can get sunburned or worse, can be a cause of cataracts. A good pair of polarized fishing sunglasses is heavily recommended to protect the skin around your eyes as well as your eyeballs.
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