Angler apparel for staying safe from summer’s searing sun
It’s no secret that outdoor adventurers face significant exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. And anglers are prone to even more exposure, owing to UV rays also reflecting off the water’s surface. Like many outdoorsmen, I ignored sun safety until a melanoma scare forever changed my attitude. These days, instead of relying solely on sunscreen, I also wear clothing that provides total sun protection. If you also want to completely cover up this summer while out on the water, here are some examples of the duds you need.
Baseball caps only shade your face. Best is a wide-brimmed hat, such as Tilley’s Paddler, which protects your face, ears and neck from the sun.
Protect your nose, ears and neck with a neck gaiter or face mask. Buff’s UVX Mask, for example, is designed specifically for anglers, featuring micro-holes over the nose to aid breathing and keep sunglasses from fogging up.
Polarized sunglasses shield your eyes from UV rays, not to mention insects and stray fish hooks. And shades such as Costa’s Fisch (with Sunrise Silver Mirror lenses) also reduce glare and let you see beneath the water’s surface.
Lightweight and fingerless, sun gloves protect your hands from UV rays while providing a better grip on your rod. Patagonia’s Sun Gloves (right) and Technical Sun Gloves (left), for example, are durable and comfortable, even on very hot days.
Many shirts have special features for anglers, such as oversized pockets, vented backs and quick-dry, moisture-wicking fabrics. Long-sleeved collared shirts, such as Simms’ Ultralight, with UPF 30 sun protection, cover your neck as well as your arms. If you’re more of a T-shirt person, one increasingly popular option is a lightweight sun hoodie, which also covers your neck and ears.
Look for light-coloured pants made from quick-drying synthetic materials, with angler-friendly features such as cargo pockets and mesh briefs. The light and durable PFG Blood and Guts III Convertible Pants from Columbia Sportswear, for example, are also designed to repel stains and provide UPF 30 sun protection.
Most anglers prefer comfortable sneaker-style shoes, such as Keen’s McKenzie II (right), that dry quickly. Another good option is a pair of the popular Crocs Offroad Sports Clogs (left)—just remember to also wear a lightweight sock or apply sunscreen to your feet and ankles.
Saskatchewan contributor Wayne Phillips always stays covered up under the hot summer sun.