Just a few years ago, the only people you’d see decked out in hats, neck gaiters (those tube scarf things) and long sleeve performance shirts were fly fishers. Now all the sensible anglers are adorned that way. Since we’re in the sun a lot and always wet, I try to cover up with materials that provide UV protection and stain resistance, shed water and breathe. Cotton retains water and isn’t your friend in these situations, stretchy polyester is. That applies to everything on your body.
I’ll briefly list what I like to wear, from head to toe. Please check out my other gear recommendations.
Hat: G Loomis Coolmax cap. Unfortunately the cap is discontinued but is the only type I wear. It’s so soft, there’s no break-in period, and it really does keep my head cool. I stocked up on a few caps and there are still a few more available online and on sale if you act soon.
Neck Gaiter: Gillzmask. I’ve tried a few of the other brands’ tubed neck protectors that didn’t cover the base of my neck and didn’t have vent holes. Ended up with a farmer’s tan and foggy sunglasses. The Gillzmask flares out at the bottom to cover the base of your neck, and has two vents on each side and a mesh breathing hole for your mouth. The material doesn’t feel hot around your neck either. I can be covered up from my cap to my chin and not be wearing a bulky hat that catches wind. And when I need to look less extreme I can push the gaiter down around my neck. The Gillzmasks have held up to constant use over 3 yrs except for some seams around the breathing hole needing to be redone. Gillz runs sales every so often and has free shipping over $49.
Long Sleeve Performance Shirt – Kayaking: Gillz. LIke the Gillzmask, their shirts have mesh panels running down the sides. The long sleeve shirts keep me protected from the sun yet prevent me from over heating when I’m paddling. The vents work so well that I don’t wear the shirts on cold or rainy days.
Long Sleeve Performance Shirt – Wading and Boating: Patagonia Sunshade Crew. I’ve tried a lot of long sleeve fishing shirts and these are my favorites. They are light weight, breathable, stain resistant, loose fitting, under-stated and have a zippered chest pocket. Everything you want in a fishing shirt and attractive enough to keep wearing after you’re pau fishing. I store my phone in the easy to unzip pocket when I don’t wade too deep, and put my sunglasses in it when I’m cleaning up at dusk. Patagonia has a Fall clearance sale (30 – 40% off I think? Free shipping over $75) of the product line (style or color) that won’t be carried into the following year so I try to stock up then. I haven’t had any problems with my shirts so far, but if I do, I can take them to the local Patagonia store in town for repair or replacement.
Shorts: I wear a discontinued board short style with pockets on both hips that can hold a phone and keys. Main thing is that it stretches and is polyester.
Underwear: Polyester stretch material that wicks water and doesn’t bind on those long kayak paddling days.
Foot wear – Wading: Tabis with felt soles and zipper. I really should buy a better one that keeps the sand out and supports my foot.
Foot wear – Kayak Fishing: Surf booties, ankle cut. Enough protection on sole if I have to walk on the reef, and light enough to swim with in an emergency.