Why Does Fishing Sun Protection Clothing Work? 5 Tips for Sun Protection

Why Does Fishing Sun Protection Clothing Work? 5 Tips for Sun Protection

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 to choose the right sun protection clothing for your fishing needs. As a bonus, we've included 5 additional sun protection tips.

Drew Cook Wearing Samurai Sun Protection Shirt

Why Do I Need to Protect Myself From the Sun?

Many years ago, awareness of 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? 

UPF indicates how much UV radiation can pass through fabric and reach your skin. UV radiation is a combination of UVB and UVA rays. UVB rays have a shorter wavelength and cause skin to burn, while UVA rays cause skin to age. The higher the UPF rating, the less radiation that reaches your skin. For example, a UPF 50 fabric blocks 98% of the sun's rays, only allowing 2% to penetrate. Any piece of clothing with a UPF 50+ rating allows less than 2% of rays to penetrate. A UPF 50+ rating offers excellent sun protection, and UPF 15 is the lowest sun protection rating. For clothing, look for a higher UPF rating and avoid the hassle of reapplying sunscreen.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It measures how well a sunscreen protects skin from sunburn-causing UVB rays. Like UPF, SPF has different levels of protection. SPF 15 protects your skin 15 times longer than skin with no sunscreen. Typically, the higher the SPF rating, the more protection you have from UVB rays. An SPF 50 sunscreen blocks 98% of UVB rays, an SPF 30 sunscreen blocks 97% of UVB rays, and an SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93% of UVB rays. For ultimate protection, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects against both UVB and UVA rays. We recommend wearing at least an SPF 30 sunscreen while spending time outdoors to avoid sun damage.

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:

Our best-selling Samurai Performance Shirt is considered our basic level of sun protection. However, this fishing shirt is by no means ill-equipped for your day on the water. With a UPF 50 sun protection rating and an antimicrobial treatment for odor control, 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.

AFTCO Samurai Fishing Shirt

A step up from the Samurai is the Air-O Mesh® Hooded Fishing Shirt. The Air-O Mesh® breathable fishing shirts are designed to keep you comfortable all day long in warm, humid climates. It features a UPF 50 rating and maximum breathability thanks to AFTCO's Air-O Mesh® fabric. This shirt will allow even the slightest breeze to blow through it, so you won't overheat.

Air-O Mesh Performance Shirt

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 ever wear. With 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 fishing shirt you need.

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 Adapt Phase Change Shirt also has 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.

Adapt Performance Shirt

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 they also offer a clean look that is suitable for everyday wear. Check out AFTCO's best-selling button up shirt, the Rangle Vented Fishing Shirt.

Rangle Performance Woven

Things to consider when choosing fishing clothes

With so many options on the market, it can be hard to know which ones provide the best protection from the sun. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Color: Dark or bright colors prevent UV rays from reaching your skin because they absorb them.
  • Construction: The type of fabric determines how much sun protection it offers. Densely woven cloth like polyester, canvas, and denim provides more protection than sheer or thin cloth. Shiny polyesters can reflect radiation, and cotton has natural linens that absorb UV too. If you’re unsure of a fabric’s sun safety, hold it up to the light. If you can see through it, that is a good indication that UV radiation can penetrate.
  • Fit: A loose fit is ideal. Tight-fitting clothing can stretch out, and as the fabric fibers pull away from each other, clothing loses its protection ability.
  • Coverage: Opt for long-sleeved shirts and pants when possible. It’s always better to keep skin covered than exposed.
  • Usage: Remember that usage makes a difference too. After wear and tear, clothing becomes stretched and loses its protective abilities.

AFTCO offers a variety of colors and styles to protect you from the elements. Gear up in everything from fishing pants to fishing sun masks to enjoy time outdoors and on the water.

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.

5. Don't forget your eyes! The eyes are an overlooked area, and sun exposure can cause sunburn or lead to the development of cataracts. A good pair of polarized fishing sunglasses is heavily recommended to protect the skin around your eyes as well as your eyeballs.

Looking to stay dry and warm this winter? Check out our 8 tips for the best cold weather fishing gear.

Women's Sun Protection Shirts