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The best fishing shirts should be at the top of your gear list — so we rounded up our favorites.
Most of our favorite outdoor activities encourage specific apparel for good reasons. Camo for hunting is an obvious one, but even something like hiking socks serve an important purpose, and they'll keep you safer and more comfortable when you're spending time outside. A fishing shirt is another one of those must-haves that will enhance your time out on the water by keeping you comfortable. Sure, you could fish in a T-shirt and jeans, but why would you want to when a fishing shirt effectively shields you from the sun, keeps you drier with unique fabrics (your shirt won't stick to you when it's wet!), and fends off fishy odors with antimicrobial treatments. Many also feature something your regular cotton tees definitely don't have: multiple pockets for all the little things you need close by, and a holder or loop that Velcros or hooks your fishing rod in place. Not only are fishing shirts made to be more comfortable for anglers, they're more functional, too.
We rounded up short and long sleeve shirts that are stain-resistant, moisture-wicking, and protective from UV rays. These top-rated outdoor options offer more than your standard cotton T-shirt, and you'll instantly feel the difference once you wear them for the first time. See which shirt is perfect for your outdoor needs and check out our picks for the best men's fishing shirts below:
1. Our Top Pick for a Year-Round Fishing Shirt
This Columbia shirt is the gold standard for fishing apparel, and it's our top pick for plenty of good reasons. Made of moisture-wicking fabric, it offers UPF 40 to provide you hours of protection from the sun. The mesh-lined vent on the back cools you down in the hottest and muggiest weather, and it's quick to dry the inevitable sweat or sea spray on your clothes. The roll-up sleeves have a tab to secure them in place, and the shirt's antimicrobial treatment stops bacterial growth. The shirt has plenty of pockets, and it has the rod holder on the right side. Choose from over 15 different colors and six sizes, and the manufacturer suggests you size down.
2. Our Top Pick for the Summertime
The shirt's name says it all: consider this a stain-resistant option perfect for fishing or cleaning the fish you caught. Another pick from Colombia, this is a quality short-sleeve option that's made for the summer heat: The fabric reacts to sweat by cooling down the fabric, it has UPF 50 protection, and it even has a patch on it to wipe your sunglasses. Of course, it has all the bells and whistles of our other top pick: the ventilated mesh back, a rod holder, and plentiful pockets. This shirt comes in 23 colors and sizes small through XXL.
3. A Short Sleeve Option for Sun Protection
So maybe you don't need all the bells and whistles of the Columbia shirts. Fair, but you'll still need some protection, which is why we love these HUK shirts. This light and breezy option is quick-drying and feels cool on the body even on the hottest days — and start to cool down once it comes in contact with sweat. The fibers allow air to pass through the shirt, so it's comfotable the moment you put it on. It has a UPF of 50 and is available in sizes small through 3X in over eight colors.
4. A Long Sleeve Option for Sun Protection
This shirt has similar specs to our short sleeve sun protection option, but of course, it's long sleeve. It has 50 UPF, is incredibly lightweight, and wicks away moisture. Over ll, the quick-drying shirt is a top-notch pick for those wanting something lightweight but with more coverage. It's a great layering shirt, and is casual and comfortable: it comes in a number of colors from sizes XS-XXL, and the manufacturer suggests you size down.
5. This Fishing Shirt Polo
For the men that prefer polos, here's the perfect pick for you. This fishing polo has a relaxed fit and is made with moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry and comfy. With UPF 30 protection and a ventilated back vent, it has almost everything the other shirts have except for the pockets. However, there is one additional perk: the radial sleeves are designed wide enough to allow easy casting and reeling in.
6. A Light Sweatshirt Option
This HUK shirt offers all the qualities of the short sleeve HUK option — including a UPF of 30 — but with the additional bonus of a hood. This hoodie can serve as sun protection for the back of your neck (we do recommend buying a gaiter, though) or as a way to keep warm on mornings before the sun comes out. It's still a breathable hoodie, however — and is treated to prevent staining.
This post was originally published on July 18, 2019.
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