What To Wear Fishing In The Summer
Mossy Oak

What to Wear Fishing in the Summer: An Apparel and Gear Guide

Here's your go-to guide for summer fishing apparel.

Everyone wants to go fishing in the summer, but there are some considerations to make beforehand. Having the proper clothing and gear picked out before we even leave the dock can have a positive effect on our bodies and minds, eventually translating into a successful, enjoyable experience on the water.

Heading out on the boat or to the beach for a day's worth of fishing is great, but that having the right gear keeping us comfortable and protecting our bodies is very important. We need to be aware of the dangers of the hot sun, including its reflection off the water.

It wasn't all that long ago that finding the right gear—made specifically for the angler—was tough to do, but with today's leading manufacturers of outdoor clothing supplying the products, we've got better days ahead.

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Why Fishing Apparel Matters

Fishing in the summer is what we all aim for, and unless you choose the wrong clothing, it can be the best time of the year. For summer fishing, you need to be wearing clothing that will protect you from the dangers of the sun's heat and rays, and still keep you comfortable during your fishing trip.

The days of wearing a baseball cap, tennis shoes, t-shirt, and your favorite gym shorts aren't gone quite yet, but the proper fishing apparel items are now being manufactured in a much better way. When you start to consider what you should be looking for in good summer clothing, remember that the dangerous UV rays put out by the sun have become a serious situation in the fishing community.

We all need to start out by protecting our skin, and just as importantly, our eyes. We should know that sunscreen is just as important as anything that we wear, and keep some in our tackle box or bag.

Here's a rundown of the summer fishing apparel you should think about wearing.

Fishing Shirts

Choosing a long-sleeve version of a fishing shirt can protect the skin on your arms and avoid the need for sunscreen, and can always be rolled up if needed. There are many brands now that come equipped with stain and odor repellant technology that will keep a nice shirt nice, even after getting fish slime, blood, or even guts on something that you paid good money for.

These fishing-specific shirts are made to be moisture wicking, breathable, and cool to wear out on the water. The variety is vast, what with the many different manufacturers that not only offer the latest in UV protection technology, but do so in so many styles and graphics.

Fishing Shorts

Fishing shorts are meant to be made specifically for angling adventurers everywhere. A good quality pair of these angling shorts should be ultra comfortable, and able to be worn under a pair of pants for cooler morning and evening fishing excursions.

As with the shirts, look for a stain resistant material that gets added in the manufacturing process. These type of shorts can also be made UV impervious, and they should have plenty of pockets and be easily packed in your luggage for traveling.

Fishing Pants

As with the shorts and the shirts, these kinds of pants should look good, protect you, and last a long time. If you think that you may never wear a pair of pants while fishing in the summer, then it is possible that you have never used them as waders while walking a saltwater flat.

Virtually every single outdoor company that you've heard of makes fishing pants including Columbia, Pelagic, Simms, Orvis, and LL Bean, just to name a few. Men's and women's fishing pants are made for all conditions for both relaxed and technical fishing. Some even come in bug- and sun-protective materials to boot.

Fishing Shoes

Fishing shoes, water shoes, sandals, or flip flops can be found almost everywhere, and are of course very useful to the fishing community. They need to be well-fitting, dry quickly, and they need to be slip-resistant.

You want a shoe that's made from a flexible, lightweight material and has good ventilation. The upper material should conform easily to your foot just as any decent shoe does. Sandals or flip flops can have a toe piece in the middle or be wide open, but they must be trusted to keep you comfortable and grounded.

A good fishing shoe must be able to crawl over the rocks, walk through the water in mud or sand, and not leave a big scuff mark on the deck of a boat.

Fishing Gloves

We'll continue on by suggesting fishing gloves, because angler knows that fishing can be rough on the hands. Whether you're out in saltwater all day or spending the day fly fishing a small stream, the hands can take a beating.

Most of the time when you hear the phrase "fishing gloves" these days, it's meant to be about the kind that anglers wear now to protect their hands form the awful effects of the direct sunlight. Some fishing gloves are constructed of neoprene material that makes them waterproof, breathable, and wind-resistant.

Some anglers will tell you that they don't like wearing gloves while fishing, since it can make both casting and reeling in more difficult. In my opinion, gloves made specifically for fishing in the warmer months are easy to use and don't cause problems. Fingerless gloves in particular are my preference.

Fishing Hats

What To Wear Fishing In The Summer

Travis Smola

There are a great deal of different styles of hats for the fishing enthusiast out there to choose from, and that's a good thing. The best fishing hats are subjective to the individual anglers, but most will work quite well.

These include the visor, baseball hat, safari hat, bucket hat, booney, head net, and the military snap brim. A good fishing hat keeps your face shaded from the sun's harmful rays. Some hats simply keep your face covered while others have attached or attachable panels that cover your ears, neck, and shoulders as well. They should be lightweight and breathable for everyday use in the summer.

Fishing Sunglasses

Fishing sunglasses have an endless list of brand names, styles, and options to choose from, and this can make finding the right shades for your needs a bit difficult. They should be polarized, UV blocking, and have full protective eye coverage. If they float, all the better. 

A good pair of sunglasses should fit well, but a great pair will make you forget that they're on your face. They can help you peer through the water and keep your eyes protected from the rays of light that shine down from the sun and reflect off of the water.

Face Gaiter

They are known as buffs, neckerchiefs, scarfs, headbands, balaclavas, or face masks, but they are all essentially the same. Gaiters are worn to protect your face and head from the sun. Wearing one of these can often allow you to and skip the sunscreen and avoid getting it in your face and eyes.

They not only stop the sun, but gaiters stop the bugs as well, and are typically machine washable and easy to take care of. A couple good gaiters should last you a long while.

Other Considerations

Whether you're fishing in cold weather or hot weather, sun protection should always be a priority. Depending on whether you are wading, paddling a kayak, or standing on the bow of your boat, you are going to want the right gear with you.

Other items to think about include waterproof jackets, hoodies, vests, and a good PFD to keep you safe in big water. Combining base layers with these outerwear items can help deal with the shifting conditions we sometimes encounter during the summer months. Self-inflating life jackets can be very easy to wear and can save your life when you least expect it. Consider items that don't restrict your physical movement, have increased durability, and are very lightweight and comfortable.

And it doesn't hurt if looks good too.

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