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Proper Clothing Makes the Difference

08 Jan
Back at the landing and ready to head back to camp.

Back at the landing and ready to head back to camp.

Fishing certainly doesn’t have to be a fashion show, but the clothes you choose to wear can have a direct impact on your comfort level when out on the water. And in my mind, the more comfortable and relaxed you are, the greater your chances for finding fishing success.

ribcapHead Covering
The most important part of a fishing wardrobe has to be the hat. The reason for this is twofold — protection from the harmful rays of the sun and as a barrier to stop any blinding glare and reflection. With the cases of skin cancer rising rapidly, covering your head is your best defense to thwart it.

A stocking cap and thermal underwear are an excellent investment for cold-weather fishing.

Hats come in all shapes and sizes, although the most popular and obvious has to be the regular fishing cap. A ball cap will provide ample protection from the sun for the top of the head, while also covering the top half of the face. The downside to ball caps is the lack of protection offered for the ears and back of the neck — two prime spots that can get scorched by the sun.

For those looking for more protection, a switch to a cap with a convertible sun protector flap is a step in the right direction. These hats allow the angler to “roll” down a flap at the rear to nicely cover the neck and ear areas.  Another choice could be the good old ‘bucket hat’ that has grown quite popular over the past few years.

Not Any Old T-Shirt Will Do
Although a simple T-shirt is still a mainstay on many boats and waterways, many of the new shirts that have hit the marketplace offer additional value for the money. A favorite style of shirt to wear is a short sleeve, button down, with a collar to boot. These garments are light and breezy, allowing the body to stay cool during the hot days of summer, and some are built with a material that is designed to wick moisture away from the body. Some are also manufactured with a built-in vented cape back — this will allow the cool breezes to air condition the body.

Storing nail clippers, glasses, or a package of plastic tails is a cinch with these shirts, as many come standard with a variety of large Velcro or zippered pockets.

Newer to the market are shirts designed with built-in sun and insect repellent, an excellent choice for those that spend a great deal of time outdoors.

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Selecting A Sweatshirt
 One sweatshirt to be a mainstay on any boat would have to be the one that is commonly referred to as a “hoody.” These garments sport a large, cozy hood with drawstrings — a great addition for extra heat when blasting down the lake during the early mornings.

A “hoody” provides warmth on those cool days out on the water.  Most hooded sweatshirts also offer large pockets at the front, making them useful in terms of storing bits of tackle, or your chilly hands whilst your partner is driving the boat.  In terms of overall warmth and comfort, these sweat tops can’t be beat!

Covering Up The Bottom Half
When fishing during the warm, summer months, anglers are looking for lightweight garments that are cool and comfortable to wear. Whether it is shorts or pants, the features are interchangeable with one another.

For the best of both worlds, how about choosing a pair of pants that can be converted into shorts? This style is one of the most popular, and for good reason. There is no more struggling to change from your pants into shorts anymore, as this can be easily accomplished with a quick pull of the zipper. I have found these to be great for the chilly mornings (full pants), and equally good as the sun starts to heat things up (shorts).

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Most of these styles are lightweight and help dissipate body heat. When conditions are more inclement during the spring and fall seasons, a heavier and warmer pant is definitely needed. Some materials to keep an eye out for are 100 percent cotton or fleece. Both provide added warmth, and can be updated by wearing thermal underwear underneath.

Thermal Wear
Thermal underwear is one of life’s greatest inventions. This state of the art fabric has the capability to keep the body cool and dry on hot days, yet also warm and dry on cold days. The ability to wick moisture away from the skin will leave you feeling dry and refreshed, even on those days when you’re sweating up a storm.

They can be put to many uses, and you’ll find yourself slipping them on time and again whenever heading out the door. Depending on the severity of the weather, most thermal underwear can be purchased in a light, medium, or heavyweight fabrics.

Sheltering The Feet
Socks come in a wide range of fabrics, cuts, and styles. Depending on the season (or the weather conditions), you will either need a pair to keep you warm, or to keep you cool.

For maximum heat, nothing can beat an insulated wool sock. These will keep your feet feeling nice and warm, on even the most bitter cold of days.

When faced with summertime temperatures, a switch to a light and breathable pair would be your best bet. Most summer socks are blended from a selection of different fabrics, allowing the sock itself to wick moisture away, ultimately keeping your feet dry and comfortable all day long.

Whatever style you choose, keep an eye out for those offering a cushioned sole — these can be a godsend for those long days spent standing up in the boat.

Keep these clothing tips in mind when you plan your next fishing trip.

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