by: Danny Barker 9/18/2012
The dog days of summer grind on. We put our sunscreen on, grab a hat and off we go to enjoy the great outdoors. Over the course of the day the sunscreen will wear off or sweat off and we’re left with nothing to protect us. There’s a new trend for the freshwater fisherman that the saltwater folks have been doing for a long time. It's called element outerwear. This involves wearing long sleeve micro fiber shirts, element masks, gloves and good polarized sunglasses. I’ve been using them since I moved to Florida, where you can literally spend 365 days a year on the water. So the threat of skin cancer is a real concern. Every year we have 3.5 million skin cancer cases in over two million people in the U.S. and being around water will compound our exposure.
Here are three companies I would like to recommend, each of whom make products that can help you stay safe from the damaging effects of sun:
Breathe like a Fish (BLAF) apparel is designed to give you great sun protection and has a unique ventilation system that creates a cooling air flow. I met owner Kent Hickman at ICAST 4 years ago in Orlando and he introduced me to BLAF performance outerwear. Their slogan "the coolest shirt on the planet" isn't just a jingle! The second part of the shirts is the element masks, which I believe is the most critical because it protects your face. Two new items have been rolled out recently “Breathe like a Bass” shirts and the BLAF masks which have built in gills for air flow.
The two other areas of protection are your eyes and hands. A good pair of polarized glasses are a must, don’t skimp on a cheap pair but they don't have to break the bank either.
I’ve been using Pepper’s Polarized Eyewear which offers stylish glasses at a reasonable price plus they have a line of floating glasses. Whether you’re out for a day of fishing, paddling in your kayak or stand up paddle boarding, your eyes will be protected from the elements, and your sunglasses won’t sink if they hit the water.
Now lets talk about our hands which get overlooked but still need attention, this is where Glacier Gloves come into play. The back of your hands get really beat up by the sun and a lot of guys don’t like putting sunscreen on their hands for fear it will transfer onto the bait while fishing. The other benefit to wearing gloves is that during a day of fishing your hands can get torn up. I know it’s a badge of honor to show your battle scarred hands after a good day of fishing but it can be a painful price to pay. Check out Glacier Gloves they have a huge line of gloves for all types of outdoor activities from fishing, hunting, cycling, cold weather app’s and more!
You will get some strange looks from people, but it’s the smart thing to do! When they have gone home, you’ll still be out enjoying your day in the great outdoors. So until next time “Stay on Em “and protect yourself my friends! Sun Sun Sun here it comes...