Sun Protection—Cover Up to Stay Cool Update

Bass Editor Tips for Keeping Cool on the Water

I bass fish many times when it is around 100 degrees (this is Texas after all). In fact, the largest bass I caught was taken when it was 106 degrees and at 2:00 p.m. That was hot.

Cover up to cool down.

The first reaction is to think night fishing — and a lot of us do.

But, the fishing is really good in mid-day in late summer.

So, how do you beat the heat? Sun screen is one option. But the best option for me is to dress up, not down.

The more I cover up, the better I feel. It's still hot, but it doesn't feel as hot as when the sun is beating down on me.

This picture with the bass is from a recent August trip. It was 104 degrees, but we caught some good top water bass in the middle of the day.  

Over the last few years, I've experimented with many ways to cover up. I feel pretty comfortable with how I approach it now. (My goal is all about sun protection, not fashion.)

Sun Protection Clothing Options

I start with light-colored shirts and pants. I add sun sleeves, sun gloves and a sun hood over a visor. The hood keeps the visor from flying off when I'm running down the lake. 

I tried hats with good ventilation, but when I pulled the sun hood over them, it was too hot. And, hats with flaps that covered my ears and neck would blow up in the wind, exposing my skin to more sun.

Neck gaiters almost work to hold my hat on, but occasionally I still struggled to keep the sun off my face. 

Simms Sun Hood

Sun Hoods

When I saw the sun hood (from Simms), I knew it would work. And it does. Very little skin is exposed, but I still put sun screen on around my eyes, nose and upper cheeks because sometimes I pull the front of the face mask down a little. I don't like the face mask over my nose. That is just a personal preference.

Columbia Visor

Wearing a visor rather than a hat is much cooler too. I really like the Columbia visor with Omni-Freeze Zero liner.

Visor and hood shown together
When I found the Simms hood, I thought the camo would pull double duty for fall hunting, but the sun feels hot on the camo side so I just turn it inside out so the lighter color is out when I'm fishing. It feels cooler. Pull the hood over the top of the visor and it really works to keep the sun off.

Cabelas Balaclava

Another option is the Cabelas Guidewear Balaclava. After using many different hoods, I think I like the Cabelas best. They come in three colors and I use the solid light gray color.

Sun Sleeves

Now let's look at sun sleeves. I find it cooler to wear a short-sleeve shirt and use sun sleeves. That provides a little more ventilation to my underarms and back. I have several styles from Columbia and other manufacturers, but one I found online is called Hi Cool. The fabric is very thin but effective. I hardly know I'm wearing them and they are very inexpensive. (You can buy five pair for less than one pair of the others.) However, the Columbia has the Omni-Freeze technology that starts cooling when you really need it. Again, Cabelas is also a player in this field.

Hi Cool sun sleeves

Columbia sun sleeves
note the inside fabric pattern with Omni Freeze

Sun Gloves

Wearing gloves in summer seems counter intuitive. Several decades ago, a friend would go to Mexico bass fishing. He'd tell me the heat was so intense he started taking cotton gloves and cut the fingers tips off and wear those while fishing. It was always the back of his hands and wrists that got super sun burned. If I was clued in then, I should have designed a sun glove.

My first foray into gloves were "fishing gloves" that were smooth fabric. They kept the sun off but made holding the fishing rod slippery. Since then, many companies have improved on the design.

Sun Glove Tips

I'm don't review products that manufacturers send to me, but items I buy and use myself. This is first hand experience and you will notice the gloves are used and worn.

Look for gloves that have some type of grip on the hand side. It makes holding your gear easier. I have Buffs, Columbia and Cabelas brand gloves.

I find that using a slightly smaller size for a tight fit is better than loose on some brands. Loose gloves get caught on everything. Hooks snag easily in the loose fabric. And fish teeth get hooked up in them too. But you need to try on the gloves before buying. With one brand I use men's small and another brand I need men's large. There is no consistency in sizing. 


Buffs sun gloves
The Buffs have a little thicker fabric so they feel bulkier. I wear them when the weather cools some. But they are not designed for cold weather fishing. Once they get wet, they cool rather than warm your hands. But they grip better than some others I've tried when wet. I'm picturing used products so you can see I really use them.


Columbia sun gloves

I like and use these a lot. They are light weight and comfortable. It is especially important to buy a size smaller than you think. They stretch out as you use them more.

Cabelas GuideWear

Cabelas GuideWear Sun Gloves
I looked at these gloves several times when I was shopping at Cabelas. One day I thought, well at least let me get some and try them. I'm glad I did.

They are now my favorite sun glove. They are comfortable and have good grip. They hold their shape really well and I've gotten some as gifts for friends. 

And, I carry several back up pairs.

I store everything I need in a little duffel bag that goes in the boat every time I go out.

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