Hey, folks, Glenn May here at BassResource.com, and it is summertime. It's great to be out on the water. The weather is nice. It's stable. The fish are biting. It's a wonderful time to be out and enjoy the great outdoors. Few years ago, not too long ago, when I'd go fishing out on hot summer days, I would put on a pair of shorts, throw on a t-shirt, put a hat on, maybe some 8 SPF sunscreen and go out and fish. Problem is, on those really hot days, the sun would just suck the life out of me, man. I would get really hot. I'd be uncomfortable. I'd be sweaty and I'd probably end up being sunburned at the end of the day. All's what I wanted to do when I got off the water is take a nap. And that's because I wasn't wearing the right clothing. So, that's completely changed now. There's a lot of great manufacturers out there creating fantastic apparel, just for the fishermen, specifically for bass anglers. Be out on the water all day long and be comfortable and dry and you won't have sunburn.
And so, I want to walk you through some of these different choices. I've got my preferences and I know apparel has a lot to do with your own personal style choices. I'm not gonna get so much into that as I am gonna... Let's walk through some of the key things that you need to consider and some of the key stuff that you actually should have when you go on the water.
Let's start right off at the easy one, which is sunscreen. Yeah, wear sunscreen. Okay. There. I can just stop right there, be done with it, and not talk anymore. But when it comes to fishing and being on the water all day long, there's actually some key considerations that you have to take into factor when you're buying sunscreen. So, I want to walk you through some of those things.
The main thing is you have to have a high SPF rating, minimum 50 SPF. Now, there's a lot of controversy with SPF ratings when you go above that. However, they all agree you do get some benefit. And to me, an incremental benefit is better than none, so I go higher. I go with 70 or even 100 SPF or even higher if I can find it just to give me that added protection. When you're on the water, the damaging rays from the sun is magnified because it also is reflected off the water, so to get the most amount of protection you can, really you need to do that. So, minimum, 50 SPF.
I'm going to save you some money here and some discomfort in this next tip. Get sweat-proof sunscreen because sunscreen... Look, I don't put it up above my forehead, but I do put it on the sides. And I spent years, my eyes would sting. Middle of the day, they'd start stinging, and they'd start hurting and burning because the sunscreen is getting in there. I couldn't figure out why. Well, that's because I didn't have sweat-proof sunscreen. And you perspire, even though you're not sweating per se, but you do, and it leaches into your eyes and, man, that can be painful, so get sweat proof.
You also, along those lines, want to get waterproof or water-resistant because, you know, we are sticking our hands in the water when we're grabbing the fish and we are in the water, so get something that's water-resistant.
Other things, you want broad-spectrum protection. And what that means is that it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA is, those are the rays that age you, make you look older, and UVB is the ones that can burn you, and you need protection from both rays. So, broad-spectrum protection is what you want to have.
One more thing you need to pay attention to is the expiration date. They do expire. The shelf life, or should I say the entire life of most sunscreen is about two years, and that's from the moment that it was produced. So, it's manufactured, sits in the factory for a while. It goes to a warehouse, and who knows how long it stays there until it's sent to a store and it sits in the back room. Finally, it gets put on the shelf, and at some point, you buy it. Maybe it was put on the shelf in the fall and you don't pick it up until the spring. What have you? By the time you get it, that two-year life span is greatly diminished, and you probably only have a good year of use out of it.
So, at the very least, start off with a new bottle of sunscreen every year. I fish enough where I'm going through several a year, so I don’t have to think about it, but certainly don't let it go beyond a year because what happens is you'll come off the water and you got all these burn swirl marks all over your face and on your arms. You ever had this happen? You've got these swirl marks all over on your legs and you're positive that you covered yourself with sunscreen. Well, that's because it's past the expiration date. That's what happens. And it can be very damaging because you think you're covered, and you can get some severe sunburn if that happens. So, just replace it even if you've got some leftover. It's cheap insurance. All right. Enough about that. Let's move on. Let's move to the fun stuff.
So, let's talk about shirts, okay? So, shirts, there's a whole variety of fishing shirts out there, but there's key things you want to pay attention to. First of all, you want synthetic material like this one. This is made out of polyester, or else you can get nylon. Both of these material are lightweight, wicking materials. Air can flow through them. They're very, very comfortable. This shirt is really comfortable. I love fish... This one is made by Simms. I think it's called the Tricomp shirt, and it's designed for fishing. Little things... Shirts like that. Columbia gear makes great shirts as well, and they incorporate things into them for fishing. For example, on this one, the collar, you can see there's a little button right here that keeps this collar from flapping in your face as you're ripping down the lake at 70 miles an hour. Just a small little thing, but that's what they think about when they make these shirts. Columbia has little pockets and holders for your sunglasses and such and there's a pocket here, you know, sunglasses.
The key thing you want to pay attention to is that they have a UPF rating of at least 30, minimum 30, go with 50 if you can, to protect you from the sun again. I like the long-sleeve shirts because then I don't have to worry about sunscreen, and it covers me. It protects me from getting a sunburn.
You also want to look for stain repellency. I mean, let's face it. Fish bleed and you get them on your shirt. It's hard to get that stain out. Plus I've noticed some shirts, they don't have that stain repellency on them, and over just a few years, two or three years of use, I'll get this stain around the collar and that's from the sunscreen. So, just little things like that is what you want to have when you're looking for a shirt.
There's also one manufacturer, Simms, what they do is, in addition to having the UPF protection on the shirts, some of their shirts actually incorporate insect repellent in the material. They call it a BugStopper material. And to me, that's really important because when you're out early morning fishing or in the evening, that's when the insects are just...They're rampant in my area, especially the mosquitoes, and I've tried those shirts and they actually do work in repelling mosquitoes. So, you know, instead of having to spray yourself with insect repellent then sunscreen, you just feel gross on everything by the end of the day. They're actually beginning incorporating this stuff directly into the material, so that's a nice little convenience.
So, let's move on to shorts and pants. The same kind of concept applies. Again, you want nylon or polyester. In addition to the cooling properties of these materials, they also dry very quickly, so if you're bank fishing and you wade in the water or for whatever reason you have to get out of the boat, if you get them wet, they dry really quick, which is key. It's really nice. I prefer to have the kind of pants that the legs zip off, so I can fish early in the morning and it's cool out, when it warms up, I can zip them off and still stay cool. A lot of times I don't even have to do that. The cooling property on them actually works really well.
Columbia gear has a material, a fabric, if you will. I'm not sure of the technology. They call it Omni Freeze in some of their shirts and some of their pants. And what that does is when you sweat, it actually makes the material cool, cool to the touch. So, you know, the zip-off pants, it's actually cooler to have them on because it keeps you cool. It's an interesting technology. They don't have it in a lot of their clothing, but I like it, I like that a lot. So, just a few things to pay attention to.
I like to have the shorts that have lots of pockets in them because I like to carry a lot of things with me. The key thing with that is I want to make sure that they either have zippers or Velcro enclosures because if I take an unexpected trip in the water, I don't want to lose anything.
Let's move down to shoes and sandals. Main thing about that is you want something that can get completely immersed, is designed to get wet, and it's going to dry very quickly. So, that kind of leaves out a lot of your natural fibers and natural materials like leather and cotton because if you have wet feet, that is the fastest way to get blisters. Seriously, wet shoes, wet sandals, you will get blisters very quickly if they don't dry. So, I look for shoes and sandals that are designed to get wet, they have channels in the sole so the water can wick away and drain very quickly.
And then it gets into really your personal preferences, style, whether you like a shoe, a lace-up, whatever. Some of you guys like Crocs, I don't like Crocs. They don't fit me right. They feel too loose. I feel like I'm wearing clown shoes. Other guys absolutely love them. Crocs are good, inexpensive shoes to wear. I prefer sandals. I use both Columbia and Simms. Both comfortable, great sandals. They have a variety of different styles and sizes.
Personally, I think the best for me is the Simms because it has arch support that fits me perfectly, and so I can wear them all day long and my feet don't hurt at the end of the day. But that's just me. You might try them, and they don't fit you right. So, you really have to try them out and see what fits your style.
But the key thing is if you are gonna be wearing these shoes, if you're wearing them without socks and the tops of your feet are gonna be exposed, make sure you put sunscreen on them. Nothing is more painful than having the tops of your feet sunburnt. Trust me. Got the t-shirt and I don't want that one again. So, just make sure you cover yourself with sunscreen.
All right. Let's talk about gloves for a minute. Now, I'm not talking about the kind that keep your hands warm and dry when you're in the winter. Instead, we're actually doing the opposite. We want to keep your hands cool, and you want them protected from the sun. So, I'm talking about gloves like these here, these fishing gloves. There's a variety of manufacturers that make fishing gloves. There's Simms, there's Columbia gear, Buff makes some, and I can't remember. There's so many others that do this, a lot of fishing gloves available, but there's some key things, at least for me, that I look for and I want to pass it along to you.
First of all, I like the fingerless type. So, you can tie knots and mess with your lures and whatnot without having to take the gloves off. I also look for a UPF rating. Minimum, 30, 50 is better, like I said before. The same thing with the shorts and pants to protect you from the sun. I look for... See how long it is? It doesn't stop right here. I had a pair that stopped right here and the shirts I would wear wouldn't quite cover it all the way up. So, I had a gap and I'd get a burn mark right here.
So, having gloves that are longer, you can have that overlap and you don't have to worry about that. I also found that this material here is slick, and I don't like it when the whole glove is made of that because when I'm holding on a baitcaster, it's more difficult to grip it. So, these gloves actually don't have palms in them. And this is made by Simms. And I thought that was really ingenious, and I like it a lot. It solves that problem and I can grab the steering wheel when I'm driving, and my hands don't slip. So, really cool idea. Also, again with Simms, they have that BugStopper technology for insect repellent, so again, you're covered there as well. So, a couple of key things to consider on that.
Next, let's talk about the buffs. It's the same kind of material. There's actually a company called Buff, but I'm talking about buffs. These go over the face. Now, there's two different kinds that's available. One, this is the most common kind. It's like a tube, right? This kind...I will put this down here for a second. This kind, you just put it over your head and then you can configure it to basically fit over your face. You can change it. Some guys twist it, so it goes up your hat. You can adjust it to cover your face really well. They're pretty universal and you can get them pretty much anywhere. The cool thing about them is that they have a lot of different colors and styles and imprints on them and they're pretty fashionable.
But the things you got to look for is, first of all, you want that, again, UPF 30 or 50 coverage. Guys, a lot of times when you're at those sports shows in the wintertime, you see booths that are giving these away. They don't necessarily even have sunscreen protection on. Maybe minimum, but not 50 for sure. So, take the time and actually buy a pair that has that coverage. Again, lightweight material, nylon, or polyester to keep your face nice, and cool, and dry.
I personally don't like this style because it slides down my face. I'm constantly adjusting it throughout the day, and inevitably, there's some spot that I didn't cover right, and I get burned somewhere. So, usually, underneath right where my sunglasses are or the tops of my ears, it slides down. I didn't realize it's not covering my ear anymore, whatever. So, I went to this kind instead.
This is from Simms and is actually shaped. See that? It's actually shaped. Preformed. I like it. It goes over the shoulder and the neck area and covers up your neck really well. This goes up over the ears right along the face, and it even has...Look at this. It's got a breathable mask in the front, so it's really easy to breathe. And when you see me wearing this, you know, it looks like I'm wearing Saran Wrap on my face. It looks like it's a lot tighter than it really is, but it isn't. It's actually very, very comfortable to wear. You don't even notice you have it on, and it doesn't make you all sweaty and hot. So, nice, comfortable. I really like them a lot.
You'll notice in most of my videos that you don't see me wearing this buff, but that's because I'm on camera and you guys need to see my face when I'm talking to you, but I assure you when the camera is off and they're not rolling, I put one of these on just to cover myself and protect myself from the sun. And again, they make this material with BugStopper material in them as well, so you can have a buff with insect repellent and sunscreen repellent. You can do it on your hands. You can do it on your shirt,, you can do it on your pants. I know I'm sounding like a Simms commercial, and trust me, they're not a partner. I'm not sponsored by them. I'm really not trying to push their products. I just really like them. They really are designed well for fishing. And again, I like the Columbia gear too. A lot of the Columbia shirts and shorts I have, and pants are just...and I like their fashion and the style. So, I'm just telling you what my preferences are.
Let's move on to hats. Hats, it's interesting. You know, I'm wearing the traditional baseball-style cap. A lot of guys do when they're out there bass fishing. I like the bill because it covers your face and shades the sun on your glasses. You don't get that glare, that way, you can see in the water a lot better. My hat, as you can see, it's solid. It's not mesh. I made the mistake of wearing a mesh cap when I was in Hawaii and I burned...it just fried the top of my head, and I was in pain for the next several days. Very uncomfortable. Not a great way to spend a vacation. Ever since then, I've used the cloth caps. Of course, in the summertime that can get really hot and uncomfortable because they don't breathe.
Technically speaking, if you really want the best kind of coverage for your head is the wide-brim hats. Now, I've in the past had been reticent to wear those because I feel like an old man who's going out to garden in his backyard. That's what I think I look like. But in recent years, both Columbia and Simms have come out with some really nice styles, colors, patterns, and looks, and with different materials of wide-brim hats. And the key thing with them, why they're better, is they shade your face, the entire face. They shade your shoulders, your neck, your ears, protects them from getting burned, but it also gives you that cooling property. They're also vented, so they keep your head nice and cool. A lot of them have a sweatband on the inside and that's important as well. Again, that's part of the comfort factor. And nowadays, like I said, they're looking pretty stylish. My wife has a few of them and you can see them here. They're really nice hats. So, you might see me going that route here pretty soon. There really is no reason not to get the wide brim. There are better than the baseball-style caps.
I want to talk a little bit about sunglasses. Now, I'm not gonna get deep into that subject. I've got an entire video about sunglasses, and there's a lot to consider because they are expensive, and you don't want to make a mistake spending that kind of money on it and getting the wrong glasses. I've got a video linked at the bottom down here. You can get into greater detail, but at a higher level, some of the key things you want to pay attention to.
First of all, you want it to be polarized because you're fishing and you want to be able to see under the water, so that's key. Second is you have to have UVA and UVB protection because your eyes will get damaged over time if you don't have both of that protection. And then you also want the right fit. What I mean by that is you don't want any light coming in underneath, on the sides, or above for two reasons.
First of all, light coming in will reflect inside the glasses and make it more difficult for you to see. But also if light is able to seep in, then it sort of defeats the purpose of having that UVA and UVB protection from the sun. So, with that in mind, you have to find a pair that fits you right, and that can be a daunting task. But that said, Wiley X, I found actually fit me very, very well and they are excellent glasses. I was surprised, I really hadn't considered them, but now these are the only glasses I wear. They're wonderful to wear. They do everything they're supposed to, and you'll see in that video all the characteristics about the different sunglasses and what's in them so you can make the right choice. But got to have sunglasses when you're out in the water.
All right. So, let's get through down to a few more accessories. One of them is bring yourself a pair of baby wipes. If you're reapplying sunscreen throughout the day, if you have some baby wipes packed away with you, you can wipe the palms of your hands off, and that way, you don't end up throwing your whole rod and reel into the drink on your next cast after you've reapplied sunscreen. So, just do that.
Also, rain gear. Usually, in the summer, you don't have a deluge, so you don't need a full, you know, jacket and bibs, in that, you know, really expensive material. I just have a...you know, I get a lightweight jacket and that's packable. Some things from...you know, Simms has a great jacket that I like to wear. It packs into itself. Columbia has similar jackets like that. They are 100% waterproof and they're very lightweight so that you don't get hot and sweaty wearing them.
Frogg Toggs is another brand that a lot of people like to wear for the summer. Just something that's breathable that is really super lightweight that you can pack away and bring with you wherever you're fishing, just in case a shower happens to come overhead, you can put that on. Same thing with pants. They've got lightweight packable pants in the same kind of material, so really you can put them just about anywhere and now you're ready in case it starts to rain. You can just put those on.
So, those are the key things to pay attention to when you're looking for clothing for the summertime. You get the right kind. You can be on the water all day long. You'll be cool, comfortable. You won't get a sunburn, and you'll be able to enjoy yourself that much more when you're out on the water. For more tips and tricks like this visit BassResource.com.