SUNBLOCK FOR FLY FISHERS
With or Without DEET
Anytime you spend time outdoors, the question of sunblock comes up. Sure, you're covered by waders, a fishing vest, and your clothing, but you can still get severely sunburned on your face, neck, ears, arms, and hands. Sunscreen is a necessary tool to have for every angler. Ultraviolet rays can damage your skin, and with repeated excessive exposure, can even lead to skin cancer. Even a simple sunburn can be painful. The way the sun reflects off the water makes the chances of sunburn very high without sufficient skin protection.
Luckily, sunscreen is one of the least expensive items you need. You can get a bottle of sunscreen for about $5, or you can pay a whole lot more, depending on which brand you prefer. The first thing you want to consider when choosing your sunscreen is the SPF. This is the amount of protection it gives you from the sun. The higher the SPF number, the more protection you get. Sunblock ranging from SPF 30 on up is a good choice for most people. If you are sensitive to the sun, you may want to get the highest number you can find.
Next, you want one that is waterproof. Since the chances of getting wet at least on your hands and arms are pretty good while fishing, this is an important consideration. Remember that when a label says "waterproof" it means that it has been tested as still being effective after 80 minutes in water. Some sunscreens are excessively greasy, so you may want to consider a zinc formula that offers protection from not only UVB rays, but also UVA rays. Most chemical sunscreens only block UVB. They do this by absorbing the UVB rays before they enter your skin. Zinc blocks the rays from entering your body by reflecting them. Zinc formula sun protection is less greasy and gives better protection. The thicker zinc formulas are also less likely to drip into your eyes when you sweat.
Another consideration is fragrance. Unscented is best if you can find it. Many sunscreens with fragrance added will actually attract insects. When you're fly fishing, the last thing you want to be doing is swatting at annoying bugs. Be sure and read the label to see if it contains fragrance. You may opt to pay a little bit more for sunblock that is made specifically for fishermen, so that no trace of the cream is transferred to your line or hook.
Some people are also sensitive to some sunscreens. You want to choose one that says it is hypoallergenic. There is nothing more annoying than developing a rash all over while trying to have a relaxing day on the river.
When choosing sunscreen for your fishing kit, here are a few things you may find handy. Small bottles can be found that will fit in a vest pocket or hang from a lanyard. I have to mention one type that offers a special bottle. The normally white bottle turns blue when UV rays hit it, telling you that you should apply your cream before you get sunburned. This cream is from Australia, where they are no strangers to strong sun. While Blue Lizard may be hard for some people to find, this unique bottle makes it worthwhile to check out. It is also on the expensive side as sunscreens go. It does include a zinc formula, however that offers double protection.
Another way to address part of the sun protection issue is to look at sun block hats. Made most often for women, there are also some that suit men. An advantage to adding one of these hats to your kit, is that they include a sweat band inside that will help keep you comfortable.
For further information, please
ONLINE FLY SHOP
Return from Sunblock to Fishing Accessories
Return to Fly Fishing Discounters Home Page