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Best Fishing Masks: Prevent Painful Sun and Wind Burns

One of the downsides to a great fishing trip is the dreaded sunburn.

I recall being on a fishing trip this past summer, I did not take a fishing mask, hat, or any sun protection.

It did not take long at all until I was burned pretty bad.

Top Fishing Masks:

Best Fishing Masks
If you’re out in the sun, make sure you wear a fishing mask to keep the sun off you better than sunscreen. Source: Flickr

I was unaware that I was being burned as bad as I was until it was too late. It took weeks to completely recover from it.

There are many side effects the sun can have on the skin:

  • Skin cancer
  • Premature wrinkles
  • Age spots
  • and many more!

In this article, I am going to explain why you need a fishing mask, aka Hoo Rag.

We’ll look at what styles work best, the best styles we have found, how to care for your fishing mask, and more.

Why Do You Need A Fishing Mask (Hoo Rag)

  • Prevent skin cancer  Skin cancer, also known as melanoma, today is at an all-time high. It is reported that younger people are being diagnosed with forms of skin cancer. Research has shown that even limited exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer. Fishing masks are designed with all day coverage in mind.
  • Keep sweat out of your eyes. This can be an especially uncomfortable situation to be in. Not only does the salt from sweat irritate and burn your eyes, it can also irritate the skin under your eyes from the constant wiping of sweat. Fishing masks that also work as a headband can help prevent this. The design of most masks have a quick drying material as well as helping you stay cool.
  • Helps you stay out longer and in harsh conditions. Apart from sunburn, prolonged direct exposure can make you more tired than you would ordinarily be. Fishing masks and hats can help you stay out longer and be more comfortable because of their shading effect.
  • Multipurpose.  Fishing masks today are not only designed with comfort and safety in mind, but also versatility. There are many ways these masks can be used as well as many outdoor activities such as, hiking, hunting, skiing, and many more.

What Fishing Mask Styles Work Best?

  • Balaclava: The balaclava is a great full coverage sun mask that protects the whole face, neck, ears, and top of the head. This can be beneficial not only in full exposure to the sun but in the winter months as well as a good choice for a boat mask.
  • Cap: A cap is a good choice for protecting the top of the head. However, in the summer it does not offer neck protection nor protection for the ears and face. The cap can help keep sweat out of your eyes and works well in the winter to slow the loss of heat through the top of your head.
  • Sahariane: The sahariane offers protection to the top of the head and back of the neck. It can also be used with the neck gaiter for added protection to the sides and front of the neck
  • Face Mask: The face mask is a good choice not only for ear and neck protection in the summer but also in the winter to help provide face protection. It can be used with a cap for full protection and easily slid down around the neck when face coverage is not necessary.
  • Hat Liner: A hat liner is a good choice to protect from heat loss in the winter, as well as help keep absorb sweat that may escape from a hat and get in your eyes. Because of the quick dry material most hat liners are made of, they can help keep the top of your head and forehead dry and sweat free.
  • Neck Gaiter: Neck gaiters offer great neck protection in summer and winter. These are a good choice when a full mask or balaclava are not necessary. They can easily be slid up the neck to cover the ears and lower part of the face.
  • Hood: A hood offers protection to the top of the head, ears, and neck. This a good choice when covering the entire face is not necessary. A hood can also be used with a cap, hat, or visor.
  • Pirate: The pirate works similar to a cap. The main difference is that it is adjustable. This is a good option for kids, whose heads are too small for a standard or adult size.
  • Headband: The headband is familiar with anglers as well as athletes. This is an excellent choice when sweat is an issue. They can be worn with or without a hat as well as almost any combination of a fishing mask.
  • Sun Guard: The sun guard offers all-around protection, covering the neck, face, and ears. This is a good choice not only in the direct sun but also in the winter. When used with a hat it offers full coverage.
  • Neckerchief: The neckerchief offers neck protection without being too bulky. It can easily be slid up over the mouth and nose to protect from dust.
  • Wristband: The wristband is another familiar piece of protection wear among anglers and athletes. It helps to keep your hands dry from sweat that may run down your arms, that can make your hands lose grip.

How To Care For Your Fishing Mask

Standard washing Machine: With most fishing masks, standard machine washing is not necessary. In the case of heavy soiling where machine washing may be necessary, it is recommended to wash on low setting with a mild detergent.

Handwashing: Handwashing is recommended, with the use of warm water and a mild detergent. If necessary the fishing mask can be allowed to soak.

Hang Dry: After washing, allow your fishing mask to hang dry. Since most fishing masks are made of a quick dry material, a clothes dryer is not necessary

Buy Multiples; It is a good idea to purchase multiples, so you will always have extras. Keep some in your car, boat, and tackle bag.

Fishing Mask Buyers Guide

Best Fishing Masks
Always do your best to stay covered if you’re going to be out fishing for long periods of time. These guys are taking unnecessary risks! Source: Flickr
  • What is your head size? It is a good idea to get a measurement of your head if you do not already know your hat size, before shopping. Several masks and hats come in one size and fit most, but it is still a good idea to know your size.
  • What style do you want? There are many different styles on the market. Depending on the activity you will be doing, there is sure to be a style that fits your activity as well as provide the protection you need.
  • What color or pattern? As with style, there are many colors and patterns on the market. A couple of things to keep in mind, the lighter the color, the better it will deflect the sun and keep you cooler, and if hunting, bright colors would be something you may want to avoid.
  • What Material? For long or all day wear, a breathable, seamless material is recommended, such as microfiber.
  • What quantity? It is advisable to keep extras on hand. This would be a good idea if you had friends and family along for the trip, as well as extras for yourself.

Best Fishing Masks Reviews

Best All Around Fishing Mask

Got Headband

This is an all in one face mask. It protects against the suns rays, dust, and cold. The got headband is extra comfortable with a naturally soft feel, breathable, seamless, flexible, and wicks away moisture.

This is a very versatile fishing mask designed with comfort and durability in mind. Perfect for any activity where protection is a must.

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Best Designed Fishing Face Mask

Eytan Fishing Face Shield

Eytan fishing face shields are made with comfort in mind. 100 percent microfiber that is breathable, lightweight, and stretch to make you feel more comfortable.

The Eytan fishing face shield works as well in the winter as it does in the summer, offering protection from cold and prevailing winds as well as functioning as a neck warmer.

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Multi-Pack Face Bandanas

SA Fishing Face Shields

S A Face Shields for Men and Face Shields for Women 5 Pack of Best Multipurpose UV Face Shields - Worn 12+ Ways as Head Wrap, Neck Gaiter, Headband, Face Shield, Bandana, Balaclava Life Time Warranty
  • Multiple Patterns & Multifunction: 12 PLUS...
  • Sun Protection SPF 40 & dust protection: Our Face...
  • Look awesome and stay protected during fishing,...

SA fishing face shields are made of 100 percent polyester microfiber. Seamless design offers comfort for all-day wear with no scratching. SA fishing face masks can be worn in multiple ways; face mask, neck gaiter, beanie, headband, scarf and more. Protects against all of the elements, sun, wind, dust, and insects.

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Fishing Head Mask With Hat

MoKo Fishing Mask With Hat

MoKo Fishing Hat Sun Cap for Men Women, Outdoor UPF 50 Sun Protection with Removable Neck Flap & Face Cover Mask for Hiking, Camping, Boating, Gardening - Army Green
  • UPF 50 PROTECTION - summer UV protection up to UPF...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & QUICK DRYING - well made from nylon...
  • COLLAPSIBLE & ADJUSTABLE - one size fits all, with...

The moko fishing head mask with hat offers excellent sun protection with up to 50 UPF UVsun mask protection.

The design of the moko fishing mask with hat provides coverage to the neck, face, ears, and head all at once without having to make adjustments. Lightweight design and nylon Teflon fabric offers comfort as well as easy cleaning and quick drying. The moko fishing mask with hat offers excellent ventilation through the hat as well as the flaps.

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Best Quality Face Gaiter


THINDUST Summer Face Mask -Dust Sun UV Protection Neck Gaiter Outdoor Hiking & Motorcycling
  • MULTI-FUNCTIONAL USES:: Why buy a headband, neck...
  • UNIQUE DESIGN: There are black white blue gray and...

The Thindust face and neck gaiter is made of a lightweight elastic material that can help you stay cool on the hottest days.

The Thindust face and neck gaiter also work well in the winter to help protect against wind chafing. Thindust face and neck gaiter offer one size fits most and is designed for men or women. Care and cleaning of the Thindust face and neck gaiter is simple, just a simple hand wash and air dry.

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Fishing Masks FAQ

Q: Why do fishermen wear masks?
A: Fishermen wear masks to protect themselves from exposure to sun, wind, and cold in the winter. Masks, as well as head and wristbands provide protection from sweat in the eyes as well as on the hands that can cause them to lose grip.

Q: What are fishing face shields for?
A: fishing face shields are used to protect the angler from direct sun, dust, prevailing winds, and foreign debris while boating.

The Anglers Behind This Article:

Jon Stenstrom

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