Best Fishing Shirts
Fishing is a time to relax while experiencing the adrenaline rush of reeling in a huge fish when you have one on the line. Besides the rod and reel that you are using, another important accessory of the sport is the fishing shirt. It not only provides you with the protection you need from the sun as most of the time you are sitting out in an open lake for hours, or on the open ocean but also gives you some style while reeling in the fish.
For your next fishing trip, we have done the research and made a list of the top ten fishing shirts for 2018, and explained why they are the best of the best. That way the next time you are fishing, you will not only be protected from the sun but also look good while doing it.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research
Comfortable to wear
Natural cotton material
- Hook and Tackle Gulfstream
- Aftco Jigfish Performance
- Columbia Sportswear Bonehead
- Columbia Plus Tamiami II
- Southern Fin Performance
- Piscifun Performance UPF Shirt
- Huk Performance Kryptek Raglang
- Hanes Cool Dri
- Izod Saltwater Easy Care
- Columbia Sportswear Offshore
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top Ten Fishing Shirts
1. Hook and Tackle Gulfstream
Comfortable to wear
Natural cotton material
Limited sizes available
May run a little large
If you’re serious about fishing, and you want to make sure that you stay out to catch as many as you can, you’ll need a fishing shirt that can last through the long hall. While it may not look like much, this shirt from Hook and Tackle is well known among anglers of the east coast for standing up to the worst that the sea has to offer and come back for more.Read more
The overall cut, material and sizing of this shirt, along with a moisture removing mesh lining makes this shirt easy to wear no matter what the weather is like on your fishing trip. The relatively lightweight material fits easily under a coat, or functions quite well on its own depending on your needs. Whether your fishing trip takes you to a balmy sea or rough winter waters, this shirt will keep you fairly comfortable.
This shirt offers the standard ranges of sizes from small to extra-large, and has been known to run a little bit on the larger side about a quarter of the time. As such, be sure to consider which size to buy very carefully when ordering.
While it doesn’t provide any rated SPF or UPF protection like many of the shirts listed here, the shirt does offer some protection to the torso and upper arms due to the material used.
Made of 100% Poplin styled cotton material, this shirt is designed to be breathable, lightweight, relatively easy to care for, and comfortable to wear. It should be noted, however that this shirt appears to wrinkle quite easily, so if you’re worried about looking your best for your dawn fishing trip, a quick ironing session may be necessary.
In addition to the natural cotton material, this fishing shirt also features a vented back area as well as an interior mesh lining that helps to quickly pull moisture away from your body. In addition, the cargo pockets on the front are secured with Velcro fasteners for easy access while you’re fishing. There is also a utility loop above one of the pockets that is easy to use.
Although it may not be the most advanced item on the list, this shirt from Hook and Tackle still provides more of what a serious angler wants: comfort, durability, and versatility in their fishing shirt.
2. Aftco Jigfish Performance
Superior sun protection
Long sleeves for added protection
Comfortable, stretchy material
Limited sizes available
During our research, the name of AFTCO kept surfacing time and time again, and with good reason. These shirts are extremely durable, comfortable, and offer some great overall protection while you’re waiting for the hook to set.Read more
This is perhaps one of the most comfortable fishing shirts available, both for men and women. The combination of the longer sleeves, lightweight breathable material, and the relatively close fit make it so comfortable, you almost forget you have it on.
While the overall fit is very nice, and this shirt has been shown to be true to size an astounding 90% of the time, the sizes that it comes in is somewhat limited in scope. So while the average person will do quite well, those who are either petite or fall into the big or tall category might want to look elsewhere for their fishing shirt.
In addition to being comfortable, this fishing shirt offers some fantastic protection from the sun, blocking nearly 98% of the sun’s rays from reaching your skin and causing a problem. While we suggest using sunscreen for your face, neck and hands, if you’re wearing this shirt, your torso and arms will be well protected.
Made of a lightweight polyester material; this shirt not only dries relatively quickly, but also is easy to care for and offers enough stretch to make casting a breeze.
In addition to superior sun protection, this shirt also helps to wick moisture away from your skin, and keep you relatively comfortable when the occasional wind blows past your fishing boat.
If you’re looking for a great, lightweight long sleeve fishing shirt that is easy to wear and easy to clean, you can’t go wrong with the AFTCO Jigfish Performance Long Sleeve Shirt. While we certainly would have liked to see more of a selection when it came to sizes, it’s still a great choice overall.
3. Columbia Sportswear Bonehead
Made from natural cotton
Features a number of angler friendly design assets
Extremely comfortable to wear
Very limited on the sizes available
If a fishing shirt with a more natural feel is your style, but you still want a great set of features and quality, the Columbia Sportswear Bonehead Long Sleeve Shirt should certainly be on your list of options.Read more
Loose fitting in the back and arms, but a bit tighter in the chest and shoulder area, this shirt hangs in balance with how your body moves while fishing. In addition, the lightweight material and strategic venting panels allow heat to pass from your body, and cooler air to prevail.
This shirt ranges in size between large and extra-large, so people with smaller or larger frames than that may be hard pressed to find something that fits. The shirt is true to size about ¾ of the time, and does tend to run a bit large, so be sure to order a smaller size to get a more precise fit.
Unlike most of the other shirts on this list, Columbia’s Sportswear Bonehead Long Sleeve shirt offers protection from the sun not through added UPF or SPF protection, but rather through natural cotton material. While it may not have the rating of the others on this list, it is still a fairly effective means of protection.
This shirt is made out of 100% cotton muslin material that is not only extremely lightweight and easy to care for, but also can easily allow for ventilation and breathability when you want it.
While this shirt can easily be used in a number of outdoor and daily situations, there are a few features that clearly make it perfect for a day fishing with friends. First, there is a rolled holder located in the chest area, which is perfect for keeping your rod and reel secure. Second, the large back vents allow for the wind to bring cooler air to your body more quickly and the utility loop and hook and loop fly box pockets allow you to keep what you need at hand to help catch the next big trout or bass.
Although this shirt is fairly limited in the available sizes, it is still a great choice for a fishing shirt, especially if you rather not deal with synthetic material. Made of natural cotton and featuring a number of fisherman friendly assets, this shirt is a great overall choice.
4. Columbia Plus Tamiami II
Very roomy, comfortable to wear
Polyester material, easy to clean
Not as feature rich as other choices
When it comes to being versatile and durable, the Columbia line of fishing shirts is some of the best in the industry. While this choice isn’t our first on the list, it is certainly a great option no matter what type of fishing you enjoy.Read more
This shirt is cut to easily move with you as you enjoy an active lifestyle out on the water. Both the torso area and the sleeves are roomy and allow for a wide range of motion without significant binding or constriction.
The shirt is expected to fit well about 70% of the time, with it running a little bit large a minority of the time. It also comes in the standard sizes, so if you run a bit larger or smaller than normal, that is certainly something to take into consideration.
This shirt offers UPF 40 sun protection in addition to what is provided by the long sleeves and overall material.
The shirt is made with a full polyester blend that allows for great breathability and flexibility and durability.
In addition to great sun protection, this shirt has also been treated with anti-microbial solution to provide protection from bacterial growth. Add to that the strategic venting and roll up sleeves, this shirt is a great and comfortable addition to any fishing trip.
While it doesn’t have many of the bells and whistles that are common on more complicated fishing shirts, the Columbia Men’s Plus Tamiami LI long sleeve shirt serves well both on shore and on the boat.
5. Southern Fin Performance
Great sun protection
Very comfortable to wear
Seams need to be more secure
Whether you’re a man or a woman, fishing is all about having a great time with good friends and catching the next big one. The last thing you need is for your clothes to get in the way. Thankfully, this unisex shirt from Southern Fin helps to keep your mind off your body and on the task at hand – not letting that big one get away.Read more
This shirt is relaxed fit, and relatively loose, so you don’t have to worry about being restrained by ill-fitting sleeves or collars. Plus, it’s soft and relatively lightweight.
While the overall looseness of the shirt is a welcomed change from many of the performance fishing shirts available, these shirts do tend to run a bit large at times, so consider ordering a size down when buying online.
Not surprisingly, this fishing shirt offers a great deal of sun protection between the longer sleeves and the UPF 50 protection makes it nearly impervious to the sun’s rays.
This shirt is made from a tightly woven microfiber material that allows for a great range of motion and overall breathability, even as it keeps the sun’s rays from harming your skin. The only overall complaint we saw in our research was that the stitching along the hemlines could be a bit sturdier.
While this shirt may not look like much, it does have a number of features built in that make it a great choice for life on the water. First, it has been designed with fade-resistant dyes, so you won’t have to worry about the sun causing your favorite colors to waste away. It is also cut so that both men and women can wear it comfortably, and features the ability to pull moisture quickly away from your body.
Southern Fin, based out of Florida has quickly gained a reputation for producing comfortable fishing shirts that are designed to protect any angler from the sun and other weather that you might encounter while fishing. While the overall craftsmanship may need some improvement, this is still a solid choice
6. Piscifun Performance UPF Shirt
Great sun protection
Designed for breathability
Great range of movement
Can run a bit small
If your next fishing trip has you trolling the waves in the blazing sun, you’ll want to have this shirt. Designed to keep you cool and protected in the hot sun during a long day of fishing, you’ll be surprised at how quickly this shirt becomes one of your favorites.Read more
The 100% polyester blend of this shirt allows for maximum breathability and movement while you’re angling for the next big catch. The longer sleeves coupled with the zippered mock turtleneck allows you to easily adjust if you get too warm or cold while out on the water. It is also very soft and comfortable to the touch, both inside and out.
While the shirt is true to size the majority of the time, this performance shirt is a little limited when it comes to sizing overall. It runs from medium to XX-large, so people with smaller frames may need to consider other options.
If you’re worried about the effects of the sun on your body while fishing, this shirt will help to take some of that worry away. In addition to the longer sleeves and more expansive coverage, it also offers a UPF protection of 30.
Made from 100% polyester, this shirt is designed for maximum air flow so you keep cool while fishing in the sun, and still offers a layer of protection for when the sun goes behind a cloud or two.
In addition to superior SPF 30 protection, this shirt is designed in such a way to prevent overheating and move moisture away from your body without being clingy or too loose.
If you’re worried about the sun putting a damper on your fishing trip by causing you to overheat, this is a great shirt to have in your arsenal. Designed for superior sun protection and breathability, it’s a great way to beat the heat and enjoy some time on the water.
7. Huk Performance Kryptek Raglang
Allows for a wide range of movement
Both sun and microbial protection
Moisture wicking technology
Can run a bit large in sizing
If you’ve been searching for a shirt that is designed specifically for fishing, and features a great overall fit, your search may be over with this shirt. Whether you’re a professional angler, or simple trying to improve your game, this is a great choice for your next fishing shirt.Read more
This shirt is easy to move around in, loose fitting where you need it to be, and tight where you don’t. The poly stretch material allows for a wide range of movement, and the raglan sleeves offer a more relaxed fit that won’t get in the way of having some fun out on the water.
Not surprisingly, this fishing shirt has been shown to be true to size about 80% of the time, but can run a little bit large, so be sure to take that into consideration when buying online. Also, it comes in a good range of sizes, from small to 3X-Large, so chances are you’ll find one that fits you well.
While the material of the shirt doesn’t provide a specific rating of sun protection, per se, the longer sleeves and mock collar do provide overall protection from the sun’s harmful rays. While we certainly would suggest sunscreen as added protection, this shirt can go a long way to keeping your skin from getting burned while you’re out on the water.
This shirt is made from a unique poly-knit material that allows for maximum movement and flexibility. In addition, it holds its shape and overall size quite well, even after dozens and dozens of washings.
In addition to being fairly comfortable, this shirt from Huk also provides a number of hidden benefits that any angler would be happy to have. First, the material is anti-microbial, which helps to keep the stench from body odor under control. In addition, the fabric is woven in such a way to help keep the body cool, well ventilated and relatively dry.
While the shirt does tend to run a bit large for most people, the added comfort and features of this shirt make it a great choice for the next time that you go out on the water to enjoy some sport fishing.
8. Hanes Cool Dri
Comfortable to wear
Great Protection from the sun
Can be a little restrictive in the smaller sizes
Hanes is well known for creating active wear that is both affordable and comfortable. While this shirt may not be designed specifically for fishing, it still serves quite well for those who want a more affordable choice.Read more
Made of 100% polyester material that is designed to stretch and move with you, this shirt can easily handle most everything that a fishing trip can throw at you. Add to that the unique Cool-Dri material and even in the heat of a summer day on the lake, this shirt will help keep you dry and comfortable. The only significant complaint that we found was that the arms and shoulders are sometimes a bit restrictive on the smaller sizes.
This shirt actually fits true to size about 80% of the time, and features a wide array of sizes, ranging from small to triple extra-large so chances are you’ll find one that fits you, your friend, or even your significant other.
Surprisingly for the cost, this shirt features one of the best UPF protection ratings from the sun that we’ve seen in some time. It has a rating of over 50, so even on a long hot day, your torso and arms won’t be burned by the sun. Just be sure to take care of your face, neck and hands as well!
This shirt is made from 100% polyester material that easily stretches and conforms to the shape that you need while fishing.
Beyond great sun protection and material that is designed specifically to keep you cool and dry, there are very few other features associated with this fishing shirt. However, sometimes simple is for the best.
While not specifically designed for fishing per se, this affordable shirt from Hanes still does a great job protecting you while you and that big fish that keeps getting away square off for another round.
9. Izod Saltwater Easy Care
Comfort to wear
No real extra protection from the sun
Fishing on the high seas can present its own set of challenges, especially for your clothes. The salty air and water can do a real number on even the best fishing shirt imaginable. Thankfully, there are shirts out there like the Izod Men’s Saltwater Easy Care Short Sleeve Shirt. Not only is it durable enough to withstand the sea and all your fishing adventures.Read more
Made with a blend of synthetic and natural materials, this shirt is designed to move easily with you as you cast, cut line, set bait, and lean over the boat to scoop in the catch with your trusty net. The shirt is well proportioned and loose fitting, and featuring a wide back ventilation area for added comfort.
This shirt is available in sizes between small and xx-large, so chances are you’ll be able to find one that fits your needs adequately. In addition, the shirt has been shown to be true to size 78% of the time, but does run a little bit on the small side, so be sure to consider that when ordering.
One drawback of this shirt is that beyond the limited coverage it provides it does little to protect the wearer from the rays of the sun. Therefore, sunscreen is a good thing to have on hand while fishing with this particular shirt.
Unlike other choices on this list that are primarily natural or synthetic materials, this shirt combines the two in somewhat equal measure for great results. This shirt features the natural breathability and lightweight nature of cotton with the flexibility and fit of polyester material.
In addition to being machine washable, the shirt has easy button fasteners and Velcro chest pockets. While it may not seem like much, after a day of fishing, keeping things simple can sometimes be a bonus.
The Izod Men’s Saltwater Short Sleeve Shirt offers a simple combination of material, form and function that works quite well. While it may not offer as much sun protection as the others on this list, it is still a viable option.
10. Columbia Sportswear Offshore
Vented for great air flow and ventilation
Very comfortable, great overall fit
Longer sleeves may be more suitable for some situations
If you enjoy fishing during the summer months, keeping cool, comfortable and protected while you’re out on the water is the name of the game. Thankfully, this shirt from Columbia helps you do just that.Read more
Columbia as a clothing company is well known for producing quality products, and it’s no wonder it has managed to snap up quite a few entries on this list. This shirt is fairly roomy, allowing for a wide range of movement through the chest, shoulders and mid-section area, making it a great choice for fishing.
Lightweight and flexible by design, this shirt comes in a wide range of sizes, from extra small to double extra-large and fits true to size about ¾ of the time, so chances are you’ll find a decent fit.
While it’s always a good idea to use sunscreen while you’re out on the water, this shirt does offer protection up to UPF 40 as well. Having that additional protection from the sun can be a welcomed thing indeed.
This shirt is made from 100% polyester, which is not only a breeze to clean, but is also extremely quick drying. So don’t worry if that big catch splashes some lake water your direction. Chances are you’ll be dry in no time flat.
While we would have liked to see longer sleeves, on this shirt, the added features that it includes more than makes up for the lack of material on the arms. First, the material offers an Omni-Wick moisture management feature that helps to remove the perspiration from your skin while you’re out fishing. Second, there is actually a secure rod holder on the chest of the shirt, in case you needed to hang an extra few lures, bobbers, or yes, even a rod. And finally, and probably the most important in our book, the back and sides are vented, allowing for great airflow around the body.
Columbia has definitely stepped up their game with this fishing shirt, which we feel is one of the best on the market today. While we would have liked to see the option to have longer sleeves for added protection, this is a fantastic choice for some summertime fishing on the lake.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Not surprisingly, the first thing we took a serious look at was how comfortable the best fishing shirts were overall. We looked at how much room they had in the shoulders, the arms and the torso area, and whether or not they were designed to move with you as you reel and cast while fishing. After all, the last thing you need is to have the shoulder area of your shirt stop you from giving a full cast of your line or not let you have full control of movement while reeling in that six pound bass.
Thankfully, the shirts listed above, with a few minor exceptions all allow for free range of movement while maintaining a great deal of comfort.
Along with wearing comfort, fit is another factor that is essential to a quality fishing shirt. It really depends on your preference, but most anglers would rather have a shirt that either fits them well, or is a little on the bigger size to allow for movement, stretching and potential shrinkage after a few good washings. While some of these shirts, such as the Hanes and the Picisfun Performance shirt do run a little on the small size, most are either true to fit, or slightly larger.
When you’re out on the waves or on the lake, you want to be concentrating on catching the next big fish, not on burning your skin. That is why the fishing shirt is on of the most important but neglected fishing accessory, as it can be the determining factor of enjoying a weekend fishing or in bed with a nasty sunburn. Most fishermen don’t really think for too long about sun protection. They simply throw on a fishing shirt that offers great protection from the sun, a few dollops of sun screen and fish the day away. However, not all fishing shirts share the same protection when it comes to the sun. While it’s true that material covering your skin will protect you from some of the sun rays, a simple fabric won’t protect you from all the rays, including the harmful UV rays.
With a few exceptions, however, these shirts have been treated using various methods to help boost the sun protection that they offer. While it’s certainly not fool proof, and additional precautions against the sun should be taken, these shirts can certainly be a great place to start.
If you want to find a fishing shirt that fits well, is comfortable, allows for a wide range of motion, and offers superior protection from the elements, you really have to look long and hard at the material that is used in its making. There are examples of both synthetic blends and natural blends on this list and each has their great points. Natural fibers such as cotton provide great breathability and are comfortable against the skin, but they can take quite a while to dry after a splash from a big fish. Synthetics, like polyester will most likely dry quickly, and offer a lightweight durable material, but they don’t always move as naturally as a cotton shirt would.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
When looking for a fishing shirt, always see that it is breathable as most of the time you will be sitting out in the open sun. So not only do you want to be protected from the sun but also want the shirt to breathe so you keep your body cool and do not overheat.
Other Factors to Consider
A fishing shirt really is designed in most cases to help you fish. After all, that’s why you came out to this lake, right? A quality fishing shirt will not only be comfortable to wear, easy to own and care for, but also feature such things as ventilation flaps, places to store lures or hooks, and even loops for your extra rod. They truly are made for a fisherman who is going to be out in the sun for long periods of time, doing what they love, catching fish and enjoying a sport. While these features and others like them aren’t a requirement, having them sure makes it easier to concentrate on your next cast.
Although you might think the outside temperature could be a determining factor on which kind you get, it is not as big of a factor as you might think. Whether you go with long sleeve or short sleeve really depends upon the type of fish you tend to catch, as well as what you are most comfortable with. Some fishermen like to have a long sleeve shirt where they can roll up the sleeves while they are fishing. Others like to protect their skin from the sun, and would rather have a long sleeve shirt than put on suntan lotion. Others prefer to get a tan while out, so the short sleeves are a better option. No matter which one you choose, it really comes down to the type of fish you catch, as well as your preference for skin protection.
Along the back of any fishing shirt, there should be a vent. The size of the vent will vary greatly between shirts, so make sure you have one which will meet your needs. If you tend to sweat more while you are out fishing, you will want a vent which is bigger to allow more breathability. If you tend to be in colder climates, you will want a vent which is a little bit smaller, so you can keep your body warmer by not allowing cooler air to come in contact with your body.
A couple of factors to take into consideration with how the shirt is laid out is knowing if your shirt has a loop on it to carry your rod, as well as if there is adequate room for a logo. Having the loop for a rod makes carrying the rod much easier, and helps free up your hands to carry other items you will have on your trip, like a cooler or large bag. The loop also gives you the extra support when reeling in a large fish, as it allows you to use your body weight for extra support and makes sure that fish is not going anywhere. Although not necessary, it does provide a small convenience, and even if you don’t plan on using it now, it’s always nice to have as an option. Talking about options, you want to ensure there is enough room on the upper left area of the shirt for a logo. Although you may not ever think you will put a logo on your shirt, you never know where life will lead you, and having the adequate space for a logo to be embroidered onto your shirt is a consideration to make. You will notice with some shirts that they have some pockets along the shirt, which are nice to have, but too many pockets can make it cumbersome. If there is a pocket where the logo would go, then you may consider looking for a different shirt.
Another small detail to consider, which ends up not being very small at all, is the color and design of your shirt. The darker your shirt is, the more sun it will absorb, and the hotter you will become while out on the water. Especially since the sun bounces off of the water, you will be getting sun rays from all angles while out on the water. If you don’t mind the extra rays, then the color of your shirt is not as important. However, if you want to minimize the effect the rays will have, you will want to choose a lighter color shirt. You will also see a variety of shirts that have different designs on them, and this is completely a personal preference on if you want a straight color shirt or if you want a design on the fishing shirt.
Frequently Asked Questions
While it may seem that these two acronyms are really about the same thing, they really are somewhat different, both in usage and scope. SPF, which is often seen on the sides of sun lotion bottles, stands for Sun Protection Factor. This factor is a measure of the amount of time that it takes for the skin to redden while it is being protected. The higher the SPF number, the longer it takes.
UPF, however is a measure of how long it takes UV rays- which are some of the most damaging- to penetrate through a piece of fabric and reach the skin. Similar to SPF, the higher the UPF rating means that there is more protection between you and the UV rays. This is why you want the best fishing shirt to protect you from as much UV rays as possible and that is why looking at getting a fishing shirt is so important, especially if you will be fishing in hotter climates.
In truth, this question is really about preferences. Some people prefer to wear long sleeves to help them block out the sun’s harmful rays, while others prefer to have the feel of the wind and water on their forearms. However, there are some advantages and disadvantages to both choices.
First, longer sleeves do offer you more protection from the sun, and they help to regulate your body temperature more easily, provided that the material is lightweight in nature. As you probably noted, most of the shirts presented here are made with either a lighter cotton fabric or a polyester blend, both of which are great for transferring heat away from your body. However, long sleeves can, and often do get in the way, especially if you’re rapidly casting out and reeling a line back in.
Short sleeves, while they allow for more overall movement, won’t offer you the protection that longer sleeves will. However, you’re less likely to get a hook caught in a short sleeve.
Fishing shirts are like any other piece of clothing. They will wear out over time and with frequent use. If you plan on using your fishing shirt only for the annual family fishing trip, than you really don’t have to worry too much about its construction or durability. However, if you plan on fishing regularly, finding a shirt that will not only keep its shape and size but also become more comfortable with time is something to strive for.
Thankfully, you won’t have to look too far in the case of many of the shirts in this list. The materials used to make them are not only quality blends of fabrics, but also are designed to resist shrinkage and overall shape deformation.
When looking at investing in a fishing shirt, do not think the more expensive the fishing shirt the more durable or better quality it will be as that just is not the case. The best thing to do when looking for a durable and stylish fishing shirt to last you years to come is to look at the material and also the reviews to see how the fishing shirt has held up for other consumers that have put them to the test. Do not solely be swayed by price as you may end up with an expensive fishing shirt that will not hold up, make an educated purchase and do the research before buying.
When deciding if you need a fishing shirt or not, and think that you can just wear a normal t-shirt or dress shirt, keep in mind that these will do the job somewhat but when looking at providing breathability and sun protection, these shirts are not made for this. Fishing shirts are made for this purpose, they look like they are just like any other shirt but the way they are constructed provides sun protection, breathability, and a number of pockets. All these features will not only provide protection while basking in the sun but also help with storage as when it comes to fishing, there is a lot of accessories.