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Protect Your Skin: How to Use Sunscreen and Keep it Off Your Lures

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May 21, 2012

Protect Your Skin: How to Use Sunscreen and Keep it Off Your Lures

By John Merwin

“If you get any of that stuff on your lure, you won’t get another bite,” said Florida guide Terry Shaughnessy as he watched me slather on some sunscreen. And I think he’s right. Fish dislike the sunscreen smell. But sunscreen is pretty much essential protection while fishing. So there’s a conundrum for you.

Happily, I’ve found some ways to use sun-protection goop without screwing up the fishing at the same time. Some sunscreen products come in applicator containers that allow use without getting the stuff on your palms and fingers. That in turn means you won’t be contaminating your lures or flies when changing or handling them.

I’ve shown two such products in the accompanying photo. One, from Dermatone, is a squeeze-tube with a spongelike applicator at the end. Treating my face, neck, ears, and backs of my hands is very easy with this device. A 2-ounce tube costs $5 to $6 and is widely available online (which is why I haven’t given a specific link). 

The other is a Neutrogena Sunblock Stick, a semi-hard wipe-on stick that I use most often for touchups to my lips, nose, and backs of my hands during the day. I think I paid around $7 when I last bought one a year ago. These are found in most chain-type drugstores.

I’ve written occasionally about the dangers of skin cancer. My general impression is that younger guys ignore the warnings. And some, but not all, older guys pay attention to them. But there’s nothing that gets your attention better than when a dermatologist starts jabbing your face with lidocaine-filled needles, preparatory to cutting out a tumor. Been there, done that. And it’s no fun.

And that all makes the decision to consistently use various sunblocks very simple.

 

Comments (7)

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from dleurquin wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

Applicators are nice but just can't apply sunscreen as evenly or thoroughly to your face and neck as your fingers can. Isn't there some way to eliminate the Sunscreen left on your hands before you fish? Soap? Purell? Something else that doesn't affect fish's biting habits?

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

In recent years I have resorted to just covering my skin with cloth rather than sun screen. My wife thinks I look silly in my wide brim cap, buff, gloves and long sleeve shirt on a hot day, but it gets the job done.

John, Maybe you could give some advice on what materials keep you cool in the summer. Polyester? Cotton? I see a lot of "cool" fabrics out there, not sure which ones work. I have purchased a number of shirts that are suppose to keep you cool. Some work better than others.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dleurquin wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

Good point Buckhunter. I too, cover myself in clothes. I often find myself the only one in my group wearing long pants, a long sleeve shirt, a wide brim hat (or baseball hat and buff and then I get the goofy looks for sure), and regular shoes (if I'm in a boat) instead of sandals. I still lather on the SPF30. At the end of the day I'm the least red of the bunch. I'm 50 and none of my fishing buddies seems too worried about it. John, you're spot on when you say you'll get worried in a hurry when the doctor starts removing tumors from your skin.

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from johnmerwin wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

Berkley sells a product called Erase Odor Killer that might work. Looks sort of like liquid soap. But I don't know if washing your hands with it would remove sunblock from the backs of your hands.

I, too, often follow the same clothing route as you guys, except for gloves. I have yet to find a pair of sun gloves that I'm comfortable fishing with. Buckhunter, as to shirts, I've tried various of the light, synthetic-fiber fishing shirts over the years and have now come full circle. I'm back to lightweight cotton as being the most comfortable. The Columbia Bonehead shirts are nice in hot weather, except for all their Velcro patches that tie the shirt in knots when it comes out of the dryer. So this year I've switched to simple blue chambray cotton, either from LL Bean or from Cabela's. No frills. No fads. No fancy stuff.

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from nesland wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

There are some very good spray on sunblocks on the shelves these days. As a Land Surveyor I spend many days outside and I take the issues a sun caused skin damage very seriously. I recommend the new spray ons in as high an SPF# as you can find.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgriffflyguy wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

I tend to go with clothing as well and have just been converted to the Patagonia sunshade shirt. I don't need all those pockets I just use a fanny pack. The sunshade shirt is upf 30 and the most comfortable I have used in full sun. Also I wear long pants, have a look at railriders - I got their extreme adventure pants which are also upf 30 and they are much better than most of the competitors. Buffs are my favorite way to cover my face and of course the up/downer type of hat, large brim and back shield for back of neck. This is what keeps me comfortable.
Also gloves, take a look at Buff gloves - they seem to be some of the best on the market.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Island_Time wrote 40 weeks 2 days ago

I keep hand soap on the boat for sun screen and oil/gas that may get on my hands. A surfactant really helps to cut the oil in both. Columbia makes a full clothing line that is breathable, vented, lighter colors, and 50 SPF. They can get expensive, but after having skin cancer removed I can assure you it's worth the price. Just remember that the clothing doesn't cover everything; you still need sunscreen!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from buckhunter wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

In recent years I have resorted to just covering my skin with cloth rather than sun screen. My wife thinks I look silly in my wide brim cap, buff, gloves and long sleeve shirt on a hot day, but it gets the job done.

John, Maybe you could give some advice on what materials keep you cool in the summer. Polyester? Cotton? I see a lot of "cool" fabrics out there, not sure which ones work. I have purchased a number of shirts that are suppose to keep you cool. Some work better than others.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dleurquin wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

Applicators are nice but just can't apply sunscreen as evenly or thoroughly to your face and neck as your fingers can. Isn't there some way to eliminate the Sunscreen left on your hands before you fish? Soap? Purell? Something else that doesn't affect fish's biting habits?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dleurquin wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

Good point Buckhunter. I too, cover myself in clothes. I often find myself the only one in my group wearing long pants, a long sleeve shirt, a wide brim hat (or baseball hat and buff and then I get the goofy looks for sure), and regular shoes (if I'm in a boat) instead of sandals. I still lather on the SPF30. At the end of the day I'm the least red of the bunch. I'm 50 and none of my fishing buddies seems too worried about it. John, you're spot on when you say you'll get worried in a hurry when the doctor starts removing tumors from your skin.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnmerwin wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

Berkley sells a product called Erase Odor Killer that might work. Looks sort of like liquid soap. But I don't know if washing your hands with it would remove sunblock from the backs of your hands.

I, too, often follow the same clothing route as you guys, except for gloves. I have yet to find a pair of sun gloves that I'm comfortable fishing with. Buckhunter, as to shirts, I've tried various of the light, synthetic-fiber fishing shirts over the years and have now come full circle. I'm back to lightweight cotton as being the most comfortable. The Columbia Bonehead shirts are nice in hot weather, except for all their Velcro patches that tie the shirt in knots when it comes out of the dryer. So this year I've switched to simple blue chambray cotton, either from LL Bean or from Cabela's. No frills. No fads. No fancy stuff.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nesland wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

There are some very good spray on sunblocks on the shelves these days. As a Land Surveyor I spend many days outside and I take the issues a sun caused skin damage very seriously. I recommend the new spray ons in as high an SPF# as you can find.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgriffflyguy wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

I tend to go with clothing as well and have just been converted to the Patagonia sunshade shirt. I don't need all those pockets I just use a fanny pack. The sunshade shirt is upf 30 and the most comfortable I have used in full sun. Also I wear long pants, have a look at railriders - I got their extreme adventure pants which are also upf 30 and they are much better than most of the competitors. Buffs are my favorite way to cover my face and of course the up/downer type of hat, large brim and back shield for back of neck. This is what keeps me comfortable.
Also gloves, take a look at Buff gloves - they seem to be some of the best on the market.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Island_Time wrote 40 weeks 2 days ago

I keep hand soap on the boat for sun screen and oil/gas that may get on my hands. A surfactant really helps to cut the oil in both. Columbia makes a full clothing line that is breathable, vented, lighter colors, and 50 SPF. They can get expensive, but after having skin cancer removed I can assure you it's worth the price. Just remember that the clothing doesn't cover everything; you still need sunscreen!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment