Gear Review: The Alaskan Hardgear Grayling Standard Fit Shirt
Finally, a fishing shirt that has all of the features an angler could want—and it looks sharp
A fishing shirt needs to do three things before it’s worthy of consideration: 1) It needs to protect you from the sun. 2) It needs to keep you cool. 3) It needs to hold up to all the fish slime, reel grease, and thorns you can throw at it. If it’s got a few well placed pockets, places to clip or dangle your tools, and looks good too, then even better. Enter Duluth Trading Company’s Grayling Shirt. The Grayling breathes new life into the tried and true fishing button up. Part of the Alaskan Hardgear series of tough outdoor wear, the Grayling shirt is designed for long days on the water. From trout stream to the salt, the Alaskan Hardgear series offers protection from the elements, comfortable fit and breathability, and a number of special features anglers are sure to love.
For decades, heavy cotton fishing shirts plagued anglers of all stripes—but fabrics and designs have come a long way. Made of lightweight, but durable nylon fabric, the Grayling fights odors, repels water and stains, and offers a UPF 50 rating to keep your skin safe under the unrelenting sun. Nothing is worse than braising in your own sweaty clothes, and in addition to the breathable material, the Grayling features ventilated side and shoulder slits, and a convertible mesh yoke that can be tab-secured in an open position for maximum airflow. This multi-pronged approach to temperature management prevents heat from building up, and helps to manage it when it does. The breathable, wicking fabric lets steam escape out and allows moisture to evaporate so you stay cool and dry out on the water. The shirt is treated with a Waterflect™ DWR finish—similar to what is applied to rain jackets—so water beads off instead of saturating the fabric during light rain, fog, or from the occasional and inevitable splash. An athletic cut, stretchy nylon fabric, and armpit gussets allow for a wide range of motion when climbing over obstacles, shimmying down rocks, or casting a fly rod.
The Grayling also sports a few angler centric design features, including a rod-holder tab on the left breast that allows a fisherman to go hand free when tying leaders or changing out flies, as well as an Hypalon® chest tab and an elastic loop pinch point for forceps or zingers. The shirt comes with three secure pockets—one on each breast—and a side zipper pocket. There’s a sunglasses loop, as well as a built-in glasses chamois for keeping your shades clean and clear. The Grayling uses plastic snaps instead of buttons making it a breeze to take on and off. Just above the elbow, there’s an additional sleeve snap allowing you to easily and cleanly roll up the sleeves when it’s time to cool down or get your hands dirty.
Beyond the great features, the athletic cut and assortment of colors make the Grayling a stylish as well as functional fishing shirt. While the Grayling is designed to be used in the field, it’s the kind of shirt you could absolutely wear out to dinner or to the bar without looking or feeling out of place. The Grayling shirt has everything you could ask for in a quality fishing shirt, and then some. Check out the Grayling and Duluth’s Alaskan Hardgear series of well made and good looking outdoor wear.