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Fishing accessories from the neck up

Johnny Molloy • Mar 15, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Experienced anglers know the importance of a hat. Hats protect you from the elements such as sun, rain and heat. They will keep you warm when it is cold. Specifically speaking, there is no one hat to address every condition; however, you can have a hat for each season.

In summer, use a wide- brimmed, lightweight hat offering adequate sun protection and ventilation. For years I have used a Columbia Bora Bora Booney. It is made of quick-drying nylon, has a mesh band for ventilation and weighs mere ounces. But the floppy brim can’t take high winds. Consider a strong-brimmed hat if you are going to be in windy conditions.

For cooler times, bring a waterproof, Gore-Tex-lined hat such as the Seattle Sombrero by Outdoor Research. No matter what hat you buy, make sure it has a neck strap. Cinch it under your chin during windy conditions or slip it off and let it lay on your back with the strap around your neck when not in use.

I generally shun gloves, except for extreme cold. However, anglers sometimes use paddling gloves, not only for the added comfort in paddling but for sun protection. I find paddling gloves a hindrance while casting, but if you have ultra-sensitive skin, consider them. Hardcore winter anglers use open-fingered wool fishing gloves.

When handling large fish, a rubberized fish glove allows a safer fishing experience. They are worth their weight in gold when you need them. Wash them out frequently, as they will become quite fishy smelling.

After your trip is over, dry the gloves out in the sun. A dry fish glove is much less smelly than a wet fish glove! But a sweet-smelling fish glove is worse than anything — it means you haven’t caught any fish!

Use a bandanna while in the outback. While boat fishing, I keep one around my neck for added sun protection. Bandannas come in handy around camp, too. They can be used as a towel, potholder, pot cleaner, head wrap for bugs, signal flag, coffee filter, tablecloth, etc.

Sunglasses are not only eye protection but also an important tool for the fisherman. Invest in sunglasses that not only provide 100 percent UV protection, but are also polarized. Polarized glasses eliminate the reflective glare off the water surface and allow you to see into the agua below.

This will help you not only find fish, but also see the habitat in which the fish are living. And this will help you decide the best means to catch fish! Use a sunglasses neck strap. Not only can you take your glasses off and not worry about losing them or dropping them in the water but they will always be handy around your neck.

Note to older anglers: Don’t forget the reading glasses, otherwise tying lures, unhanging knots and other minutiae will become a nightmare. Without glasses you’ll be wrangling with a lure while your buddy will be pulling in the fish.

Use magnifiers to help tie on lures. One type clips onto the bill of a cap whereas another style clips onto the top of your sunglasses. Then you simply flip the magnifiers down and presto, that tiny fly comes into focus.

It is easy to see that proper accessories from the neck up enhance your fishing experience.

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