A common trend that is quickly gaining popularity among fishermen is wearing a face mask (a.k.a fishing buff or neck gaiter) while out on the water.
If you aren’t familiar with this trend, you might be wondering, why do fishermen wear face masks?
Let’s answer that question as well as other related questions in this post.
What Is A Neck Gaiter And Why Do Fishermen Wear Them?
The quick answer: A neck gaiter or buff is a thin seamless piece of fabric that can be worn a number of different ways to protect the face, neck, and head against the wind and the Sun’s dangerous UV rays.
In addition, most masks are made with a moisture wicking material that is designed to absorb sweat keeping your face, and neck dry throughout the day.
Yes, they are designed to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
They are relatively inexpensive and extremely comfortable to wear thus a must-have when fishing on a super sunny day.
Why every fishermen needs a face mask.
Protection from the sun. The last thing that you want on your mind when fishing is: when did I put on sunscreen last? Not to mention how annoying this oily sunscreen can be. It quickly can get on your reels, rods and even your lures.
The best way to protect your face from sunburn is to wear a face mask.
Yes, but I always wear a pair of sunglasses and my favorite hat, isn’t that enough?
No, it is not enough.
Throughout the day sunlight reflects on the water and back up onto your face. A few hours on the lake unprotected and you will be feeling it on your face for days. Not to mention the serious risk of skin cancer. The best solution is wearing a buff.
In addition, many anglers have noticed that a neck gaiter cuts down on the glare reflecting back up into their face and under their sunglasses.
However, by wearing a face mask they are able to reduce the glare and with a good pair of polarized sunglasses, they can have a clearer picture of what is going on under the water.
Protection from the wind. Have you ever been fishing all day long on a cloudy day and when you come home your face feels like it is on fire?
If so, you have been the victim of wind burn.
Wearing a mask even on a cloudy day can protect your face from the wind as well as the cold.
Keep Cool During The Summer. I know you might be thinking that the idea of putting fabric over your face doesn’t sound like the best idea to keep cool on those hot summer days.
However, keep in mind that most face masks are very thin and made with a breathable material. Couple that with the protection they offer from the sun and you will find that they are quite cool.
In addition, when things get really hot, many anglers have found it refreshing to dip their mask in water before putting it on their face or around their neck.
A great way to keep cool during summer.
Choosing The Best Fishing Face Mask – My Top 5
Now, that we understand why they are so popular, let’s take a look at the best fishing face masks.
Fishmasks Single Layer Neck Gaiter
- Fabric that is 98% polyester, 2% spandex
- 35 different designs to choose from
- UPF 50 + Protection
- Moisture wicking
The first option that we are going to take a closer look at is Fishmasks Single Layer Neck Gaiter.
This fishing buff is made from a fabric that is 98% polyester and 2% spandex making it both lightweight and comfortable. It has a UPF rating of 50 + which is the highest rating clothing can have when it comes to protection against UV rays.
It is made with a mositure wicking fabric, designed to keep you dry on those hot summer days.
Lastly, it is available in 35 different designs so you should have no problem finding one that you like.
Keep in mind that it is a single layer buff meaning that the design is only on one side of the fabric. If you reverse it, the inside is white.
BUFF UVX Mask
- Fabric that is 86% Polamide, 14% Elastane
- UPF 50 + Protection
- Breathing holes
One common complaint that many anglers have about wearing masks over their face is that their sunglasses start to fog up.
This can be very annoying when all we want to do is catch some fish.
It is with that problem in mind, that the guys over at BUFF created the BUFF UVX Mask.
This mask is made with 86 percent polamide and 14 percent elastane making it both comfortable and lightweight.
In addition, as you can see from the picture the fabric has laser cut breathing holes. This means that you can wear it over your face with your sunglasses and they won’t fog up.
A simple solution to a common problem.
Lastly, you will be well protected with its UPF rating of 50 +.
Hoo-Rag Face Mask
- Made of polyester and microfiber
- Has a UPF 30 rating
- Offers protection against, wind, cold, dust, and insects.
- Available in 5 different prints
- Cool cameo prints available ( check there out here)
Did you know that you can wear a neck gaiter 12 different ways? Give it a try with the Hoo-Rag Fishing Face Mask.
This face mask is 100 % polyester and it is mositure wicking making it extremely comfortable to wear all day long.
Not only does it protect against the sun, but it also offers protection against the wind, cold, dust and even insects.
With that kind of protection, you will benefit from wearing this face mask not just on fishing trips but even when doing chores around the house.
It does offer a good amount of UV protection with a UPF rating of 30.
Lastly, it is available in 5 different designs.
For those fishermen that love hunting, you may want to check out their digital camo prints found here.
Aqua Design Neck Gaiter
- The fabric used is 85% Polyester, 15% Spandex
- UPF 50 +
- Designed for hot weather
- 6 different designs
- 5 different sizes
- Moisture wicking
- Hand Or Machine Washable
You may have noticed that many buffs offer a one size fits all. That may work for the majority, but for some, a one size fits all simply doesn’t fit right.
For example, it might be too baggy resulting in one that doesn’t seem to want to stay on your face. Or it might be so tight that you feel like you are being smothered.
That is one unique feature that I really like about the Aqua Design Neck Gaiter. It is available in 5 different sizes ensuring that you will find that perfect fit.
Next, let’s talk about the fabric. It is made with an 85 percent polyester and 15 percent spandex making it both soft and comfortable to wear for an extended amount of time.
The fabric is moisture wicking ensuring that you stay dry.
Keep in mind that this particular mask is designed for hot weather so keeping you cool on the water is their main concern.
Next, it is available in 6 different designs which most of them are a camouflage print. So if you are the kind of fisherman who likes to do some hunting on the side or if you truly want to sneak up on some fish. This is definitely an option to check out.
Lastly, with a UPF rating of 50+, you can kiss those days of coming home with a sunburn good-bye.
- 100% polyester
- UPF 40
- Realistic 3D designs
- Moisture Wicking
Another reason fishermen wear buffs is simply because they look cool. And that is what makes Obacle Masks truly unique.
First and foremost, let’s talk about the quality of the material. It is made from a high quality 100% polyester material that offers both moisture wicking as well as UV protection.
The ends of the fabric are non stitched ensuring a better fit.
Next, let’s talk about what really these face masks unique, the design. Obacle really takes the cake when it comes to pumping out cool looking designs.
They have so many designs to offer that they have divided them up into at least 6 different categories with just about 40 different choices in each category.
That means you have well over 200 designs to choose from!
Let’s briefly talk about a few of my favorite categories.
The first category is the animals series. By wearing them correctly you can make the bottom half of your face look just like that of an animal.
Some of the designs available are; bear, cat, dog, dolphin, cow, tiger, rabbit, and more, just to name of few.
You can take a closer look at their designs here.
Next is their clown series where you have close to forty different clown faces to choose from. You can find more details here.
If you are into art, you might enjoy the sky series which are basically a series made around stars and galaxies. Learn more here.
And for those fishermen who also enjoy hunting, you might want to check out the camo series here.
What to know about face masks before buying one.
Keep in mind that not all face masks are a like.
It is important to always check the label to make sure that they are offering the protection that you want. Also, be sure to understand what the UPF rating system means.
For example, a buff with a UPF rating of 30 means that it can block up to 97 percent of UV rays while a buff with a UPF rating of 50 can block up to 99 percent of UV rays.
So what do you think about fishing face masks?
Hoping after reading this article you understand why they are so popular and may even have found one that you like.
Now, let’s turn it over to you. Please share your thoughts about fishing buffs in the comments below.