5 Reasons to Wear a Neck Gaiter Fishing

5 Reasons to Wear a Neck Gaiter Fishing

In our list of 22 gifts for boat owners in 2022, you may have noticed that we left out an important piece of fishing apparel: a fishing neck gaiter. As an incredibly versatile piece of fishing apparel, the neck gaiter deserves an article all to itself. While gaiters have become more recognizable since the beginning of the pandemic, a fishing neck gaiter has specific uses for fishermen working in a variety of marine environments. If you’re hesitant about purchasing this crucial piece of fishing apparel (which, we’ll admit, is not designed for fashion), don’t be. Today, we’ll outline the reasons why you’ll benefit from wearing a neck while fishing, as well as tips on how to properly wear a fishing neck gaiter for your reasons and the seasons. 

What is a neck gaiter for fishing? 

For our beginner fishermen, it’s a fair question: what is a fishing neck gaiter? A gaiter is a closed tube of moisture-wicking fabric designed to cover the wearer’s face and neck. A fishing neck gaiter with lightweight, breathable material (and occasionally with breathing holes) ensures easy breathing despite long hours on the water. You might hear other fishermen refer to neck gaiters as buffs: this is a reference to the Buff brand that popularized neck gaiters for fishermen. 

Why wear a neck gaiter fishing?

1. Sun Protection

While SPF is a key ingredient to successful fishing, sometimes sunscreen just doesn’t cut it - which is when a neck gaiter comes in handy. Particularly on hot, sunny days or in equatorial regions where the sun is especially intense, a neck gaiter becomes your personal protector against the sun’s harmful rays, offering additional coverage for your face and neck. While Custom Captain encourages liberal sunscreen use for all fishermen, fishing neck gaiters can help minimize sunscreen application throughout the day. When searching for the best neck gaiter for fishing, look for material offering UPF 50 protection, meaning that it only lets 2% (1/50th) of sun rays through - and therefore blocks 98% of UV rays.

2. Wind (and Hat!) Protection 

You’re on the boat, it’s windy, and it's bright: a double whammy of weather woes. On windy waters and sunny days, fishing neck gaiters offer dual protection against wind burns and flying hats. With a neck gaiter, you can have your baseball hat and wear it, too: simply tuck it under the gaiter for a snug fit, keeping the brim in place for a clear view on bright, windy days. Bonus points are awarded to the neck gaiter for protecting your face and neck from the sting of harsh winds. 

3. Extreme Temperature Protection: Hot AND Cold

Combine high-speed wind with wintry temperatures, and fishing becomes a truly bone-chilling ordeal. In the case of extremely cold or hot temperatures, a fishing neck gaiter can be a life-saver for fishermen, particularly those who plan to fish in the dark months of winter. Simply pulling the gaiter over your nose can make a cold day of fishing considerably more enjoyable, comfortable, and oftentimes, more productive: if you can still feel your face by the end of the day, consider it a job well done. In the heat of summer, you can use the neck gaiter as a sweatband by rolling it over a few times and wrapping it around your forehead, or even your wrist to swipe away the sweat on your brow.

4. Improved Visibility 

Whether it’s a hot, sunny day or a foggy morning, fishing neck gaiters are a hidden superpower to enhance visibility on the water, particularly for fishermen who wear glasses. Even in choppy waters or on humid days, the moisture-wicking fabric keeps you dry and prevents your glasses from fogging up. Neck gaiters can even reduce the glare on the skin around your eyes (which, believe it or not, is a reflective surface!) to increase your visibility while operating the boat. As mentioned above, a fishing gaiter also helps keep the brim of your baseball cap in place, minimizing direct sunlight in your eyes and maximizing your vision. 

5. Insect Protection

Soon enough, summer will arrive - and as much as we’re ready for some sunny days, the bugs will surely follow. Fortunately, the all-purpose fishing neck gaiter packs yet another plan of attack: protection against mosquitoes, ticks, and other pesky insects that may carry disease or just pack a mean bite.

How To Wear a Neck Gaiter Fishing

Whether you're scared of bugs, sensitive to the cold, or just a bit sweaty, the fishing neck gaiter is an ideal piece of fishing apparel for the year-round fisherman. Depending on your personal needs and preferences, you can choose to wear your gaiter in a variety of ways:

  • Half Mask: Wearing the neck gaiter in this fashion covers the front and back of your neck as well as the bottom half of your face. Your nose peeks out from the top so you can breathe and see with ease.
  • Neckerchief: This style covers the back and front of your neck and the bottom of your chin, exposing your mouth. The neckerchief is ideal if you need a bit more breathing room - or a quick bite to eat. 
  • Hood: A simple style to keep your head and ears warm while your face remains fully exposed. 
  • Hairband: For fishermen with long and luscious locks, we know the pain of forgetting a hairband and batting away hairs while running a boat at high speeds. In this case, the neck gaiter becomes a hair gaiter for a sporty and supportive updo.
  • Balaclava: This covers the entire neck, bottom half of the face (including the nose), and the top and back of the head. 
  • Sun Guard: Similar in style to the balaclava, the guard enables a fisherman to wear a brimmed hat for protection against sunburn and increased visibility. For further instructions on how to wear a fishing neck gaiter with a hat, check out this helpful video.
  • Beanie: In the event that you do lose your precious baseball cap to the marine winds, you can transform your neck gaiter into a beanie by turning it inside-out and pulling it over your head, then twisting twice and folding back to form a knot.

Purchasing a neck gaiter for fishing may not seem like a big deal, but this simple piece of fishing apparel can be transformative for fishermen. Like a good set of kitchen knives, a fishing neck gaiter promises to enhance your overall experience. While there's no magic fabric that will guarantee your next big catch, a warmer face and clearer view tip the odds in your favor.