Better, modern protection from the sun – and better fishing
Let’s face it. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is and where on the planet you’re standing, if you are out-of-doors there is a good possibility you are getting some sun exposure.
Science tells us the sun is an energy-giving force of the universe, and we would all die without it. Science also tells us too much direct exposure to the sun will shorten out lives, and we need to protect ourselves from the harsh rays this ball of fire sends our way.
The sun beams energy to Earth several ways. There is visible light you can see, infrared radiation that you feel as heat, and rays of ultraviolet (UV) radiation that we cannot see or feel. While we need some exposure to sunlight to help our bodies produce vitamin D, too much UV is dangerous.
There are three types of UV rays: Ultraviolet A rays (UVA), which can cause skin aging and eye damage, and can lower your body’s ability to fight off illness. UVA rays also contribute to the risk of skin cancer. The atmosphere does little to shield these rays from reaching the Earth’s surface.
Ultraviolet B rays (UVB) cause sunburns, skin cancer, skin aging, and snow blindness (a sunburn to your cornea that causes a temporary loss of vision) and can lower your body’s ability to fight illness. Fortunately, the Earth’s atmosphere shields us from most UVB rays. The amount of UVB rays that reach the Earth’s surface depends on latitude, altitude, time of year, and other factors.
Ultraviolet C rays (UVC) do not reach the Earth’s surface because they are completely absorbed by the atmosphere, so harmful effects from UVC rays are minimal.
The UV radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface is mostly UVA and some UVB. Almost half the daytime total of the more harmful UVB radiation arrives between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Even on a cloudy day, UVB radiation can sunburn you.
The result of too much sun over the course of your lifetime is skin cancer, which is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Because of this we are reminded often to slather our bodies in sunscreen before we venture outdoors. That’s a good idea, unless you are planning to go fishing. Anglers have discovered sunscreen can cause rapid deterioration of your fishing line, put pits in the acrylic on your boat, and fish react negatively to any amount of sunscreen on a lure.
Because of these negative aspects of sunscreen, clothing has now been developed to create a cover shield that is comfortable even in the peak heat of the afternoon. Lightweight gloves that cover all but the parts of the fingers necessary for casting and handling fish are available. Eyewear that is so comfortable you can wear it all day long, and lenses that can be fitted to one’s exact prescription are finally affordable.
There is no need now to worry about touching your face and transferring sunscreen to a lure. No worries about overheating in the clothing that covers you from head to toe. These days anglers can protect themselves without jeopardizing their ability to catch fish.