Fishing hats may seem to be a minor part of a fishing outfit, but their utility and benefits may end up surprising you. Fishing hats can protect against the elements and wildlife while fishing. Below we will go over benefits, styles, and brands to help select the right one for you.
Benefits of Fishing Hats
Fishing hats can make or break a trip out on the water. The right hat can protect you from the sun's harmful UV rays, keep insects from distracting you while fishing, and even help keep you dry. A fishing hat can come in various styles to provide as much or as little protection as you see fit. From bucket hats to booney hats, there is no shortage of styles to choose from.
Various features can come with fishing hats as well, depending on your individual needs. These include removable flaps, bug nets, and even waterproofing materials. When it comes to fishing hats, you want to know the climate you will be fishing in and make sure your hat is prepared to make you comfortable despite whatever conditions you may find yourself in. Keep in mind that the various features that fishing hats come with are optional and allow for a wide range of prices depending on your budget.
Things To Consider
When looking for fishing hats, you'll want to consider the following:
- What kind of fishing hat are you looking for?
- How much are you looking to spend on a fishing hat?
- What size fishing hat do you need?
- Where do you plan on using your fishing hat?
What are you looking for in fishing hats?
- UV protection
- Adult size
- Youth size
The main types of fishing hats are bucket hats, booney hats, and hats with sun flaps. Each type of fishing hat comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, which we will cover below.
Bucket hats are a common hat type associated with anglers, and that is for a good reason. Their mid-length brim allows for sun protection without going overboard and does not obscure your vision while fishing. While simple in design, they are tried and true by many and are pretty versatile.
- Good sun protection
- Won’t obscure vision
- Does not protect much outside of the face
- Poor insect protection
- Lack of extra features
Booney hats are a more modern take on bucket hats. Their brims are firmer and broader, allowing for more neck and face protection from the sun and elements. They also tend to come with a chinstrap to help keep the hat fastened while on the water.
- Great sun protection
- Chinstrap provides extra security
- Wide price range
- No insect protection
- Can block vision slightly
- Less lightweight
Hat with Sun Flap
The hat with a sun flap is another viable choice for anglers. This style allows for the most sun protection, especially around the neck area. The flaps are often adjustable or completely removable, depending on how much sun is out that day. They tend to be lightweight and made of UV-resistant materials.
- Best sun protection
- Great field of vision
- More expensive
- Less wind/water resistant
Many fishermen still use the standard cap out on the water, and it provides the basic protection most other hats offer. They tend to be made with a mesh panel and a single brim, allowing for minimal sun protection but maximum visibility. They come in the widest range of prices, depending on the brand.
- Widest price range
- Best visibility
- Wide choice of styles and types
- Minimal element protection
- No extra features
There are many brands to consider when choosing a hat, however Columbia, Huk, and RedHead are three of the most popular.
Columbia is a trusted fishing brand, and their signature PFG line of hats provides quality gear all around. Their cap selection is noticeably wide and features their signature FlexFit style that is sure to keep you cool, protected, and comfortable. Their prices vary between $20-$35, depending on the model.
Huk is a brand whose focus lies in fishing; their hats consist of quality materials, often polyester and cotton. They offer a range of styles to choose from, including straw hats. Their hats are reasonably priced, with most coming in under $25.
RedHead is partnered with many fishing stores, and their hats offer their unique “Aquapel” water repellent technology that ensures that you stay dry while on the water. Their hats are well made for their price range, costing $20-$30. They are a great deal budget-wise without sacrificing quality.
How much do fishing hats cost?
The cost for each fishing hat can vary depending on factors such as brand, materials used, and features included in each hat. A regular polyester fishing hat can range from $10-$20, while a higher-end hat of the same style with a different material can be up to $40. A typical hat that most entry-level fishers will be satisfied with and still provides the necessary features will run between $15-$25.
What type of hat is best for fly fishing?
When it comes to fly fishing, you need to consider a few extra things. Due to the casting motion, you don't want a hat that will get your line tangled. To ensure this, going with a bucket or cap-style fishing hat that is waterproof or water-resistant will be your best bet. These styles can still provide the necessary sun protection you need while not obstructing your vision or range of motion.
Which fishing hats are best for sun protection?
When it comes to the best sun protection, a Booney hat that also comes with a sun flap would be your ideal choice. The large brim will protect the face, and the flap will protect your neck. You can even get ones that come with a full face mask to increase protection from the sun further. To provide maximum protection, you want to ensure the hat will fully cover any exposed facial areas and neck region.