I get fussed at a lot about my skincare, or lack thereof. My girlfriend is the sunscreen queen and she doesn’t get too happy when I get off the water looking like a cross between Rudolph and a raccoon. All joking aside, this is some serious talk. Skin cancer is a big problem amongst anglers, and we all need to do a better job of taking care of our skin. Sure, sunburn goes away, and we’re all “rugged outdoorsmen” that can deal with the pain. Sunburn, however, leads to skin cancer, and skin cancer can knock you deader than a doornail.
When I got my Simms Sunclava, I really wasn’t too excited about using it, to be honest. I’m stubborn and I didn’t like the thought of having something wrapped around my face during a hot day of fishing. My obstinacy began to fade, however, when I felt the lightweight fabric between my fingers. Made of 92-percent polyester and 8-percent spandex, the Sunclava actually felt pretty nice.
I took it out on the boat for its maiden voyage and was pleasantly surprised when I put it on. I don’t like tight clothing when I fish—I am all about breathability and comfort, and the Sunclava provided me with just that. It didn’t fit too tightly around my ears or nose, making it easy to breathe and easy to slide my sunglasses between the Sunclava and my head. I’ve used similar products in the past that dug my sunglasses into my skull, causing some pretty awful headaches. I’m happy to report that I didn’t even come close to having this problem with the Sunclava.
The laser-cut breathing holes really cut down on the “claustrophobia” aspect that I was a little skeptical about. A lot of the other products I’ve tried make me feel like I’m being smothered, but the holes in the front of the Sunclava allow a lot of fresh air to flow back-and-forth, which makes a huge difference on hot fishing days.
I was also happy that the breathing holes seemed to decrease the accumulation of fog on my sunglasses. Nothing is more irritating that fogged-up glasses when you’re trying to concentrate on fishing, and it’s obvious that Simms agrees. I did notice, however, that when I pulled the Sunclava too high onto the bridge of my nose that my glasses did try to get hazy, but was easily fixed by pulling the Sunclava down a little lower on my nose.
I have a really big, ugly head. When I put the hood over my head, I surprisingly had plenty of extra room, allowing for nice airflow. It was hard to even notice the hood as I was fishing, and the extra space allows you to wear the hood under or over your ball cap, while covering your ears either way. If you’d rather not wear the hood, it’s easy and comfortable to wear folded-down so you can still protect your neck and face.
I also found some additional uses for the Sunclava. All my fellow southerners know how hot it gets down here—it can be downright brutal. To fight the heat, I’ve actually been dunking my Sunclava into the water and putting it back on every 20 minutes. It’s made to dry quickly, so you have to do it fairly often, but it’s definitely worth it on a scorching day of fishing. The Sunclava also works pretty well as a mosquito repellant. Fishing grass lakes such as Guntersville or Seminole during the summer can be very uncomfortable when you have swarms of kamikaze mosquitoes and gnats swarming around your head, but the Sunclava will keep these pesky critters out of your face so you can concentrate on catching the big one.
I was impressed with my Sunclava. While it definitely takes some getting used to, the Sunclava can save your skin from the unforgiving sun and for $29.95, it’s worth it for the protection it provides. You may not win any fashion contests with it, but it’s a great investment for your health. We’d rather spend a little money on good clothing than have to repeatedly purchase and apply sunscreen, or worse, never cover up at all.