UPF and Fly Fishing Clothing Considerations

By: Heather Hodson

Kicking off the United Women on the Fly Saltwater Series this week with discussing the sun and how we can protect ourselves from it.   Don’t forget to protect your skin and your lips!!

What is UPF?

  • Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) indicates how much UV radiation (both UVB and UVA) a fabric allows to reach your skin.
  • For example, a UPF 50 fabric blocks 98 percent of the sun’s rays and allows two percent (1/50th) to penetrate, thus reducing your exposure risk significantly.


  • UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that can penetrate fabric and reach your skin.
  • Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, is based on the time it takes for UV-exposed skin to redden.
  • If you burn after 20 minutes, if used correctly, an SPF 15 sunscreen may protect your skin 15 times longer.

Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation

A fabric must have a UPF of 30 to qualify for the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation.

Clothing Considerations

  • Color – Dark or bright colors keep UV rays from reaching your skin by absorbing them.
  • Fit – Loose fitting apparel is preferable. Tight clothing can stretch and reduce the level of protection offered.
  • UPF – Look for the Seal of Recommendation from Skin Cancer Foundation.  https://www.skincancer.org/
  • Activity – Regardless of UPF, if your clothing gets stretched or wet, it will lose some of its protective ability.

Connect with Heather Hodson

Leave a comment