good sunscreen for fly fishing

It works like trout slime, for YOUR skin.

A while ago I was  approached by the manufacturers of Smartshield® oil free sunscreen to perform a field test and review of their sunscreen.  This is the first time I’ve been tasked with reviewing a product, and I’ll admit – it made me feel kinda like a big shot. I was given no compensation for my review, other than a free tube of the product.  If there was something about the product I did not like, I would be honest and declare the shortcomings herein.  However, I found nothing not to like about Smartshield, which is an all natural, eco-friendly sunscreen.

Admittedly I haven’t had much opportunity to test the product because the Pacific Northwest has been shrouded under a dark cloud of despair and cooler/wetter than normal weather for the past 3 months. When finally a warm, sunny day presented itself, I grabbed my fly rod and tube of Smartshield (30 spf) and set off for the Yakima River in hopes of catching some trout and a good case of sunburn to bake away the pasty white skin courteous of our northwest Spring weather. Neither happened. Unfortunately the fishing was unproductive, and the Smartshield proved worthy of it’s name.

The first point of inspection was the smell test.  Some sunscreens have a less than savory scent that resembles gin, cigarette smoke and body odor.  Others have a medicated aroma to them, while others yet smell too sweet and perfumy.  Not so with Smartshield’s clean, fresh scent.

It goes on smoothly without an oily feel, and absorbs instantly into the skin. My hands had none of that greasy residue that many sunscreens leave behind.  When you’re handling fishing gear with the skill that I do, there’s no room for slippery hands. The aloe vera content leaves the skin feeling smooth as a trout’s skin, though fortunately without the protective slime coating.

After 8 hours on the water, with the sun beating down from above and reflecting from below, the verdict was that Smartshield is a worthy product. To quote my fishing companion for the day (Derek Young, owner of Emerging Rivers Guide Services) “I don’t have that ‘I’ve been wearing sunscreen all day’ feeling.” Well said.

I would have to agree, and give Smartshield two non-greasy thumbs-up.

The first person to respond to this review by posting a comment (and then sending me your mailing address) will receive a complimentary tube of Smartshield. For others, the following coupon code is good for $2.00 off any online order at Smartshield.com: Sun2

As noted, this is my first solicited product review.  I enjoyed it and I’m open to reviewing other fly fishing related products. I would welcome inquiries from other manufacturers such as Simms, Sage, Ross Reels, Clackacraft Drift Boats, etc.