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 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.


  1. Rebecca

    It says no comments yet…so I should hurry and post this….cha-ching!

    • admin

      Rebecca- WINNER!

  2. Rebecca

    Ta-Da! Cool ~ I have a thing for sunscreen so I’m game to try anything. If it doesn’t leave a slimy residue I’ll be one happy angler! The sun and I have been at war for years now. My first case of sun cancer showed up at 24 years of age and it’s been a battle since then. I figure in another 5 years I’ll have either found the perfect sunscreen or I won’t have any skin left to ruin (via the Doc cutting it all away) I’m pulling for the sunscreen =)

    • admin

      Ouch, Rebecca- that’s not a fun thing for an outdooress to have to deal with. You need a wide brim lucky fishing hat and a vat of zinc oxide to dunk yourself in. I’m pulling for the sunscreen, too!

      • Rebecca

        I’ve been looking for the perfect wide brim hat (and I really do hate wearing hats) Mr. Troutunderground recently mentioned army boonie hats…I’m going to try one. I might as well add some green zinc oxide camo paint to help the look out….

  3. Derek

    I approved this message.

  4. Patrick

    I’ll have to give it a try. Especially if it means I won’t return home as a redneck after multi-day fishing trips.

    • admin

      Pat, remember that redneck is more a social condition than a result of sun exposure.

  5. Marck

    Seattle just broke a record 277 straight day’s under 75. A sunscreen review from a Seattlelite is like you catching a fish on the Madison! oh wait you did catch A fish.

    • admin

      Damn straight I caught a fish on the Madison, Marck. ONE fish, and don’t you forget it. BTW, your name is spelt funny.

  6. Goosemaster

    That Marck guy is brutal.

    • admin

      Yeah, he’s just one of those internet tough guys hidin’ behind his keyboard talkin’ shit 😉

  7. Brad

    Did you guys know that if you walk into the makeup section of a Nordstroms or Neiman Marcus or one of those and sit down on one of the stools next to one of the makeup counters, a woman will come over and say hello and ask you if she can help you. If you, as I did, get flustered and say, “uh, yeah, I’d like to try some sunscreen,” the woman will get some sunscreen and, if you ask, actually apply some to your face!

    Picture it. Gorgeous makeup queen! Dressed to the nines. Leaning over to gently caress your face! Unavoidable displays of cleavage! If you aren’t weird when you gently reject the first exotic unguent, she will call over yet another makeup queen (see above) who will bring another unguent. And then another. And another, until there are a bevy of makeup queens surrounding you. Sure, at some point you will purchase a tiny bottle of sunscreen that pushes three figures, but you leave happy.

    • admin

      Wow, Brad- I think I’m speechless for once!

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