The Performance Fishing Shirt Guide

Man wearing the Jigalode Mighty Jig UPF Performance Fishing Shirt while hiking a trail in Everglades National Park.

In this guide, we’ll dive into why performance fishing shirts outshine their cotton counterparts. While cotton has always been a staple in the world of clothing, it’s tough to compete with the advantages of performance fabrics when it comes to fishing and outdoor apparel.

Key Performance Features to look for:

  • UPF Sun Protection
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Quick Drying
  • 4 Way Stretch

What Sets Performance Fishing Shirts Apart From Cotton Shirts?

Let’s explore the key features that set performance fishing shirts apart from your everyday cotton tees. Although cotton is beloved for its comfort, it lacks the moisture-wicking properties of performance fabrics, often leaving you feeling damp and sticky during physical activity. Cotton tends to retain moisture, leading to longer drying times and eventually, discomfort in humid or wet conditions. Additionally, cotton offers minimal sun protection compared to performance fabrics with UPF ratings, leaving you vulnerable to UV radiation while enjoying the outdoors.

UPF Sun Protection Explained

Performance fishing shirts offer superior sun protection primarily due to their UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings. These UPF ratings indicate the level of protection the fabric provides against the sun's harmful UV rays. It doesn’t even take a sunny day to be at risk. UV light can penetrate through clouds, smog, glass and are present all throughout the year.  Performance fishing shirts, such as our Mighty Jig Performance Hoodie, feature UPF 30, effectively shielding the wearer from UV radiation during prolonged sun exposure without the use of sun screen. 


What exactly does that mean? Don’t worry, we did the math for you.

  • UPF 30 allows 1/30th of the sun’s rays to get through the fabric.
  • 1/30 = 1 divided by 30 = 3.3%
  • If 3.3% of the rays get through, about 96% of the rays are blocked.


For comparison, a white cotton t-shirt usually offers around a UPF 5 rating which allows about 20% of UV radiation to pass through.

This enhanced protection reduces the risk of sunburn and long-term skin damage, making performance fishing shirts a preferred choice for outdoor activities. This means you can spend more time fishing and less time worrying about sunburn – a win-win in our book.

Man wearing the Jigalode Mighty Jig UPF Performance Fishing Shirt while hiking a trail in Everglades National Park.

How Does UPF Fabric Work?

UPF fabric works by blocking or absorbing UV radiation, preventing it from penetrating the fabric and reaching your skin. This is achieved through the use of specialized materials and denser weaving techniques that enhance the fabric's ability to filter out UV rays. 

A dense and tight construction of fabric minimizes the penetration of UV light. When comparing fabrics with similar construction details, thicker materials tend to offer greater protection against UV transmission compared to thinner ones.

Another thing to keep in mind is that darker colors typically provide better overall UV protection  by absorbing more rays before they reach the skin. 

The polyester and rayon blend, found in the Jigalode Mighty Jig Performance Hoodie, is known for it’s UV-blocking properties, contributing to the fabric's high UPF ratings. Overall, UPF fabric provides an effective barrier against the sun's harmful rays, offering you peace of mind when heading outdoors.

Moisture Wicking Tech

Performance fishing shirts excel in moisture management, thanks to their inherent moisture-wicking properties. Unlike cotton, which tends to absorb sweat and retain it against the skin, performance fabrics like polyester and rayon are naturally moisture-wicking. This is due to the hydrophobic nature of polyester, which repels water and allows moisture to evaporate quickly.

Additionally, rayon fibers have a high absorbency rate, pulling moisture away from the body and spreading it across the fabric's surface for rapid evaporation. As a result, moisture-wicking performance shirts keep the wearer dry and comfortable, even during intense physical activity or in hot, humid conditions.

Quick Dry

While fishing, things have a way of getting wet. Although moisture wicking fabric does a good job of pulling moisture (such as sweat) away from your skin, a good performance fishing shirt should also be able to dry quickly when exposed to water from rain or splashes. 

Fun fact: Many materials have shown that wetness can significantly reduce a shirts UPF rating. So having a shirt with quick drying fabric will help you get back to full UPF protection sooner.

These performance fabrics allow moisture to evaporate from the fabric's surface efficiently, reducing drying time and preventing the fabric from feeling heavy or soggy. To summarize, moisture-wicking helps to manage moisture by pulling it away from the skin, while quick drying ensures that the fabric dries rapidly once it becomes wet.

4-Way Stretch

One important feature that is not often considered when purchasing performance apparel is maneuverability. Many fabrics such as cotton and even most performance polyester offer little to no stretch, often times giving you some horizontal stretch but that’s about it. Finding a shirt with built in 4-way stretch capabilities provides you with a full range of motion whether casting, moving around the boat, or fighting a fish. This stretchiness is achieved through the inclusion of materials like rayon, which enhance the fabric's flexibility and elasticity.

At Jigalode, we spent two years sourcing just the right blend of premium polyester and rayon to use for our Mighty Jig Performance Hoodie. The key for us was to enhance the fabrics ability to move with you rather than against you. This gives you the freedom to perform even the most active of pursuits while still enabling your shirt to bounce back to its original shape and avoiding that stretched out look.


Two men hiking through Everglades National Park on the way to Flamingo while wearing the Jigalode Mighty Jig UPF Performance Fishing Hoodie Shirt.

Like Cotton, But Better!

Let’s face it, we all love the feeling of a good ol’ classic cotton tee. We get it. For so long, traditional performance fishing shirts have been synonymous with the same synthetic feeling long sleeve that we all have in our wardrobe.

Our goal with the Mighty Jig Performance Hoodie was to develop a shirt that has the feeling of your favorite cotton tee while still outperforming traditional fishing shirts. The soft-touch feel is designed to not only be ideal for fishing, but we wanted to make it so comfortable that it would be your go-to shirt even when you’re just lounging at home.

Easy Care

When choosing the right performance fishing shirt, it’s important to find a shirt that’s durable and low maintenance. This means machine-washable items are a must. There is nothing worse than finding a great shirt only to find that is “Hand Wash Only”.

Who has time for that? Since our Mighty Jig Performance Hoodie fabric is designed to dry quickly, simply throw it in the washer and when it’s done, hang it up and let the air rapidly do its thing. Or you can tumble dry on low.


It’s safe to say that performance fishing shirts offer a multitude of advantages ranging from superior moisture management, quick-drying properties, durability, sun protection, to 4-way stretch capabilities. These features make them the ideal choice for anglers seeking comfort, performance, and protection during their time on and off the water. Don't let the elements hold you back – upgrade to the Mighty Jig Performance Hoodie today and experience the difference firsthand. 

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