Idaho pro Brandon Palaniuk is one of the most recognizable faces in professional bass fishing. He's made his name by having success at the top-level of fishing with big wins and many trophies to his name, including five wins on the Bassmaster Elite Series as well as claiming the Angler of the Year title in 2017.
Part of his success is due to an incredible work ethic and fishing constantly. One big key to his success is having a keen understanding of his equipment from his rods, reels, lures, and even the clothing he wears. He knows that it all plays a role in how he performs and shared his must-have clothing and accessories for fishing during the spring and summer months.
Covered from Head to Toe
Palaniuk fishes with just about every piece of skin covered as he thinks it is the best way to protect him from the sun and allow him to do this as a career for as long as he wants to.
"It's so important to protect your skin, and I don't like having to put sunscreen on all the time," he said. "I don't like how it feels on my skin and don't like adding chemicals to my skin. Plus, you have to keep reapplying it to be effective."
With that being said, he'd rather just cover up with clothing that is lightweight and designed for battle with the hot sun. It works for him and he believes it is the best way to truly protect your skin.
He's nearly always worn sun shirts during his career and has a few favorites, including the Simms Intruder Fishing Hoody and BugStopper Hoody.
"Having a hood is a big deal and makes a difference in the spring when you are sight fishing because it is easier to locate fish," he added. "Wearing a long-sleeved shirt makes a huge difference and you don't want anything that is cotton, or you'll get too hot. Adding a good neck gaiter makes sure you are completely covered."
Simms makes a host of different gaiters and he's a fan of the SunGaiter model this time of year and uses the Lightweight Wool Neck Gaiter on cool mornings.
Protect Those Hands
Over the years, Palaniuk has become a big fan of wearing gloves while fishing to protect his hands from the elements.
"The SolarFlex SunGloves are the best I have found," said Palaniuk. "For one, they hold up really well, and I like the open palms with half fingers. That lets you still have direct contact with your rod and reel and the fingers are still exposed, so you have full dexterity for things like tying knots."
He likes the added protection for his hands for someone who spends as much time on the water as he does.
"That's always been a problem with fishing so much," said Palaniuk. "The sun tends to dry out your hands if you don't protect them. That's actually detrimental to your fishing because you start to lose some sensitivity."
Palaniuk never leaves the ramp without his rain gear, the Simms ProDry bibs and jacket. It is one thing that he says that he keeps in his Skeeter boat all season long.
"I don't care if the forecast says it will be 85-degrees and sunny with zero percent chance of rain," he said. "I keep it in my boat every time because you don't know what's going to happen out there. I want to be able to outlast Mother Nature and keep fishing."
Even during the warmer months, he finds the ProDry to be comfortable and not too heavy.
"It is great for those quick pop-up storms that happen this time of year," he shared. "I throw it on over my clothes and won't sweat to death. It is just a shell, so you still have perfect mobility when wearing it."
Another product that he's adding to his must-have list is a new one from Simms called the Flyweight Access Hoody.
"That's my favorite jacket right now," he said. "It has fleece-like material on the inside to knock the chill off in the mornings. It also has good flow on the inside to make it more comfortable to wear all day."
The material he referenced is what Simms calls Polartec® Power Grid™ that they add to the sides and under the arms. This makes it warmer while not restricting movement.
Brandon Palaniuk makes his living on the water, fishing from sunup to sundown in all weather conditions. He's learned that having the right gear can make all the difference and he believes covering up as much of your skin as possible is the way to go.