Are you a fan of the adrenaline rush associated with landing a big fish? Do you not like the idea of destroying your best fishing shirt with difficult-to-remove stains and the color fading away? You're not alone. Whether plain-draped tailored or made of sleek fabrics, regular shirts are ill-suited to long days on a boat.

This guide provides you with the necessary knowledge about the special fabrics used for creating fishing shirts, and guides in the process of stain removal. Discover the way to properly wash your shirt and how to get stains out of fishing shirts to make them last longer.

What Are Fishing Shirts Made Of?

Fishing shirts can be made from synthetic material while most standard shirts are usually made from cotton material. Below are some of the main types of fabric that are used in the manufacturing of fishing shirts.

1. Polyester

This is the most preferred fabric for fishing shirts since it can easily be made, allowing for ventilation, and dries out easily. It also does not crease easily, or fade, which is crucial when one is outside way much of the time.

2. Nylon

Another synthetic fabric is called "Nylon" because of its known durability and strength. It is advised for fishing shirts that will be under heavy usage, such as experiencing abrasion on rocks or brushes.

3. Blends

Most of the fishing shirts are made from a polyester-nylon blend, which is a combination of polyester and nylon, each of which has strengths of the other. For instance, 60/40 of polyester and nylon will be suitable to produce a shirt that should be wear-resistant and at the same time, allow for air permeability.

Here's how these materials differ from those used in normal shirts:

1. Regular Shirts (Cotton)

One of the most common fabric type for normal shirts is cotton, which is a natural material that is rather soft and comfortable to wear. However, it is not suitable to be used in fishing shirts. Cotton can absorb moisture which can make you feel cold and sticky when in sweaty conditions. It also takes time to dry and in case you get wet, this can be a big issue.

2. Fishing Shirts (Synthetic)

Modern fabrics such as polyester and nylon draw the moisture away from the skin, thus ensuring that you remain dry and cool. They also dry fast, so if you get wet, it won’t be long before you are comfortable again.

Importance of Proper Care for Fishing Shirts

You should also know that the fishing shirt you wear is like a friend you need to take good care of during your fishing activities. Here's why:

Lasts longer: Washing and drying alone helps avoid issues such as fading and shrinking of the shirt, and eventual snags, and maintains its newness for several fishing endeavors.

Keeps you comfy: When treated well, the shirt continues to have the function of drawing sweat away from the body and evaporating so that a person remains fresh all day.

Saves you money: This is beneficial in the sense that you will not have to frequently change your shirt as it will not look messy and dull if well maintained.

Step-by-Step Guide on Washing Fishing Shirts

Fishing shirts are warriors against the elements, but even warriors get dirty. Here is how to wash your fishing shirts and maintain its longevity and performance:

Pre-treatment of New Stains

The basic guideline of stain removal is that one should deal with it as early as possible. Paint stains become harder to treat with time because they go deeper and deeper into the fabric. Using a dry and clean cloth, wipe out any extra liquid that might have spilled over to the neighboring areas.

One should not attempt to touch or spread the stain with fingers, as this also causes the stain to spread even more. Make sure to have a pack of travel wet wipes that are designated for cleaning out stains in case you are always on the move.

These come in handy especially when you are out for boating and do not have access to your kitchen sink.

How To Wash a Fishing Shirt? 

  1. Pre-Soak: First, soak your shirt in cold water for about 30 minutes. Use a stain-lifting enzyme if needed to handle tough stains.
  2. Wash: Normally, it is better to hand wash fishing performance shirt. For machine wash, remember to use cold water and a mild detergent. Set the machine on a gentle cycle.
  3. Rinse: Ensure all detergent is thoroughly rinsed out.
  4. Dry: Hang the shirt to air dry to avoid shrinking and maintain fabric integrity.

Should You Hand Wash or Use a Washing Machine?

Both methods are effective, but it depends on your shirt’s care label recommendations and the extent of dirt and stains. Hand washing is gentler and better for longevity, while machine washing is quicker and more convenient for routine cleaning.

Do's and Don’ts For Washing Fishing Shirts


  • Do use cold water to prevent shrinking and damage.
  • Do spot and treat stains gently before washing.
  • Do air dry to maintain fabric quality.


  • Don’t use bleach or harsh chemicals as they can damage the fabric.
  • Don’t dry clean fishing shirt
  • Don’t use high heat settings on the dryer; it can cause shrinking and deterioration.
  • Don’t wring out the shirt aggressively, as it can stretch and deform the fabric.
  • Don’t iron the shirt

wash a fishing shirt

How Do You Remove Permanent Stains From a Shirt?

Common Types of Fishing Stains

The following are the normal types of stains that you may get on your shirts while wearing it outside:

  • Oil & Dirt: One can safely say that Dawn dish soap fights off greasy scum. Rub a dab on the stain gently; wash it as per the care label instructions in cold water first before washing.
  • Fish Blood: Go for cold water! Rinse the stain with cold water starting from the back to force out the blood, you should not use hot water since it will set the stain. Use a solution of baking soda and water as a solution, let it act on the stain for half an hour, and wash as usual.
  • Grass Stains: An obvious foe of fishermen, grass stains should be dealt with in both a primary and secondary manner. Apply a laundry stain remover on the stain first, and then apply a mixture of white vinegar and water (1:2). Allow the vinegar solution to permeate the stained area for 15 minutes before washing it.
  • Sunscreen Stains: The smell and sunscreen residue left on clothes can be stubborn and difficult to remove. Wash directly with a pre-wash stain remover that is well suited to be used for oil and grease. If the above methods fail, go for an ammonia solution or rubbing alcohol as a degreaser on an inconspicuous part of the shirt. Then rub a small amount of it on the area that is stained and then wash it as per the instruction on the label.

Tips For Removing Stains

Removing permanent stains can be tricky, but here's a battle plan to get stains out of fishing shirts.

  1. Identify the Stain: Knowing the culprit helps determine the best approach. Common culprits include blood, grass, oil, and sunscreen.
  2. Pre-Treat: Apply a stain remover based on the stain type (enzyme-based for blood, vinegar for grass, etc.). Test it on a hidden area of the shirt first!
  3. Baking Soda Power: Make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply directly to the stain and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Oxyclean Boost (Optional): If the stain persists, consider soaking the garment in a solution of warm water and Oxyclean (follow product instructions). Caution: Not suitable for all fabrics, so check the care label.
  5. Launder: Wash the garment according to the care label, using the hottest water temperature it can handle (unless the stain is heat-set).

Here are some specific stain removers you can try:

  • Commercial Stain Removers: Opt for an enzyme-based stain remover designed for outdoor clothing. These are effective against a variety of stains.
  • DIY Stain Removers: A paste of baking soda and water, or a mixture of white vinegar and dish soap, can be surprisingly effective for pre-treating many stains.

Tips for Drying and Storing Fishing Shirts  

Drying Your Fishing Shirts

  • Air dry whenever possible: This is the best method to dry your shirt and never let it shrink or damage the technical fabric in it. Dry it on a clothesline or a drying rack outdoors in a shade preferably.
  • Low heat if using a dryer: If air drying cannot be done, then the next best option is to use the lowest heat setting of your dryer. For instance, the heat can shrink the fabric and compromise its capability to allow the escape of sweat.
  • Skip the dryer sheets: Wrapped dryer sheets can leave an unhealthy material coating on your shirt which messes up its breathing ability.
  • Turn the shirt inside out: This ensures that the outer part of the fabric is not exposed to excess direct sunlight while it is drying.
  • Shake or pat away any lingering debris:It is advised to shake or pat your shirt before hanging or washing it since there may be dirt, fish scales, or bait residues on your shirt.

Storing Your Fishing Shirts

  • Wash and dry completely before storing: Clean and dry your shirt at least a day before washing or else do not store a damp or dirty shirt. The presence of moisture in homes poses a threat to mold and mildew development.
  • Hangover fold: Using a strong hanger to hang your shirt will ensure it has the best shape and that it does not crease easily.
  • Choose a cool, dry place: However, do not leave your shirt under direct sunlight because this will result in fading. It is best to store it in a properly ventilated closet or storage box or bin.
  • Consider breathable storage: Ventilated storage bags or containers that let in fresh air also go a long way in discouraging the formation of stale smells.
  • Zip-up pockets and fasten closures: This retains the shape of the shirt and also does not get caught with other clothes within the wardrobe.
  • Give your shirt a sniff test before your next trip:If it has a slightly musty odor, one can wash it and let it dry to get a fresh smell.


Conclusively, fishing shirts should be made from special fabrics such as polyester and nylon that facilitate the quick evaporation of sweat from the skins of the shirts.

To ensure that your fishing shirt looks and feels as good as new, it is advisable to wash it with cold water and if possible, hang it to dry.

Treat stains when you can and always utilize the most appropriate type of stain remover in any given situation.

Last but not least, iron your shirt and then fold it neatly and keep it in a cool dry place. If followed, the tips outlined here will guide you into making a fishing shirt that will serve you for many fishing adventures to come.

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