Free Fly Bamboo Apparel

On The Fly Gear

Featured photo by Jimmy Jacobs.

By Polly Dean

March 2021

A decade ago, I met Tanner Sutton at a charity fishing tournament on the Georgia coast. He was co-owner of a young company, Free Fly, that specializes in sun-protecting performance-wear made from bamboo. Free Fly had generously donated bamboo long-sleeved shirts to all the participants in the tournament.

I was sold immediately, because of its comfort in even the hottest of weather. I have purchased dozens over the years for myself and family members, and haven’t turned back. It is the only long-sleeve shirt that I will comfortably wear in blazing hot sun. Being an avid fly fisher and person that loves being outdoors, I’ve learned about sun-protection and performance-wear – and I’ve found nothing that compares with bamboo in comfort and practicality.

Free Fly offers bamboo gear for both women and men.

Natural fabrics such as bamboo don’t retain odors. This can be an asset when it comes to packing for a fishing trip. Knowing that I can wear an item comfortably multiple times if needed, makes for more efficient and lightweight packing! And honestly, when in the tropics and headed out for a full day of fishing in the hot sun, I don’t look forward to putting on long sleeves for that extra protection from the sun’s harmful rays. With bamboo, I don’t hesitate a bit – I am cool and covered! The clothing is moisture-wicking and breathable. It doesn’t hold in the heat as synthetic fabrics and polyesters tend to do. Bamboo is even more breathable than other natural fibers such as cotton, hemp or wool.

The ultra-fine bamboo yarn is buttery-soft and delivers natural protection from ultra-violet rays, without added chemicals. Bamboo is renewable as well, growing up to four feet a day, requiring no pesticides or fertilizers. When harvested only the top part is taken to minimize replanting and soil erosion.

Located in Charleston, South Carolina, the folks at Free Fly are very familiar with the heat and humidity of our southern climate. Being avid fly fishers themselves, they have perfected performance-wear that promises to provide a comfortable layer of protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Check out their full line at