About the Author:
John Merwin lives in Vermont, where, when he's not tying flies, building lures, or digging up worms with his backhoe, he writes the monthly Fishing Column for Field & Stream magazine.

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January 07, 2009

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Merwin: On Hats and Heads

As problems go, this might not seem too significant but it's still a pain in the neck. I have a large collection of gimme-style ball caps that have come from various tackle companies over the years, and virtually all of them are too small. Because I have a larger-than- normal head size (no comments, please), I have a difficult time finding hats I can wear comfortably and that won't blow off when I'm running the boat.

I finally found a company called the Big Hat Store in Troy, Michigan, that sells oversize ball caps. So I bought a bunch of their hats, which turned out to be the first I've owned in years that actually fit well.

This also got me thinking that perhaps because of my large skull that I must be of equally large talent and intellect. But then maybe not. In searching around, I discovered that both Winston Churchill and Abe Lincoln had relatively small hat sizes--both were 7-1/8. Henry Ford's was even smaller at 6-7/8. ( For more about hats, hat sizing, and history, click here.)

So much for my dreams of grandeur. Anybody else have trouble finding a fishing hat that fits?


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Jim Pettit

My coconut comes in at 8.25, so that whole "One size fits all" thing doesn't apply. Because I figured that I'd seriously cramp my style by covering my cranium with the only thing that would fit it--that is, the nose cone of a 747--I started looking around to find a few places that make custom hats for jumbo-sized heads. For instance, I buy baseball caps from New Era cap company; the price is reasonable.

Now, how smart am I? I'm not sure; you'll have to ask my ex-wives. ;)


Depends on how long I let my full head of hair grow. :o)

I wear full brimmed hats in XL and usually get hats/boonies with cords that tuck into the hat or wrap around the top until the wind blows. Only baseball style cap I own appears to be pigskin with a Beretta logo. That has a nice clamp adjustable band and only gets used after I get off the water or out of the woods.


I feel your pain. My nickname in my family is "pumpkin-head." Always have to stretch out the "one size fits all" hats, although I see they've changed it to "one size fits most"
New Era is good for ball caps, but I got a couple full brimmed fishing hats from Cabelas with the neck strap and ventilation that I haven't had to stretch to fit.