From sharp hooks to teeth, fishing line to fins, weather conditions to saltwater, the list of things lining up to damage your hands is as long as it is aggressive.
And while wearing gloves for angling isn’t regular practice (yet), It’s time we stopped suffering in silence.
Protecting your hands when you’re out on the water is a game changer, and it can help avoid serious injury.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of the best fishing gloves in 2021. A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow.
Go on, give them a try. You’ll wonder how you ever survived without them.
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Table of Contents
- The 10 Best Gloves for Fishing in 2021
- Berkley Fishing Gloves
- KastKing Mountain Mist Fishing Gloves
- The Fishing Tree Fingerless Fishing Gloves
- Stormr Typhoon Fishing Gloves
- Lindy Fish Handling Gloves
- Simms Headwaters Half Finger Fishing Gloves
- Bassdash Astro Fishing Gloves
- Alaska River Series Fingerless Gloves
- Inf-Way Fishing Gloves
- StrikerICE Combat Leather Ice Fishing Gloves
- How to Choose the Best Gloves for Fishing
The 10 Best Gloves for Fishing in 2021
How to Choose the Best Gloves for Fishing
You might never have considered fishing gloves before, so, with that in mind, I’ve put together a handy buyer’s guide below.
Perhaps it will persuade you to give them a try.
Why Fishing Gloves?
The question really should be – why not?
The benefits of wearing good quality fishing gloves are so numerous, one wonders exactly why their use isn’t more widespread or accepted.
Perhaps many anglers feel that getting their hands ripped to shreds by the elements or other outside influences builds character?
To each their own.
Maybe it’s because many fisher folk think that gloves aren’t going to give them the same control or dexterity as the naked hand.
You can always choose fingerless mitts if that’s the case.
But the fact that a pair of these gloves can protect you against being accidentally stabbed by a fishhook, sliced by a sharp fin or scales, or cut by razor-edged teeth…
plus the protection from cold weather, saltwater, and UV rays…
and the control for cinching knots and skin defense when handling line…
not to mention the improved grip they provide in order to help hold your slippery catch in the first place…
means that I think it’s utter madness we’ve not been rocking fishing gloves since we’ve actually been fishing.
That should be reason enough to persuade you to join the enlightened.
But in case you need a couple more – many keen fisher-people don’t actually like touching fish. This is particularly true for kids and young adults. It’s not the most pleasurable experience even for the pros.
And even when you’re handling fish in the kitchen, a good pair of fishing gloves is a great idea for control, grip, and safety.
Accidents happen all the time when trying to bring a sharp knife to a slippery fish.
Size and fit are obviously both very important when choosing any item of clothing, but special care should be taken when it comes to selecting the right glove size.
Different glove manufacturers might use different sizing methods, and some have a tendency to run small or large.
Don’t simply rely on what has fit you before, or making a guesstimate – check the sizing guide of the gloves you’re interested in and measure your hands accordingly.
Having poorly fitting fishing gloves can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous – especially if you’re handling filleting knives.
Fishing gloves can be made out of all kinds of materials, and the type you choose will likely depend on when and where you’re going to be fishing.
Additionally, the material will factor in with the durability and protection of a glove which we discuss in more detail below.
But if you’re fishing during warmer days with the sun beating down, you’re going to need some UV protection, with a lightweight glove made from material that’s breathable and can wick away moisture.
Likewise, in colder climes, you’ll need something made from a thermal material to keep you toasty.
And nobody likes being wet and cold, so waterproof or water-resistant materials are preferable here.
You’ll find that fleece, neoprene, and wool materials are most commonly used, as well as leather and rubber for palms and grips.
Make sure you choose the one that’s right for your needs.
We’d all like products that are built to last a lifetime, but even the best items of clothing won’t hold out forever.
And by the very nature of fishing gloves, they’re going to take a beating over the course of their life span.
Furthermore, the more heavy-duty the gloves are with the best puncture and cut protection, the more restrictive they are likely to be. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles, I’m afraid.
You should find a balance when it comes to choosing what is more important for you.
If you’re handling tough, dangerous, scaly beasts with a serious set of gnashers, then perhaps the UV50+ sun protection gloves aren’t going to cut it – and instead you’ll end up being the one that gets cut.
Likewise, if you’re out for a lazy day of trout fishing in the sun, then steel gauntlets might be overkill.
Fingers or Fingerless?
Gloves with fingers have evolved a lot over the years, and whereas before they might have offered you all the control of a drunk trying to pick up knitting needles with boxing gloves, they’ve come a long way since then.
That said, they’re no match for the dexterity and sensitivity fingerless gloves can offer you. Plus, you can still use your electronic devices* and pick your nose – if you so desire.
*Even if gloves claim to be touch-screen friendly, I’d always take this with a pinch of salt until actually proven to work.
However, the obvious disadvantage of fingerless gloves is the fact that they don’t offer as much protection.
Injuries and accidents can still occur, and the tips of your fingers will still be exposed to the elements, which might cause some problems down the line.
But the type you choose is entirely up to you and will come down to personal preference, as well as perhaps the season in which you’re fishing.
Since we’re on the subject of dexterity and as mentioned above, gloves have improved significantly when it comes to the control they offer at the fingertips.
Look out for products that are non-restrictive, offering a free-range of movement and the ability to move all your digits independently.
The thicker the glove, the warmer you’re likely to be – but the trade-off is going to be reduced control and precision.
As you might well have guessed, when it comes to fishing gloves, it’s not necessarily “one size fits every scenario.”
You might well need to consider purchasing more than one pair depending on the kind of fishing you’re enjoying, the season, and what you intend to catch.
Different jobs will require different sensitivities. Tying knots isn’t the same as using a gaff, for example.
As such, it’s a good idea to consider owning a selection of gloves as part of your gear, and you can easily store them (and any extra equipment) in one of these awesome and practical fishing backpacks.
Then you can be prepared for any eventuality – whatever the weather.
A good pair of fishing gloves won’t cost the earth – hence why I suggested purchasing more than one pair to keep all the bases covered.
A decent pair of fishing gloves shouldn’t be more than $30 – and that’s pushing it.
Unless, of course, you’re looking at some of the best, high-end ice fishing gloves – in which case you might need to dig a little deeper for the extra protection they provide.
Do I need fishing gloves for fishing?
No. Not at all. It’s perfectly fine to go fishing without gloves. It’s not like going fishing without a rod.
However, you will find you have a more comfortable and safer experience if you consider wearing a pair when you venture out on your next angling adventure.
Alternatively, you could always go bowfishing instead – so check out those awesome bowfishing bows and maybe take up a new sport altogether.
Should you wear gloves when fishing?
There are multiple reasons why wearing a pair of gloves is good for fishing.
In a nutshell, they keep your hands protected from the weather (sun damage in particular).
They can prevent punctures, cuts, or any abrasion burns from things like hooks, lines, fins, teeth, and scales.
And they help grip the fish so it doesn’t slip away as you’re holding it up for the photo that proves you caught it in the first place.
Why do fishermen wear gloves?
Hand protection is the number one reason fisher people wear gloves. The sport can seriously damage your mitts if you’re not careful, and nasty hand injuries are not uncommon.
Wearing a good pair of fishing gloves can drastically reduce the chances of that happening. It’s certainly better than wearing nothing at all when you’re trying to land that pike.
What are the best fishing gloves?
The best fishing gloves for hot weather are going to be very different from the best cold-weather fishing gloves.
Likewise, the same can be said of fly-fishing gloves, and gloves used to handle larger, more dangerous fish.
It’s not an easy question to answer – and it really depends on what you need the garment for.
All the products in the review above could easily be considered “the best,” so choose the one that’s right for you and go from there.
How do I clean fishing gloves?
Great question. After a day on the water, and especially if you’ve landed some slimy fish, your gloves can leave a pungent odor – and that’s putting it mildly.
Most fishing gloves are machine washable – so follow the manufacturers guidelines.
However, sometimes, for particularly stinky smells, a mere laundromat won’t do. Check out the video below for how to clean fishing gloves.
Can I use fishing gloves in the kitchen?
Yes, you most certainly can.
In fact, many cooks – both amateur and professional – often use fishing gloves to handle a slippery catch when preparing filleting or preparing a fish for the pot.
For safety reasons alone, the extra grip they provide can be invaluable when using razor sharp knives that are essential for working with fish skin.
Finally, there are many chefs – no matter how experienced or skilled – that simply don’t like handling raw fish.
Wearing fishing gloves is the perfect solution.
While they might not be as important as a rod, reel, and line, the best fishing gloves of 2021 should certainly still have a place in your gear.
They’re just so versatile, and even if you aren’t an angler they can be of use.
Let me know which product you’ve gone for and why, and please subscribe to our newsletter for more informative outdoor articles like this one.
Remember – no glove, no love.
But I think that’s for something else.