The best time to go out fishing is very early in the morning, or late into the dusk.
As you can imagine, it tends to be pretty dark during these times – especially if you’re heading out in the fall or winter.
Not to forget those real keen anglers who enjoy the sport well into the night.
That’s where the best fishing headlamps available in 2020 come into their own.
Keep your hands free to work on your rig, set up tackle, find where you left your fishing pliers, and actually see what you’re doing when you get a bite.
Read on to discover the latest and greatest in fishing headlamp technology.
Let there be light!
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It’s hard to overlook the Vont “Spark” when writing a review of the best LED headlamps for fishing. It’s certainly the one with the most quality reviews – which is impressive enough.
Featuring seven light modes, including low, medium, and high illumination, as well as strobe and SOS functions with red or white light, it has all you need for safety and seeing what you need to see in the dark.
IPX5 rated to withstand downpours, it has a three AAA battery life of 90 hours, and offers a low profile while weighing next to nothing at 1.5 ounces. And you get two in one pack – so you can give one to your buddy who left theirs in the house.
Great price for two.
Very highly rated.
There are brighter, more durable headlamps out there.
All-in-all, the Spark is one of the most capable and affordable fishing headlamps out there. And being a two-pack, it’s great value for money.
Black Diamond are a world-class outdoor gear company specializing in equipment and apparel for use in the mountains.
But there’s no reason you can’t use this highly-rated Storm headlamp for your fishing needs, given that it offers excellent light for the size, capable of 350 lumens with one quad and one double power LED.
Featuring red, blue, and green light for night vision, as well as dimming and strobe capabilities, the power-tap technology allows easy transfer of power between modes where you need it the most.
And the whole unit can be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes without compromise.
Name to trust.
Tough and durable.
Extensive mode options.
Expensive for a headlamp.
Requires four batteries.
Black Diamond offers premium quality outdoor products, so expect to pay premium prices. It might be on the expensive side, but you will probably never need another headlamp.
Quarrow is a reputable name when it comes to fishing gear, and they’ve designed this 100 lumen headlamp specifically with the needs of the angler in mind.
It offers the perfect level of brightness, with the option of using white, green, and even UV lighting.
Easy to adjust depending on the conditions and what you’re working on, it also features four light modes, including SOS and strobe, and the light can tilt through 90 degrees to achieve the best light location.
Name to trust.
Comfortable head strap.
None to speak of.
Made to be used while fishing in low light conditions, this is a quality fishing headlamp from Quarrow that has all the features you need – and offers the perfect brightness to boot.
A brand that will need little introduction now with this Energizer LED headlamp. Capable of illuminating up to 280 feet, the 360 lumens light output is very bright, and the shatterproof body can withstand a drop of up to one meter.
With seven modes built-in, including wide angle and red and green options, you can have up to 50 hours of light on the low setting.
The pivoting head allows you to focus the light’s direction where you need it, and two buttons ensure you don’t need to cycle through the white setting to get to the red or green.
Affordable price point.
Name to trust.
Choice of colors and brightness.
Good battery life.
The unit feels a little plasticky.
Not the most water-resistant headlamp out there.
A decent and popular headlamp for the price, from a reputable name in battery power. You’ll be able to find all the gear you buried in one of these awesome fishing backpacks with ease.
Like the Quarrow, the HeroBeam is notable because it’s been specifically designed with anglers in mind. With a wonderful, built-in hands-free on and off mode, a simple wave of your hand in front of the sensor will activate or deactivate the beam.
This is perfect if you’re wearing gloves or your hands are otherwise covered in muck. Capable of a high-intensity spot beam, and a broad-beam red light, brightness levels can be adjusted, and strobe and SOS functions are included.
Able to produce 168 lumens with its primary light, the unit is fully rechargeable with a USB port, and a four-hour charge will give you 30 hours of use.
Designed for fisher people.
The hands-free on/off is a winner.
Broad red beam.
Not the most powerful spotlight.
The hands-free tech is a really nice touch, while the broad red light for not spooking fish when you’re setting up is very useful, too. And being a rechargeable unit, this is excellent value all round.
I’ve included this Princeton Tec tactical headlamp not just because of its versatile use, but the fact that it’s so small and light, you will barely notice it’s there.
Still able to pack a punch with 100 lumens at your disposal, the useful-for-fishing red light is activated first – as soon as the unit is powered on.
Easily the lightest fishing headlamp in the review, it weights just 0.15 lbs, and the low profile is equally practical and impressive, with a super-thin, elasticated headband.
Two AA batteries are included for its operation, and you get 58 hours of full run time with one set.
Choice of tactical colors.
Red and white light options.
Expensive for what it is.
Not the brightest star in the galaxy.
Limited mode choices.
Unfortunately, you have to pay for technology this small, and that’s the trade-off. You’ll probably forget you’re wearing it, so if you’re looking for the lightest fishing headlamp out there – you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s go in a different direction now, with this unisex, fully rechargeable fishing hat from Rokoya.
We all enjoy wearing baseball caps while we’re fishing, so this ingeniously combines one with five LED light beads, so you only need to don a single item of headgear.
Made with a one-size-fits-all design, you’ll get 15 hours of battery life from one USB charge, and it’s at peak capacity inside five hours.
Adjustable Velcro at the back ensures a snug fit, and the lamp can easily be turned off and on with the pad switch built-in to the peak.
Made with 100% cotton, the hat itself looks and feels good, and unless it’s turned on, the LED profile is as minimal as it can possibly be.
Great price for a baseball cap and light.
Super convenient and comfortable.
Choice of colors – including camo.
Not that bright.
No red light option.
Only on and off modes.
Given the fact that there’s no red light, it might not be the best headlamp for night fishing, but for most uses where you need some low-profile illumination this isn’t a bad option at all. And it’s a decent baseball cap in its own right.
We’re moving on to the more heavy-duty headlamps now, with this rechargeable option from Outerdo.
Apparently capable of a whopping 12000 lumens with six LEDS*, it offers eight modes, including low-light, reds, strobe, and SOS, which are all achieved by cycling through the main button.
The comfortable head strap has an over-head band for extra stability, with the rechargeable battery box located at the rear. Water-resistant to IPX4 standard, the unit will resist light showers, and the lamp itself can be rotated 90 degrees to suit the angle of light to your needs.
With a working time of between four and nine hours (depending on the mode) you have plenty of juice from one charge to enjoy your low-light fishing experience.
Waterproof safety wire.
Adjustable loop buckle.
On the heavier side.
Not suitable for larger heads.
*Definitely not 12000 lumens as stated.
One of the more powerful fishing headlights in the review, this is a versatile option if you need a lamp to really cut through the dark. The downside is a heavier, bulkier unit, though – so bear that in mind if you prefer something a bit more streamlined.
Now, here’s something that might interest anglers who aren’t looking for a headlamp that offers all the bells and whistles, but instead can provide enough subtle light for successful night fishing.
This UV LED black light is made with a strong polymer composite material, with a high-impact rubber lens for additional protection.
The 19 high lumen LEDs emit an ultraviolet light beam, which has a number of practical uses, but in this case is ideal for not spooking the fish, but giving you enough light to set up your bait, tackle, and rig.
The light has an overhead strap and foam padding back for comfort, with the easy-to-access on switch located at the side of the light unit.
Detect stains and germs.
No intense light.
Great for seeing fishing line.
No safety light features.
As an alternative to more powerful, brighter headlamps that can often frighten away fish, this is a decent option. And you can also use it to find where Fido peed on the rug.
If you’re at all concerned with the weather or getting wet while you’re out fishing in the dark, then this ultra-bright headlamp from DanForce just might be the solution.
Backed with an excellent rating of IP45, it’s highly water-resistant and dustproof, and has been specially designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and work environments.
Offering 1080 lumens of light output, the 90-degree rotating head has a zoomable focus to direct a spotlight where you need it. Capable of four light modes with red light ability, it’s charged with a USB cable and can last around four hours when running on its highest setting.
Tough, durable build quality.
Choice of colors.
Very highly rated.
Only one button for all the light modes.
Probably the best waterproof headlamp for fishing out there, this is a highly-rated unit that’s tough and durable, ideal if you’re expecting a wilder night of hunting.
Fishing headlamps are simply headlamps you use for fishing. They can also be used for camping, cycling, running, hiking, or any other activity you need to see (or be seen) in low light.
Having said that, some functions on these lamps work better than others for angling – and we’ll discuss those further, below.
Perhaps the main consideration when it comes to choosing a good fishing headlamp (or any headlamp for that matter) is how bright it’s going to be.
LED lights are measured in lumens – the higher the lumen output, the brighter the light is going to be.
There are a couple of caveats here that you need to be aware of.
The first, is that for fishing, the brightest light most certainly isn’t always the best. You don’t need something that’s going to be like an oncoming train, and there’s a big chance you’ll scare the fish, anyway.
Two – manufacturers have a tendency to exaggerate their product’s lumen capabilities to sell units. If it looks too good to be true – it probably is. Especially when it comes to products in this size range.
For fishing, you should be more concerned with the headlamp’s functions and/or modes.
The ability to dim that beam of light emitting from your head is invaluable when you’re using the thing for fishing – particularly if you’re with a buddy/relative and you’re constantly blinding them when you glance their way.
But having a red or green light mode is what you really should be looking for, as using these modes will prevent the fish (or whatever you’re hunting) from getting spooked, and you’ll still be able to see what you’re doing at close quarters.
Which makes such light modes ideal for fixing up your rig and tackle. Green in particular is best for working at night, while red can be used as a safety/warning option.
While you might not necessarily need it for the act of fishing itself, having a strobe light can be useful, as well as that all-important SOS function if you get into difficulty out on the water.
There is only one power source when it comes to these headlamps, and that is batteries.
This section should really have been entitled: “rechargeable or non-rechargeable.”
That’s the decision you have to make here, as some people prefer the latter for ease-of-use and reliability, while others enjoy the convenience of the former and never having to purchase batteries again.
The best rechargeable headlamps for fishing will offer maximum power with a long battery life and minimal charge times.
Non-rechargeable units should still give you plenty of run time before the batteries need replacing.
It’s up to you which way you decide to go, but make sure you explore run and charging times when weighing up pros and cons.
Size and Weight
You tend to find that the more powerful a headlamp is, the larger and heavier it will be.
That is just how it goes, I’m afraid.
And with smaller, more powerful units – you’ll likely be paying a bit more for that kind of tech.
For the most part, however, the size and weight of a decent headlamp will be negligible. They’re designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, so you can get on with the job at hand.
But some units are notably larger and heavier than others, and you should take that into consideration before purchase.
A factor often overlooked, how the light actually attaches to your head is something you need to consider.
At the very least, headlamps should come with a strap that wraps around the back of your head to secure it in place. Some lamps have an additional strap that goes over the top for more stability.
Look out for units that offer adjustable straps – as not everyone has the same head size. Also bear in mind that you might want to put the light over a cap, hat, or helmet.
And speaking of caps and hats, some lights are built-in to such headgear for added convenience and style.
Whatever you choose, it should be comfortable, nonrestrictive, and able to be worn for long periods of time without issue.
There’s a chance you might get wet when you’re fishing. Y’know, being by the water and outside in all conditions – it comes with the territory.
So, as well as your clothing, it’s a good idea to have your gear and equipment as water/weatherproof as possible.
You’ll notice that all the lights in the review above come with an IP rating. The first digit of this code refers to the level of protection a unit is against dust, and the second digit is the level of protection against moisture. An ‘X’ stands for no data.
To keep it simple, the higher these numbers, the more protected an electrical unit will be against the elements.
Most solid fishing headlamps will offer somewhere between four and six on this scale, which means they can withstand getting sprayed with water – such as during a shower or under a tap.
Higher than this represents full immersion – but note that all units will let in water eventually – especially if under duress for some time.
If you anticipate a wet morning/evening/night of fishing, then pick up a headlamp with a higher moisture IP rating.
You can purchase a good headlamp for fishing at around the $15 to $20 mark. That will easily get you something workable, highly rated, and perfect for most uses.
If you want to pay more than that for extra bells and whistles (or smaller, more powerful devices) then feel free.
Just try to make sure you’re purchasing something that has the features you need, and not the features you don’t.
What is the best headlamp for fishing?
Any of the lamps in the review above might be the answer to this very subjective question, but to help you out, I would suggest that you should look for three main factors.
Red or green light mode.
A high water-resistance IP rating.
Comfortable/adjustable head strap.
Of course, it really depends on your own personal needs, but if you stick to those points, you won’t go far wrong.
How many lumens do you need for night fishing?
Not much. If you imagine that a candle is approximately 12 lumens, you’re not going to need a lot more than that to light up the working area in front of you in low light.
Green light – which is most suitable for fishing – will come in around 13-20 lumens.
I would recommend looking at devices that have a main light in the 80-100 lumen range, with the option of dimming this if possible.
What color light is best for night fishing?
Green or red lights are best for night fishing, but dimmed white lights are also perfectly suitable.
In the end, you should use whatever you’re comfortable with, to offer the best illumination without scaring the fish.
What do I need for night fishing?
Great question – which deserves a full article to itself. Check out the video below for a run down of what you need to get started in this exciting and challenging style of fishing.
What is the green light for on a headlamp?
Green lights on headlamps are for working at night or in low light conditions where you don’t need a particularly powerful illumination to see what you’re doing.
Along with red lights, they’re ideal for hunting as they’re not as blinding as white light, nor can they actually be seen or registered by certain critters.
As such, they make ideal colors for fishing in the dark.
Early morning, dusk, and night fishing is some of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of the sport there is.
And you simply can’t do it without one of the best fishing headlamps available in 2020.
Let me know which unit you’ve gone for and why, or tell us about your night fishing escapades.