Should You Wear Gloves When Fishing?

Last Updated on September 28, 2023

As anglers, we know that every aspect of our fishing gear and attire plays a crucial role in our overall fishing experience. One such topic of debate among fishermen is whether or not to wear gloves while fishing.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of whether or not wearing gloves when fishing is the right choice for you. Now, let’s dive into the world of wearing fishing gloves and explore the various scenarios where they can make a difference in your fishing journey.

Protection and Safety Benefits of Fishing Gloves

When it comes to protection, fishing gloves can be a valuable asset. They act as a shield against cuts, abrasions, and the harsh elements that come with spending long hours on the water. Whether you’re handling sharp hooks, filleting fish, or handling abrasive fishing lines, gloves provide an added layer of defense for your hands. They can prevent painful cuts and scratches that may occur during intense fishing moments.

Another safety benefit of wearing fishing gloves is the improved grip they offer. Slippery surfaces, such as wet boat decks or slimy fish, can pose a challenge when trying to maintain a secure grip. Fishing gloves with textured palms or specialized gripping materials provide better traction and reduce the risk of accidental slips or drops. This can be particularly helpful when fighting strong and lively fish, ensuring a firm hold on your rod and reel.

Should You Wear Gloves When Fishing?

When it comes to fishing, different scenarios present unique challenges and requirements. Let’s explore various fishing situations and discuss the relevance of gloves in each context.

  1. Freshwater Fishing: In freshwater environments, wearing gloves may not be as crucial compared to other fishing scenarios. Since freshwater fish species generally have less aggressive teeth and are less likely to cause injuries, gloves are often a matter of personal preference rather than a necessity.
  2. Saltwater Fishing: Saltwater fishing introduces a new set of challenges, including aggressive species with sharp teeth and powerful jaws. Gloves can be particularly beneficial when targeting fish like saltwater game fish, which have the potential to cause significant injuries. Gloves provide protection against abrasions from fish scales, accidental hook pricks, and even potential encounters with marine life such as spiny creatures or jellyfish.
  3. Ice Fishing: Ice fishing presents its own unique challenges, including freezing temperatures and the need for dexterity. While gloves are necessary to protect against the cold, it’s important to choose gloves specifically designed for ice fishing. Some gloves even feature removable finger covers, allowing for easy access when handling equipment or bait.
  4. Fly Fishing: Fly fishing requires finesse and delicate movements, making glove selection crucial. Lightweight and flexible gloves are preferred to maintain sensitivity and control while casting and manipulating the fly line.

It’s important to note that while gloves can offer protection, they may also hinder performance in certain fishing scenarios. For example, wearing thick gloves can reduce sensitivity and tactile feedback, making it more challenging to detect subtle bites or manipulate small lures.

Comfort and Dexterity Factors

Let’s explore the comfort aspects of fishing gloves and factors to consider when selecting the right pair.

  1. Breathability: Fishing gloves that offer breathability are essential, especially in warm weather or when engaging in physically demanding fishing activities. Look for gloves with mesh panels or breathable materials that allow airflow, preventing excessive sweating and discomfort.
  2. Flexibility: Gloves that provide adequate flexibility allow for natural hand movements and finger dexterity, enabling precise control when handling fishing equipment, tying knots, or manipulating lures.
  3. Moisture-wicking Properties: Fishing often involves exposure to water, which can lead to wet and uncomfortable gloves. Opt for gloves with moisture-wicking properties that help absorb and evaporate sweat and water, keeping your hands dry and comfortable throughout your fishing trip.

One common concern when wearing gloves is the potential reduction in dexterity and sensitivity. However, advancements in glove design have addressed these concerns, allowing for gloves that strike a balance between protection and functionality.

  1. Fingerless Gloves: Fingerless gloves offer the best compromise between protection and dexterity. They cover the palm and back of the hand while leaving the fingers exposed, allowing for maximum sensitivity and control. Fingerless gloves are particularly suitable for tasks that require precise finger movements, such as casting, baiting hooks, and reeling in fish.
  2. Thin and Lightweight Materials: Opt for gloves made from thin and lightweight materials that offer a snug fit.
  3. Grip-enhancing Features: Look for gloves that incorporate grip-enhancing features on the palms and fingers. These features, such as textured or rubberized surfaces, provide a secure grip on slippery fish, wet gear, or kayak paddles.
Fishing Gloves Types and Features

Fishing Gloves Types and Features

Here are the different types of fishing gloves and their unique features:

Neoprene Gloves: Neoprene gloves are a popular choice for anglers, known for their excellent insulation properties. These gloves provide warmth in cold weather, making them ideal for ice fishing or fishing in chilly conditions. Neoprene gloves offer good water resistance and can keep your hands dry even when handling wet gear or fish.

Fingerless Gloves: Fingerless gloves, as mentioned earlier, provide the best balance between protection and dexterity. These gloves cover the palm and back of the hand while leaving the fingers exposed. They offer excellent finger mobility and tactile feedback, making them suitable for tasks that require precise finger movements.

Waterproof Gloves: Waterproof gloves are specifically designed to keep your hands dry, even when fully submerged in water. These gloves are ideal for anglers who engage in water sports or kayak fishing, where hand immersion is common.

Sun-Protective Gloves: These gloves are made from lightweight, breathable materials with built-in UV protection. They shield your hands from harmful UV rays and help prevent sunburn and long-term skin damage.

Are wool gloves good for fishing?

Wool is the most ideal material for a fly fishing glove. Wool is an excellent insulator and will not absorb heat from your body. It also wicks water away from your skin, trapping it between its strands, and releasing it into the air.


As anglers, it is crucial to evaluate our fishing needs, environment, and personal preferences when deciding whether to wear gloves. Consider the specific challenges and requirements of your fishing activities, whether it’s handling sharp hooks, fishing in extreme weather conditions, or protecting your hands from the sun’s harmful rays.

I hope this post has provided you with valuable information to enhance your fishing adventures.

Tight lines and happy fishing!

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