Are Fishing Gloves Necessary?
Absolutely and positively YES! Well you knew we were going to say that. Ok, let’s try and be a little less biased and the reasons for wanting and using gloves for fishing.
Fishing Gloves Provide Protection From Fish
Fishing gloves provide protection against the sharp teeth of fish and spikes on spines and fins. If you have ever been jabbed by the spike of a fish or stung by a fish with poisonous spikes you will know all about the pain! This chance of this occurring can be greatly reduced with fishing gloves.
Fishing Gloves Provide Protection "for" the fish
Yes, protection for the fish! Fishing gloves protect the fish from us humans too. if you practise catch and release or have a great respect for fish and animals then gloves are a necessity for minimize injury and discomfort to the fish. A good pair of fishing gloves will greatly assist with handling fish. Fish are slippery. Fish have spikes. Gloves provide grip.
I have seen countless people trying to take photos of fish and end up dropping the fish as they have bare hands. They are scared of the fish and often are not holding the fish correctly and securely. A good pair of fishing gloves allow you to confidently and correctly handle fish. Always remember to wet your gloves first to protect the slimy coating on the fish.
Worried about skin cancer?
Are you concerned about sunburn and skin cancer? Part of the your protection routine must include protecting your hands from the sun. UPF50 gloves with long cuffs are the best option. This is a much better option than sunscreens. Let’s not forget there are theories that sunscreen on bait deters fish. Whether you believe it or not, best to avoid sunscreen on your hands.
Fishing Gloves provide warmth
When the mercury drops or you are keen for a bit of ice fishing action, you need very warm fishing gloves.
I personally couldn’t image ice fishing without a seriously well insulate pair of fishing gloves. Even in winter I must have gloves to keep my hands warm and protected from the cold winds.
Casting and handling fishing line
You can avoid line burn (the cutting into your skin as you pull on fishing line under When casting, you often use your thumbs and fingers for casting control. If you are flicking lures all day, you need protection to avoid irritation and damage to your skin that will prevent you from hitting the water the next day.
Protection from hooks, tackline and lures
Have you ever hooked yourself? It is not a fun experience let me tell you. When working with relatively small sharp objects that are made to hook into flesh, there is always a chance of an accident. Especially when removing hooks or a lure from an angry and motivated fish that is bouncing around.
I dread the day that I get hooked. Maybe it will be karma. To date, my gloves have saved me a couple of times. They wont stop all potential hook injures, but they will definitely reduce the likelihood.
Full finger gloves provide even more protection
Full finger gloves protect the finger and thumb tips. This is particular important when casting with large lures and heavy line. I look for gloves with pointer finger and thumb tip protection.
Diseases From fish
It is not hard to image that fish do carry diseases. Most of these many have minimal impact to humans. However some diseases in particular that you should be aware of are Mycobacterium marinum and tuberculosis. These can be spread to humans via a cut in the skin from an infected fish and then subsequent infection in humans. Mycobacterium has been found in fish in North America amongst other locations. While this is perhaps more relevant to people that work with fish every day, it is still a good reason to protect your hands.
Fishing gloves help protect from bugs! When fishing around dusk and at nighttime, or around backwaters and swaps, you will most definitely come across all soughts of biting bugs. Gloves are much prefered over insect repellents on the hands. A full set of cloesh and gloves that cover as much of your skin as possible will keep you fishing longer.
When don't I need fishing gloves?
When fishing for small fish or fish that don’t have sharp teeth or spikes you don’t need to wear fishing gloves. For example trout when fishing for trout. For me, I don’t really use fishing gloves when fishing from shore. I usually have a net, hook removal tools and are on solid land so the risk of an incident is reduced. However that said, I do keep a pair of fishing gloves handy in case I catch a large fish, a fish with teeth or I want to help protect the fish (i.e. a fish that can not easily be handled). It is also easier to wet your fishing gloves when handling fish to limit any injury to the fish.
Conclusion on wearing fishing gloves
Wearing of fishing gloves is to some extent a personal choice. This is no different to choosing to wear protective gloves when gardening or chopping down a tree. Some people wear gloves, some don’t.
For me personally, I carry gloves and wear them a most of the time. Even if I am not wearing them as part of my fishing kit, I definitely have them within arms reach for when I need to handle a fish.
Kayak fishing – always wear gloves for sun protection, hook/lure protection, to avoid blisters and fish handling.
Boat fishing – always for game fishing for protection from nasty fish incidents. When fishing for smaller fish, I put on fishing gloves when I have caught a fish and need to handle safely.
Shore based fishing – I wear them for warmth when it is freezing cold and otherwise put them on for fish handling. I don’t usually walk around wearing fishing gloves!
I hope that helps!
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