Best Fly Fishing Gloves For Each Season & How To Choose

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Article Categories: Fishing | Gear
Article Tags: Fishing Gear | Fly Fishing

When you’re headed out to the water for fly fishing, there’s a lot you need to remember. You need your pole, your fly box, your line, and your waders…but do you need your gloves?

The answer is probably yes! Fly fishing gloves are versatile tools that can protect you from environmental hazards and make it easier to catch fish. But there are lots of different styles of fly fishing gloves, and we want you to make sure that you have all the info you need to choose the best fly fishing gloves for you.

 

What Are Fly Fishing Gloves?

Fly fishing gloves are gloves that are made for the wet, slippery, sunny, and frequently chilly conditions of fly fishing. They must work well when wet so that often means that they have a textured grip or an insulated lining that can still perform when soaked.

Fly fishing gloves are separated by season. You will not wear the same pair of gloves in winter that you do in summer. Depending on how you like to fish, you may end up with three or four pairs of gloves: One for summer, one for winter, and one for spring and fall. The fourth pair might be a saltwater-only glove.

 

Fly Fishing Glove Styles

There are several styles of fly fishing gloves available. Each type has different characteristics to protect your hands.

  • Fingerless: These gloves cover the palm of your hand, your wrists, and the very base of your fingers. Sometimes the index and middle fingers will have extended sleeves.
  • Half Finger: These gloves have fingers that go to the first or second knuckle, leaving your fingertips exposed.
  • Full Glove with Fold-Over Fingers: Sometimes called “slot fingers,” these gloves have a slit halfway down the finger so you can fold the top part back and expose your fingertips.
  • Half Finger with Fold-Over Mittens: Good for cold weather, these gloves have a mitten top that can fold back to expose your fingers and fold forward to keep your hands warm.
  • Full Finger: These gloves look like the kind of glove you might wear in winter. They may impact dexterity, but they provide a lot of warmth.
  • Single Finger: A unique kind of glove that only fully covers your index finger to protect it from thorns, hooks, knife blades, and fish parts. Very useful for tarpon and bonefish that have sharp dorsal spines!

For all of the styles listed above, anglers may encounter thin gloves meant to provide sun protection, or insulated gloves to provide warmth in colder weather.

 

Gloves By Season

When you’re shopping for fly fishing gloves, you should look for gloves that meet the needs of the season you fish in. If you don’t ever go fly fishing in winter, then winter gloves will likely be uncomfortable and not meet your needs.

Season Glove Style Glove Characteristics
Spring Fingerless, Half Finger, Half Finger with Fold-Over Fingers Neoprene or other mid-level insulation, SPF fabric, fleece lining
Summer Fingerless, Single Finger Lightweight materials, SPF fabric
Fall Fingerless, Half Finger, Half Finger with Fold-Over Fingers, Full Finger Neoprene or other mid-level insulation, fleece lining, sealed wrist
Winter Half Finger, Half Finger with Fold-Over Fingers, Half Finger with Fold-Over Mitten Sealed wrist, high insulation fabric, wool lining waterproofing

 

Before diving into our list of gloves, we want to note that we have not been able to test all of the fly fishing gloves in the market. These products below will certainly serve their purpose, but we are confident that there are likely dozens of quality products in each of the categories below that are also great. If you search on Amazon, Orvis, Simms, or really any other online retailer with fishing gear, you are going to find products that can be great fits.

In addition, we’ve used non fishing related gear frequently that can work quite well.lk

 

Best Gloves for Fall, Spring, and Semi-Cold Times

We have chosen these gloves based on their ability to keep you warm, but not too warm, as well as their ability to preserve your dexterity and improve your grip.

 

Simms Headwaters Half Finger Fishing Gloves

Simms Headwater Half Finger Fishing GlovesThese gloves are quite simple in design, but warm due to the fleece material, and the ability to conveniently add a hand warmer to the glove. Simms produced tons of quality fishing gear, and these simple gloves will work just great.

  • Glove Style: Half finger
  • Key Features: Hand warmer / heat pocket to keep the hands warm.

 

 

KastKing Mountain Mist Fishing Gloves

KastKing Mountain Mist Fishing GlovesWith a hook and loop catch that holds fingertips open and smartphone friendly fingertips, KastKing’s gloves are designed to keep you warm and functional. These gloves are made with fleece to keep your hands warm, while the palms are made of microfiber and neoprene for warmth and dexterity.

  • Glove Style: Fold over finger
  • Key Features: Textured palm grip, finger slots on all fingers, hook and loop wrist closure

 

 

Palmyth 3-Cuts Fingers Wool Gloves

Palmyth Wool Fishing Gloves 3-Cut FingersPalmyth’s wool-nylon mixed fiber gloves are great for cooler weather. Wool provides excellent insulation, even when wet, and the mix of cut and full fingers provides optimal protection without compromising your ability to tie knots and manipulate flies. These are simple gloves, but they are designed very well and still have solid insulation.

  • Glove Style: Mixed
  • Key Features: Flexible construction, anti-slip grip, knit cuff

 

 

FRDM Vigor Liners

FRDM Vigor Liners

Using the vigor liners on the summit of a Colorado 14er shortly before fishing an alpine lake.

We’ve listed these gloves high on our list because we use them for everything. Trail running, climbing peaks, as liners for backcountry skiing when it gets cold out, and fly fishing in every season. They are extremely versatile, and provide just a little bit of warmth for colder weather while maintaining great dexterity. In addition, they can be used as liners to improve the warmth of more insulated gloves.

  • Glove Style: Hybrid- the index and thumb are half finger with fold-over fingers, but the middle, ring, and pinkie are full finger
  • Key Features: Moisture wicking material.

 

 

FRDM Midweight Gloves

FRDM Free Fit Glove Review

Our team testing these gloves out in Colorado.

FRDM Gloves weren’t originally designed for fly fishing, but we definitely want to include them here because they’re a great glove for all kinds of outdoor activities. We have actually reviewed these for fly fishing and found that they perform really well for cold-weather fishing and would do great in spring and fall as well. They are recommended for temperatures over 40 degrees and higher.

  • Glove Style: Hybrid- the index and thumb are half finger with fold-over fingers, but the middle, ring, and pinkie are full finger
  • Key Features: 3-layer fleece insulation

 

 

Best Winter Fly Fishing Gloves

These gloves have been chosen based on their ability to keep your hands warm and dry without sacrificing too much dexterity or grip.

 

Fish Monkey Wooly Gloves

Fish Monkey Wooly Long Full FingerThese wool gloves can absorb 30% of their weight in water without feeling heavy or damp. These gloves are comfortable and lightweight, but still provide the insulation you need in winter. For seriously cold weather, go with the full-fingered version of these gloves.

  • Glove Style: Half finger or full finger
  • Key Features: Wool construction, leather grip

 

 

Orvis PRO Insulated Convertible Mitts

Orvis PRP Insulated Convertible Fishing MittsThese gloves will keep you seriously warm. They are made of four-way stretch fleece under an insulating shell to maintain dexterity without compromising on their ability to insulate. Orvis was inspired by their PRO insulated hoodie for these gloves, and it shows– they use the same high-quality Primaloft Gold insulation to keep your hands protected in the coldest conditions.

  • Glove Style: Half finger with fold-over mittens
  • Key Features: Finger pull-on cuff for easy on/off, synthetic leather palm, foldaway mitt to reduce snagging

 

 

M’s GORE-TEX ExStream Foldover Mitt

M's GORE-TEX ExStream Foldover MittMittens are the way to go for extreme cold. These gloves have a hybrid mitten fold over which is exactly what is needed for fly fishing in the coldest climates. Simms gear is designed by fly fisherman, and for fly fisherman, so these gloves were built for this exact purpose, and it shows.

  • Glove Style: Hybrid mitten and half finger
  • Key Features: Gore-Tex waterproofing and Primaloft Insulation

 

 

Best Fly Fishing Gloves for Sun Protection

All of these gloves have been chosen for their SPF factor and lightweight. Most of them are at least SPF 50, which will keep your hands protected from the worst of what the sun has to offer.

 

Simms SolarFlex UPF 50 Sun Glove

Simms SolarFlex UPF 50 Fingerless Fishing GloveThese gloves will protect your hands without compromising dexterity. The fabric only allows 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays through. One feature we really like is the open palm, which allows a better rod feel than you’d usually get with a glove.

  • Glove Style: Fingerless with extended middle and index finger
  • Key Features: Moisture-wicking fabric, extended button cuffs for wrist protection

 

 

Palmyth UV Protection Fishing Fingerless Gloves UPF 50+

Palmyth UV Protection Fishing Fingerless GlovesThese gloves have comfortable ¾ length fingers and a uniquely stretchy, quick dry fabric that’s extremely lightweight. You’ll barely notice you have these on. The ultraviolet protection is woven into the fabric; it’s not a coating that will wear off over time.  These gloves are also really affordable without being cheaply made.

  • Glove Style: Half finger
  • Key Features: Synthetic leather grip, wrist tab for easy on/off, long cuff for wrist protection

 

 

Adept Tackle UPF 50+ Fingerless Fishing Gloves

Adept Tackle UPF 50+ Fingerless Fishing GlovesThis is one of the most affordable option on our list, these gloves come with a free matching neck gaiter for even more UV protection. The lightweight fabric dries quickly for a cooling effect, and the synthetic microfiber leather grip provides good reel handling.

  • Glove Style: Half finger
  • Key Features: Wrist tab for easy on/off, lightweight Lycra construction

 

 

Our Top Glove Picks Compared

Not sure which of these gloves are right for you? Here’s how they compete head to head in alphabetical order by manufacturer.

Glove Price (Range) Seasons and Weather
Simms Headwaters Half Finger Fishing Gloves $27-$30 Late spring, summer, fall; cool weather or warm weather
KastKing Mountain Mist Fishing Gloves $27-$30 Fall, winter, spring; cold to cool weather
Palmyth 3-Cuts Fingers Wool Gloves $24.98-$25.98 Fall, winter, spring; cool and cold weather
FRDM Vigor Liners $27-$30 Late spring, summer, fall; cool weather or warm Late spring, summer, fall; cool weather or warm weather
FRDM Midweight Gloves $36-$45 Late spring, summer, fall; cool weather or warm weather
Fish Monkey Wooly Gloves $22.95-$24.95 Late fall, winter, early spring; cold weather
Orvis PRO Insulated Convertible Mitts $70 – $79 Fall, winter, early spring; cold to coldest weather
M’s GORE-TEX ExStream Foldover Mitt $99-$105 Fall, winter, early spring; cold to coldest weather
Simms SolarFlex UPF 50 Sun Glove $34 – $60 Summer; hot weather
Palmyth UV Protection Fishing Fingerless Gloves UPF 50+ $18.98 Summer; hot weather
Adept Tackle UPF 50+ Fingerless Fishing Gloves $18.95 – most affordable Summer; hot weather

 

There are lots of options out there for fly fishing gloves. Whether you want a lightweight summer pair or you’re looking for heavy-duty cold protection, there are products available that will absolutely do the job and offer the hand protection you need.

Now, if you find gloves uncomfortable, you do not have to wear them. It’s always your choice. But we hope that you consider all of the risks before you choose to leave your gloves behind, especially in winter.

 

When To Use Fly Fishing Gloves

It’s usually a good idea to wear fly fishing gloves. There are many reasons for this, all related to environmental hazards.

 

Use Gloves When It’s Cold

When it’s cold out, exposed extremities are often the first part of your body to freeze. As you’re fishing, cold, stiff hands can make it harder to cast and to land your fish.

Cold hands can also be dangerous. Frostbite can have serious repercussions and lead to permanent damage, so you should always have some kind of hand protection during winter fly fishing.

 

Use Gloves When It’s Sunny

It’s always a good idea to protect yourself from UV rays as much as possible. When you’re fishing, you’re constantly getting your hands wet and rubbing them on things. Even if you put sunscreen on your hands, it’s very likely to come off before you need to reapply it on the rest of your body.

However, you can easily protect your hands with gloves! There are lightweight glove options that provide serious sun protection that you never have to reapply.

 

Use Gloves To Protect Yourself

Fly fishing can be a very sharp sport. Hooks, environmental hazards in the water, knives, thorns, and other sharp things seem to be drawn to the soft pads of your fingers. And that’s not even counting the fish!

If you’re angling for big saltwater gamefish, teeth can be a risk, and so can sharp scales, dorsal spines, and the edges of gills and fins. Grabbing a thrashing fish to get the hook out and release them can easily end up with you getting cut.

 

Gloves Can Kill Fish Or Protect Fish

The great sportsman Lee Wulf said that game fish are too valuable to be caught once, and we agree. Unless you’re planning on eating the fish, you should do everything you can to release them gently and give them the best chance of survival after you land them.

Keeping your hands wet is essential to this. Handling a fish with a most gloves can be highly damaging unless the glove has a rubber fish handling material. This rubber MUST be wet before handling the fish or it also can be extremely damaging to the fish. You can read more about catch and release fly fishing and statistics here.

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about

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