Empty Handed

The sport we enjoy so much is actually quite dangerous to our health—perhaps the reason why hardcore anglers go to such extremes to get their next fix. Because they are crucial to nearly every daily task and the first appendages in the line of fire, your fingers and hands are at great risk of damage every time you hit the water. Whether you fish from a pier, flats skiff, center console or sportfish, cuts, burns, punctures and slices can now be a thing of the past.


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Photo: Hi-Seas

Since they are relied upon for even the simplest chores and can be injured in a number of ways, it is absolutely crucial you focus on the attention at hand. Be sure to take careful consideration of what you are doing and utilize gloves when necessary. It may sound trivial, but sharp hooks and knives can easily tear flesh softened from a long day on the water. In addition, ultra-thin diameter braided lines are capable of slicing all the way to the bone. And you can’t forget about the needle sharp fins and razor sharp gill plates on the game fish we go such great lengths to capture.

Whether you are leadering, gaffing, removing hooks, filleting or posing for a quick photo, technical fishing gloves will protect your hands and make your time on the water more enjoyable.

Unfortunately, most small cuts often go unnoticed and the introduction of slime, guts and bacteria can lead to serious infections. While gloves provide a barrier to the aforementioned injuries, they also protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. However, even if you are fully aware of the dangers it is likely you don’t utilize fishing gloves because they are typically bulky and must be removed to perform even the simplest tasks. Thankfully, manufacturers produce a host of specialized gloves designed solely for avid fishermen that will keep your hands out of harms way no matter the species in your crosshairs or depth of water you routinely fish.

Providing the most basic coverage at the lowest price point, orange gardening gloves are often seen on fishing boats of all sizes. Ideal for gripping slimy fish and taking wraps with light leaders, these ambidextrous gloves feature a sticky rubber cross pattern for the ultimate non-slip grip. Although cheap and versatile, if you are serious about protecting your hands you’ll want to invest in a high performance pair of gloves designed to withstand the rigors associated with the harsh marine environment.

While Pelagic’s End Game gloves ( are also available in a fully closed design, the open finger option offers maximum maneuverability and dexterity so you won’t have to remove them to tie knots or accomplish other rudimentary tasks. Reinforced with Kevlar and utilizing heavy-duty PVC material for the fingers and palm, Pelagic gloves are durable and super comfortable.

Hi-Seas ( is a reputable name in the marine industry as well and their SeaGrip gloves feature an extended 3-ply SuperFabric fingertip wrap-around, plus a generous area of 4-ply SuperFabric on the palms for incredible protection against slices and punctures. Professional king mackerel fishermen love these gloves.

Aftco’s Wire Max gloves ( were designed for one thing—leadering big fish. Utilizing closed cell EVA foam that features a super tough Armortex covering, these gloves will protect your hands under the greatest strain. Spandura forchettes improve dexterity, while the foam-backed mesh keeps your hands dry and cool. When dealing with big billfish, tuna and sharks, effective wiring gloves need to have ample padding on the back of the hand and around the meaty part of your fist—we promise Aftco’s Wire Max gloves won’t let you down.

Although the most notable injuries will come from unwanted slices and punctures, your hands are exposed to the sun everyday and you need protection from harmful UV rays. Simms Sungloves ( provide a UPF of 50+ and an open palm design for maximum maneuverability. Constructed with 4-way stretch fabric, these gloves not only protect your hands from the sun, but they also provide full coverage of your wrist.

Gloves aren’t needed for every fishing scenario, but they enable anglers to accomplish their goals with greater confidence. Even the slightest angler hesitation could result in a lost fish. Whether you are leadering, gaffing, removing hooks, filleting or posing for a quick photo, technical fishing gloves will protect your hands and make your time on the water more enjoyable. Choosing a pair of gloves should be a personal experience and one based on comfort and level of protection needed. Fishing is supposed to be a fun way to relax on the water, but if you aren’t careful you could easily shred your hands. By simply outfitting yourself with the appropriate gear you can ensure seasons of trouble-free angling.