As an angler, your most important fishing tool is your hands. You do everything with them. When ice fishing, your body’s natural response to the extremely cold conditions is to reduce blood flow to your hands. With reduced circulation, your hands become cold, freeze, lose their functionality, and become susceptible to frostbite. This is why insulated waterproof gloves are a must-have accessory for anyone who loves ice fishing.
But not just any pair of mittens will do. You need the best ice fishing gloves that will keep your hands dry, warm, comfortable, and safe without limiting casting and other angling motions. They shouldn’t be too thick that you’re toasty warm but can’t move your fingers. Here, we make it easy to find the best ice fishing gloves.
We’ve identified and reviewed the top ice fishing mittens that have the essential features for the best performance when angling in freezing conditions. They offer insulation, dexterity, comfort, durability, and more. Read on to find the best pair of cold weather fishing gloves to protect your hands as you do what you love.
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How To Choose The Best Ice Fishing Gloves – Buying Guide
Your hands being your most important fishing tool but also the most sensitive to cold, it is important to take as much care when choosing ice fishing gloves as you do when choosing the right ice fishing rod and reel.
The most important features an ice fishing mitten should have in order to be effective are warmth, dexterity, comfort, and fit. These are the factors to pay attention to so you can get a pair that will prove a great choice when out fishing under sub-zero temperature conditions.
Hands are extremely sensitive to cold. When ice fishing, they’re vulnerable to freezing and frost bites. Being able to conserve heat and keep your hands warm and functional is a must-have feature in any pair of ice fishing gloves worth its name.
How much warmth a pair of mittens offers depends on its construction and the amount of insulation it is equipped with. The best insulating materials include neoprene, nylon, Thinsulate, and fleece.
The thicker the material and the higher the number of layers, the higher the amount of warmth offered. Go for a minimum of 40 grams Thinsulate insulation. The higher this number, the better especially when fishing in extremely cold conditions.
When ice fishing, you’re exposed to cold water in all its forms- liquid, air, as well as solid. It is important that your fishing gloves are also waterproof as your hands will grow cold and freeze if they come into direct contact with cold water.
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As a fisherman, you do everything with your hands. You need a pair that not only keeps your hands warm and comfortable but also allows you to move your fingers and accomplish tasks such as handling your fishing rod when casting and tying hooks and bait. Some heavy-duty winter gloves do a very good job at keeping your hands warm but are too thick to be functional.
To get dexterity, you may have to sacrifice some insulation to get a level of thickness that offers ease of movement. Finger cutouts are very convenient as they allow you to get out the fingers you need to tie hooks and lures without having to take off your mittens completely. A soft material is good and so is one with some stretch. A textured palm surface offers a firm non-slip grip.
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Having the best ice fishing mittens won’t do you any good if they aren’t comfortable to have on. If you’re going to be able to fish with gloves on, the fit should be just right and allow your hands to move freely. They should keep your hands warm without getting them too hot and sweaty.
Fabric-based gloves made from GoreTex, Thinsulate, and fleece are the best for comfort as they’re soft and breathable. If you need neoprene fishing gloves for their waterproof and insulation qualities, opt for a thinner fabric such as a 3mm thickness so you have comfort as well.
Durability is also an important consideration when selecting a pair of gloves. You want tough wearing gloves that won’t tear easily when exposed to sharp hooks, scales, and teeth. Gloves made of tough, high tensile materials like neoprene, IceTech, Cordura, nylon, and kevlar are resilient and tend to last longer. Double stitching, layers and flawless seams are signs of well-made gloves that will last.
High-quality, well-constructed ice fishing gloves will have a higher price tag but offer their money’s worth as they’ll serve you for many years to come. You can find some good quality and long lasting pairs at affordable prices too.
The material an ice fishing glove is made from affects its other qualities like its dexterity, how comfortable it is, how it performs, and how long it lasts.
Neoprene is waterproof and offers excellent insulation in icy cold conditions but can hinder dexterity and comfort because of its thickness and lack of breathability. Fabric-based gloves are soft and comfortable but not completely waterproof.
A blended construction that utilizes breathable materials like GoreTex, Thinsulate, and fleece on the interior and waterproof materials such as neoprene on the outside offers the best of both types of materials.
Fit and Size
Last but not least, pay attention to the sizing of gloves to ensure that you get a pair that fits right, which is essential for comfort and functionality.
To determine what size to order for the perfect fit, measure your dominant hand using a cloth measuring tape. To determine the circumference of your palm, measure from the crook between your thumb and index finger to the base of your pinky and then back to the starting point. Determine the length of your longest fingertip by measuring the length of your middle finger from the base of the palm.
Compare your measurements with the size chart for each pair of gloves, as sizes tend to differ from one brand to the next. It is also important to check ice fishing gloves reviews by users to get an idea of the fit as gloves can run a little bit large or small for their size.
In the course of your fishing trips, you will be pulling your gloves off often in order to tie knots and handle lures. A good pair of ice fishing gloves should not only fit well, it should also be easy to take on and off.
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Q: Why Do I Need Ice Fishing Gloves?
When fishing in extremely cold conditions, your hands are at risk of freezing, going limp and losing their functionality or suffering a frostbite. You need ice fishing gloves to ensure this doesn’t happen. They will provide insulation and warmth to keep your hands functional and safe so you can be able to fish effectively. They also protect your hands from injuries by knives, hooks, fish teeth and scales.
Q: Aren’t Ice Fishing Gloves Too Thick?
Ice fishing gloves need to be thick in order to provide sufficient insulation to keep anglers’ hands warm in sub-zero temperatures. However, they shouldn’t be too thick to fish with. Some cold weather gloves are very thick and keep hands super warm. However, these are no good for fishing if an angler can’t move their fingers and hands as needed. The best ice fishing mittens offer the required level of insulation without sacrificing dexterity and functionality.
Q: How Do I Clean My Ice Fishing Gloves?
To maximize the durability of your ice fishing gloves and prevent foul odors, make sure to rinse and drip dry them after every fishing excursion. It is also important to clean them thoroughly after a number of trips or after exposure to saltwater.
Add a mild detergent into warm water and mix to produce foam. Hand wash the gloves in this solution. Rinse with clean, fresh water and hang to dry. Store fishing gloves in a well-ventilated area. Keep them laid flat as rolling them can ruin them.
It is also important to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning and care instructions in order to get years of service from your favorite pair.
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Ice fishing is an amazing angling activity but you must ensure you’re fully protected from the extreme cold. Your hands are especially sensitive to cold and you can’t be able to fish effectively without a good pair of ice fishing mittens to keep your hands dry, warm, safe, and functional. The best ice fishing gloves in our list are made by great brands and have all the essential features gloves for ice fishing should have: insulation, comfort, dexterity, resiliency, and more. Provided you pick a pair that fits well and suits your ice fishing conditions, it will ensure you have safe, successful, and enjoyable ice fishing excursions.
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What is your favorite pair of ice fishing gloves? Have you had a good experience with any of the pairs in our list? Let us know in the comment box below