The search for the perfect fishing glove is over.
It is amazing what some companies will try to get away with while selling goods online. If you're anything like me, you have a hard time selecting the right product from an online shop or Amazon, especially if you've never seen the product in real life or previously owned that product. Nothing is more frustrating than when you receive your product, and it isn't what you had hoped or doesn't fit properly. The online descriptions can be vague at best, and trying to figure out if a pair of gloves is in fact waterproof, can be a job in and of itself. Reviews will only give you so much useful information. You have to take into consideration that not everyone writing a review is all that bright, and user error with the product plays a big role in what that review says. Of course the gloves aren't waterproof if you're sticking your arm in water up to your elbow! Waterproof seems to be a word that is thrown around pretty loosely when it comes to online descriptions of outdoor clothing, outerwear, boots, and gloves. There seems to be some confusion between the terms waterproof and water-resistant. Sometimes, the only way to actually find out for yourself which term the company really meant to say is to buy the product and use it for yourself.
I spent a good while between October and December shopping for both new boots and new gloves for the winter. For boots, I wanted something casual, comfortable, warm, and you guessed it, waterproof. Boots are a much larger investment than gloves, so maybe I'll review the boots I ultimately purchased another time. The point being, I spent night after night reading descriptions and reviews on all these different boots, made by different companies, and it was daunting. The same went for the gloves. I was basically looking for a glove that would keep my hands warm and dry, specifically for fishing in the winter months. What I found was that there are not many glove manufacturers that offer a good waterproof glove, at least one that has the dexterity needed to be able to fish while wearing them.
I had a customer named Jimmy come in to Three Belles Outfitters one day in early December to come pick up the kayak he bought from us. We fully rigged his kayak with a fish finder, additional storage hatch in the rear, and a few other add-ons. Jimmy made the drive to Niantic, CT. from southern PA., and he was excited to try out his new rig. Three Belles is right on Smith Cove of the Niantic River, so Jimmy suited up (drysuit, PFD, boots, and gloves) and put the kayak in to see how he liked it. As we were walking his kayak down to the launch, I asked him about his gloves. "Glacier Gloves is the brand, they are great. Waterproof, warm, and dextrous enough to fish with", Jimmy exclaimed. So obviously, as soon as Jimmy hit the water (and dunked his hand in to show that they were in fact waterproof), the next thing I did was looked on Amazon for a pair.
Glacier Glove offers several different styles, so even now that I have a brand narrowed down, it still came down to "which style" was right for me. The nice thing about this brand, is that even if I didn't love the style I chose, they were quite affordable and I could easily turn around and try a different pair. After a bit more research on the different styles, I ended up choosing the Glacier Glove Aleutian. They are actually marketed as a shooting glove for hunting and target shooting. They are made from a flexible neoprene material with a light fleece liner. The index finger is the only finger on the glove that is not textured, and therefore seemed like the best option for casting light spinning tackle with light line.
It turns out, I made a great decision choosing this glove. I will admit, they aren't the absolute warmest glove I've ever used, but the tradeoff for the dexterity and waterproofness make up for it. Keeping your hands dry while cold weather fishing is key to being comfortable and extending your time on the water, and these gloves performed well and paid for themselves on the first few trips. The fit was perfect too, very true to size.
Over the course of this mild New England winter, I did quite a few trips using these gloves. A few hooks and dorsal fins have poked through the neoprene, rendering them not as waterproof, but they are still useable. They are thin enough to wear in the early spring too, and after the fingers completely wear out, I will probably cut the fingers off and continue to use them for summer striped bass fishing. I paid $18.00 for the pair, and as far as I'm concerned, getting an entire winter season out of them for that price is just fine. I will gladly buy a new pair or two of the Glacier Glove Aleutian every season.