Reviewed by Captain Mike Schoonveld
I’ve had nearly frozen fingers dozens of times. The cold always starts at the fingertips and then works it’s way down towards the palm. That’s why I was skeptical when I first saw people wearing, using, working – even fishing with fingerless gloves. Perhaps they would more appropriately be called fingertip-less gloves since most of them have half-fingers that run up to the first or second knuckle.
I don’t know how long ago I finally donned a pair of them myself with the skeptical thought in my head, “These will never work.” I do know it was on Lake Michigan in mid-March with the water temperature hovering in the 30s and air temperatures to match.
Sure they will allow me to do “fishing things” better – tying lines, snapping swivels, gripping reel handles and freshly caught cohos. It would save me the effort of sliding my hands into and out of my fingered gloves. I expected to have cold fingertips, however, and feel the familiar cold slip downward towards my palm.
That didn’t happen! Seemingly working against all natural laws, I was able to do all the fishing things I normally did with bare hands and my fingers stayed comfortably warm. I’ve been a “bag-lady-gloves” wearer ever since, usually, generic rag-wool models.
I gave up the woolen gloves when I got my Alaska River Series fingerless gloves by Glacier Gloves. They are built on a neoprene base, much like a wetsuit material and then have a layer of fleece covering all but the palm of the glove. The rubberized palm is textured, helping get a firm grip on flopping fish. The neoprene offers enough stretch my hands never feel bulked up and most important, my fingers and hands stay warm while I’m doing any manner of fishing activities.
I use them while hunting, as well. The exposed fingers giving me a sure grip on my shotgun and a safe, secure feel when my trigger finger is on the safety or trigger.