Water is capable of sucking the heat from your body at a rate that is 25 times faster than air. When you are ice fishing, you are already exposing your body to air temperatures that are below freezing. It is imperative that you wear something on your hands that will protect them from the cold and keep them dry. You can’t just use any winter gloves, though. You need to use one of the best ice fishing gloves if you want the combination of warmth and waterproofing.
Wearing good winter gloves is a start, but when you factor in how your hands will feel when they get wet, it calls for a different type of glove. You will be surprised how landing just one fish with wet, cold hands will put a chill in your body. In some cases, it will make your hands nearly inoperable — even just trying to tie a new hook or fishing lure will be impossible.
Instead of dealing with this miserable outcome, opting for the best ice fishing gloves will help you fish longer, miss fewer fish, and enjoy the sport a lot more. And you do not want to skimp on your ice fishing gloves.
The following gloves are all designed with ice fishing, water, and cold temperature activities in mind.
Best Ice Fishing Gloves
Windrider Rugged Waterproof Winter Gloves
These unisex, comfortable gloves by Windrider provide excellent protection for ice fishing anglers and other outdoor winter activity enthusiasts. They are constructed with a rugged Cordura nylon shell that has a waterproof coating to make it impossible to penetrate along with a waterproof Hipora liner. This also means you won’t have to worry that the outer shell of your gloves is going to tear easily.
The Windriders are made wind and cold resistant by the 70g of 3M Thinsulate foam insulation. The combination of waterproofing and thermal qualities makes these gloves pretty effective on the ice. Plus, they have a soft fleece lining that makes them warm.
It should be noted that these gloves have some foam inside them which make them a little larger and “puffier” on your hands. If you prefer a form-fitting glove, look at the two neoprene options we outline below. If your main goal is to have something warm while holding your ice fishing rod, these are great.
These gloves also have the unique technology of touchscreen fingertips, something that we more commonly see in running gloves. The fingertips will allow you to answer your phone, but they are not designed to allow you to have enough dexterity to text while you wear them.
On the back of the glove there is a small pocket that is large enough for you to keep a credit card in. This can come in handy during some outdoor activities, but do not trust this exterior pocket to be as waterproof as the interior of the gloves. Don’t put something in the pocket that could be ruined by water.
Palmyth Neoprene Fishing Gloves
Ice fishing requires you to be able to use your hands for tasks like baiting a hook, removing a hook from a fish mouth, and more that require you to have the nimble dexterity of your fingers. That is why these Palmyth Neoprene fishing gloves are designed with a thumb and index finger that have flip back fingertip coverings. You get the protection and dexterity you need.
They are designed to fit your hand tightly so you can feel the action in your rod. Unisex, they also have a Velcro strap on the wrist so you can make sure they fit you.
Neoprene is a great material when it comes to thermal insulation for wet conditions. They handle water well, and after an initial shot of cold, they use your own body heat to keep your hands very warm. This option is great for anglers, hunters, archery enthusiast, runners, hikers, and most other outdoor winter activities.
Bass Pro Shops Neoprene Gloves
These are good fishing gloves, built specific for fishing in cold conditions — fall or early spring fishing, as well as ice fishing in the dead of winter. The Bass Pro glove seams are glued together, then stitched to help them to remain watertight. They are labeled as water resistant instead of waterproof because they cannot withstand the water if they are submerged.
The exterior layer of the gloves is 2mm thick. This allows them to protect your fingertips and the palms of your hands. The material is based on neoprene, meaning they will perform well when wet and keep your fingertips warm. One thing we like about them is the fold-back fingertips. Some ice fishermen just prefer to have the feel of their fingertips on the line when flirting with a walleye that wants to strike but needs some coaxing — these are great for that. But if you just want to keep the fingers covered, the gloves provide good sensitivity even through the neoprene.
The covering on the palm and fingertips creates a strong grip for the wearer. The gloves do not easily allow items to slip from your hands. The Bass Pro Shops Neoprene gloves also have adjustable wrist straps, making them great for men and women and ensuring that less wind and cold can seep into the glove.
What to Look For in Ice Fishing Gloves
Your warmth will come from the lining and from the amount and type of insulation the gloves have. One suggestion is to get moderately-warm gloves and then put a hand warmer inside them on those very cold days.
The ability to be waterproof will be found in the exterior layer of the gloves. This layer of material should be treated with a waterproofing agent that is strong and resilient. A glove that is “a little wet” is just wet, so this point is non-negotiable.
The grip is important, too. It allows you to handle your rod, your tackle, your ice auger, and your caught fish. You do not want gloves that have slick fingertips that make it difficult to hang onto whatever is in your hands. This is especially true if you plan to use the gloves for things like handling your fillet knife, where good tactile qualities are critical.
This one is based largely on personal preference and not necessarily a necessity. But if you like the feel of your fingers on a line that is about to catch that fish, go with a glove that has folding fingertips. Otherwise, you will probably end up taking the gloves off and putting them on a lot.
Easy Care and Cleaning
You will want to wash your gloves from time-to-time, hopefully to erase the scent of all of those monster fish you caught. Try to find a glove that is machine washable, or at least one that can be washed quickly and with common household cleaners. There is no point in buying a product that makes it feel like cleaning it is a full-time job.
Ice Fishing Glove FAQs
Are ice fishing gloves waterproof?
When you are ice fishing, there is a good chance that you are going to get your hands wet. You need waterproof gloves to protect your hands from cold damage that can occur.
Waterproof and water resistant are not the same thing. If the gloves are waterproof they are impervious to water, and water is not likely to penetrate them. If the glove is labeled as water resistant, then they are designed to resist water penetration to a degree. At some point, though, water resistant gloves are going to let your hands get wet, especially if they are submerged for any length of time.
Why can’t I just use my normal gloves for ice fishing?
Normal gloves are not always designed to be waterproof. When non-waterproofed gloves come into contact with water, they soak the it up. Once wet, they cannot stop the cold from penetrating the material and seeping into your fingers and hands. A glove that gets “a little wet” is just wet, and it has been proven that garments lose way more heat when the outer layer has been permeated by water or moisture. A wet glove is pretty close to worthless when you are ice fishing.
What Are the Best Materials for Ice Fishing Gloves?
The best materials for ice fishing gloves often include a combination of insulation, waterproofing, and durability.
Neoprene is a popular choice due to its waterproofing properties, flexibility, and resistance to cold water. Fleece linings and insulating materials like Thinsulate or PrimaLoft are commonly used to provide warmth and retain heat in cold, wet conditions. And gloves with a Gore-Tex membrane offer a breathable yet waterproof barrier, making them a top choice for ice fishing in varying weather conditions.
How Can You Choose the Right Size Ice Fishing Gloves?
If you’re unsure of the size glove you need for ice fishing, you can measure your hand. Using a tape measure, check the circumference of your hand just below the knuckles. Then consult the manufacturer’s sizing chart or product description to find the appropriate size for you.
Keep in mind that a snug fit (without being too tight) is a good idea for improved dexterity.
How Can You Maintain Your Ice Fishing Gloves?
To keep your ice fishing gloves in top condition and extend their lifespan, it’s important to keep them clean and dry after each use. If they become wet, allow them to air dry thoroughly but avoid direct heat sources. Check regularly for wear and tear, fraying seams, and damaged insulation.