Perry spent many years fishing with legendary big-game angler Stewart Campbell, and he recalls that Campbell generally wore a glove on his right hand (his cranking hand) when working on record-class fish with conventional gear.
“And quite often when he was light-tackle fishing, sometimes it would involve long fights, and you’d often have to wind very quickly if the fish was coming at you or we were running it down,” he adds. “So gloves were always good there too. But you want them to be light gloves, first and foremost. You just want to prevent blistering.”
A snug fit and tacky grip will accomplish that goal, and AFTCO, Pelagic, Hi-Seas and Buff offer a number of models from which to choose: some are full-fingered, while others expose the fingers to facilitate easier knot tying.
These same gloves can also be used effectively and safely when gaffing a fish or filleting a fish back at the dock.
Protection from the Sun
But hands are susceptible to more than just the rigors of big-game fishing. There’s another invisible (and perhaps more dangerous) hazard that anglers face — the sun’s UV rays.
The backs of hands rank as one of the most susceptible areas for developing skin cancer, and while sunscreen is a good deterrent, it’s not nearly enough. Increasingly, anglers are taking measures to cover up, both when plying the offshore waters as well as stalking inshore haunts.
While Buff’s Angler and Fighting/Work gloves were designed primarily to provide hand protection from zipping fly lines and rough-textured push poles, they also offer a UPF-50 rating, adding extra protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Similarly, Rich Hohne, marketing manager at Simms Fishing Products, says that the company’s SunGloves have taken off in popularity in South Florida, primarily among inshore anglers who are as concerned about sun damage as anything.
“The flats guys have really gravitated to them,” Hohne says, “and the gloves just received the seal of recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation. That’s a really big deal for us, and we’re trying to get this designation on 90 percent of our line.”
No, these gloves won’t prevent a finger from being taken off. But when it comes to protecting our hands, it’s important to be aware of all the potential dangers on the water.