If you fish in the winter and your fishing plans do not change with the weather forecast, you fully understand how tough it is to keep your hands warm on sub zero days. This is by far the hardest area of the body to manage in the winter. Add in the fact your hands are going to get wet and you have a tough situation to deal with. But worry not! With the right gloves, you can extend those winter days. I will cover several of my favorite Simms gloves and the weather/fishing scenarios they are best suited for. I prefer Simms because I believe they are the best bang for your buck but this review should apply to other brands as well..
A fingerless glove like the Simms Freestone Half Finger Glove
Pros here are constant access to your fingers to rerig and manage your line. Also, I recommend fleece for a half finger glove because it stretches more and is easier to ball your hands up inside the glove if your finger tips get too cold. Cons are if you dip them in the water they are done for and they are not windproof. These are best for those 30-40 degree days.
A foldover mitt like the Simms Guide Windbloc Foldover Mitt
The Pros of this glove are easy access to your fingers AND a quick option to cover up your finger tips. They are also more water resistant and windproof than fleece which is neither. A con being its difficult to actually fish and manage your line with the mittens over your finger tips in extremely cold conditions. This is the warmest glove that I can keep on all day. Not so useful when the mitts are covering up your fingers. Best for brutally cold days.
A hybrid glove with fold over fingers like the SImms Guide Windbloc Flex Glove
This is the only glove I have found that keeps my hands warm all day. The pinky and index fingers are fully covered and there are small fold over sections on the middle, pointer, and thumb fingers. This means your hands really only have to supply blood to 3 fingers vs 5. Its easy to uncover your 3 other fingers for quick fixes but the fold over sections get in the way when reregging small flies. Therefore, I take them off when rerigging. However, these gloves are great to fish in while keeping your hands fully covered. This being my biggest pro. I spend a lot more time fishing vs rerigging so I'd prefer to have my hands covered for the larger part of the day.
Whatever you choose, bring some handwarmers. The Windbloc series has hand warmer pockets built in to the inside wrist of the glove. They will truly change your day. Thanks for listening and tight lines!
By Ben McCormick