Fly-fishing involves standing in the midst of a creek or river, often in cool weather. Keeping your hands warm under those circumstances is important because operating the rod and reel can become a problem if your fingers are numb. The balance between warmth and dexterity is important, and modern fabrics help achieve that balance.
Fingered gloves involve a slight decline in dexterity, depending on how thick the material is. Fingerless gloves, however, allow dexterity but do not keep your hands warm. However, there are options. The best is probably the full-finger slit glove, which has slits in the index finger and thumb. This allows you to pop out these digits for the work of fly tying, which requires nimble fingers. Your other fingers stay covered and have the full warming effect of full gloves.
Most fly-fishing gloves are made out of either fleece, wool or neoprene. Neoprene is the synthetic rubber that is used to make wet suits and is warming even in thin layers. A glove made of neoprene offers a lot more dexterity than one made from fleece or wool, and many scuba divers working in chilly mid-Atlantic waters wear gloves that are a mere 1 or 2 mm thick. However, neoprene is also more expensive.
For truly frigid conditions, some fly-fishermen swear by ski gloves. These are warm and are often designed to have most of the insulation on the outside. That leaves a thin layer over the underside of the hand, which grants good dexterity for handling ski poles. They are just as good for handling a fishing pole. However, they are useless for tying flies. That makes these gloves warming and with good dexterity, but only for some applications.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.