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Best Fishing Gloves for Kayak Anglers: 2022 Reviews and Buying Guide

Written by: Pete D
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The vast majority of kayak gloves aren’t designed with anglers in mind, and from materials that will soak up stink to heavy fabrics that rob your hands of dexterity, they’re just not what fishermen are looking for.

Instead, in warm weather, they need sun protection that doesn’t boil their hands alive and easy-washing, hard-wearing fabrics.

In cold weather, they need waterproof warmth that still provides grip and enough finger movement to cast and tie.

If you’re in the market for a kayak fishing glove, you may not know where to turn, but we’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find reviews of some of our favorite products, as well as a complete buying guide to get you up to speed quickly.

Quick glance at the best gloves for kayak fishing:

Related: Cold Weather Kayak Fishing Gear

Best Kayak Fishing Gloves Reviewed

HUK Sun Glove - Best Glove for Summer Kayak Fishing

Huk Men's Sun Quick-Drying Fingerless Fishing Gloves, Mossy Oak Hydro Freshwater, Medium-Large

Amazon 

HUK’s line of fishing apparel is immensely popular for a reason, and the folks at HUK definitely understand what anglers need.

As the long-term dangers of sun exposure are becoming clear to every fisherman, more and more are choosing full coverage to minimize their risk of cancer.

Huks sun gloves are designed around providing the ultimate UV shield for your hands. Made from a polyester/spandex blend, they’re +30 UPF rated, meaning that they block a significant portion of both UVA and UVB radiation from striking your skin.

But anglers don’t just need sun protection; they need gloves that come clean, don’t stink, and provide the dexterity to cast, fight, and tie.

The good news is that these HUKs excel on this front due to the fabric choice. They're made to fit tight against your skin, so there’s no annoying bunching or sliding. And the palm features a grippy material that really sticks to your paddle and rod.

One really nice feature about these gloves is their extra arm length: they’ll close the gap between your hands and your shirt, keeping your wrists protected from the sun.

Of course, these gloves leave the tips of your fingers free to work, so take care to apply some sunscreen there!

Machine washable, these gloves drip dry overnight, and on long weekends, you’ll have a fresh, clean pair every morning if you wash them at night.

That’s a bigger deal than you might first think. The proteins in fish slime get nasty fast, and gloves that can be thoroughly washed are a necessity.

Overall, these HUK sun gloves are an awesome choice for anglers looking to maximize sun protection while kayaking.

About the only criticism I have is that they’re only available in two large sizes.

Pros:

  • Excellent fit
  • Very good sun protection
  • Nice grip
  • Easy to wash

Cons:

  • Offered in a limited range of sizes

KastKing Sol Armis Sun Gloves

KastKing Sol Armis Sun Gloves UPF50+ Fishing Gloves UV Protection Gloves Sun Protection Gloves Men Women for Outdoor, Kayaking, Rowing,Silver Mist Prym1,Large - X-Large

Amazon 

KastKing’s line of Sol Armis sun clothing keeps anglers covered, offering unrivaled protection from the dangers of UVA and UVB radiation.

That’s reason enough to recommend them right there, but their sun gloves also offer reinforcement at wear points, tabs for easy on and off, and an impressive range of sizes that’ll fit most anglers.

KastKing isn’t reporting the fabric they use in these gloves, but it’s stretchy and cool. It also offers an incredible 50+ UPF rating, meaning that 98% of the cancer-causing radiation emitted by the sun gets blocked, never reaching your skin.

That’s a big deal for anglers who spend a lot of time on the water.

The fit is excellent, and the micro-fiber reinforcements on the palm are great for cushioning long paddles.

Machine washable, these gloves will take a touch longer to dry than the HUKs due to the micro-fiber additions.

But for anglers whose hands need a bit of cushioning, they’re impossible to beat.

Keep in mind that these gloves leave your fingertips exposed; they’ll need sun protection, too.

Pros:

  • Excellent fit
  • Awesome sun protection
  • Nice grip
  • Easy to wash
  • Great range of sizes
  • Micro-fiber padding on the palm

Cons:

  • ???

Palmyth Fishing Gloves

Palmyth UV Protection Fishing Fingerless Gloves UPF50+ Sun Gloves Men Women for Kayaking, Hiking, Paddling, Driving, Canoeing, Rowing (Mountain Sky, Large)

Amazon 

Palmyth’s fishing gloves are near carbon copies of the more expensive KastKing Sol Armis sun gloves, offering ¾-length finger protection, a 50+ UPF rating, and plenty of padding where it counts.

Like KastKing, Palmyth is demuring on providing the fabric information, but the excellent PFS rating and tight fit suggest a blend of spandex and polyester. The microfiber pads are coated in a silicone texture, enhancing grip, too.

Of course, these gloves are machine washable and feature the easy on-off tabs KastKing introduced.

Basically, if you like the Sol Armis, you’ll like the price of these gloves even better.

Pros:

  • Great price!
  • Excellent fit
  • Awesome sun protection
  • Nice grip
  • Easy to wash
  • Great range of sizes
  • Micro-fiber padding on the palm

Cons:

  • ???

Fish Monkey Pro 365 Guide Glove

Fish Monkey FM21-BLWTRCAM-XL Pro 365 Guide Glove Blue Water Camo XL

Amazon 

Fish Monkey’s Guide Gloves are built tough and designed with anglers in mind.

These ¾ length gloves are made from a stretchy, breathable material (spandex?) and a durable, padded microfiber coated with silicone grip panels. The combination offers plenty of protection for your hands, a great fit, and loads of dexterity for tying knots and working a reel.

Rated for 50+ UPF, the only drawback to the sun protection the Fish Monkeys offer are the minimal wrists. For some anglers, that may be a problem, and I’d certainly be wearing an extra-long sleeve to provide coverage.

Fish Monkey doesn’t say if these gloves are machine washable, so I’d skip even the gentle cycle and wash these gloves by hand. They dry quickly, and having them ready for the next day is a sure thing.

Overall, these are excellent gloves if sun protection isn’t a high priority. But it is, especially in the weather these were designed for, and most anglers are looking for a longer wrist to better protect their skin from the sun.

Pros:

  • Excellent fit
  • Nice grip
  • Great range of sizes
  • Micro-fiber padding on the palm

Cons:

  • Short wrists minimize sun protection

KastKing Gil Raker

KastKing Gil Raker Gloves UPF50+ Fishing Gloves UV Protection Gloves Sun Gloves for Men Or Women for Fishing, Outdoor, Kayaking, Rowing, Sailing, Canoeing, Hiking, Biking - Blackout Prym1, Large

Amazon 

In cool weather, where heat isn’t your main problem but sun protection and paddle sores are still something to avoid, KastKing’s Gil Raker gloves are ideal.

KastKing reports that these gloves are made from spandex with PVC padding added to microfiber palms. That’s a tough-wearing combo that provides a 50+ UPF rating, guaranteeing considerable sun protection. Keep in mind, however, that these gloves terminate at the base of the wrist and finger, so overall sun protection isn’t in the same league as true sun gloves.

That said, where the Gil Raker shines is in spring and fall, especially on long paddles where the double-layer and padded palms really soak up the punishment. Ideal for anglers who need hand protection without bulk, the Gil Raker is very hard to beat in this niche.

Fit is good, and the velcro-style wrist strap assures a tight fit.

They’re also reasonably warm, though not at all waterproof. Don’t expect tons of insulation when wet, but the PVC/spandex combination isn’t the worst possible fabric in this regard.

Dexterity is excellent, as you’d expect from a fingerless glove, and casting, turning a drag knob, and tying knots is no sweat.

These gloves should probably not be machine washed - KastKing doesn’t say - and I’d wash them by hand to ensure they last. Drying times are decent, but the heavier fabric is going to take longer to shed the wash water.

For cool but not cold weather, the Gil Rakers are a great buy.

Pros:

  • Excellent fit
  • Excellent sun protection
  • Nice grip
  • Great range of sizes
  • Micro-fiber and PVC padding on the palm

Cons:

  • ???

Glacier Glove Ice Bay - Best Glove for Winter Kayak Fishing

Glacier Glove Ice Bay Waterproof Gloves - Medium - Black

Amazon 

For intrepid kayak anglers who don’t surrender the water to winter’s grip, Glacier Glove’s Ice Bay is an essential.

2mm of fleece-lined neoprene provides waterproof warmth, keeping your hands from going numb no matter how many wet fish you handle.

They reach far enough up your wrist that your outwear will have them covered, an important detail when the mercury is hovering just above zero and the wind is blowing.

The “sharkskin” texture on these gloves works remarkably well, and with a small brush, it’s pretty easy to clean with soap and water, too. Just be careful not to get water inside your gloves!

Now obviously, you’re surrendering some dexterity for cold-weather protection, so tying knots and other precise tasks are going to be tough. But no glove I know can offer thermal protection and keep your hands free to do their thing completely.

For cold water and freezing weather, Glacier Glove’s Ice Bay come as close to perfect as you get.

Pros:

  • Excellent fit
  • Nice grip
  • Great range of sizes
  • 100% waterproof
  • Warm

Cons:

  • Limited dexterity 

What to Look for in a Good Kayak Fishing Glove

Keep in mind that lots of gloves marketed to kayakers are designed around paddling comfort rather than fishing. As such, they’re often not designed for all-day sun protection or for easy cleaning when they get coated in slime, blood, and scales.

Kayak anglers need a fishing-driven glove that’s very different from the needs of pure paddlers.

Sun protection

Die-hard fishermen like to hit the water before sun up, and many won’t call it quits until the sun is nearly overhead. They’ll be back at it later in the day, too, working the hours right before sunset and on into the dusk.

sun protection from kayak fishing gloves

Think any old glove will protect your hands from the sun? Think again!

That all adds up to a lot of sun exposure, and scientists and doctors working for the North Carolina Seagrant report that fishermen have “a 2.5 times higher risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma than those who spent less time in the sun.”

And here are two facts that should hit home to you. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation:

  • More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour.
  • Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma.

Skin cancer isn’t something you want to flirt with, and full coverage is the only way to fish.

From gaiters to sunglasses, shoes to pants, hats to shirts, and yes, even gloves, you need to get as much of your skin hidden from the sun as you can.

Good kayak fishing gloves are full coverage, extending up the wrist with no holes or cut-outs on the back. They’ll sport real-world UPF ratings of 30 or more, keeping dangerous UVA and UVB radiation from damaging your DNA and encouraging cancer to form.

Do yourself a favor and place skin protection at the top of your list of concerns.

Easy cleaning

The proteins in fish slime decay rapidly, and as they do, they start to smell.

Fishing gloves that are hard to clean are worse than useless, and you just won’t wear them if they reek.

Look for gloves that wash easily, whether that’s in a machine or by hand. You also want them to dry quickly so they’re ready to go the next day.

Fit, grip, and dexterity

Good fishing gloves should be pretty form-fitting, reducing bunching and sliding while providing a firm grip on paddles, rods, and other tackle.

As much as possible, they should also allow you to manipulate small objects like hooks and line, and that’s why so many gloves feature fingerless designs.

Waterproof and warm

For cold water, 100% waterproofness is a must.

You’ll want to keep your fingers warm and working, and in my experience, that means a bit of extra insulation is nice.

You will lose some dexterity, however, but this trade-off doesn’t really mean much in the real world.

If you don’t use heavier gloves, you’ll quickly find your fingers aren’t working, and trust me, tying a knot then will be next to impossible!

Final Thoughts

Kayak anglers don’t just need a paddling glove; they need a true fishing glove that offers more than just a padded palm.

For warm weather, HUK’s Sun Glove is our top choice. Providing unrivaled sun protection and coverage, these gloves are easy to clean, comfortable, and grippy. When combined with full-coverage clothing, you’ll have outstanding protection against cancer-causing UVA and UVB radiation.

For cold weather, Glacier Glove’s Ice Bay is ideal. They’ll keep your hands toasty even when the weather isn’t cooperating, allowing you to fish in comfort. Durable, relatively easy to clean, and 100% waterproof, these fleece-lined gloves are the way to go for late fall, winter, and early spring.

About The Author
Pete D
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Pete grew up fishing on the Great Lakes. When he’s not out on the water, you can find him reading his favorite books, and spending time with his family.
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