Winter fishing can be grueling at times. Usually the first part of your body to feel the elements is your hands, and once they get cold and numb fishing really becomes a struggle. Simple tasks like tying knots, changing lures and casting can become difficult and painful.
With long hours on the water usually starting at first light and temperatures hovering around freezing point it becomes difficult to enjoy yourself when you’re struggling to perform even the most basic of tasks. Many anglers chose to stay home during the colder months due to the frigid conditions, but for those that take the initiative to prepare themselves some fantastic fishing opportunities await.
If you have found yourself on the water struggling to get feeling in your fingers, it might be time to invest in a serious pair of winter fishing gloves. I bought a pair of Simms Exstream half finger gloves a few years ago and have thoroughly put them through their paces, read on to see how they’ve held up.
|Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
|Grey with orange highlights
The very first thing I noticed was the price, and what a price! At nearly $100 a pair they are definitely expensive, but as to be expected from a reputable retailer like Simms.
Simms are synonymous for producing some of the best fishing clothing/outdoor products in the industry, and the old sentiment of you get what you pay for usually rings true with their products, these gloves are no exception. The materials felt great in hand (no pun intended) and the grey/ orange colour scheme looked the goods. I tried them on in the store and they felt warm, comfortable and had good dexterity/flexibility which is important when used while fishing.
On the inside of the glove you will find the whole of the top is lined with an orange fleece that provides excellent warmth, while the underside of the glove is only a thin layer of a flexible fabric with a black leather palm. This thin layer allows you to stay in contact with your rod and still allows for a good amount of feel while fishing (not quite as good as your skin but still decent).
Another thing I noticed almost immediately were the 2 orange tabs on the ring and middle fingers of each glove initially I thought they were merely there for looks, but as you will find with Simms everything is done for a reason and they’re actually used to help remove the gloves with ease by using your finger tips on your opposite hand.
The last little touch that caught my eye was the Simms brand name which is on the top of the gloves and is finished in a reflective coating which is a great little safety conscious thought to help you be seen at night.
The Simms Exstream Half Finger Gloves were designed with anglers in mind, they are equally good for a host of other outdoor activities from camping to shooting and where ever dexterity and flexibility are important.
IN THE FIELD
The gloves perform great on the water, on occasion your hands will still get cold but are a much better alternative to no gloves at all. You definitely loose a little contact and feel from your rod but it’s a worthy cost as you’ll lose plenty of feel if your hands go numb anyway.
They work fine while using both spinning and baitcasting gear but I have found on small spinning reels 2000 size and under they are a little bulky, on bigger spinning reels they’re sweet.
I’ve used them for a few years now and they’ve become an essential bit of kit for me during winter. I have found while trout fishing in winter on the really frigid days with strong cold winds even if you have 4+ layers on and waders you can still lose a lot of body heat through your hands and once they get cold it can be so difficult to get them warm again.
I first used these gloves at the Eucumbene River and after the first day I knew I had made a good investment. My hands didn’t go numb all day and I discovered that they still work pretty well even when wet, the orange fleece fabric on the top of the inside of the gloves still provided warmth when damp and stopped my hands from going numb. You can see that Simms thought about the fact these gloves would get wet and purposely used materials that would still perform whilst wet. Another handy little feature I found was when landing big trout once you get a grip of their tail wrist the fabric and leather palm on the underside of the glove provided excellent grip, far better than a bare hand and the trout rarely slipped free.
Fingerless gloves might not be as warm as full gloves but they allow you to do everything you can normally do without gloves, like tie knots, cast and take photos without having to constantly remove them, personally I reckon if you’re lure casting they are your only option.
After owing the gloves for around three years now they have held up well, they’ve been machine washed and dried multiple times and fished on dozens of trips. The only notable bits of wear and tear on them are that the reflective SIMMS logo on the top of the glove is starting to peel off and the black leather palm colouring bled a little when they first got wet. Barley any stitching has come apart and the fabrics are holding up great. I can see these gloves lasting for more years to come no worries.