Our hands take a beating during the winter fishing months. Cold weather, exposure to the elements and dipping them in and out of water can cause damage. Sometimes the damage can be serious. Don’t believe me? Read Brent’s incident here and check out his fingers here. Brent from Uprising FF is a pretty rad guy and part of the #looparmy. He is also very experienced when it comes to fishing in freezing conditions. If it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone. Let’s face it…for most of us our hands are only considered worth protecting when they start to freeze, but there are things you can do to protect your hands. And you should protect your hands…they are an essential part of what we do.
Here are some tips to keep your hands safe through the winter season.
1. Take a hand towel and use it. This will help you keep your hands dry which will help you keep them warm.
2. Remove gloves to handle fish. This is better for the fish and better for you allowing you to put dry gloves back on your hands.
3. Buy appropriate fishing gloves. Simms has some great fishing gloves with WindStopper technology. Wool is recommended because it will help keep your hands warm even if they get wet.
4. Have air activated hand warmers that are ready to go. Before I even start fishing in freezing conditions I warm up some of those cheap hand warmers and throw them in every pocket that is accessible to me during a day on the water.
5. Keep extra gloves in the car or a backpack.
6. Wear latex gloves as an added layer of protection. This is a trick the ice fisherman came up with. Not only does it help keep your hands dry while protecting them from the elements, but you can wear them under your other gloves making it easier for you to slip them on and off when you handling fish.
7. Use a hand treatment cream in between fishing trips to help your hands heal. When my finger tips start to crack I start using O’Keeffe’s Working Hands. This stuff is incredible. It heals your skin by bringing the proper pH balance back and it doesn’t make your hands feel greasy.
How do you protect your hands ?