Freezing, wet hands while fishing are the bane of many beach and boat anglers lives. Gloves sold as appropriate are often not fit for purpose says Des Westmore, but Snowbee’s SFT neoprene gloves are the answer to the big softy’s prayers.
My soft and delicate ‘office hands’ don’t cope well with the cold, getting wet, or breaking apart a 5lb box of frozen squid that is actually warmer than the surrounding air temperature. While anglers dive in to the sub-arctic bait box, I cower by the gunwale whimpering and hoping that the skipper will take pity and bait up for me… shameful, I know. I have had tests for Reynard’s disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis in the hope that I could claim some hereditary condition, but all came back negative and I just have to admit to carrying the wimp gene.
I have tried all kinds of fingered and fingerless gloves in materials such as fleece, neoprene, Gore Tex and other derivatives along with Amara leather. I was always looking for a glove that retained the dexterity to bait up and deal with tangles, but one that would be warm and waterproof. I have never come close to finding that perfect glove… until now.
Snowbee recently sent me a pair of their eye catching SFT Neoprene gloves, which are coloured blue with a snazzy logo. They are made from four-way stretch 100% CR neoprene that is only 1mm thick. Normal neoprene gloves feature butt glued seams and are blind stitched, but the Snowbee SFT gloves utilise new technology to weld seams before an ultra thin, highly elastic tape is applied. This results in a 100% waterproof, seamless and well made product.
Get a Grip
The neoprene has a thin faced fabric applied inside and out, and they are also screen printed with silicon ink on the palms and fingers to give superb grip. This material is so grippy in fact that I actually find that peeling the dark outer skin off a squid is easier with the gloves on than with bare fingers. Clearly care has to be exercised when working with hooks and knives so as not to puncture the completely waterproof fabric.
As with all neoprene handwear, removing the gloves after prolonged wearing reveals damp fingers. Neoprene is not breathable and the sweating effect is to be expected. The Snowbee gloves are available in S, M, L and XL sizes, and to get the best from them you need to select a reasonably snug fit. They are priced at £23 but it might just be the best £23 you fling at a fishing item. These have been an absolute revelation through the last cold months and I cannot recommend them highly enough. For more information go to www.snowbee.co.uk