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Gloves for Pike Fishing – Are They Necessary?

If you’re into ‘predator fishing’ or Pike angling, you might be tempted to buy gloves specifically designed for this activity. However, it’s not entirely clear whether you really need them, especially if you’re new to Pike fishing.

To help you figure out whether Pike gloves are essential or not, we have put together a comprehensive guide that you can read below.

What Gloves Can I Buy for Pike Fishing?

There are numerous options available for fishing gloves, these can range from the very affordable gloves you might find on Temu or Amazon – to the very stylish Fox Rage Gloves. All claim to aid in your fishing by preventing cuts, grazes and bites. 

Credit: Fox Rage. Probably the better looking glove sare on the market but are they necessary?

The problem with many of these gloves is they have far too much fabric on them to allow for you to safely ‘chin’ a Pike. Sure, you could use them to hold the Pike from the belly with both hands supporting its weight, but almost all Pike anglers know that a firm grip from the chin is the safest way to handle Pike. The problem with many of these glove options is they are marketed as a safe way to ‘grip the pike from the gills’ and in our opinion, they’re simply not. 

Credit: Amazon. An example of budget fishing gloves we’d recommend you don’t use.

Are Gloves Required for Pike Fishing?

We believe that wearing gloves while handling Pike is unnecessary. In fact, we share the opinion that wearing gloves when chinning a Pike can cause injury to the fish. The reason behind this is that the fabric of the gloves can easily get caught on the Pikes gill rakers. As a result, when you pull your hand out, you end up pulling the rakers, which can cause harm.

It’s apparent from our experience, that using any other type of gloves besides rubber gloves is not a good idea when handling a Pike. Rubber gloves won’t fully protect you from getting grazes by the gill rakers if you happen to catch them, but they will enable you to grasp the fish safely, maintain contact with it, and prevent any skin contact issues that you may have.

What if My Hands Are Cold?

If you suffer from cold hands or have Raynaud’s disease, you might think that Pike fishing gloves will help keep your hands warm and dry. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The gloves tend to become damp quickly, reducing their already insufficient thermal properties, especially when you are holding a Pike or frequently changing lures and casting. As a result, they cannot provide adequate protection from the cold or wetness.

If you did want to buy a pair of pike fishing gloves for additional warmth we’d recommend you do so but take them off when you’ve netted a fish. This will allow you to keep them dry aiding in their minor thermal properties and also safely handle a Pike.

A very old photo of a mid 20lb Pike, but an example of how these gloves end up covered in slime and stay wet once a fish has been handled. Also one glove removed for chinning the fish to protect its gills from catching on the glove.

What if I Get a Reaction to the Proteins in the Pike’s Skin or Slime?

It is very rare, but some anglers may suffer from mild dermatitis caused by contact with the skin of the fish or its protective slime. This, in combination with wet hands, can lead to painful cracks and sores in the hands.

If you’re someone who has to deal with a certain skin condition, you’re probably aware of how painful it can get. And you may be tempted to use Pike fishing gloves to ease the discomfort. However, we believe you’d benefit more from a pair of rubber gloves. These gloves, similar to those used by nurses and tattoo artists, will keep your hands dry and provide a safer way to handle the Pike.

Even though Zander have sharper gill covers, gloves are still not necessary in our opinion.

Will Gloves Prevent Me From Being Bitten by The Pike?

Unless you decide that a set of chain-mail gloves (which is not recommended) is suitable for you, neither Pike fishing gloves nor normal gloves will prevent a Pike from biting you. The truth is, your hand should not be in its mouth, and that’s realistically the only time you might get bitten. However, Pike have very sharp teeth that can pierce almost all fabrics and reach the skin, especially if it’s a rather large Pike.

The best way to prevent a pike from biting you is to learn how to handle it safely and securely. We have a guide on handling pike that can help.

In Summary

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if you want to wear gloves or not when handling Pike. The information provided above is based on years of experience, both with and without gloves. We understand that gloves may look cool and provide some warmth and comfort, but we believe that the potential harm they can cause to a Pike outweighs these benefits. 

Our priority is to ensure that the Pike is returned safely to the water, even if it means suffering a minor graze from the rakers – after all, you will still be fine!

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Steve Evans
Steve Evans

Founder & Chief Editor of Predator Fishing World. Steve has been predator fishing for well over a decade and has amassed a deep knowledge base to share with you.