It’s an easy call when ice fishing or drifting a spawn bag through a likely stretch of a nearly frozen stream when winter steelhead is your target. Warm, supple, waterproof gloves are more a necessity than an option when it comes to hand-wear. It’s just the opposite in April and early May across most of the Great Lakes. Mornings can start out ice-fishing cold and the water temperatures in the big lakes are slow-slow-slow to warm.

            Warm gloves are needed some of the time, at other times, going bare handed is just as comfortable. For me, I split the difference and most days on my boat you’ll see me wearing what I used to call “bag lady gloves.”  I’m sure that’s not PC, these days so Gill calls them “short finger,” another source I found calls them “fingertipless.” 

            Regardless of what they are called, I like them. They keep my hands remarkably warm – more than remarkably – downright comfortable most of the time and whether I’m knotting on a new lure, snapping or unhooking a snap swivel, handling freshly caught fish or cranking a reel, I do it all with my short finger gloves in place. No pulling them on, off or looking for where I put them. These days, my “shorties” of choice are the Pro Gloves from Gill Fishing.

            Like all Gill products, the construction is unmatched and on-the-job tested. The palms and the gripping side of the fingers is made from strategically positioned “Proton-Ultra XD” which is Gill’s techy-name for fake leather. (I’d never guessed it wasn’t leather). The “wear area” on the palm is overlain by Dura-Grip – a tough, supple nylon. The reverse side of the gloves is made of a four-way stretch material to make them go on easily and not be constrictive when grabbing and gripping. There’s no one-size for all with these gloves, they come in six sizes from XS to XXL. I measured my hand according to the online Size Guide at and my pair, fit like a glove.

            Order them online if you wish from Gill or Amazon, or look for them in many boating/fishing retail outlets. 

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